Thursday, August 11, 2011

New scholarship: "New Roles to Solve Old Problems: Lawyering for Ordinary People in Today's Context"

By Wisconsin Professors Marsha Mansfield and Louise B. Trubek.  Available at 56 N.Y.L.S. Law Rev. __ (2011) and here at SSRN.

From the abstract:

The article identifies how changes in the legal landscape, including funding for legal services, legal needs, and technology, provide both barriers and opportunities to rethink legal practice for ordinary people. Law school graduates can use different tools and roles to develop innovations that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their legal work. However, how law students are taught must evolve as well for the innovations to succeed.

The article first discusses what types of legal services can best assist ordinary people in the current context using as examples experiences of Wisconsin law clinics and centers for legal assistance as well as national programs. The article explores new roles created by the new context including expanding cross-discipline collaborative practices, measuring and evaluating outcomes, and providing strategic facilitation. Finally the article addresses how law schools, through expanded clinics and innovative curricula, can train students to envision productive careers by learning to apply these new roles in the new context.


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