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.
Some seats are reserved for students enrolled in the Delivery of Legal Services Clinic. Students must be enrolled in the clinic before they can claim one of these reserved seats. A student’s enrollment in a reserved clinical seat is dependent on the student’s enrollment in the Delivery of Legal Services Clinic. Please see the clinic’s description for more information.