The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans — from the Legal Services Corporation

Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs. LSC’s study found that low-income Americans do not get the help they need for 92% of their civil legal problems, even though 74% of low-income households face at least one civil legal issue in a single year.

The consequences that result from a lack of appropriate counsel can be life-altering – low-income Americans facing civil legal problems can lose their homes, children and healthcare, among other things. Help can be hard to access, so LSC is working to bridge this “justice gap” by providing pro bono civil legal aid for those in need. Find out more about LSC’s work to ensure equal justice for all by tuning in to the rest of the Justice Gap video series.

For more information on the Justice Gap, visit https://justicegap.lsc.gov/.

Also relevant/see:

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Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.

 
 

Hidden toll: Thousands of schools fail to count homeless students — from by Amy DiPierro and Corey Mitchell
Federal law promises homeless children an equal shot at education. Many fall through the cracks

Excerpt:

A Center for Public Integrity analysis of district-level federal education data suggests roughly 300,000 students entitled to essential rights reserved for homeless students have slipped through the cracks, unidentified by the school districts mandated to help them.

Some 2,400 districts — from regions synonymous with economic hardship to big cities and prosperous suburbs — did not report having even one homeless student despite levels of financial need that make those figures improbable.

And many more districts are likely undercounting the number of homeless students they do identify. In nearly half of states, tallies of student homelessness bear no relationship with poverty, a sign of just how inconsistent the identification of kids with unstable housing can be.

 

Yale and Harvard’s Law Schools Are Ditching the ‘U.S. News’ Rankings. Will Others Follow? — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep

Excerpt:

Yale Law School — long ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report — is quitting the magazine’s rankings, it announced Wednesday. Hours after that announcement, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Law School said it would do the same.

“U.S. News stands in the way of progress for legal education and the profession,” said Heather Gerken, Yale Law School’s dean. “It’s made it harder for law schools to admit and support low-income students, and it’s undermining efforts to launch a generation to serve. Now is the time to take a step.”

Also related/see:

Some other legal-related items include:

IAALS Releases New Allied Legal Professionals Landscape Report and Resource Center in an Effort to Increase Legal Options for the Public — iaals.du.edu

Excerpt:

IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, announced today that it released its new Allied Legal Professionals landscape report, along with an accompanying online Knowledge Center. With generous support from the Sturm Family Foundation, this project seeks to help standardize a new tier of legal professionals nationally, with the goal of increasing the options for accessible and affordable legal help for the public.

“Today, the majority of Americans are faced with a very serious access to justice problem—not only low-income populations, as many people believe. And the pandemic has only made matters worse in recent years,” says Jim Sandman, chair of IAALS’ board of advisors and President Emeritus of the Legal Services Corporation. “For example, studies show that around 40–60% of the middle class have legal needs that remain unmet. Simply put: people want legal help, and they are not getting the help they need.”

Legal Innovators: An Ecosystem of Change Agents! — from artificiallawyer.com

The expanding role of technology in the law firm business model (338) — from legalevolution.org by Kenneth Jones
Legal technology is slowly becoming core to the legal business. It’s time to commit to a cross-functional team approach.

Excerpt:

The premise of this post is that individual capabilities and excellence (either legal or technical) standing alone are not enough to ensure long-term, sustainable success.  No superstar technologist or lawyer is equipped to do it all, as there are too many specialties and functional roles which need to be filled.  Rather, a better approach is to construct team-based, cross-functional units that offer greater operational efficiency while building in layers of redundancy that reduce the potential for surprises, errors, or disruption.  Cf Post 323 (Patrick McKenna’s “rules of engagement” for high-performing legal teams).

 

Taking stock as the world population hits 8 billion — from mckinsey.com

Excerpt:

November 13, 2022 Projections show the global population will surpass 8 billion people on November 15, and in 2023, India is expected to surpass China to become the world’s most populous nation. It was only 11 years ago that the world reached the last billion; these milestones generate considerations of resource allocation, food security, climate change, and more. Already, one in nine people can’t get enough to eat every day, even while 33 to 40 percent of our food is lost or wasted each year, according to research from senior partners Clarisse Magnin and Björn Timelin. As we continue to grow, how can we support an unprecedented population while raising the quality of life for all? Explore our insights to learn more about how to avoid a food crisis, common misconceptions around global migration, the future of an aging population, and more.

Also see:

EIEIO’s e-newsletter of 11/13/22  where it says:

This week on Tuesday, it’s projected that a baby will be born somewhere on Planet Earth that brings the population to 8 billion people. Notably, the global population reached 7 billion people just eleven years ago. When I was born, in 1962, there was 3 billion people, and the United States had a population of 180 million versus roughly 335 million today.

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What we know from Nobel Laureate Economist James Heckman out of the University of Chicago is that $1 invested in early childhood education produces a $7 return in economic gain. Moreover, while investment in education produces a compelling return at all stages, the earlier you invest in education, the higher the return.

 

An obituary for education—or not? — from brookings.edu by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer M. Zosh, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Elias Blinkoff, and Molly Scott

Excerpt:

MAKING SCHOOLS WORK
The science of learning offers a blueprint of how children in our future can and will succeed. For the last three decades, researchers made enormous progress in understanding how human brains learn. If we can teach in a way that capitalizes on these findings—if we can apply the science to the classrooms—we will have evidence-based ways of helping children grow the suite of skills that will make them successful in today’s classrooms and the workplaces of tomorrow. Our Brookings report, A New Path to Educational Reform and our book Making Schools Work: Bringing the Science of Learning to Joyful Classroom Practice, detail how this research in the science of learning can offer a scalable, evidenced based path to re-invigorating and re-imagining education for our time.

Children learn when they are active, not passive observers of what is taught. Children learn when they are engaged in the material and not distracted, when the information is meaningfully connected to their knowledge in ways that are culturally responsive. They learn best in social contexts, when there are strong teacher-student and peer relationships, when the information is iteratively presented multiple times in slightly different ways, and when the learning is joyful. Yes, it is possible to have joyful teaching that affords deeper learning. When we teach in ways that the brain learns, the learning “sticks” and generalizes to new problems and new solutions.

 

The Digital Divide 2.0: Navigating Digital Equity and Health Equity in Education — from edsurge.com by Mordecai I. Brownlee

Excerpt:

Luckily, we don’t have to do this work alone. Mainstream awareness of the access gap is growing, which has encouraged corporations like AT&T and Comcast and organizations like United Way to respond by creating employee and community campaigns to bring forth solutions.

Such awareness has also inspired a surge in federal, state and local governments discussing solutions and infrastructure upgrades. For example, nationally, the Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program aimed at providing affordable broadband access for work, school, health care and more. It is important to note that participants must meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines eligibility standards to receive such benefits.

Also relevant/see:

Can Colleges Reach Beyond Campus to Foster ‘Digital Equity’ in Communities? — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So his organization is working with the city of Orangeburg and Claflin University to extend the university’s broadband out into the surrounding community at affordable rates. And because research from McKinsey suggests that more than 80 percent of HBCUs are located in “broadband deserts,” it’s a strategy that may work elsewhere in the country, too.

“That makes HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, and universities more broadly, really interesting and powerful partners in bridging the digital divide,” Ben-Avie said.

 

The Shrinking of Higher Ed — A Special Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
A special report on the implications of the enrollment contraction.

Excerpt:

Nearly 1.3 million students have disappeared from American colleges since the Covid-19 pandemic began. That enrollment contraction comes at a precarious moment for the sector. Inflation is driving up costs and straining budgets, stock-market volatility is putting downward pressure on endowment returns, and federal stimulus funds are running out. Why is the enrollment crunch happening now? How are colleges responding? What might turn things around? Those are the questions fueling this special report.

A Public Regional on the Edge — from chronicle.com by Eric Kelderman
New Jersey City University’s plan to grow its way out of financial trouble backfired. What went wrong?

Excerpts:

NJCU’s story is a cautionary tale for similar institutions — small public regional colleges with ambitions to expand in a crowded higher-education market. While its real-estate dealings have drawn unfavorable scrutiny, the university was responding to challenges that face its peers, in northern New Jersey and around the country: increased competition for a declining number of high-school graduates.

Public regional universities, like NJCU, enroll about 40 percent of all college students nationally, and a far larger percentage of minority, low-income, and first-generation students than better-known flagships and top research universities do.

But a lack of state support, limited ability to attract students from outside the region, and sparse fund raising have made the university vulnerable to economic downturns and demographic shifts that have led to fewer high-school graduates, especially in the Northeast and upper Midwest.

Linked to in the above article was this article:

Declining enrollment has Western Michigan University on budgetary tightrope — from mlive.com by Julie Mack

Excerpts:

KALAMAZOO, MI — Western Michigan University has 17,835 students this fall, its lowest enrollment since the 1960s.

The number is down 6% from last fall. Down 27% from a decade ago, when the fall headcount was 24,598. Down 41% from 20 years ago, when WMU’s fall count peaked at 29,732.

And thanks to a declining birthrate and a shrinking percentage of new high school graduates enrolling in college, that downward enrollment trend is likely to continue indefinitely.

Rather, “what COVID did was force our hand after years of pressure created by declining enrollment and demographic trends that suggest declines will continue for the next decade,” she said. “So while COVID brought our financial situation into sharp relief, the budget cut was a measure taken to relieve pressure created over many, many years.”


A relevant addendum here:

Avoiding the Trap of Too Little Too Late — from tytonpartners.com by Trace Urdan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

The challenges facing higher education are well understood: a demographic cliff of traditional-aged applicants, a declining proportion of full-pay families, and a growing skepticism of the value of (ever-more) expensive post-secondary degrees with resulting student consumerism. Add to this rapidly rising technological complexity, deferred maintenance on deteriorating physical assets, escalating administrative costs associated with student services and supports, and a burgeoning array of college substitutes, and the challenges are clear. The combination of lower tuition revenue and higher costs points toward an inevitable sector consolidation. And while many college administrators will readily acknowledge this point in the abstract, few will consider that it might apply to them.

 

A student debt study unravels the American Dream ideal that college will propel you to the middle class — from fortune.com by Bytrey Williams with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn


Excerpts:

Looking at a cohort of borrowers from 2009, the report highlights that 50% of undergraduate debtors hadn’t repaid their loans. Across different types of loans, borrowers owed between 50% to 110% of their original loan 10 years after repayment began.

A college degree is undoing the American Dream
Getting a college degree has long been heralded as a staple to the American Dream, viewed as the path to wealth that will eventually buy a house in suburbs with a white picket fence. But the Jain Institute report shows that’s no longer the case.

 

From DSC:
I virtually attended the Law 2030 Conference (Nov 3-4, 2022). Jennifer Leonard and staff from the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School put together a super conference! It highlighted the need for change within the legal industry. A major shout out to Jennifer Leonard, Theodore Ruger (Law School Dean), and others!

I really appreciate Jen’s vision here, because she recognizes that the legal industry needs to involve more disciplines, more specialists, and others who don’t have a JD Degree and/or who haven’t passed the Bar. On Day 1 of the conference (in the afternoon), Jen enlisted the help of several others to use Design Thinking to start to get at possible solutions to our entrenched issues.

America, our legal system is being tightly controlled and protected — by lawyers. They are out to protect their turf — no matter the ramifications/consequences of doing so. This is a bad move on many lawyers part. It’s a bad move on many Bar Associations part. Lawyers already have some major PR work to do — but when America finds out what they’ve been doing, their PR problems are going to be that much larger. I’d recommend that they change their ways and really start innovating to address the major access to justice issues that we have in the United States.

One of the highlights for me was listening to the powerful, well-thought-out presentation from Michigan’s Chief Justice Bridget McCormack — it was one of the best I’ve ever heard at a conference! She mentioned the various stakeholders that need to come to the table — which includes law schools/legal education. I also appreciated Jordan Furlong’s efforts to deliver a 15-minute presentation (virtual), which it sounded like he worked on most of the night when he found out he couldn’t be there in person! He nicely outlined the experimentation that’s going on in Canada.

Here’s the recording from Day 1:

 


Jeff Selingo’s comments this week reminded me that those of us who have worked in higher education for much of our careers also have a lot of work to do as well.


 

Addendum on 11/8/22:

 


 

80% of professors at Ph.D.-granting universities attended the same handful of colleges — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Dive Brief:

  • Just 20.4% of U.S. institutions account for 80% of tenured and tenure-track faculty at Ph.D.-granting universities, giving prestigious colleges disproportionate influence over the spread of ideas, academic norms and culture.
  • That’s according to new research published in Nature, a peer-reviewed journal. It concluded that academia “is characterized by universally extreme inequality in faculty production.”
  • Just over one in eight domestically trained faculty were educated at five doctoral institutions: the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University. The same five universities trained more faculty than all non-U.S. universities combined.
 

11 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favor with him.

From DSC:
I thought about this verse the other day as I opened up a brand-new box of cereal. The box made it look like I was getting a lot of cereal — making it look like a decent value for the price. But when I opened it up, it was about half full (I realize some of this occurs by pushing out the box as the contents settle, but come on!). In fairness, I realize that the amount of the cereal is written on the box, but the manufacture likely kept the size of the box the same but decreased the amount that they put within it. They kept the price the same, but changed the quantity sold.

This shrinkification of items seems to be happening more these days — as companies don’t want to change their prices, so they’ll change the amounts of their products that you get.

  • It just strikes me as yet another deception.
  • We BS each other too much.
  • We rip each other off too much.
  • We bury stuff in the fine print.
  • Our advertising is not always truthful — words are easy to say, and much harder to back up.
  • We treat people as though they just exist to make money off of. It’s like Philip Morris did to people for years, and it still occurs today with other companies.
  • In today’s perspective, people are to be competed against but not to be in relationships with. 

I hope that we can all build and offer solid products and services — while putting some serious quality into those things. Let’s make those things and offer those services as if we were making them for ourselves and/or our families. Let’s use “accurate weights.” And while we’re trying to do the right things, let’s aim to be in caring relationships with others.

 

Get Ready to Relearn How to Use the Internet — from bloomberg.com by Tyle Cowen; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource
Everyone knows that an AI revolution is coming, but no one seems to realize how profoundly it will change their day-to-day life.

Excerpts:

This year has brought a lot of innovation in artificial intelligence, which I have tried to keep up with, but too many people still do not appreciate the import of what is to come. I commonly hear comments such as, “Those are cool images, graphic designers will work with that,” or, “GPT-3 is cool, it will be easier to cheat on term papers.” And then they end by saying: “But it won’t change my life.”

This view is likely to be proven wrong — and soon, as AI is about to revolutionize our entire information architecture. You will have to learn how to use the internet all over again.

Change is coming. Consider Twitter, which I use each morning to gather information about the world. Less than two years from now, maybe I will speak into my computer, outline my topics of interest, and somebody’s version of AI will spit back to me a kind of Twitter remix, in a readable format and tailored to my needs.

The AI also will be not only responsive but active. Maybe it will tell me, “Today you really do need to read about Russia and changes in the UK government.” Or I might say, “More serendipity today, please,” and that wish would be granted.

Of course all this is just one man’s opinion. If you disagree, in a few years you will be able to ask the new AI engines what they think.

Some other recent items from Sam DeBrule include:

Natural Language Assessment: A New Framework to Promote Education — from ai.googleblog.com by Kedem Snir and Gal Elidan

Excerpt:

In this blog, we introduce an important natural language understanding (NLU) capability called Natural Language Assessment (NLA), and discuss how it can be helpful in the context of education. While typical NLU tasks focus on the user’s intent, NLA allows for the assessment of an answer from multiple perspectives. In situations where a user wants to know how good their answer is, NLA can offer an analysis of how close the answer is to what is expected. In situations where there may not be a “correct” answer, NLA can offer subtle insights that include topicality, relevance, verbosity, and beyond. We formulate the scope of NLA, present a practical model for carrying out topicality NLA, and showcase how NLA has been used to help job seekers practice answering interview questions with Google’s new interview prep tool, Interview Warmup.

How AI could help translate extreme weather alerts — from axios.com by Ayurella Horn-Muller

Excerpt:

A startup that provides AI-powered translation is working with the National Weather Service to improve language translations of extreme weather alerts across the U.S.

Using GPT-3 to augment human intelligence — from escapingflatland.substack.com by Henrik Karlsson

Excerpt:

When I’ve been doing this with GPT-3, a 175 billion parameter language model, it has been uncanny how much it reminds me of blogging. When I’m writing this, from March through August 2022, large language models are not yet as good at responding to my prompts as the readers of my blog. But their capacity is improving fast and the prices are dropping.

Soon everyone can have an alien intelligence in their inbox.

 

What to Know About the New Rules on Pell Grants for Prison Education — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan

Excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday released final regulations that spell out how colleges can lay the groundwork for enrolling some of the more than 700,000 incarcerated people who are expected to become eligible next summer to apply for Pell Grants to pay for college.

The new prison-education initiative, which will take effect in July, will eventually replace the Second-Chance Pell Program, a pilot that began in 2015 under the Obama administration. Since then, it has grown to allow around 200 colleges to offer prison-education programs that are supported by Pell Grants, currently worth up to around $7,000 per year.

 

HundrED Global Collection 2023 — from hundred.org
Meet the 100 most impactful innovations that are changing the face of education in a post-COVID world.

The HundrED Global Collection 2023

Excerpt:

The year 2022 has been a year to look to the future, as the global education conversation moves again toward themes of education transformation and the futures of education. The 100 innovations selected for this year’s global collection are impacting the lives of over 95 million students worldwide. The collection highlights the important role of teachers in education innovation; the continued need for students to develop 21st century skills, including social and emotional learning; an increasing focus on student wellbeing and mental health; and equity in education.

For more information, download the full Global Collection 2023 report.
You can also browse the innovation pages of the selected innovators here.
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From DSC:
Here’s an excerpt of the email I received today from EducationHQ out of Australia — though I think it applies here in the United States as well:

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Amplify and value teachers’ voice in education policymaking: researchers — from educationhq.com
Amplify and value teachers’ voice in education policymaking: researchers

Excerpt:

Monash University’s Teachers’ Perceptions of their Work Survey has revealed teachers’ waning satisfaction in their role and highlighted their…

Also from educationhq.com

Teachers changed my life: Trauma-informed education shows kids they matter — from educationhq.com by Beck Thompson
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Nonprofit Bringing Businesses to Life in the Classroom — to the Tune of $400,000 — from the74million.org by Tim Newcomb
Making candles out of crayons, building birdhouses, fashioning furniture: Real World Scholars has helped 50,000 students become entrepreneurs

Not much entices a second grader to skip out on recess to get back to schoolwork. But excitement around a classroom-run business can do just that, especially when it means creating candles out of crayons and selling them in the local community.

Students design their ideal urban home in My ArchiSchool exhibition — from dezeen.com

Students were able to bring family members to the exhibition. Architectural model by Ethan Chan

Excerpt:

Promotion: fifty-two students presented digital designs and architectural models of their ideal home as part of Hong Kong-based education institute My ArchiSchool’s latest exhibition. As part of the exhibition, My ArchiSchool students were asked to design their ideal home within an urban environment. The exhibition, which took place on 2 October 2022 at the Sky100 on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, showcased photomontages of digital designs presented alongside physical models.

5 Resources that help students become digital citizens — from rdene915.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

We need to create opportunities for students to become more digitally aware and literate, and to be responsible when using technology. There are many ways to do this, depending on our content area and grade level. We can model best practices for our students, bring in a specific digital citizenship curriculum to guide them through their learning, or use digital tools and resources available to have students explore and create.

Helping students learn to safely navigate what has become a highly digital world is something that we are all responsible for. Students need to be aware of the impact of their posts online, how to create and manage social accounts and protect their information, and how to properly access and use resources they obtain through technology.

3 Reasons School and District Leaders Should Get on Social Media — from edweek.org by Marina Whiteleather

Excerpt:

School and district leaders can—and should—be using social media in their work.

That’s the message shared by Stephanie McConnell, a superintendent in the Hawkins Independent School District in Texas, and Salome Thomas-El, a K-8 principal in Delaware, during an Education Week K-12 Essentials forum on Oct. 13.

At the event, McConnell and Thomas-El provided insights and advice for school leaders who are hesitant to post on certain social platforms or unsure how to use them.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian