Connecticut Legal Industry Reform
Connecticut is revamping its legal services industry. After recognizing that increased access to justice can’t be achieved without reform, the state is developing reform options and starting to put them into practice.
“The legal industry needs to take a hard and fast look at how we are operating … there is a way for everyone to win. It is just a matter of being more creative.”
What Legal Industry Reforms Are Being Considered in Connecticut?
Connecticut studied reform options via five subcommittees of the Connecticut State Bar Legal Profession Task Force. Each subcommittee focused on one area of reform and looked at how changes within each framework would impact access to justice.
The Task Force and its subcommittees provided recommendations to the Connecticut State Bar in 2022. Among others, recommendations included:
- Assess and incorporate technology-centered practices that cropped up during the pandemic, such as utilizing remote proceedings.
- Make legal technology trainings regular and accessible.
- Add diversity, equity, and inclusion training to law school studies.
- Expand the role of paraprofessionals and continue looking into a program that would license nonlawyer limited legal advocates.
Some recommendations, such as amending certain ethics rules and creating a standing committee to examine limited scope representation, have already been implemented.
When Will Legal Reforms in Connecticut Be Implemented?
Connecticut has not laid out a specific timeline for implementing reforms to its legal industry, though some changes have already been pushed forward. As it moves toward further reform implementation, the Task Force continues to assess other states’ innovations.
Why Is Legal Industry Reform in Connecticut Necessary?
Legal industry reform is necessary in Connecticut because access to legal help in the state is lacking. Connecticut has tried for years to increase access to justice through legal aid and pro bono work. And yet, the state’s legal industry continues to be unable to meet the needs of many of its citizens.
As Connecticut Bar Association President Ndidi Moses says, “The legal industry needs to take a hard and fast look at how we are operating … there is a way for everyone to win. It is just a matter of being more creative.”
Is Connecticut the Only State Pursuing Legal Industry Reform?
No! At least a dozen states are considering legal industry reform and researching the access to justice gap.
Legal reform in Utah takes the form of the legal regulatory Sandbox, and Law on Call has been in operation there since Winter 2021. And in Arizona, legal reforms are already in place—our application to form an Alternative Business Structure in the state was recently approved.