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Summer Reading and Coming Events

I just returned from a glorious 3-week summer break and am now trying to catch up on my accumulated emails. A few things caught my eye that I thought may be of interest to other SLAW devotees:

  1. IAALS events – I have followed the Institute for the Advancement of the America Legal System for some time. It is a U.S. leader in the analysis and reform of the U.S. justice system, including through unbundled legal services. Two events to note:
    1. Redesigning Legal Speaker Series: The next session is on August 24, 2021 and is entitled “Legal Tech – Using Technology to Build Sustainable Practices and Expand Legal Services.” Individuals and small businesses in America often struggle to find access to legal services. Meanwhile, legal professionals are seeing many changes to the profession that are both exciting and sometimes scary. IAALS and its partners will explore how lawyers and other legal professionals can help to solve these problems using new advances in technology – while building sustainable practices at the same time. The panel includes Cat Moon (director of innovation design at Vanderbilt University), Erin Levine (founder of Hello Divorce), Chas Rampenthal (head of industry relations at LegalZoom), and Lori Gonzalez (founder of the RayNa Corporation). Registration is free.
    2. Paths to Justice Summit Series: IAALS is launching a virtual summit series comprised of multiple invite-only convenings as well as a series of webinars focusing on the paths of the pandemic, the paths to access, and the paths to racial justice that our system must walk in our new normal. Registration is free and open here.September 9: Paths to Justice: Learning from this Nationwide Pilot Project—Reducing the Costs and Delays of Civil Litigation
      October 7: Paths to Justice: Learning from this Nationwide Pilot Project—Ensuring Access to Justice in High-Volume Cases
      November 3: Paths to Justice: The Justice Crisis in the United States
      November 10: Paths to Justice: The Justice Crisis in the United States—From Data to System Reform
      December 15: Paths to Justice: Identifying Barriers to Equity in the Justice System
      January 26, 2022: Paths to Justice: The Intersection of Racial Justice and Public Trust and Confidence
  1. Innovation for Justice is a legal innovation lab focused on social justice launched at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Bob Ambrogi notes that it has recently expanded its operations to form a collaboration with the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, making it a first cross-discipline, cross-institution, cross-jurisdiction legal innovation lab in the U.S. Graduate level students from both universities (including business and law students) will enroll in courses offered by I4J. Stacy Butler, I4J’s executive director says:

If we want to train lawyers who know how to work with other disciplines, and we’re creating a world in which lawyers can share ownership of their practices with other disciplines, I think they should be meeting those other disciplines when they’re in training and building those relationships as part of their education.”

Here in BC we have (at least) two legal innovation labs (BC Family Justice Innovation Lab and the Better Justice Lab). Access to Justice BC (A2JBC) encourages cross-discipline and cross-institution collaboration and fosters initiatives that involve collaborations with other jurisdictions (such as Transform the Family Justice System collaborative involving BC and Alberta).

  1. Webinar Sept 8 2021 – Leading Social Transformations: A Case Study Update on Advancing the Common Good: In May of 2021, the Journal of Change Management published an article entitled “Leading Social Transformations: Creating Public Value and Advancing the Common Good.” One of the main case studies in the article involves A2JBC’s efforts to transform the family justice system in British Columbia. In the webinar, each of the article’s four authors will share more about the power and potential of these emerging practices and tools. They will be joined by two leaders of the Canadian initiative (Jane Morley Q.C., and Diana Lowe from Alberta) who will share more insights on how this approach is building momentum. Free registration is here. Hat tip to Allan Castle PhD, Strategic Coordinator of A2JBC.
  2. Adam Kahane’s New Book: Adam inspired our early exploration of a social/innovation lab for making change in the BC justice system. He has written many terrific books, but the newest book seems very relevant to our current situation: Facilitating Breakthrough: How to Remove Obstacles, Bridge Differences, and Move Forward Together. He says: “Faced with increasingly complex challenges and polarized stakeholders, the world needs more and better collaboration, and therefore more and better facilitation – not just by professional facilitators, but by everyone who helps people work together to create change, as a leader, manager, staff member, volunteer, organizer, chairperson, coach, mediator, or friend.”
  3. Agile Attorney Podcast: Lawyer and consultant John Grant has created a new podcast called “The Voice of the Client” where he chats with “everyday people to get the real skinny on how they feel about their lawyers”. Why? He says: “Because responding to client needs is at the heart of the Agile approach, but far too few attorneys get honest feedback from their clients. Mostly that’s because they don’t ask, but even when you do there is sometimes a power dynamic that can make it hard to get the unvarnished truth.” Given the increased interest on “client-centred” or “human-centred” practice this could be a great tool to help us get out of our own legal echo chambers and to see things from the perspective of our clients.
  4. IPCC Climate Report: Finally, some not so good news. It was sobering to hear the findings of the recently released Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC. I found this short summary helpful to understand the profound changes underway in our precious world. Let’s hope it causes each of us to pause and consider our own responsibility in saving our planet.

I hope that you have found something useful in this potpourri of items. Enjoy the rest of the summer.

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