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The Futures of Future Law Works

This page serves as an evolving inventory of themes and ideas as the people gathering under the “Future Law Works” umbrella start to convert their energy and initiative into action. Contact any of the Future Law Works leadership group to add to these lists, to volunteer your time and expertise, and to suggest areas for coordination and combination!

At a reception and conversation hosted by Future Law Works at the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting in San Diego in January 2023, ideas included: 

  • provide a platform/coordination mechanism, and potentially funding, for experiments and innovations (and perhaps teams to evaluate) 
  • be a resource for others seeking to do such experiments/innovations (i.e. a source for experts/expertise)
  • provide a voice for these innovations and reform in areas where the status quo is suboptimal but resistant to change 
  • produce white papers and the results of our experiments and innovations that could be shared with regulators, legal educators, and lawyers

We also talked about putting together one-pagers and preliminary working groups about particular issues of interest. The idea is to highlight individual leadership efforts and identify a prominent place for them to be celebrated, resourced, shared, leveraged by a light structure of collective, pluralistic thought and action.

Those issues include (but please add others!):

  • licensure (both alternatives to bar, and NextGen Bar)
  • accreditation (perhaps how to continue to support the ABA’s move towards outcomes and away from inputs, in part to encourage innovative, affordable models)
  • equity (inclding diversification of the profession)
  • alternative rankings/ratings
  • how lawyers will add value in an AI world
  • how law schools and their curricula need to adapt in light of developments like NextGen Bar and tech/AI
  • a systemic mapping of how the different issues facing the legal industry, legal system, legal education, etc. relate to one another
  • building a field of practitioners who increase access to justice but are not lawyers
  • how to train leaders for public problem-solving
  • what would it mean to build legal or democratic/civic literacy (like financial literacy or health “checkup”)

Of course there are already many individuals and organizations working hard and well on these issues. We want to coordinate, fill gaps and add value, not duplicate efforts.