UM Carey Law Dean Phoebe Haddon delivered the Constitution Day lecture for lawyers and staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, Tuesday, September 25, in Washington, DC.
The Dean focused her remarks on access to justice, noting the “gaping chasm of unmet legal needs” that exists while there is a “glut” of young, unemployed lawyers. “Why is there this mismatch,” she asked. “And more importantly, what can we, collectively, do about it?”
The Dean proposed several steps for the profession to consider. It could, for instance, launch a major public education campaign about access to justice organized by an alliance of law schools, nonprofits and government agencies. Another possibility: new law school courses which test innovative strategies for the delivery of legal services, including the unbundling of legal services, online legal services, limited consultations and an increased use of paraprofessionals.
Dean Haddon also urged legal educators to teach the skills needed to serve low and moderate income clients, such as the use of sliding pay scales, alternative billing arrangements, contingency work and fee-shifting statutes.
“As our benefactor, Bill Carey, would say, we need to teach students how to “do well while doing good.” Haddon observed.