ABA Wants Solo and Small-Firm Lawyers to Provide More Access to Justice


The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services asks:

How can small law practices (e.g., solo practitioners, lawyers in rural communities, small firm lawyers, etc.) sustainably represent those who do not have access to legal services?

Carolyn Elefant points out that solo and small-firm lawyers “already do more than nearly any other sector to make legal services available to ordinary folks.”

Message to ABA – if you truly wants to expand access, then impose the responsibility for it on everyone. Why not tithe big law partners, force #newlaw companies to offer a certain percentage of their forms and dial-up advice services free and bus law professors down to the court houses to man the pro se desks during the 20-something hours a week that they’re not teaching in the classroom? We solos and smalls do enough already. If you make us do more, we may not survive much longer.

Featured image: “Closeup portrait” from Shutterstock.


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  • Randall Ryder

    Statements like that really make me wonder if anyone other than solo attorneys actually understands the life of a solo attorney (spoiler alert: nope).

  • Phil_Rhodes

    Amen to you and Carolyn Elefant. It’s none of the ABA’s damn business anyway. But, statistically speaking, profits per partner at the biggest firms tell me they need to do more.

    • Bobby Brooks

      As soon as every other lawyer in town has done as many hundreds of hours of pro bono work as I have done I will feel a responsibility to do some more. In other words, when hell freezes over.

  • The ABA is so out of touch. Dropped my membership years ago and haven’t missed it.

  • Jeff

    The ABA is powerless to make me do a damned thing. They don’t get my money. They don’t get my respect. I’m really not sure how they continue to exist or maintain any relevance.

  • LG

    As a solo, I am more able to provide just that access to more people due to my fees being about half the fees of the larger firms.Furthermore, I take payment plans, as do most solo attorneys I know. We do reach out to those who don’t have access, many times, to our own risk and consequence of not getting paid. The problem is, it hits us much harder than it hits the bigger firms. Does the ABA really have no clue?

  • Well the ABA President is a partner at a 500+ lawyer firm. What do we expect?