Keynote Session - How Do Lawyers Get Paid If Access to Justice is Free?
Executive Director at Self-Represented Litigation Network
KEYNOTE SESSION DESCRIPTION:
The rise of the self-represented litigant has disrupted the civil justice system. Courts no longer rely on lawyers to manage the litigants, but the due process remains so courts have had to step-up and create user-friendly systems for lay people. By providing comprehensive, 24/7 self-help services such as forms, instructions, tailored procedural guidance, and triaged case flow management; courts can create transparent and navigable systems. However, the bespoke approach contemplated in an adversarial process is lost without lawyers. Lawyers are still very much needed, however, their new role is only beginning to be understood. It is one that has paradoxically narrowed in focus yet, because of technology, expanded in delivery opportunities. Legal education has an opportunity to equip new lawyers with the legal and practical skills to be successful in today’s legal market that demands 24/7 services accessible by cellphone from anywhere in the world while engaging more autonomous clients who seek refined and targeted legal advice, strategy and big-picture analysis. This talk will explore the many opportunities that are presenting in this re-aligning market, and consider the negative and positive impacts, particularly with respect to technology, on access to justice.
With a deep background in designing and implementing access to justice initiatives for legal aid, the courts and private practice, Katherine’s philosophy throughout her career has been to build common sense, consumer oriented solutions by learning, innovating and sharing. After clerking for a trial court judge, Katherine worked at Alaska Legal Services Corporation, initially handling DV matters and later as the Aging Grant Coordinator. In 2001, Katherine joined the Alaska Court System to develop the statewide Family Law Self-Help Center, which resulted in the nation's first virtual self-help center. Operating solely through telephone and Internet capabilities, the Center was also one of the early TIG grantees. In 2008, Katherine moved to private practice, establishing a successful unbundled practice supporting self-represented litigants in Alaska, and helped to create the first Unbundled Law Section of a state bar. An early member of Self-Represented Litigation Network, she has led the SRLN since August 2013. Katherine is particularly interested in building delivery systems for rural and vulnerable populations and creating community based legal assistance environments that prioritize judicial engagement and leadership to re-imagine services and approaches used by the private bar, legal aid, court staff and non-legal community providers so that everyone can get the legal help they need, when they need it in a format they can use. Katherine sits on the Advisory Committee for Voices for Civil Justice, serves as the Senior Advisor to the Justice for All Project, is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Technology Law and Policy, and member of the Board of Advisors of the Journal of the National Association of the Administrative Law Judiciary. Katherine, a graduate of Northwestern University and Seattle University School of Law, resides in Virginia.