ABA Futures Commission issues final report on the future of legal services in the United States

August 19th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


After two years of research and analysis, the Futures Commission of the Amercian Bar Association has recently issued its final report on the future of legal services in the United States. The report documents the challenges that the legal profession is facing and it contains ten recommendations.

Amongst others, the report also addresses the future of education and training of lawyers. Recommendation 7.2 provides:

Law schools and bar associations, including the ABA, should offer more continuing legal education and other opportunities for lawyers to study entrepreneurship, innovation, the business and economics of law practice, and other relevant disciplines.

Experts on the use of technology in legal services delivery have emphasized the importance of providing lawyers with new skills and knowledge: “Training in law practice management and law practice technology is a critical solution that will further align the skills that law students must have upon graduation with the employment needs of a radically changing legal market.” With the legal market changing dramatically, lawyers today “more than any generation of lawyers … will have to be entrepreneurs rather than employees working for somebody else.” Moreover, lawyers who learn entrepreneurial skills can help solve the justice gap. With millions of people needing legal representation and thousands of lawyers unemployed or underemployed, students with this training can “create better delivery models that match appropriately qualified lawyerswith the clients who need them. […]”

The American Bar Association will now establish a Center for Innovation to map the way forward.

The final report of the ABA Futures Commission is available here.

Streetlaw Best Practice Conference, 7-8 September 2016

August 1st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Streetlaw is the term often used to describe university public legal education programmes.

Many universities in the UK and Ireland send law students into schools, community groups and other organisations to educate people on their legal rights and responsibilities. Streetlaw utilises an interactive methodology which encourages participants to actively engage and to understand how the law relates to them.

Inspired by the first International Street Law Best Practices Conference, held in South Africa earlier this year, Birmingham Law School will host the first regional UK and Ireland event. It will take place at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT. During this interactive two day conference, participants will share Streetlaw best practice from across the globe. The conference will cover:

  • Different models for community engagement through Streetlaw;
  • Sample Streetlaw best practice sessions;
  • How to design your own Streetlaw sessions;
  • Tips and ideas for developing your Streetlaw programme; and
  • Incorporating Streetlaw into the curriculum.

If you have a best practice session that you would like to share at the conference, please email Linden Thomas l.thomas@bham.ac.uk with the details.

UK and Ireland Streetlaw Conference 7-8 September, Birmingham Law School..

Organised by: 

  • Patrick Cahill (Queen Mary University of London),
  • Richard Grimes,
  • John Lunney (Law Society of Ireland), and
  • Linden Thomas (University of Birmingham)

Conference fee: £50 per person*

Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

How to book: You can register your place by visiting the online shop of the University of Birmingham.

Please note that places at the conference are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.