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

August 19th, 2016 § 0 comments

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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.

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