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For new ABA President William C. Hubbard, the 28-member Commission on the Future of Legal Services he unveiled at the August Annual Meeting is the next logical step in what he sees as a potential “watershed moment” in the history of legal services in this country.
“We’re going to be building on all of those previous efforts, bringing all of these different threads together in a tapestry,” he says. “I’m optimistic that this is our chance to fundamentally change the way we do what we do.”
As the ABA joins with bars across the country for the National Pro Bono Celebration in October, Hubbard says it is a critical time for this new commission to address the issues of pro bono and, overall, legal access to justice—what Hubbard sees as one of the pillars of the profession.
Hubbard is also reaching out to state and local bar leaders, calling on them to take more visible and active roles in promoting improved legal access, as well as in the overarching work of the commission. He says their leadership—along with new programs and initiatives that many of their bars are already implementing—is key to the ABA’s continuing efforts to explore new approaches to bolster badly needed access to legal services, while also utilizing technological advances to reshape the future of the profession.
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