Legal Profession / Legal Practice

This section includes literature on legal aid and access to justice.

Allen, Jeffrey, ‘Increasing Dependence on Technology in the Law Practice in the Time of COVID60’ (2021) 34(4) American Journal of Family Law 160–164
Abstract: The article offers information on the increase of the dependence of technology in the practice due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. It discusses that due to the pandemic technologies or inventions, it has served as an impetus for the profession to make far better use of already existing technology; The increased use of video conferencing in personal communications will continue; and mentioning that there will be substantial and continuing changes due to the pandemic.

Allman, Kate, ‘Technology: NSW Allows Witnessing Documents via Video Call - but Are There Privacy Risks?’ (2020) 67 LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal 14
Abstract: As office spaces have been forced shut by COVID-19, many law firms have shifted the bulk of their legal work online in the space of a few weeks. Some have been left wondering whether this rapid transition could introduce previously not-contemplated privacy and security risks for lawyers and their clients.

Anderson, Beth, ‘In-House, From Home’ (2020) 65(5) Journal of the Law Society of Scotland 36–37
Abstract: Presents the experiences of new ways of working in response to the COVID-19 lockdown described by in-house lawyers in a series of virtual round tables, which highlighted themes of collaboration, positivity and finding a way forward.

Andrews, Mark, ‘The Times Are A-Changin’ with COVID-19: And Law Firms Show They Can Adapt’ [2020] (May) Australasian Law Management Journal 1–5
Abstract: During the past few months, lawyers and their teams have been forced to make significant changes to the way they work on a day-to-day basis because of the COVID-19 crisis, but is this just a temporary hiatus in change resistance for the profession? Mark Andrews urges firms to think about change beyond the pandemic.

Angelos, Claudia et al, ‘Diploma Privilege and the Constitution’ (2020) 73 SMU Law Review Forum 168
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdowns are affecting every aspect of society. The legal profession and the justice system have been profoundly disrupted at precisely the time when there is an unprecedented need for legal services to deal with a host of legal issues generated by the pandemic, including disaster relief, health law, insurance, labor law, criminal justice, domestic violence, and civil rights. The need for lawyers to address these issues is great but the prospect of licensing new lawyers is challenging due to the serious health consequences of administering the bar examination during the pandemic.State Supreme Courts are actively considering alternative paths to licensure. One such alternative is the diploma privilege, a path to licensure currently used only in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s privilege, limited to graduates of its two in-state schools, has triggered constitutional challenges never fully resolved by the lower courts. As states consider emergency diploma privileges to address the pandemic, they will face these unresolved constitutional issues.This Article explores those constitutional challenges and concludes that a diploma privilege limited to graduates of in-state schools raises serious Dormant Commerce Clause questions that will require the state to tie the privilege to the particular competencies in-state students develop and avenues they have to demonstrate those competencies to the state’s practicing bar over three years. Meeting that standard will be particularly difficult if a state adopts an in-state privilege on an emergency basis. States should consider other options, including privileges that do not prefer in-state schools. The analysis is important both for states considering emergency measures and for those that might restructure their licensing after the pandemic.

Angelos, Claudia et al, ‘The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action’ (Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No 537, 22 March 2020)
Abstract: The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted life in the United States. Among other challenges, jurisdictions are unlikely to be able to administer the July 2020 bar exam in the usual manner. It is essential, however, to continue licensing new lawyers. Those lawyers are necessary to meet current needs in the legal system. Equally important, the demand for legal services will skyrocket during and after this pandemic. We cannot close doors to the profession at a time when client demand will reach an all-time high. In this brief policy paper, we outline six licensing options for jurisdictions to consider for the Class of 2020. Circumstances will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but we hope that these options will help courts and regulators make this complex decision. These are unprecedented times: We must work together to ensure we do not leave the talented members of Class of 2020 on the sidelines when we need every qualified professional on the field to keep our justice system moving.

Antoniou, Nicola et al, ‘Royal Holloway, University of London and the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association: New Partnerships and Challenges During COVID-19 in the Clinical Legal World’ (2020) 27(4) International Journal of Clinical Legal Education 155–178
Abstract: In January 2020, Royal Holloway, University of London set up a new Legal Advice Centre offering free legal advice to the local community, including building upon key partnerships to address unmet legal needs. This practice-paper discusses Royal Holloway’s Legal Advice Centre (LAC) and the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association’s (ACCA) collaborative approach and response to the global pandemic since March 2020. It will highlight the unprecedented challenges that they have faced, and their efforts to overcome them. In addition, the paper will discuss their research project, which provides Royal Holloway’s student volunteers with the opportunity to gain unique multidisciplinary understandings of the effect of the pandemic in Afghanistan, and a chance to put their legal skills into practice by producing legal information to support local users of both Royal Holloway’s LAC and the Law Clinic at the ACAA.This practice-paper includes a road map to Royal Holloway’s long-term goal, namely, to work with ACAA to research the legal vulnerabilities of women in Afghanistan, with the aid of a research grant supporting international collaboration. Recent reports highlight that lockdown and quarantine measures will have a long-term impact on the basic rights and freedoms of Afghan women, who already face hardship.

Ariens, Michael S, ‘The NCBE’s Wrong-Headed Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3587751, 28 April 2020)
Abstract: The NCBE issued a White Paper in early April 2020 attacking proposals to admit 2020 graduates of law schools through a diploma privilege with some additional requirement of supervised practice hours. Its justifications are both self-serving and inconsistent. In an unprecedented time, the NCBE chose to protect its monopoly position in providing bar examination products rather than the 2020 bar applicants upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its claim to protect the public from the licensing of ‘incompetent’ bar applicants rings hollow. Because the legal profession is wedded to the status quo in licensing of new lawyers, the NCBE will likely survive the threat to its existence delivered by the pandemic. But its claims should not go unanswered.

Beaugh, Stephanie M and Jordan M Maier, ‘Lawyers and Libraries 2020: A Winning Combination of Virtual Services’ (2020) 68(4) Louisiana Bar Journal 260–261

Brescia, Raymond H, ‘Ethics in Pandemics: The Lawyer for the (Crisis) Situation’ [2020] Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics (forthcoming)
Abstract: Lawyers often respond to client crises. But a client crisis is not necessarily a crisis for the lawyer when the lawyer is competent, prepared, and trained to handle that crisis. More and more, though, lawyers are asked to face novel crises that are so pervasive that they impact the ability of the lawyer to provide competent, effective, and zealous advocacy for her client. Today, lawyers are sheltering-in-place while their clients suffer immense hardship, either in prison or detention where the Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire, or homebound, forced to remain with an abuser. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct provide some limited guidance to lawyers dealing with emergency situations, and there has been some tinkering along the margins of the rules in response to recent crises, particularly as the rules address the unauthorized practice of law in jurisdictions where emergencies arise. Some scholarship addresses how lawyers have dealt with crises in discrete areas, with a great deal of attention being directed toward the national security context in particular. More and more though, lawyers are asked to assist clients in novel and widespread crises that affect many areas of practice, and the Model Rules do not address the ways in which such crises can impact the practice of law more generally. The main approach this Article takes is to assess the extent to which scholarship and the current rules governing the practice of law and their underlying principles account for some of the unique aspects of practice in novel, pervasive crises. To date, legal scholarship has not considered the ways in which what I call crisis lawyering may be a mode of practice many, if not all lawyers, will face throughout the course of their careers. Moreover, one of the purposes of the Model Rules includes providing guidance to lawyers but they also serve as a means by which we can measure lawyer conduct to ensure there is some degree of lawyer accountability to clients, adversaries, the legal system, and the general public. By using the Model Rules as a starting point for the analysis, this Article explores the somewhat disjointed ways in which the rules that govern the practice of law offer guidance to the lawyer facing novel, pervasive crises. It also addresses the needs of lawyers operating in fields where they may confront crisis situations and seeks to recognize that crisis lawyering may be a form of practice that is, itself, trans-substantive, demonstrating distinct similarities across different areas of practice. This Article attempts to address the absence of scholarship addressing crisis lawyering and analyzes the extent to which the current rules governing the practice of law are or are not adequate to the task of providing guidance—and accountability—to lawyers dealing with such situations. It also offers recommendations for how we may consider amendments to those rules to better reflect the needs, interests, and obligations of lawyers dealing with crisis situations so that lawyers may serve their clients better and more effectively when faced with such crises.

Breydo, Lev, ‘Legal Sector’s Tech-Enabled Covid-19 Adaptation’ (2021) 17(2) Scitech Lawyer 4–11
Abstract: Digital adoption has taken a quantum leap" due to the pandemic, with companies transitioning to remote work ‘40 times more quickly than [executives] thought possible,’ according to an October 2020 McKin -sey report. The legal industry has been no exception, overcoming traditional equivocations with celeritous adaptation to a tech-enabled ‘world of remote everything.’ Aptly capturing the Zeitgeist, Judge David R. Jones of the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) remarked to the Wall Street Journal: ‘We’ll all be on videoconfer-ence and I’ll have a shirt and tie on and my pajama bottoms, but you won’t see those.’ Yet, notwithstanding initial successes, stresses to certain facets of the system are starting to emerge and may compound over time, depending on the pandemic’s duration. Some challenges-like human capital management and organizational culture maintenance-mirror concerns felt across industries. Others are unique or particularly acute for the legal industry, with the complex interplay between cybersecurity, client confidentiality, and professional responsibility likely the most significant.

Carroll, Trish, ‘Is Covid-19 the Mother of All Disruptors for the Legal Profession?’ [2020] (April) Australasian Law Management Journal 1–6
Abstract: In an effort to understand the long-term changes that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the legal profession, Trish Carroll taps into the minds of final-year law students and also ponders what the fallout will mean for lawyers’ engagement with clients.

Chandra, Geetanjali, Ruchika Gupta and Nidhi Agarwal, ‘Role of Artificial Intelligence in Transforming the Justice Delivery System in COVID-19 Pandemic’ (2020) 11(3) International Journal on Emerging Technologies 344–350
Abstract: Artificial intelligence is programmed on computers to depict human intelligence. It has created a huge hype and has evolved to revolutionize almost every profession including legal sector. New lawful simulated AI programming software like Ross intelligence and Catalyst along with Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing give viable fight goals, better legitimate clearness, and better permission to justice and new difficulties to ordinary law firms offering legal assistance utilizing leveraged cohort correlate model. Also, AI enabled lawyer bots are performing tasks that normally requires human intellect and needs to be performed by lawyers. In such a situation, a question strikes- Will these lawyer bots replace human lawyers? This question becomes all the more important in the present scenario when the whole globe is facing challenges imposed by global pandemic ‘COVID-19’. How is COVID-19 going to change the justice delivery system, and what does it look like? Therefore, this study is conducted to evaluate the role of artificial intelligence in transforming the justice delivery system post COVID-19. The study tries to examine the various areas in which AI is affecting the legal profession, evaluate the extent of its impact on the legal employment, assess the tasks in legal sector which cannot be undertaken by AI, and discuss the legal issues in the implementation of AI. The study also suggests the way forward with regards to the future of legal sector to help practitioners and researchers

Clark, Annette, ‘Diploma Privilege and the Future of the Bar Exam’ (2020) 37(6) GPSolo 19–23
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives and work in ways that were unimaginable only six months ago, as we’ve been faced with illness and death within our families and communities, a health care system that has be enstrained beyond capacity, the loss of jobs and increasing economic insecurity, anxiety and depression brought on by the fear of contracting the virus and the isolation imposed by our governments in trying to combat its spread, and so much more. For recent law school graduates, add to this demoralizing list the need to take and pass a bar exam in the middle of a public health crisis. At the same time, as dean of Seattle University School of Law, I followed the lead of some of my fellow deans across the country by reaching out to the body that administers the UBE in my state--the Chief Regulatory Counsel for the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) -- to request a joint meeting with the bar and the deans of the other two law schools.

Cohen, Ira, ‘Law in the Time of Corona’ (2020) 67(6) Federal Lawyer 48–52
Abstract: The article focuses on changes in legal profession during COVID-19 pandemic. It mentions lawyers must rely on some of the technology have long taken for granted in order to continue to function with even a semblance of normalcy and ramparts and into the next logical phase of legal practice. It also mentions increase in webinars and sessions of continuing legal education (CLE) and really need the aid and assistance.

DeStefano, Michele Beardslee, Bjarne P Tellmann and Daniel Wu, ‘Digital Transformation and the Legal Profession: How Corporate Legal Departments Should Digitally Transform to Create New Forms of Value’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3905328, 14 August 2021)
Abstract: Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, enhancements in technology, as well as shifts in the macroeconomic and socioeconomic dynamics of globalization, Digital Transformation (DT) has become an enterprise-wide imperative for most multinational companies (MNCs). As such, legal departments are being challenged to embrace enterprise DT and start their own department’s DT journeys. Despite these trends, there is little scholarship and research about how MNC legal departments attempt to meet the DT challenge: What are GCs doing to support enterprise level DT, and how are they digitally transforming their own departments? And importantly, is what they are doing effective and value-accretive? How should they approach their DT journeys?Based on interviews of 23 General Counsels and Chief Digital Officers of S&P 500 MNCs along with the authors’ professional experience, we investigate in-house legal departments’ response and approach to DT and recommend a new model approach. Standard depictions of MNC legal departments suggest that they are viewed as cost centers. And much of the literature focuses on how GCs can add value by improving efficiency and lowering cost. The literature also appears to assume law firms provide more creative, strategic, value-additive advice than in-house legal departments. Contrary to such depictions, we contend that DT can enable legal departments to add value that external providers cannot, and that goes far beyond efficiency generation, cost reduction, and increased speed-to-market. We identify a Legal DT Maturity Framework that maps corporate legal departments’ DT trajectory into three common phases. We argue that the current three-phased approach to DT that many GCs utilize generates some added value but does not enable the full potential of DT to be harnessed. Drawing upon lessons from our interviewees’ experiences and our own, we articulate a best-practices model for how legal departments should approach DT to generate new forms of value and shift from being a cost center to a revenue generator and value creator. Our model demonstrates that the GC, as internal to the MNC, has an advantage (as compared to external providers) in understanding the MNC’s strategic priorities and risk preferences and, therefore, is better at identifying the right and best opportunities to leverage and exploit to the MNC’s advantage.In addition to filling some of the gaps in the literature, this article provides a vision that has broad applicability beyond the MNC legal department context and can be used as a model for law firms and other legal services providers to harness DT in their own contexts, so as to stay at pace with—and better serve—clients with the never-ending DT challenges emerging on their horizons.

Dowell, Katy, ‘A 20 per Cent Cut to Salaries Is Now the Covid Norm.’ [2020] (June 8) Lawyer (Online Edition) 1
Abstract: The article talks about a deduction in salaries of law firm personnel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dowell, Katy, ‘Three-Quarters of the UK’s Biggest Firms Are Furloughing Staff.’ [2020] (May 20) Lawyer (Online Edition) 1
Abstract: The article several law firms in Great Britain are furloughing staff due to the Covid-19.

Fortnam, Jonathan and Stuart Weinstein, Legal Practice Transformation Post-COVID-19 (Law Firm Management Insights, Globe Law and Business, 2021)
£75.00 available to purchase from publisher – see book details on publisher’s website
Book Summary: For most legal teams operating in the COVID-19 age, the focus on near-term survival has passed, and attention has turned to what the ‘new normal’ might be. With the pandemic overhauling the traditional way in which lawyers practise and serve their clients, the profession turning remote overnight and increasing their use of collaboration platforms and other legal tech, it is likely that legal practice has changed for good, and those prepared to embrace and seize opportunities from this change will be best placed to flourish in the years ahead. Legal Practice Transformation Post-COVID-19 imagines the post-COVID world for legal services and asks what has changed, what will stay the same and what values are critical to ensure the successful operation of legal teams in the post-pandemic age. It considers a variety of aspects crucial to the future of the legal profession, including: The impact of technology; Remote working; Health and safety; and Culture and community. This Special Report will be invaluable reading for lawyers in private practice, in-house counsel, professional support staff and all those involved in the delivery of legal services, to understand what the future of the profession will look like, and how to thrive within it.

Frankenberg, Günter, ‘The Pandemic of Authoritarianism’ (2021) 10(1) Comparative Law Review 9–18
Abstract: Law does not tolerate doubt. Rulings have to convince so as to be accepted as authoritative. Interpretations are meant to provide determinate, at least plausible, results. Legal education and practice are geared toward certainty. And later, the opinions of legal experts – merchants of certitude – often cloak the interests of the client behind a screen of definite assumptions and conclusions. Uncertainty, so much seems certain, is not a matter for the legal profession. The Corona crisis teaches lawyers neither to comfortably issue coercive decrees nor to make gutsy judgments, but to learn what the pandemic is all about. Legal consultants need to find their place in the dispute of the faculties – virology, epidemiology, medicine, etc. They have yet to define their role as advisors while all the time operating in a ‘floating’ terrain that offers little factual positiveness, leaves open many questions, requires from experts to constantly check and revise their tentative prognoses, to process new data and changing criteria. Throughout all societies, the pandemic is spreading and with it the uncertainty of how and with which legal means and legal measures to contain and control it. So far, lawyers have been assiduously following the diverse and unstable assessments delivered from the intellectual laboratories of virology, epidemiology and medicine. They find comfort in their lagging legal contributions to ‘flattening the curve’, reducing the ‘rate of the reproduction of infections’, limiting hot spots, and more. And, generally, they are satisfied with contributing to prevent the intensive care capacities from being overburdened. But what exactly do they contribute?

Frere, Kelly G and Matthew B Frere, ‘When Seniors Are Forced to Leave a Facility: Options for Care Can Be Limited’ (2020) 56(9) Tennessee Bar Journal 42–43
Abstract: An issue that is increasingly affecting seniors is being discharged or evicted — against their will and when they have nowhere else to go — from a hospital, long-term care facility or in-home care services. Unfortunately, this problem exists with little in the way of solutions. As the family’s lawyer, you need to know what resources are available — and be aware that there are not many.

Frere, Kelly G and Matthew B Frere, ‘Why Seniors as Clients Are Different During a State of Emergency.’ (2020) 56(6) Tennessee Bar Journal 30–31

Griffiths, Catrin, ‘The First Covid Collapse of a Law Firm, and Not the Last.’ [2020] (May 22) Lawyer (Online Edition) 1

Haines, Anjana, ‘MNEs to Shift Burden of COVID-19 Litigation to Law Firms’ [2020] (28 May) International Tax Review 1–4
Abstract: Law firms globally must prepare for a wave of COVID-created litigation work over the next three months as more than 400 senior counsel and business executives say they are outsourcing the burden. A comprehensive survey conducted by Euromoney’s Legal Media Group (LMG), which includes ITR, IFLR, MIP and Euromoney Thought Leadership Consulting, found that in-house legal and tax departments will ask their advisors to tackle the problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hansen, Lee, ‘Effective Mobilisation of Social Welfare Law Advice in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic’ in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 217–227
Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has the potential to spell the demise of access to justice for all but a select few. Prior to the crisis, the infrastructure for free and low-cost legal advice had been severely weakened by UK government policy and austerity-era budget cuts. Now, as solicitors are on furlough, law centres are on the brink of collapse and lockdowns have led to widespread service closures and restrictions, the legal needs of many members of society are set to multiply and may remain unmet. In the face of other crises (9/11, Bushfires, Grenfell), members of the legal support sector (legal aid providers, law centres, pro bono practitioners) worked together. This resulted in much needed help in the form of free legal advice to the affected communities. This paper surveys the lessons learned from such interventions. It explores the extent to which these experiences may serve as guidance to address the legal needs arising from the current crisis posed by the pandemic. It also highlights the unique features of the Covid-19 crisis. This suggests the need to look beyond ad hoc and technologically based measures (which worked in the past) to assert a more prominent role for the state in the legal advice sector.

Heeren, Geoffrey J, ‘Building on the Legacy of the University of Idaho’s Immigration Clinic During the Pandemic’ (2021) 64(9) Advocate 32–34
Introduction: The growing presence of immigrants in Idaho is one of the reasons why the University of Idaho College of Law has had an immigration clinic since the early 2000s. Immigrants make up 6% of Idaho’s population and 8% of its labor force. Moreover, Idaho’s growing immigrant population is a driving force for its economy. Immigrants—both those with lawful and undocumented status—pay tens of millions of dollars of taxes in the state. In some strategic sectors of the Idaho economy, like the enormously lucrative dairy industry in Southern and Eastern Idaho, immigrants overwhelmingly make up the work force. The increasing presence of immigrants in the state—and in neighboring regions like Eastern Washington—means there is a need for attorneys to help non-citizens with an area of law that one federal court called a ‘labyrinth that only a lawyer could navigate’. This pressing need equates to the availability of jobs for University of Idaho law graduates trained in immigration law. The Immigration Litigation and Appellate Clinic at the University of Idaho College of law offers these opportunities. This year, the clinic adapted to the pandemic in order to continue its legacy of excellent immigrant representation. This article will provide an overview of the clinic, its recent work, and its scope.

Jacobowitz, Jan L, ‘Chaos or Continuity? The Evolution of the Role of the Lawyer and the Impact of Technology on the Legal Profession From Its Nascent Use to the Digital Age, in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Beyond’ (2020) 23 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law (forthcoming)
Abstract: What does it mean to be an advocate? In its broadest sense, advocacy means ‘any public action to support and recommend a cause, policy or practice…’Advocacy is a communicative act. Advocacy is also a persuasive act... John Capecci and Timothy Lawyers advocate more so than state their own positions. Arlen SpecterThroughout much of history advocacy has been recognized as a necessary component of our society; a component that has been both respected and ridiculed. Advocacy on behalf of another developed as a cultural adaptation and a societal innovation to facilitate both dispute resolution and business transaction. In fact, third party advocacy birthed the legal profession which in turn evolved over time to adapt to cultural changes in society. Today the legal profession is fully entrenched in society and far from being thought about as an innovation. Instead, the legal profession finds itself confronted by the innovations of the digital age. Technology is challenging both the legal profession’s adaptability and the nature of the attorney-client relationship. The attorney-client relationship likely originated in Ancient Greece and Rome. While scholars have documented much earlier findings of various societies establishing and imposing laws on their citizens, the concept of employing an advocate and the rise of a legal profession did not take root until much later. In fact,[t]here is not the slightest trace in ancient times of a distinct legal profession in the modern sense.” The enactment of law much before the establishment of a legal profession is consistent with the concept that ‘almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.’ Moreover, the literature suggests that in preclassical times, there was no need for the role of a lawyer because the law was ‘divinely sanctioned and revealed.’ The answers to legal issues could be provided by a king, oracle or priest who possessed ‘the divine stamp of approval’ and served in a judicial function. In fact, ancient civilizations relied on the divine connection between kings, oracles, and priests to various recognized gods and goddesses who channeled messages of acceptable conduct. Court proceedings involved a review of documents and testimony from witnesses who took an oath to the gods. Ancient Greece’s evolution of its legal system eventually provided for informal representatives and laid the foundation for a new profession. Ancient Rome elevated the status of legal representatives to paid professionals. From Ancient Rome through today, both the law and the legal profession continued to evolve to incorporate historical, cultural, and technological changes throughout the world. Contemporary lawyers practice in diverse environments and differing legal systems throughout the world. Yet, the attorney-client relationship—an interpersonal relationship that demands competence, confidentiality, and loyalty—remains remarkably the same in its essential components. What continues to change is the expression and facilitation of the relationship, especially as technology continues to impact our lives. This article will briefly explore the development of the legal profession from its origin in Ancient Greece and Rome to its emergence from the Dark Ages in England, and then will fast forward to the beginnings of the legal profession in the United States. Next, the article will explore the historical impact of technology on the legal profession and its ongoing challenge to adapt to the digital age. Finally, the article will conclude with some observations about technology, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the future of the legal profession.

Johnson, Lance G1, ‘My Top 12 Growth Predictions for the Post-COVID Days’ [2020] (July/August) Law Practice Today 7

Kaufman, Eileen R, ‘The Lawyers Justice Corps: A Licensing Pathway to Enhance Access to Justice’ (2021) University of St. Thomas Law Journal (forthcoming)
Jurisdiction: USA
Abstract: The idea for establishing a Lawyers Justice Corps (LJC) emerged out of efforts to solve a problem: how to license lawyers at a time when COVID-19 had expanded the need for new lawyers while also making an in-person bar exam dangerous, if not impossible. We—the Collaboratory on Legal Education and Licensing for Practice --proposed the Lawyers Justice Corps to provide a different--and better--way of certifying minimum competence for new attorneys while at the same time helping to create a new generation of lawyers equipped to address a wide range of social justice, racial justice, and criminal justice issues. When implemented, the Lawyers Justice Corps will accomplish two critical and related goals: enhancing access to justice and creating an effective and equitable method of licensing lawyers. This essay begins by outlining the general contours of the Lawyers Justice Corps. It then explains how the Corps will enhance access to justice for the many underserved clients in our society. In a third section, the essay describes the racial injustice perpetuated by the traditional bar exam, as well as the exam’s failure to adequately measure lawyer competence. A final section shows how the Lawyers Justice Corps would provide a licensing path that both trains for and better assesses competencies required for law practice. The essay concludes that the time is ripe for multiple alternative licensing paths, including the Lawyers Justice Corps.

Kriegler, Yun, ‘Wuhan: The Chinese City Few Had Heard of Has More Lawyers than You Think.’ [2020] Lawyer (Online Edition) 1
Abstract: The article reports on growth of legal services market in Wuhan, China. Topics include considered that the firm lawyers are not required to return to the office until 16 February 2020 in line with the local regulation on extended spring festival holiday; and demonstrate the increasing number of enquiries from corporate clients on the potential issues and disputes related to labor law and contracts due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Kunc, Francois, ‘Law in the Time of Coronavirus’ (2020) 94(5) Australian Law Journal 315–319
Abstract: What follows are some vignettes of law in the time of coronavirus, written perhaps more with an eye to the interested readers of the future than for those of you reading it today, for whom this crisis is a pressing reality - the parliament, the courts, solicitors, barristers, law schools, and the future.

Kushwaha, Anurag, ‘Effects of Economic Distress on Legal Aid Services Amid Covid-19 Pandemic in India’ (2020) 1(6) LexForti Legal Journal_
_Abstract: The paper aims to analyse the adverse effects of poor economic condition amid COVID-19 pandemic on the legal aid services in India. The concept of access to justice and the disparity within social classes is a highlighting feature. The paper contends that the legal aid provided in India is not in a promising condition while the people who seek justice have to compromise due to the limited resources and generalised approach of the government and courts. The author recommends that there is a need to conjoin the efforts by the legal services institutions with educational institutions, government and non profit organisations to prioritise the vulnerable sections of our society and work on remodelling of legal aid facilities in accordance with the available resources.

Legg, Michael, ‘FLIP: OK Zoomer - the Impacts and Future of Working from Home’ (2020) 73 LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal 77–79
Abstract: Business shut downs, border closures and social distancing in response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have given rise to the widespread practice of working from home or the text-based shorthand ‘WFH’. Prior to the pandemic, the idea of lawyers working from the dining room table or a spare room, including appearing in online courts, would have been absurd. In fact, it would probably have prompted the other texting acronym, ’WTF’! Yet the absurd has become the ordinary, indeed, the rational response to the pandemic.

Lozanovska, Ivona Shushak and Vesna Shapkoski, ‘Access to Justice in the Time of Pandemic: Functioning of Legal Aid Forms in North Macedonia’ (2021) 7(1) Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 70–78
Abstract: The international community has significantly increased its focus on the improvement of justice systems around the world, in recent years. With the increase in effort and interventions in the sector, there has been a need to create tools to assess justice systems, to identify the main elements affecting the workings of the justice machinery. In a context of increasing interest and engagement in justice systems reform, the ability of citizens to access justice institutions to address their needs has come to be seen as an essential element of development, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. The Republic of North Macedonia has been dedicated in a certain amount to improving the access to justice following these global trends. However, the pandemic has brought to the surface many obstacles in the realization of these efforts and imposed serious issues that need to be further solved. In this paper, we will elaborate on the present situation in North Macedonia from the personal experience of law clinics and civil society organizations that work and contribute closely on this issue. Furthermore, we will identify particular points that need to be advanced and relevant stakeholders to be engaged, to improve the situation, and bring justice closer to everyone. :

Mauk, William L, ‘Pro Bono Legal Services in the Time of Pandemic’ (2021) 64(9) Advocate 40–42
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on low-income Idahoans during 2020 and, in turn, on the demand for and delivery of pro bono legal services extending into the current year. Cases of senior neglect, domestic violence, and stalking increased. Seniors and disabled residents in assisted living facilities became isolated from families and health care providers, many threatened with facility closures and evictions. Special education students thrust into virtual learning required considerable attention and accommodations. With rampant unemployment and huge rent hikes, thousands of tenants lacking legal representation were threatened with becoming homeless. As courts, school boards, regulatory agencies, and hospitals fashioned and implemented safety mandates and protocols, legal advocacy took on a broader focus.

McDuffie, Lynee, ‘Recognizing Another Black Barrier: The LSAT Contributes to the Diversity Gap in the Legal Profession’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3823292, 9 April 2021)
Abstract: Imagine working your entire life with the purpose of building the house of your dreams. The ability to pursue this ‘calling’ has been granted through your tremendous hard-work and dedication to your craft. In fact, building this dream home has been the final culmination of all that you have worked towards over the past several years. Now imagine, you have successfully built the foundation of the house, and began to lay the pipeline for the plumbing. Just as the plumbing was coming together, there was one exact piece that was missing, a coupling, which would be required to connect the pipes. Since pipelines are the heartbeat of all functionality within a house, without the coupling, the incomplete plumbing may diminish the potential of all that your dream house was meant to become. Thus, hindering the dream. Similarly to a person that has a dream of becoming a lawyer. The ability to pursue this calling would be directed through the education pipeline. After obtaining an Undergraduate degree through tremendous amount of hard-work and dedication, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), a coupling to the next education pipeline, is required for applicants to take when applying to law school. But, what if the LSAT is a faulty coupling that presents a major leak in the education pipeline? This standardize test has revealed years of racial bias from the disturbing score gaps between white and minority applicants. The LSAT has shown to have test biases within the questions that appear in the form of language interpretation, which contains culturally stereotypic language, situations, and structural components. As a result of these biases, there has been a disproportionate amount of lower scores by minorities, which hinders the chances of being accepted into law school. Thus, presenting a leak in the education pipeline that disconnects minorities from achieving their dreams of practicing law. Because of COVID-19, the Law School Admission Council is offering the LSAT online, remotely proctored in place of being in-person. This unexpected change should bring discussion in today’s society about the overreliance on LSAT performance. Institutions should develop new and equitable means to evaluate an applicant’s ability to do well in law school, without disproportionately excluding minorities. Without admission modifications, minorities will continue to remain at a disadvantage when applying to law school.

McNab, Paul, ‘ATO Wins Legal Professional Privilege Dispute and Sets New COVID-19 PE Risk Guidance’ International Tax Review (24 February 2021)
Abstract: On February 2 2021, Moshinski J of the Federal Court of Australia handed down judgment in CUB Australia Holding Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 43. This was a dispute involving a formal statutory notice from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) demanding certain information, and the application of legal professional privilege.

Melaku, Tsedale, ‘The Awakening: The Impact of COVID-19, Racial Upheaval, and Political Polarization on Black Women Lawyers’ (2021) 89(6) Fordham Law Review 2519–2540
Extract from Introduction: Concrete barriers have always played a significant role in preventing Black lawyers from reaching the coveted position of partner in law firms. These barriers include an inability to gain initial access of entry into firms, the lack of professional development and training, and being shut out of networking opportunities and sponsorship.1 Compounded by the pandemic brought on by COVID-192 and racial upheaval, Black women lawyers now face even tougher challenges breaking through these barriers.

Moppett, Samantha A, ‘Channel Your Inner Kindergartner: Fostering a Culture Conducive to Creativity in Legal Practice’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3689164, 2020)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic requires lawyers to address a myriad of unique problems—and highlights the need for lawyers to engage as creative problem solvers. Lawyers are faced with determining how best to deliver legal services while contending with travel restrictions, social distancing, stay-in-place measures, and business and court closures. Furthermore, questions arise as to how to tackle the access to justice gap in the midst of the largest global recession since the Great Depression.Although lawyers need to work collaboratively to come up with creative solutions to these unprecedented problems, a challenge administered to groups of business students, lawyers, CEOs, engineers, and kindergartners revealed that lawyers do not work efficiently and effectively to creatively solve problems. In dozens of challenges, kindergartners outperformed all of the other groups. Instead of collaborating and focusing on completing the task, the lawyers were engaged in status management—trying to determine how they fit into the group and who was in charge. While not smarter than the lawyers, the kindergarteners solved the problem best because they were smarter in the way that they worked with each other. The rigid hierarchy that tends to exist in the practice of law lends itself to increased status management. Moreover, the legal profession in the United States frequently discourages collaboration and suppresses creativity. To combat the barriers to collaboration and creativity in practice, lawyers need to ‘work together in a smarter way’ to generate creative solutions to problems. They need to learn to behave like kindergartners. This article argues that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unprecedented rate of change, and the growing access to justice gap, lawyers need to develop high performing groups where creativity and innovation flourish. To that end, the article introduces three skill sets of highly performing groups that lawyers can use to create a group that can perform far beyond the sum of the team members where they are working collaboratively to creatively solve problems.

Negi, Chitranjali, ‘COVID-19 Epidemic: Indian Lawyers in Financial Crisis, Ignored, Depressed: In Pursuit of Financial And Moral Support’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3646300, 8 July 2020) < >
Abstract: This research paper aims to discuss about the background, role of lawyers in administration of justice, pre post conditions, economic crisis of Indian Lawyers during COVID-19 Epidemic. An advocate’s duty is as important as that of a Judge. Advocates have a large responsibility towards the society. India ranks 68 out of 126 countries, down 3 places from last year in 2019 in ‘Rule of Law Index’ which measures how the rule of law is experienced and perceived by the general public. The Indian Law profession is one of the largest in the world, with more than 2 million enrolled advocates Nationwide. The Nationwide lock down has brought to the fore the great disparity in the legal profession & lock down has financially damages lawyers. Lawyers in India are the most neglected and overlooked during COVID19 comparative of other professional. 70% Lawyers are almost daily wage workers who earn per appearance hearing. COVID-19 has impacted deep and triggered many social, mental and psychological issues as well. In past four months many State Bar Councils came up with circular for Conditional Financial Assistance to Advocates. On 28-05-2020 I have drafted the petition [‘Seeking Financial & Moral Support of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India’: ‘Save the dignity of Advocates’] campaign on platform and sent the petition along with more than six hundred (600) Advocate signatories, on 15-06-2020 to Hon’ble Prime Minister, Hon’ble Home Minister, Hon’ble Law Minister, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India & Companion Judges, Hon’ble Chairman, Law Commission of India, Hon’ble Chairman Bar Council of India with three key demand & payers namely: 1 - Implementation of Advocates welfare fund act, 2001 in COVID-19 pandemic is crisis:2 - Amendment of Advocates Act 1961, Bar Council of India Rules 1975 [Rules 47 to 52 of Section VII of the Rules deals with restrictions on other employments]:3 - Monthly Financial support, not Loan.The fundamental principle which determines the privileges and responsibilities of lawyer in relation to the court is that he is an officer to justice and a friend of the court. Lawyers status as an officer of justice does not mean he is subordinate to the judge. It only means that he is an integral part of the machinery for the administration of justice.

Neukom, William H and Elizabeth Andersen, ‘Covid-19 and the Access-to-Justice Crisis’ (2020) 37(6) GPSolo 36–39
Abstract: The disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority and poor communities reflects the justice problems they have disproportionately suffered. The pandemic strikes the United States during an ongoing access-to-justice crisis and, in many ways, makes it much worse. The pandemic makes clear that simply adding more lawyers will not meet the vastneed for justice-related services,nor is it a solution that is well matched to the problem.

Newton, Jack, ‘How Are Law Firms Really Doing in the Pandemic?’ (2020) 37(6) GPSolo 10–13
Abstract: Still, not knowing what’s coming next in the pandemic is unsettling and has left many lawyers andlaw firms wondering what to do and how to best help their clients. For example, empathy will help law firms get laser-focused on what clients actually wantout of their legal experiences so that they’re not wasting precioustime or money on anything else.Clients still have legal needs-in fact, they have more legal needsthan ever.

Nicolson, Donald and Elizabeth Fisher-Frank, ‘Legal Advice in the Covid-19 Lockdown: Making Do or Brave New World?’ in Carla Ferstman and Andrew FAgan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 229–236
Abstract: Extract from Introduction: For some time now, university law clinics have played an important role in filling the gap between those who qualify for legal aid and those who can afford to pay for legal services. This is a need which continues to grow as legal aid is inexorably cut back in terms of both those who qualify and those issues it covers. More recently there have been calls for lawyers and more latterly law clinics and other not for profit organisations to use the rapidly evolving capacity of the internet and digital computing facilities to expand the ability of service providers to both assist their clients and to develop ways, through technology, to help clients help themselves. … as we show in this paper, law clinics which had slowly begun to embrace new digital technologies, have been forced by Covid-19 to bring this means of delivering services to the fore. However, it is important to examine whether such forms of services are merely a necessary response to the Covid-19 crisis or whether they herald a ‘brave new world’ for law clinics.

Olson, Ashley, ‘Advising Clients in Times of Crisis: How Servant Leadership Can Deepen Client Relationships and Add Value During the Pandemic and Beyond’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3609971, 10 May 2020)
Abstract: This paper analyzes servant leadership demonstrated by the Twin Cities hospitality industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what lessons this industry can teach attorneys who are advising clients during this public health crisis. In response to government-mandated shut-downs, many local businesses are pivoting their business models to serve community needs. Despite being one of the hardest-hit industries by the pandemic, they are demonstrating servant leadership by prioritizing service to others and being good stewards of resources. Lawyers can learn from the leadership modeled by this business community by engaging their clients on issues that go beyond the law. Lawyers continue to limit their advising to just the legal issues their clients face, and this approach to the lawyer-client relationship deprives the client of the full value the lawyer can provide. By adopting the servant leadership model, attorneys can focus their efforts on helping the client grow and succeed during the pandemic and beyond. Lawyers should pay attention to the servant leadership being demonstrated by the hospitality industry because it shows that clients are concerned about more than just the bottom line and complying with the law. Attorneys should be engaging with clients to learn about their values and objectives to help the client make the most informed decision that best protects their interests. This article explores the ways in which local businesses are demonstrating servant leadership and how attorneys can use servant leadership to strengthen client relationships and provide added value to clients.

Organ, James et al, ‘Responding to COVID-19 in the Liverpool City Region - Access to Legal Advice for All: Essential to Reduce Social and Economic Impacts of COVID-19’ (Heseltine Institute Policy Briefing No 028, October 2020)
Key takeaways:
1. The need for legal advice will increase sharply as the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow, but the ability to access the necessary advice will be restricted in many cases just to those that can afford it.
2. Increased collaboration and innovative service delivery have helped to mitigate some of the worst immediate impacts felt by people unable to resolve issues, but demand for free legal advice continues to far outstrip supply.
3. Much-needed funding for new advice services needs to consider the exclusionary impact of the shift to digital services forced by COVID-19. “Digital by default” will lead to the exclusion of a large group of people without digital connectivity and also other vulnerable groups, such as those with English as a second language and those with mental health problems.

Palace, Patrick and Jordan L Couch, ‘Ten Predictions: How COVID-19 Will Change the Legal Industry Forever’ (2020) 37(6) GPSolo 6–9
Abstract: The law firm business model has always been an interesting one.With outside investment prohibitedby law (a prohibition thatmight be increasingly challengedduring the ongoing pandemic),most law firms live and die bythe individual financial practicesof the partners who share ownership. Whenyou combine that with the factthat law firms are now adjustingto handling all client communicationremotely (by phone, text,or video), the law firm of thefuture will be substantially lessof a brick-and-mortar affair. The COVID-19 pandemichas been the new force that hascaused bars, law school deans,and law students to rethink howwe can improve the bar exam.

Peruginelli, Ginevra, Sara Conti and Chiara Fioravanti, ‘COVID-19 and Digital Library Services: An Overview on Legal Information’ (2021) Digital Library Perspectives (advance article, published 11 February 2021)
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the initiatives providing legal information during the COVID-19 emergency, focusing on the fundamental role of digital libraries in creating, managing and sharing services to support and ensure access to legal information in times of emergency.

Platt, Ellen, ‘Zooming into a Malpractice Suit: Updating the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in Response to Socially Distanced Lawyering’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3780249, Social Science Research Network, 29 January 2021)
Abstract: There has been a significant increase in the use of videoconferencing platforms in the practice of law during the COVID-19 pandemic. These platforms have raised numerous ethical concerns based on shortcomings in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This Comment will argue that more meaningful guidance is needed under both Model Rule 1.1 and Model Rule 1.6 in order to effectively govern the ethical obligations of a lawyer who uses videoconferencing platforms or other electronic means of communication for virtual practice. Assistive guidance will help lawyers differentiate between ethical and unethical conduct in an area that potentially has serious ethical consequences if not adequately addressed. This Article will propose that the ABA is in the best position to provide meaningful guidance by adopting new comments elaborating on technology competence and reasonable efforts to safeguard client confidentiality.

Queensland Law Society Ethics and Practice Centre, ‘COVID-19 Has Not Altered the Law of Capacity or a Practitioner’s Obligation to Assess Client Capacity’ (2020) 40(4) Proctor 32
Abstract: It is recommended that you abandon a video conference if you are unable to clearly see and confirm your client’s identity, the documents being signed, or if you are unable to hear your client (or your client is unable to hear you clearly) due to technical difficulties.

Shindler, Geoffrey, ‘Witnessing History’ 217(October) Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal 1–3
Abstract: Considers whether the coronavirus pandemic will have a permanent effect on the working practices of private client practitioners. Considers trends towards working at home, video conferencing, the change in occupation of office premises and use of digital technology.

Simmons, Richard, ‘Coronavirus: Full Details of the Law Firms Affected so Far’ [2020] (April 9) Lawyer (Online Edition) 1
Abstract: The article provides an overview of the impact of coronavirus on law firms. Topics discussed include Simmons & Simmons delays partner distributions; the Inns of Court announce an emergency hardship fund to assist barristers who need urgent help amid the coronavirus crisis; and Mayer Brown launches an emergency service in order to support staff with problems working from home.

Stevenson, Rob, ‘COVID-19 : Creating Your New Normal: Employment during the COVID-19 Crisis - the “new Normal” for Law Firms’ (2020) 40(4) Proctor 20–25
Abstract: Just like that our world changed. And while we weren’t ready for it, we do need to be ready for the new normal by refining and adapting our practice and procedures. This month ‘Proctor’ provides some perspectives, guidance and information to assist you personally and professionally in this pandemic world we find ourselves in. The immediate crisis and panic of those last weeks in March may have passed, but the ‘new normal’ is likely to be here for some months to come.

Stewart, John M, ‘Just How Interconnected We Are’ (2020) 94(3) Florida Bar Journal 4–9
Abstract: In the article, the author discusses the interconnectedness of people around the world and the susceptibility of the economic and legal systems from uncontrolled interruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include the need by the legal system to adopt technologies like telecommuting to ensure life, business, and work continuity and the request by the Florida Supreme Court to reform the rules of procedure and those governing The Florida Bar to prevent work interruption.

Suarez, Christopher A, 'Disruptive Legal Technology, COVID-19, and Resilience in the Profession' (2020) 72(2) South Carolina Law Review 393-444
Extract from Introduction: The legal profession is in the throes of two major disruptive events-the rapid emergence of new legal practice technologies and a global pandemic unlike any seen in over a century. These significant disruptions are delivering a one-two punch to the profession that will inevitably transform and reshape it in ways that would not have been thought possible years ago.

Swanson, Joshua A, ‘Do Not Boast About Tomorrow: Lessons We Can Learn from Today’s Covid-19 Court Cases to Prepare for Future Disasters’ (2021) 96(2) North Dakota Law Review 207–235
Abstract: Over the course of the last year, lawyers across America, including in North Dakota, have been forced to appear in courtrooms remotely through teleconference or video conferencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only that, attorneys used to that comfortable and familiar practice of sitting across tables from one another at depositions, or engaged in the shuttle diplomacy of a mediation, are now staring at computer screens hitting the Share Screen button in Zoom to ask a witness about an important exhibit, or responding to a too low, or too high, counteroffer delivered by the mediator. More important, though, than any new norms of practice that attorneys have adjusted to, is the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our current, or potential, clients. Whether it’s an insurance company disputing coverage for losses that a restaurant or pub suffered when a government order mandated they shut their doors, putting them on the brink of financial ruin, or a force majeure clause leading one party to a contract to pull out of that big business deal, courts across the country are seeing lawsuits dealing with the impacts left in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses several important cases that have addressed some of the emerging issues and questions involving the law and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is incumbent on us as lawyers to be aware of these cases, and advise our clients accordingly, in order that we, and they, not only learn from these decisions, but plan for and navigate the minefields of future disasters. Because in a post-pandemic world. the question is not if the next disaster will come, but when.

Swift, Leigh, Peter Gardiakos and Tessa Cartledge, ‘Access to Justice: Closing or Widening the Gap?: The Impact of COVID-19 on Access to Legal Services’ (2020) 42(7) Bulletin (Law Society of South Australia) 18
Abstract: The authors, who have been providing free legal advice to the community at the Magistrates Court Legal Advice Service, explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wider community legal sector, and the particular challenges on access to justice for those in need within the community.

Tabchouri, Elias, ‘What COVID-19 Could Mean for the Legal Industry’ (2020) 42(3) Bulletin (Law Society of South Australia) 29
Abstract: As a lawyer accustomed to spending every working day in court I sit contemplating what the future holds for the legal industry. What is not in dispute is that the legal industry is an essential service and therefore must continue. The way it will proceed is the real question that many of us are still coming to terms with.

Teremetskyi, V et al, ‘Access to Justice And Legal Aid For Vulnerable Groups: New Challenges Caused By The Сovid-19 Pandemic’ (2021) 24(Special Issue 1) Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues 1–11
Abstract: The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the realization of human rights has disproportionately affected vulnerable groups and created a global gap injustice, a gap in human rights from discrimination and poverty in access to social protection and basic services, insufficient or no access to justice, lack of access to justice. Legal aid. This article deals with current issues of access to justice and legal aid for the vulnerable during thepandemic of COVID-19. It is concluded that no country will be able to ensure the implementation of goal 16.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on 2030 on equal access to justice for all until has not focused on closing the global justice gap, increasing access to justice, providing legal aid to the most vulnerable groups. For the implementation of the policy of access to justice for vulnerable states must have a different approach to justice – a people-centered approach to justice that puts consideration of the individual at the heart of justice responses by providing access to information, programs and policies. Ensuring equal access to justice, access to legal aid, an increased level of legal awareness among vulnerable groups, and a vibrant strong civil society, that contribute to access to justice, are key criteria for ensuring access to justice for vulnerable people. Providing equal access to justice through access to legal aid is key to ensuring access to justice in any state. Today it is important to overcome barriers to access to justice, such as the digital barrier, barriers related to financial costs, complexity, lack of information and access to services, and lack of access to legal aid or representation. States should be effective, must guarantee credible commitment, support coordination, and promote cooperation. States, justice systems must collaborate with public organizations and civil society to address the root causes of disputes and avert violence, conflict, and human rights abuses.

Todaro, Elizabeth, ‘Access to Justice in the Time of COVID-19’ (2021) 57(2) Tennessee Bar Journal 20–25
Abstract: Many in the legal community are seeking solutions to ordeals we did not face a year ago. We are working in different settings, forming new collaborations and recognizing the need for an unprecedented level of flexibility. Effectively serving clients during COVID-19 has required nearly all attorneys to make shifts in how they work, and legal services organizations are no different. Some of the challenges the access to justice community is grappling with are consistent with what other attorneys and business in general are also dealing with. However, given the vulnerable, low-income and isolated client populations legal service organizations are serving, some of the barriers are more formidable.

Trevelyan, Lucy, ‘Covid-19: How Should In-House Lawyers Respond?’ June(1–8) In-House Perspective 2020

Weston, Maureen A, ‘Lawyering and Representing Organizational Clients in a Public Health Crisis’ (Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No 2020/22, 22 July 2020)
Abstract: The unprecedented public health and financial crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic calls upon the legal profession to go beyond traditional, adversarial, ‘rights’-based representation and disputing force majeure liability, towards working with clients and collaborating with counterparts as partners in joint problem-solving, innovative thinking, and developing viable options to help meet the parties’ mutual interests in safety, surviving, and perhaps even thriving, during and after, the pandemic. A lawyer’s professional conduct duties extend to ensure fairness to others and to find ways to preserve and nourish the relationships, partnerships, goals, and enterprise that brought the parties together. A crisis requires immediate attention, careful management, and methodical strategic planning. Yet, as it has also been said, ‘crisis’ can mean both danger and opportunity. The danger of the COVID-19 pandemic is tangible and certain; the opportunity to adapt, learn, create, plan and nourish partnerships, in light and despite thereof, is likewise possible. This essay explores those responsibilities and opportunities.

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