Addressing the challenges facing the American legal profession

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School has launched the Future of the Profession Laba state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary, problem-solving center that will work to address the most significant challenges facing the American legal profession. Jim Sandman, senior consultant to the Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI), and a Law School alumnus, will serve as the director of the Lab.

People seated at tables in front of the Penn Law building in the courtyard on a sunny day.

The Lab’s focus will be on pervasive problems and scalable solutions, including enhancing client service by developing new delivery models generated through human-centered design, and promoting the widespread adoption of technologies that democratize law, making it more accessible for people who need to use the legal system at all levels. It will work to simplify court processes to improve efficiency and reduce friction for litigants, lawyers, and judges, and create new approaches to work and workplace environments to enhance talent retention. Additionally, the Lab will work to improve access to justice for low- and moderate-income individuals and for small businesses, and rethink courtroom designs to differentiate among uses and cases to serve the public better.

In addition to using an interdisciplinary approach to make the legal system more accessible to all, the Lab will tackle challenges related to the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession—an area in which the legal industry lags behind other disciplines.

“The Future of the Profession Lab embodies the Law School’s goals when it launched FPI three years ago,” says Ted Roger, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “The Lab will identify specific real-world problems that create disconnects between society and legal systems through collaboration. This will include faculty and students here on campus as well as leaders across the profession who want to drive change but may lack the time, resources, or capacity to develop, refine, and scale solutions.”

Read more at Penn Law News.

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