Published for Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute on May 5, 2015
The American Bar Association (ABA) conducted a National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services this past weekend at the Stanford Law School. It was a purposeful, ambitious, and action-oriented set of meetings that challenged the participants to embrace technology and design concepts to improve the ways the profession serves all those who depend on it. For a number of reasons, I believe it was an important event in our ongoing assessment and improvement of the state of legal service in the United States.
In this blog post I will share my impressions of the proceedings, and why I think the Summit was significant. Next week, I will share my substantive take-aways from the Summit’s discussions.
The Summit was noteworthy for a number of reasons.
First, it reflected a sincere commitment by the ABA leadership to stimulating innovation. From their opening remarks convening the Summit on Saturday afternoon, until their closing comments on Monday afternoon, ABA President William C. Hubbard and the Chair of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Service, Judy Perry Martinez, expressed a passionate and urgent call for everyone present to “break from precedent and tradition” and identify ways to deliver legal service differently. Each element of the programming was faithful to that message.
Second, the Summit brought together a group of leaders who are in positions to make change happen. Numbering approximately 200, the participants included justices from 10 State Supreme Courts, judges from state and federal trial courts, state and local bar association leaders, leaders from large and small law firms, law school deans and other leaders, non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders, and new entrants in legal service.Read More