Self-Represented Litigants: Turns Out We North Americans Really Are Alike
Repairing Lawyer Image

Vermont Weighs In on the Future of Legal Services

Prompted by a call from Vermont's Chief Justice, in March 2014 the Vermont Bar Association convened a joint commission similar to the ongoing initiative of the State Bar of Michigan's 21st Century Practice Task Force. Like Michigan's task force, Vermont's commission was broad-based, composed of lawyers, law school faculty, judges, paralegals, technology specialists, and other members of the greater legal community. The Vermont commission operated through four committees with overlapping responsibilities: Legal Education, Court Process, Legal Services, and Technology. Michigan's Task Force has three committees: Access and Affordability, Practice, and Regulatory. 

The Vermont Commission's newly released report is here.  

Its key recommendations:

Legal education - License paralegals. Unlike Washington's LLLT's (limited license legal technicians) a licensed paralegal would be not be permitted to work independently from an attorney. 

Court Process - reform small claims dockets, revise complex litigation rule, explore creation of a business court, extend judicial assignment rotation, revisit the question of a generalist judiciary.

Legal Services - overhaul the state court website, put live legal advisors in courthouses, increase legal aid funding, expand law school internships/practice in rural areas, expand use of paralegals for common retail problems, and create a statewide Office for Access to Justice.

Technology - update case management system, create statewide court calendar system, expand video conferencing and phone appearances, offer greater bar-based technology support for lawyers, and expand online dispute resolution.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)