Can Opening Up the Legal Services Market Increase Access to Justice? (807H)

The legal services market is in the middle of its most dramatic reexamination in decades. Several states — among them California, Arizona, Utah, and Florida — are considering or already implementing changes to their Rules of Professional Conduct in order to expand who can provide legal services and how. These reforms are designed to accelerate innovation in the delivery of legal services and, ultimately, increase access to justice, in part by allowing technology and people without JDs to play a greater role than they can today. As states consider these reforms, questions have come to the fore as to how potential changes may impact potential clients, existing clients, and providers of legal services. Significant questions include: Who are the nontraditional legal services providers most likely to seek to operate under the new rules? What are their delivery and business models? What kinds of consumers are they serving, and for what kinds of legal needs? What risks do they pose? With Utah and Arizona’s reforms in place and new services providers entering those systems, we can start to answer these vital questions. Students will interview entrepreneurs, lawyers, and consumers to map the current and future provider landscape and will draft a report that offers guidance to the judges and policymakers who are shaping the future of access to justice. Likely clients for the lab include the Utah Supreme Court’s Office of Legal Services Innovation and the Arizona Supreme Court. The lab’s work will also inform the work of the State Bar of California’s Closing the Justice Gap Working Group, on which two of the instructors serve as public appointed members. Students will emerge from the practicum with a richer understanding of the access to justice crisis in the United States and the range of legal, policy, and entrepreneurial interventions and opportunities that might address it. Students from a range of disciplines are welcome, including undergraduates interested in public policy. This is a one-quarter practicum. There may be a related practicum offered during spring quarter, but students do not need to commit to two quarters. Law students wishing to take the class for R credit will perform additional research or take on additional tasks. After the term begins, and with the consent of the instructor, students accepted into the course may transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement. Students who take the course for R credit may have the opportunity to attend a conference at Arizona State in February that focuses on these and other access-to-justice issues. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Performance, Written Assignments. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available at See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.

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