I wouldn’t want to compare the legal services market to Soviet Russia given how that’s turned out, but that is rather how I felt coming home from the Legal Futures conference on ‘the new frontiers of law’ on Monday. Having said that, there may be some similarities.
I wasn’t taught citizenship when I was at school. It was pretty much just reading writing and arithmetic, with a bit of cooking and needlework thrown in to make sure us ladies would be able to ‘keep house’ when we grew up (although how I was supposed to have a career AND make cushions and scones I don’t know). Having said that, I think I largely came out all right and with a broad understanding of my rights and responsibilities as a citizen.
In my last post I wrote about how administrative justice was the Cinderella of the justice system. I now think there is probably another candidate. If administrative justice is grown-up Cinderella waiting for the prince, then public legal education is baby Cinderella, who doesn’t even dare dream about him. As with any aspect of the law that isn’t about criminals or lawyers it doesn’t get much attention and even less money. But lack of column inches and scarcity of funds don’t mean something isn’t important.