The Round-Up: What I’m Reading

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Legal Elites Serving the Poor (Or Not?), a Jotwell review by Veronica Root Martinez of The Relational Costs of Free Legal Services and Solving the Pro Bono Mismatch (Atinuke Adediran). Both articles are based on Prof. Adediran’s 2017 study on the relationship between large law firm pro bono services and nonprofit legal services organizations. The study showed that the practice interests of large firm pro bono attorneys (i.e.,  immigration law) often don’t align with the true needs of poor legal aid clients (i.e.,  housing and family law). In Solving the Pro Bono Mismatch, Prof. Adediran offers three suggestions to help remedy this gap in pro bono legal services.

The Decade in Legal Tech by Robert Ambrogi of LLRX, re-capping the most significant developments that transformed legal practice and the delivery of services. Included are rundowns of changes in legal ethics (as we now have alternative service providers using tech in innovative ways), the powerful rise of the client-focused practices, global networking, AI, and lots more.

On Being a New Voice, A New Everything by Geraldine Kalim for AALL New Voices, discussing how it feels to be a new law librarian and new mother transitioning to a full-time job at a law school in a new (but very familiar) state. I was lucky enough to work with Geraldine in her previous position. This was an informative and very relatable read!

Training for nonlawyers to provide legal advice will start in Arizona in the fall by the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward, detailing the two-year pilot of a law school program licensing non-attorneys to provide limited legal advice on domestic violence matters.

The Open Law Library is saving municipal code, one government at a time by Colin Wood for StateScoop, interviewing founder David Greisen on the digital platform that helps governments publish their laws online. Greisen counts Washington, D.C., San Mateo, California and the Pueblo de San Ildefenso tribe in New Mexico as clients, and his group is currently taking new customers.

Experts say 23% of lawyers’ work can be automated–law schools are trying to stay ahead of the curve by CNBC’s Abigail Hess, breaking down how some law schools are increasing their value and offering student programs and services that embrace technology and hands-on experience. Law schools are trying to balance these new incentives with the rising costs of tuition and law student debt. Really interesting read – also touches on the rise of per-diem attorneys.

 

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