[Washington]…has established a board to create a program for limited-license legal technicians, the first in the country. Within a year, the board is expected to lay out the educational and professional framework for the technicians. They will have more training and responsibility than paralegals but will not appear in court or negotiate on their clients’ behalf.“The consuming public cannot afford lawyers, and the profession needs to figure that out and own it,” Ms. Littlewood said. “Our hope is to provide more access. The second point is that you have these folks out there doing unauthorized practice, which is harming the public. The hope is to bring them under the tent.”
But one group remains steadfastly opposed to change—tenured professors:
Jim Chen, a professor of law at the University of Louisville and a former dean of its law school, said that to reduce law school from three years to two would mean that, in turn, tenured professors, whom he called the biggest expense for law schools, would have to take a one-third cut in pay. But, Mr. Chen said, they would never accept that, and the impetus for change would have to come from State Supreme Courts.
This is a sign of things to come. Law is not the only American profession that is going to be restructured in radical fashion. We’re already seeing changes in finance and health care. Tenured professors in law schools are joining the swelling ranks of tenured professors in a range of disciplines facing similar demands for change.[Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.]