21st Century Law—Overview of Recommendations

Development of Comprehensive Public Platform Linked to Full Range of Legal Services & Information

  • User-friendly, reliable, ethical consumer information
  • Triage system to guide those in need of legal services, assisted by technology and other navigation assistance, including from trained lay navigators and links to find a lawyer, help centers, related resources
  • Collaboration across Michigan's three leading platforms
  • Legal Self Help Centers in all judicial circuits

Nurturing of New Service Delivery Options

  • Unbundling system (limited scope representation) to expand access
  • Billable hour alternatives
  • Limited multidisciplinary practice (MDP)
  • Support for innovative law firm models
  • Online pro bono opportunities
  • Limited pilot projects to test expanded availability to counsel in certain civil cases and reporting of pro bono hours
  • Coordination with Michigan Indigent Defense Commission innovations

Court Innovation, Simplification, Standardization

  • Emphasis on mediation (early, automatic, draft pleadings)
  • Civil process innovations to tailor pre-trial practice on case-by-case basis
  • Expanded video conferencing
  • Streamlined probate and research to identify types of cases appropriate to remove from judicial process
  • Statewide specialty court venue; access through e-filing portal
  • Promote appropriate application of problem-solving court principles to all courts
  • Use business process analysis
  • Expanded online dispute resolution

Dynamic, Data-Driven New Lawyer Support

  • Ongoing SBM assistance to variety of practice-readiness assistance options (incubators, internships, clinics, New Lawyer Institute, mentorship programs) to test effectiveness; collect data and do analysis, provide tools to lawyers/firms

New Model for Continuing Legal Education & Professional Development

  • Emphasis on tech competency and ethics training, baseline competency training, and support as part of SBM membership benefit
  • Innovative, customizable delivery methods for specific legal training
  • Specialty certification
  • Convenient self-testing, self-assessment tools for continuing legal education

Modernized Regulation

  • Malpractice insurance disclosure; easy consumer access to that information
  • Voluntary, innovative CLE, plus continuing professional development support for every practicing lawyer
  • More transparency and uniformity
  • Development of consensus on regulatory objectives, incorporating inclusion, diversity, and cultural competency
  • Regulate non-J.D. legal service providers (e.g., paralegals & lay navigators)

Innovative Changes to Bar Admissions

  • Sequential bar admissions testing
  • Practice criteria for lawyers without Michigan licensure

Strategies for Persistent, Value-Driven Change

  • Permanent SBM-based 21st Century Legal Services Innovation Center
  • Justice Innovations Guidelines