Keynote: How Do Lawyers Get Paid If Access to Justice is Free?
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.