The Practice July/August 2020
What happened to courts when the COVID-19 pandemic stormed the world? In this issue, we explore the changed world of justice systems, zeroing in on how technology has changed the legal profession.
The Future of Courts
In this article, Richard Susskind considers the impact of coronavirus on our courts, documenting challenges that our justice system faces. Ultimately, he suggests we need a new mindset if we are to tackle these successfully.
Separating the People from the Problem
As a grade school student in 1980, Colin Rule first dabbled in the world of online dispute resolution (ODR) by running a bulletin board out of his bedroom in North Texas with the help of his Apple II Plus. This story shines a light on ODR and its evolution using Rule’s career as our guide.
Not Remotely the Same
Like the larger legal profession, and in particular the court system, consensus best practices for the remote operation of law school clinics have yet to be fully developed. Just as courts are struggling with how to safely and effectively re-create essential in-person tasks like sharing evidence and providing space for public viewing, clinics are similarly forced to reckon with previously face-to-face tasks.
The Doctor Will See You
The move from physical to online courts, spurred suddenly, unexpectedly, and largely out of necessity by the COVID-19 crisis, will undoubtedly come with growing pains. Like virtually every other corner of the economy and civic life, the legal profession must now adapt to the new reality of life during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. What can we learn from medicine?
What Carries Over?
Richard Susskind and Jonathan Zittrain sat down for a conversation on online courts, lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, and how we might move forward. The conversation was moderated by David B. Wilkins, faculty director of the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession.
To what extent will public-access livestreaming be maintained once courts begin to return to more normal operations?