The Amazing Richard Zorza gives us the following peek into a presentation by international legal aid scholar Prof. Maurits Barendrecht of HiiL/Tilburg University whose presentation 5 Observations about the future of legal aid  is recounted at the Zorza blog Access to Justice :

Observation 1: Right now, traditional services eat up most of the budgets with sometimes inefficient court procedures and already established legal aid by lawyers, agencies & others;

Observation 2: Is this maximizing effectiveness? These services, while a powerful force for good, have little interest in real change, and are becoming less and less effective as budgets are cut;

Observation 3: There is a rapidly expanding variety of newly developed services like legal information websites and online platforms for dialogue and dispute resolution, many with help desk types of services as back up, all provided by the new fixed-fee lawyer/mediator/paralegal problem-solving approach;

Observation 4: New opportunities require different strategies as information and websites now give personalized assistance making access to justice available when payment is low and the process is simplified (something court and legislative bodies are seeking to do right now). Subsidies can be focused on specific disadvantaged groups and cases with important external effects; and

Observation 5: Becoming part of the future is difficult for strategic decision makers  because this requires a shifting of resources; the danger of alienating the coalition of lawyers, judges and politicians that guaranteed jobs, budgets and power until now; & many of the new developments take place in the private sector.

Check out FutureShock Legal Aid [Part II]: Possible ways out of this dilemma!