LSC’s James Sandman: We Need Technology & Paraprofessionals

Q&A with Legal Services Corporation president James Sandman about solutions and trends in civil justice.

Interview (NATIONAL)

Monica Bay
July 31, 2015

Tags: Access to Justice, Delivery Systems, Legal Needs

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


Eighty percent of Americans can’t find — or afford — legal services, even for crucial life events such as home foreclosure, domestic abuse, child protection, etc.

Most Americans don’t realize that there is no right to counsel in a civil case.

It is common for more than 90 percent of tenants facing eviction to be without a lawyer — even though more than 90% of landlords do. Last year in New York state 1.8 million people appeared in state courts without counsel.

Our regulatory system stultifies innovation and constricts the ability of competent, qualified non-lawyers to provide assistance to clients in the way that nurses and physicians’ assistants provide medical care to patients.

Technology allows us to push out information to the public that was previously accessible only to lawyers.

The do-it-yourself movement is pervasive across all segments of the economy today. It’s not going away, and anyone who thinks law is immune to it is delusional.