Just before students at the University of California at Irvine School of Law were set to return from spring break in March, the university decided that all classes would be moved online because of the spread of COVID-19.
Exhibits were screen-shared with witnesses. Lawyers conducted cross-examinations from their offices while the judge watched from his home. And one afternoon, the proceedings ended early when a witness lost their internet connection.
Supporters of broad reforms to how the legal profession is regulated must do a better job drawing the public into ongoing conversations in several states about such issues, says Paula Littlewood, the former longtime executive director of the Washington State Bar Association.
When the novel coronavirus began sweeping across the U.S. earlier this year, Nebraska’s judicial system was better prepared to rapidly adjust its operations than some of its counterparts in other states.
Thanks to social media and the internet, it’s never been easier—or more affordable—for lawyers to advertise. On the other hand, having so many avenues available to lawyers makes it more difficult for anyone to stand out from the crowd.
Legal academic publishing isn't synonymous with innovation. The mere mention of it can, for some, bring up repressed memories of the most banal and stuffy aspects of law school. But the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wants to change that.
When Rodney Smolla was featured as a Legal Rebel in 2009, he was in the midst of leading an innovative plan at Washington and Lee University School of Law, which involved eliminating traditional third-year coursework and replacing it with experiential learning.
When David Van Zandt became dean of what is now Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law in 1995, he faced a steep learning curve. Up until then, he had never managed an organization of more than a few people.
Before they were buzzwords, Luz Herrera was a pioneer in the world of "low bono" practice, nonprofit law firms and legal incubators. All three innovations have blossomed and spread across the country since then.