High quality legal service in civil matters is beyond the financial reach of most people. This course addresses the policy and professional responsibility implications of expanding access to the civil justice system in the US. We will compare the US system to the much larger programs in peer nations. The course will emphasize the professional and institutional problems of allocating scarce resources among needy claimants and the difficulty in assuring quality and a strong consumer orientation in a subsidized delivery system. We will explore the contours of a more comprehensive delivery system, which might include on-line legal advice and other technological innovations; simplification of rules and procedures; expanded roles for paralegals; expanded roles for the private bar; vouchers and low fee service; and pre-paid/legal insurance systems. We will meet weekly for two hours and we will have an additional two hour meeting six weeks during the semester, for a total of three classroom credits. The additional meetings will offer an opportunity to explore on the ground innovations and projects. There will be no examination but students will, in consultation with the course instructor, develop a project that relates to making legal services available. Students may work on course projects individually, or in pairs or groups. Where appropriate and with permission of the instructor, completion of student projects may extend beyond the semester.
Students may satisfy all or part of the J.D. written work requirement in connection with the course. Students who would like to add a clinical component should enroll through clinical registration. Please refer to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs website(http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clini cal) for clinical registration dates, early add/drop deadlines, and other clinical information. This course satisfies the Law School's professional responsibility requirement. Ordinarily, students may not enroll in two courses that satisfy the professional responsibility requirement. In situations where students receive permission to take a second course that satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, the second course may be reduced by one classroom credit if there is substantial overlap in professional responsibility coverage with the first course. Students should check with the Registrar's Office if they have a question about professional responsibility requirement courses.
Optional Clinical: Students are also encouraged to consider enrolling in the Delivery of Legal Services Clinic (2-4 Fall credits).