Tom O’Connor does a nice job recapping the session on Pro-Bono and Access to Justice issues. It’s something that I’ve been thinking a bit about myself, given my place working in law, and also as an advocate for abuse survivors, because taking legal action is not cheap, and so many kids and parents are not fairly represented because of the cost. Unfortunately, Tom’s last two paragraphs do not provide a positive note, and that is sad.
Now Mr. Sandman felt that these barriers were not insurmountable and stated that efforts by agents of change such as court administrators and client groups could have enormous influence. And academia could help, he said, by training lawyers to think like clients and not medieval lawyers.
Unfortunately, his message was not heard by most of the 2000 attendees. Unlike other sessions which had overflowing rooms, this session drew 10 attendees. Which, as I noted in a tweet from the session, said everything about the main reason we have an access to justice issue. It’s not technology, it’s indifference.
I don’t know how to overcome this, but it may start with making more people aware of how much the limited access to justice is damaging such a large percentage of the population. It’s beyond time. I intend to start doing some of that myself, to contribute in my own little way.