My recent piece at Above the Law focused on why we should expect and really demand that many of the quick fixes we’re seeing adopted by courts be further developed. Just look at Michigan, where cases are being argued and posted on YouTube. And now Utah has proposed sweeping regulatory reforms that would accelerate new access-to-justice measures and allow more modern lawyer/non-lawyer business arrangements. The state was also the first to allow law grads to begin practicing without taking the bar during the pandemic.
More on why there’s no going back to pre-pandemic norms here:
If you’re a legal professional looking for predictions about when courts will ramp back up and legal work return to normal, you’ve still not come to grips with reality.
Courts have largely closed to the public, literally slamming the door on access to justice to millions of citizens.
This is institutional failure. As Jordan Furlong argues in his pandemic and the law series, “Institutions need resilience in a crisis, just like people do. If your institution was forced to shut down because of the pandemic, then it failed its resilience test. It wasn’t there for us when we needed it.”
The hand-wringing and denial in pre-COVID-19’s overburdened, underfunded justice system, has shifted to crisis and triage. Or worse, total standstill.
But is there a silver lining?
“This crisis might not have been the disruption we wanted, but it’s the disruption we needed,” Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack said to more than 450 lawyers, judges, advocates, and others gathered Monday for a Legal Services Corporation briefing on the state of access to justice.
Read the full piece on Above the Law.