Fifty Years of Trying to Make Good on the Promise of Indigent Defense in Gideon v. Wainwright
On the fiftieth anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, former Washington Post reporter, Karen Houppert, investigates the way justice is delivered to the poor and documents how indigent defendants are still waiting for justice.
From the introduction of the book :
“…Back in the 1800s, Mark Twain joked that “the law is a system that protects everybody who can afford a good lawyer.” In many ways, that remains true.”
“This book focuses on the stories of four defendants in four states—Washington, Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia—that are emblematic of contemporary problems with providing lawyers to poor people throughout the country….”
“Taken together, these four stories point to fundamental flaws in the way we provide legal representation to the poor in America. They also hint at solutions for reform, and this book documents some creative efforts to fix a broken system, as well as telling the stories of committed lawyers steadily working to deliver on the promise of Gideon.”
The American Bar Association Section of Litigation has created a special website commemorating the decision in Gideon v. Wainwright .
"When the ABA Section of Litigation met in Florida earlier this year it commemorated this decision with a program that was taped for re-broadcast. It begins with rare, vintage footage of Clarence Gideon himself and includes comments from prominent lawyers and judges involved in this decision."
Also provided are links to : Original Petition , Case Facts, Oral Argument & Decision, Resources and Articles.
"In Rape Is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming Are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis, author Jody Raphael reveals that the more acquaintance rape is reported and taken seriously by prosecutors, judges, and juries, the louder the clamor of rape denial becomes. Through firsthand interviews with victims, medical and judicial records, social media analysis, and statistics from government agencies, Rape Is Rape exposes the tactics used by the deniers, a group that includes conservatives and right-wing Christians as well as some controversial feminists..."
Jody Raphael is a visiting professor of law and a senior research fellow at DePaul's Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center where she researches and writes in the area of violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault and the sex trade industry
Thursday April 11, 03:30 PM-04:30 PM
Barnes & Noble DePaul Center
1 E. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604
These two books published by Oxford University Press, in February, merit the attention and close reading by practicing attorneys, legal educators and current law students.
By James E. Moliterno, Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Professor Moliterno is a member of the American Law Institute, and he has held committee leadership roles in both AALS and the ABA.
"Throughout history, the American legal profession has tried to hold tight to its identity by retreating into its traditional values and structure during times of self-perceived crisis. The American Legal Profession in Crisis: Resistance and Responses to Change analyzes the efforts of the legal profession to protect and maintain the status quo even as the world around it changed. James E. Moliterno argues that with striking consistency, the profession has resisted societal change and sought to ban or discourage new models of legal representation created by such change. In response to every crisis, lawyers asked: "How can we stay even more 'the same' than we already are?" ( From Publishers web page)
By Richard Susskind, holds professorships at Oxford University, University College London, and elsewhere. He is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to international professional firms and national governments. Previous best-selling books by Mr. Suskind include "The End of Lawyers?" and "The Future of Law".
"Tomorrow's Lawyers is a definitive guide to this future--for young and aspiring lawyers, and for all who want to modernize our legal and justice systems. It introduces the new legal landscape and offers practical guidance for those who intend to build careers and businesses in law. Susskind identifies the key drivers of change, such as the economic downturn, and considers how these will shape the legal marketplace. He then sketches out the new legal landscape as he envisions it..." ( From Publisher's web page)
The news from the American Bar Association , Task Force on the future of Legal Education, regarding recommendation for basic changes in legal education, surprised many observers of the legal market and law schools. The committee is delivering its ground-breaking recommendations a year a head of their two year mandate. The committee along with many members of the the legal profession and the legal academy, believe that the time for incremental change is over and drastic and fundamental changes are needed now.
While the problems of overcapacity in the market for lawyers, had been increasing for years. It wasn't till the worldwide economic crisis forced a basic change in the economic sustainabilty of law firms that changes in the legal profession began to be taken seriously on a wide spread basis.
Of course, problems in the law firms did not leave law schools unaffected. With sizable layoffs of associates and even some partners, the potential job market for law school graduates, got even tighter. But it took a few years for the wave in the legal profession to hit the law schools in a significant way.
A few years ago, those of us who work in law schools were asked how these difficulties in the legal marketplace were affecting our law school programs. More and more stories were appearing about the growing number of unemployed or under-employed law grads who could not pay back their huge student loans. Surprisingly, it seems to have taken a few years before the impact became apparent in the law schools. This was both attributed to law student execeptionalism and "magical thinking " and also, to less than forthright marketing information from the law schools.
Beyond the lack of available positions, in the law firms, the semi-official training and mentoring process that use to actually develop practicing lawyers who could bill for their time, began to dry up. Under the new economic conditions, clients were no longer willing to be subsidizing these lawyers-in--training by the fees they were being charged.
This highlighted the fact that law schools had not been providing this kind of practice-oriented knowledge and experience, as part of the law school curriculum. However, in the new context, this could provide law schools with an important area for expansion of the curriculum to help fill this gap and also improve the job prospects of students.
In a fashion similar to the legal market, it seems that the long-looming problems with law schools, have not been responded to in an adequate fashion, until the recent sharp drop in law school applications. criticisms of the existitng system and recommendations for changes and many isolated innovative experiments, had been ongoing for years. But it has taken a serious economic threat to law school viability that has forced the legal education establishment to begin implementing basic changes.
The ABA seems to be both a surprising initiator in this process, and an indispensable actor in it. The new recommendations actually undo part of what the ABA has put in place through its formal accreditation authority. Loosening requirement on matters such as minimum credits, the use of non-full time faculty, law classes for non-law students, having fewer tenured faculty, indicates that the old structure that the ABA sanctioned, needs to altered to deal with an urgent situation and that they are the ones to begin the process. While the state judicial authorities and Bar examiners will have to be involved in accepting these changes. The iniatives from the ABA, begin the tangible process that other actors can react to and follow.So far the ABA sections recommendations include :
These new recognized categories of legal workers, will actually change the meaning of what has been considered "the un-autharized practice of law" and "maintaining the legal monopoly" by others. Online businesses like as Legal Zoom, are already testing this type of market. Recognition of new types of legal workers, will legitimize these practices and help make basic legal services by properly trained personnel available to ordinary people at costs they can afford. An unexpected but welcome potential outcome arising from the present upheaval in the legal arena.
Thomson Reuters and the Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal profession have released an insightful report, "2013 Report on the State of the Legal Market", that examines the basic changes that have been underway for some time that promise to reshape the practice of law.
The report points out that it is not only the effect of the worldwide economic downturn that is responsible for the difficulties in the legal marketplace. But several interrelated changes and trends that have been emerging, that have been accelerated by the effects of the economic crisis.
Some of the key factors the report identifies include :
Emerging technologies and new workflows that simplify tasks and allow a more competitive playing field and the entry of new non-traditional actors into the market.
A commoditization of legal services that enable a division of legal services into tasks that can be accomplished routinely for less cost, either within the firm of by new non-traditional providers. Corporate client are also dis-aggregating matters. Parcelling out parts of matters to different firms which can provide the most cost effectiveness.
A fundamental change in the power of clients to bargain with their hired law firms. Because of the economic environment, clients are no longer willing to accept rising fees for legal work that they had little influence over. Clients want and now get alternative fee arrangement, input into legal strategies and continuing accountability for work being done.
There has been an overcapacity of new lawyers even before the economic downturn. Prior to 2008, "productivity growth in the legal market was essentially flat". The declining economy has exacerbated this overcapacity with firms laying off staff and associates and even partners to reduce costs. The report relates that legal consultant, Bruce MacEwen, states that"for the next ten years it is likely that American law schools will be graduating over twice as many new lawyers as will be needed to fill the jobs available".
Law firms will need to be even more competitive to survive. Internal use of business re-engineering methods and project management will be needed, to achieve the efficiencies and prices demanded by clients. Firm will also need to play to their own strengths to differentiate themselves among competitors.
In the area of the globalization of legal services, big firms have actually been very actively moving into international markets. The report says that "2012 was a banner year for global expansion of U.S. and international law firms." This appears to be the one area where firms are showing strategic judgement.
The report does not have high expections that current management in U.S. law firms takes these changes and their implications for the legal profession, seriously. They cite a"2012 law Firms in Transition Survey" by Altman Weil, that while 90% of managing partners recognized these trend as permanent. Many partners at firms "...have shown only a low level of seriousness about changing.
The report opened with reference to what Hernando Cortez told his soldiers to do, to insure that they would not be able to go back on confronting the indigenous population - "burn the ships". In other words, removing the safety net and fundamentally changing your options, may be required to deal with a new reality.
It still appears that many in the legal profession are still just bailing water with no vision to fundamentally re-structure what they are doing on their "ships".
Professor Terry Smith is a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul College of Law and a nationally recognized expert on voting rights. He will be discussing and signing his book, "Barack Obama, Post-Racialism, and the New Politics of Triangulation", at the DePaul Barnes & Noble Bookstore, DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604
Praise for the book :
"Mission Accomplished! Terry Smith sets out to illustrate how African Americans have fared in a post racial triangulation society. He is critical of the triangulation theory, yet, provides a balanced critique filled with statistics and further evidence of its impact on the African American Community. He exposes judicial and political hypocrisy in the unpleasant realities regarding race, politics and money. It is an act of courage to describe the harsh truth facing disparities in the African American community economically, socially and politically. Yet, Terry Smith does all these things well. He speaks truth to power and hopefully we will all listen." - Gilda R. Daniels, associate professor, University of Baltimore School of Law and former Deputy Chief of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section