The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services has issued its final Resolution and Report: Regulatory Objectives. This Resolution is scheduled for a vote at the February 2016 San Diego ABA Midyear Meeting.
I glanced at the resolution and will have to spend more time thinking about it, but from what I saw at first glance, there is not much that is new here; nor innovative; nor controversial. Who is going to argue that there is an interest in providing more and better access to legal services? We have been saying that for ages. The question is how are we planning to achieve the goal? What are we going to do to improve on the current situation? That is what we need to be discussing; that is what is at the heart of the on going debate (in the academic literature, at least) on the question of "innovation." Yet, this resolution and report doesn't address it. Maybe I expected too much; or maybe I misunderstood the aim of the Commission. Regardless, it seems the discussion of innovation and new approaches to the delivery of legal services will have to wait for another day.
... and while I have your attention, let me take the opportunity for a shameless plug: If you are interested in this subject consider attending the next International Legal Ethics Conference, July 14 to 16 at Fordham University in New York. For more information go here. I will be hosting two panels during the conference and one of them is on the question of innovation and the future of the profession. You can read a description of the panel and about the panelists here.