Democratizing Legal Education
37 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2013 Last revised: 9 Jul 2013
Date Written: March 27, 2013
Millions of Americans lack representation for their legal problems while thousands of lawyers are unemployed. Why? Commentators and academics offer a range of answers to this question, from economic factors to regulatory constraints. Whatever the root cause, clearly a massive delivery problem exists for personal legal services. Most individuals simply do not realize when a lawyer might be necessary or helpful. This Article, written at the invitation of the Connecticut Law Review for their Volume 45 Symposium entitled "Are Law School’s Passing the Bar? Examining the Demands and Limitations of the Legal Education Market," suggests that democratizing legal education — i.e., systematically providing basic information about how to access legal services to the general public — offers a solution to the unmet need for those services, as well as to the unemployment crisis among the legal profession more broadly. Law schools have an important role to play in this effort. This article offers three recommendations.
Keywords: legal education, Bates v. Arizona State Bar, innovation, entrepreneurship, two-year JD, public information campaign, access to justice, unmet need for legal services
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