The Civil Justice Strategies Task Force was recently formed to analyze the entrenched “justice gap” for low and moderate income individuals who overwhelmingly cannot afford legal representation.
The members of the 20-person task force include modest means legal services providers, academic faculty, law firms both large and small, solo practitioners, public members, State Bar Board of Trustee members and a bar association lawyer referral service member.
BASF’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) Director of Public Service Programs, Carole Conn, was selected to occupy this LRIS seat on the task force, the focus of which is to study creative solutions from other countries as well as emergent models here at home that have been successful in affording greater access to affordable representation. The goal is to have a proposed action plan formulated by late Fall that can be further honed and implemented in the future. At the time of this writing, Conn had attended the first meeting of the task force and reported, “No time was wasted in starting the conversation about this critical issue and it is very exciting to able to participate in the exchange of ideas that might help shape a solution.”
Admissions Regulation Reform
Late last year, JDC’s Mairi McKeever, Director/Managing Attorney, Pro Bono Legal Programs, was appointed to the State Bar’s Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform (TFARR) Implementation Committee. The Implementation Com-mittee is charged with developing an action plan and timeline for implementing the TFARR committee’s proposals for a pre-admission competency training program which includes:
Pre-admission: A competency training requirement fulfilled prior to admission to practice.
Pre-admission or post-admission: An additional competency training requirement fulfilled either at the pre- or post- admission stage, where 50 hours of legal services is specifically devoted to pro bono or modest means clients. McKeever is serving on this working group.
Post-admission: Ten additional hours of MCLE courses for new lawyers focused on law practice competency training.
For more information, visit the State Bar of California’s website, www.calbar.ca.gov.