Renters, homeowners face new phase of coronavirus crisis with evictions, foreclosures looming — from finance.yahoo.com by Alexis Keenan

Excerpt:

A potential housing crisis is on the way for millions of Americans whose mortgage and rent deferrals are about to sunset.

Evictions loom as the end of state and local moratoriums will no longer protect homeowners and tenants unable to make payments because of COVID-19 lockdowns. A minority of U.S. states have already expired orders against evictions, and a host of others across the country are set to expire over the next two months.

Once they do, residents are facing a possible flood of non-payment legal actions. The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project (CEDP) predicted recently that by the end of September, more than 20 million U.S. renters —many of them Black and Latino located in big cities — will be at risk for eviction.

 

NEW! Resolve disputes online for free -- with or without a mediator!

Excerpt:

This is a new service supported by the Michigan Supreme Court’s Administrative Office to provide a free, quick and easy way of resolving disputes that are typically filed as a small claims or landlord/tenant case in the district court.

Through MI-Resolve, parties can resolve their disputes online with or without the help of a mediator. Parties can also arrange to meet in person with a mediator or via videoconference. Mediation is a process in which a trained neutral person (a mediator) helps parties identify a solution to a dispute that best works for them. Mediators do not take sides, evaluate claims, or provide legal advice.

 

 

Majority of minority female lawyers consider leaving law; ABA study explains why — from abajournal.com by Debra Cassens Weiss

Excerpt:

Seventy percent of female minority lawyers report leaving or considering leaving the legal profession, according to an ABA report on the challenges that they face.

The statistic isn’t statistically significant because the researchers couldn’t find enough women of color in longtime practice to conduct the needed analysis, according to a preface to the reportLeft Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.

A June 22 ABA press release is here.

“Women of color have the highest rate of attrition from law firms as they continue to face firm cultures where their efforts and contributions are neither sufficiently recognized nor rewarded,” according to the report.

From DSC:
This is discouraging news. Crud.

 

Law on trial — What the legal industry can do to defend it — from forbes.com by Mark Cohen

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

How can the legal industry help to restore the rule of law and public confidence in the legal system?

Some Recommendations
The profession must align with the industry to restore public confidence in the legal system. That means, among other things, that lawyers must recognize—as physicians do—that “it takes a village” to battle a crisis. Here are some recommendations how to do it.

1. Acknowledge the problem
2. Collaborate
3. Focus on the Vast, Underserved Retail Market Segment
4. Embrace Diversity
5. Modernize Legal Education and Training
6 Reimagine Courts
7. Think Globally
8. Use Influence to Create Just Laws and Enforce them Equally

 

‘Unauthorized Practice Of Law’ Rules Promote Racial Injustice — from law.com by Rohan Pavuluri with thanks to Daniel Rodriguez for his Tweet on this

Excerpts:

A less discussed, yet still pernicious, set of policies that must change are the rules lawyers use to regulate their own profession.

Known as unauthorized practice of law, or UPL, rules, every state in America has policies that grant lawyers a monopoly on providing legal advice, prohibiting professionals who are not lawyers from providing meaningful legal assistance. These policies promote racial inequity and guarantee that black Americans don’t have equal opportunities and equal rights under the law.

“It should come as no surprise that only 5% of lawyers are black.[3]”

To reform UPL doesn’t mean choosing between regulation and no regulation of the legal industry. It’s a choice between maintaining a status quo where black people are disproportionately excluded from both providing and receiving assistance and a system where we re-regulate the legal industry to make it more inclusive, increasing the supply of vetted, qualified helpers available.

Also see:

 

Good cop/Bad cop — from LinkedIn.com by Razel Jones, a former colleague at Calvin College (now Calvin University). Razel was a great man and I’m very glad that I got the chance to work with him.

Excerpt:

I usually am very solution-focused and full of ideas for how we can try to make things better… but, these last few days, I’m empty. More than the last few days…I’m threatened. I’m hunted. I’m labeled. I’m vulnerable. I’m unsafe. I’m unprotected. I’m disrespected. I’m undervalued. I’m dehumanized. But, most of all… I’m tired.

 

2020 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer: Performance Drivers and Change in the Legal Sector — from globenewswire.com

Excerpt:

Top Trends and Readiness
Lawyers predicted pressure from a series of trends expected to impact their organizations over the next three years and technology topped the list. The top trends expected to have the most impact are:

  • Increasing Importance of Legal Technology – 76%
  • Meeting Changing Client / Leadership Expectations – 74%
  • Emphasis on Improved Efficiency / Productivity – 73%
  • Ability to Acquire and Retain Talent – 73%
  • Coping with Increased Volume and Complexity of Information – 72%
 

litera tv dot com -- Daniel Linna and Bob Ambrogi's conversation on June 3, 2020

WEDNESDAY | 6.3 | Law Insights with Bob Ambrogi and Daniel Linna, Director of Law and Technology Initiatives, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Notes (emphasis DSC):

  • Trying to build community, collaborate, work together
  • How do you manage a team remotely? How build community online?
  • Spontaneous interactions still needed
  • In what ways does the online ecosystem ADD to what we are doing?
  • Jury trial – online; equalizer for those involved in trial; “all in same space on the screen”
  • Start with some basic/smaller things – landlord/tenant
  • Racism going on heavily this week – a second pandemic
  • Developing a quality movement in law (Linna)
  • We need quality metrics and we need to measure the value being provided. What makes something effective, high-quality, and valuable? Now apply that thinking to the delivery of legal services.
  • Project mgmt / quality movement – less defects, etc. in 1980’s / lean thinking / 6 sigma in GE / but haven’t seen this in the area of law
  • Empiricism in law – 100 years ago medicine and law were in the same spot; since then medicine started more testing, empirical work, data-driven practices; but law didn’t
  • Daniel Linna’s blog – https://www.legaltechlever.com/
  • Can we come up with metrics?
  • Dan worked with a lawyer-assisted program in Lansing, MI – what happened? What was duration of cases? Data-driven thinking; measure; make it more of a science
  • Bob asked isn’t law less scientific and perhaps more art than a science?
  • What kinds of metrics are we talking about in litigation?
  • Contracts – can we figure out what adds value and what makes a contract “better?” (Insert from DSC: Better for whom though?)
  • What actually matters to the client? Clauses that lawyers think that are important, businesspeople don’t think are important. Risk mitigation is not all the client thinks about.
  • Incomprehensible contracts – too hard to understand
  • Natural language generation – what inputs do we need? We don’t want many contracts to be the dataset that an algorithm gets trained on.
  • (Insert from DSC: Daniel relayed some information that reminded me of Clayton Christensen’s disruptive thinking: 80% of impoverished folks get NOTHING. Totally disconnected. Perhaps we don’t need perfection, but even something is much better than nothing. For example, provide an online legal aid booklet to those who are trying to represent themselves.)
  • Go for low-hanging fruit for more empirical
  • Ambrogi: How does the work you are doing impact access to justice (#A2J)? How could quality movement impact police procedures? Is there applicability in terms of what you are writing about?
  • Human-Centered Design – uncovering biases. Why would people TRUST the criminal system if they can’t trust the CIVIL system? Perhaps if landlords thought differently. Disconnected.
  • Innovate, improve, project management;
  • Way decisions are made vary greatly; need more open data from our courts; lack of transparency from courts.
  • Leadership – commitment to resolve issues. Lacking vision. What do we want our legal systems to look like/act like?

Call to action:

  • Have or develop a quality mindset
  • Leadership needs to paint a vision for what the future looks like
  • Training around legal operations
  • How to measure quality and value – be more data-driven

We need disruption AND continuous improvement – not one or the other.
–Daniel Linna

 

ABA President Judy Perry Martinez on the ABA and the Profession in a Pandemic [Ambrogi]

ABA President Judy Perry Martinez on the ABA and the Profession in a Pandemic — from lawsitesblog.com by Robert Ambrogi

Excerpt:

We talked about how she and the ABA have responded to the pandemic, including with her appointment of the Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic and, just last week, the Coordinating Group on Practice Forward. We also discussed her thoughts on the pandemic’s impacts on the profession, the justice system, and access to justice.

 

From DSC:
When reading the article below…Wayne Gretzky’s quote comes to mind here:

The legal industry needs to skate to where the puck is going to be.

ANALYSIS: The New Normal—Law Firms May Never Be the Same — from news.bloomberglaw.comby Sara Lord

Excerpt:

In our recent 2020 Legal Operations Survey, Bloomberg Law asked organizations including law firms, corporations, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions, a number of questions relating to their use of data and metrics. Included in our survey were questions relating to whether law firms measure the value of legal operations and legal technology. Responses indicated that two-thirds of law firms measure legal operations value and nearly one-quarter of law firms using legal technologies measure the value of that legal technology.

Firms think clients expect increased use of legal tech for efficiency

 

Invitation for Comment on Emergency Rulemaking — from uscourts.gov
Request for Input on Possible Emergency Procedures

Excerpt:

The committees seek input on challenges encountered during the COVID pandemic in state and federal courts, by lawyers, judges, parties, or the public, and on solutions developed to deal with those challenges. The committees are particularly interested in hearing about situations that could not be addressed through the existing rules or in which the rules themselves interfered with practical solutions.

And from Canada:
Our civil justice system needs to be brought into the 21st century — from theglobeandmail.com by Rosalie Silberman Abella

Excerpt:

I’m talking of course about access to justice. But I’m not talking about fees, or billings, or legal aid, or even pro bono. Those are our beloved old standards in the “access to justice” repertoire and I’m sure everyone knows those tunes very well.

I have a more fundamental concern: I cannot for the life of me understand why we still resolve civil disputes the way we did more than a century ago.

In a speech to the American Bar Association called The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice, Roscoe Pound criticized the civil justice system’s trials for being overly fixated on procedure, overly adversarial, too expensive, too long and too out of date. The year was 1906.

Any good litigator from 1906 could, with a few hours of coaching, feel perfectly at home in today’s courtrooms. 

 

From DSC:
Some of the areas likely to see such tools integrated into their arenas, operations, and ecosystems:

 

Law 2030 podcast with Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Furlong, and Cat Moon -- April 2020

 


 

Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Long, and Cat Moon
Part I — 4/10/20

Law 2030 Podcast: The future of legal services -- Part 1 of 2 -- Leonard, Furlong, & Long

This episode is the first of two episodes that discuss the future of the profession in the wake of the COVID19 crisis. Guests Jordan Furlong and Cat Moon discuss:

  • How COVID 19 exposes the access to justice crisis the profession has created
  • Why the crisis offers the opportunity to leverage technology in new ways
  • Why the structures and systems that have defined the profession have been so durable
  • Whether lawyers view the crisis as a blip or a transformation
  • How leaders can pivot toward innovation

From DSC:
At several points in the conversation, when Cat and Jordan were both referring to the importance of experimentation within the legal realm, I was reminded of this graphic that I did back in 2013:

I was reminded of it as well because Jennifer Leonard rightly (in my perspective), brought in higher education into the discussion at several points. There are some similarities — especially concerning power and privilege. Well, it’s now true in the legal realm as well (and probably has been true for a while…I’m just behind).

Experimentation. Experimentation. Experimentation. <– so key in the legal realm right now!

 

Other notes I took:

  • Triage: Need to deal with essentials to keep afloat. Yourself, staff, clients, cash flow. Put out the fire.
  • Reconstruction: In parallel, create “field hospitals.” Recession is going to have massive impacts on old systems. Need new systems. Start building institutions that work. Build as many of these as you can. Experiments.  House isn’t going to be inhabitable after the fire. Need a new shelter — maybe start w/ a tent, then a cabin, then a house. Build on something small.  Start building what’s going to replace the old systems.
  • Power and privilege imbalance is why people haven’t been able to change things.  “I can make you do something for me. You come here so I can dispense justice to you.” But not just judges…throughout the system.
  • Public legal awareness and legal education. In high schools, universities, colleges, churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.
  • Higher ed and legal services? Anything we can learn from each other?
  • Systems created by people who rule the systems. Power imbalance exists in higher ed, but hubris is completely indefensible within the legal realm. Need much better access to legal information and legal understanding.
  • OS on the Mac. Don’t have another OS for legal system to move to. We need to redesign our legal OS to serve more people.
  • Law is society’s OS.  Law is DOS-based…need Windows or Mac type of leap.
  • Self protectionism. Hubris. Power imbalance. Power hungry.
  • Yet many who enter legal profession come in wanting to make the world a better place. Why the move away from these ideals? Need more focus on developing professional identity. Structure, framework for how to be a lawyer. Students become more cynical as time goes by. Also, there’s “ladder pulling.” Pay your dues. Get hazed. I had to do it…now you have to do it. Bar Exam good example of this. Confirmation bias. It’s the way we’ve always done it.

Today, the following things ARE happening — so it CAN be done!  The people in charge just didn’ want to do these things.

  • lawyers working from home
  • e-filing of documents to courts
  • video hearings in court
  • faster, cheaper, more convenient

 


Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Long, and Cat Moon
Part II – 4/14/20

Law 2030 Podcast: The future of legal services -- Part 2 of 2 -- Leonard, Furlong, & Long

On this second part of a two-part series, Professor Cat Moon and Jordan Furlong discuss COVID 19’s impact on legal education and law firms. The conversation explores:

  • The “knock out effect” the crisis has on the various parts of the lawyer formation system
  • Who might take ownership of coordinating the new landscape of lawyer accreditation
  • The opportunities lifelong learning creates for law schools to be involved in the ongoing development of legal professionals
  • How human-centered design and project-based learning offer ways to integrate the three sides of the Delta model of lawyer competency
  • How small and solo law firms might be impacted by the crisis

Notes I took:

  • The knock-out effect.
  • How can we coordinate amongst the players in the system? Will be hard, because of the existing fiefdoms. Power and authority move back up the chain to those who did the delegating in the first place. If the power has been delegated to you, you are at a disadvantage. Jordan sees an assertion of authority from a central entity — legislatures most likely; possibly courts.
  • This moment offers us an opportunity to experiment and to redesign our systems. Can find new ways to fulfill missions.
  • Have no choice but to embrace the ambiguity of the moment.
  • Triage, then try to build something better than what we had before.
  • We have to build something different. “And look, the sky’s not falling!” Think big. Act boldly in these experiments. Expand what we think is possible.
  • The repercussions of the Coronavirus will be with us for much longer than many think it will
  • Legal principles/concepts/rules. Areas of practice. Professional formation (ethics, integrity, operational aspects, & more). Know the law, but also WHY we have the law and lawyers.
  • Can learn “black letter law” asynchronously and via videoconferencing.
  • Need to expand curriculum: Project/time management, customer service, financial and tech literacy
  • Delta Model — a framework for developing lawyer competencies; starts in law schools; what are the skills and competencies; the foundation is the practice of law; research, issue spotting, PM, data analysis, understanding business; understanding people; wholistic approach. A lifelong journey of growth. 
  • Law schools — 3 years, then done. Not a productive way to do things. We need to keep people on top of their game throughout a career. Is legal education a place or a system/process that you enter and re-enter again and again throughout one’s career? Wouldn’t it be great if I could access ___ modules along the way?
  • How are we going to create/design highly engaging online-based learning experiences? #1 on Cat’s priority list now. Got moved up the priority list.
  • There are pros and cons for both F2F and online-based learning. Humanizing impact when your professors are teaching from their homes.
  • Reframing legal education just as we are reframing courts as a service, not a place.
  • Blended approach can be very effective/powerful.
  • Need to collect data on what’s working and what’s not working.
  • Fundamental business model of corporate side is likely at the end of its course; law firms will need a new model for generating profit. For smaller firms, prospects are more dire as their clients are going through major negative changes. Potential unsustainability of many practices.
  • How can we provide different models that expand access to justice? That help develop happier and healthier lawyers?
  • Per legalproblemsolving.org, human-centered design is:
    • …a fluid framework for discovering problems, ideating solutions, and iterating to continuously improve solutions. HCD provides a methodology for considering both legal service delivery challenges, as well as clients’ legal problems. The HCD method also serves as a tool individual law students can use to craft a rewarding, successful legal career.

 

 

LawNext Episode 71: Legal Futurist Richard Susskind on Coronavirus, Courts and the Legal Profession — from .lawsitesblog.com by Robert Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Ever since the publication of his seminal 1996 book, The Future of LawRichard Susskind has remained the world’s most-recognized and most-respected speaker and author on the future of legal services. But even he could not have foreseen the sudden relevance of his latest book, Online Courts and the Future of Justice.

On this episode of LawNext, Susskind joins host Bob Ambrogi for a conversation about the legal profession and the judicial system in a time of global pandemic. Will the pandemic fast-forward law’s leap into the future? Will there be fundamental change in legal services delivery? Will courts move online more quickly than even he had thought? Susskind shares his thoughts on these questions and more.

Also see:

remotecourts dot org worldwide

 

CodeX FutureLaw 2020 -- a conference in March 2020 that provided an in-depth exploration of the ways that technology is transforming the law

Welcome to FutureLaw 2020, hosted by CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. Typically held live on the Stanford campus, the FutureLaw conference focuses on the way technology is transforming the law, and redefining the methods in which individuals interact with legal systems and institutions.

Due to the current health emergency, CodeX FutureLaw 2020 has been turned into an online event to provide an opportunity for our legal tech community to connect and learn about legal tech innovations from around the world. On this webpage, you can access podcasts and videos featuring the academics, entrepreneurs, lawyers, investors, policymakers, and engineers spearheading the tech-driven transformation of our legal systems.

 

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