Feature, News Story (Utah)
August 7, 2014
Link to story
Organizations mentioned/involved: Utah Legal Services (ULS), Open Legal Services (OLS) (Utah), Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
Like more and more new lawyers, Argyle and Spencer graduated into a demoralizing job market, especially for jobs in public-interest law. So they decided to start a small nonprofit firm of their own, with four full-time equivalents and two part-time volunteers, catering to local, middle-class clients in a creative way. Instead of providing representation for free and surviving on grants, they decided to charge for their services.
OLS is an intriguing response to two related problems: the feasibility of legal guidance for everyone but the rich, and the current glut of lawyers.
Meanwhile, they’re leveling a playing field that has been notoriously uneven for years, serving a constituency—the modest-means middle class—that often feels itself forgotten between attempts to cater to the rich and aid the poor.
Others working on access-to-justice issues have started to take notice. The OLS team says they’ve received calls from the American Bar Association’s president-elect, the Colorado State Supreme Court, and the Montana and Washington State Bars.