I am coming off the tail end of serving on the Civil Justice Strategies Task Force, that enormously ambitious undertaking to study ways the State Bar might work at closing the justice gap for modest means litigants, as well as to address the crushing debt load on our law grads. Here is one take on the situation based on my understanding of the situation. I will give you more as we wrap up this month…

Every time I login to Gmail there is an ad string that says crazy stuff like:

Earn a Law Degree Without the LSAT! Find Accredited Schools.

…and then I think, is this a harbinger of the future of the legal profession? Lawyers without law schools? Law libraries without librarians?

With all the complexities of technology and race to cut costs, it seems to me that we are headed for a legal Redbox outside every 7-11 that will serve as a walk-up legal consultant as well as an information retrieval/dispenser.

Imagine this:

“Hello!  I am your law librarian. What do you need?  Divorce forms?  Let me find that for you. Here it is on the screen.  Use the keypad to fill it out, double check to make sure everything is correct on the screen. Now insert your credit card and you will be charged $9.95 for filing your divorce papers. Press “Send Now.” It has been delivered to the court and you will be contacted by email within the next 10 business days. Thank you for using the Redbox Law Library!”

I can see this happening. It probably already is, somewhere. [I have a deal pending with Redbox by the way, so don’t even try to steal this idea.]