By: Oregon State Bar. Published by OSB Task Force. Published in June 2017
Access to online resources through the internet has made legal resources more easily accessible. Websites such as LegalZoom and Avvo allow individuals to obtain customized legal forms and receive legal advice through virtual chat rooms instead of more costly person-to-person full-service lawyer-client relationships. Online availability of selective legal services is also more convenient for individuals who cannot afford to take off of work or pay for childcare while seeking out in-person legal help.
In Oregon, according to Equal Justice, legal aid only serves 15 percent of those in need. In response to this need, Oregon has created two task forces: the Legal Innovations Committee, which focuses on the components required for a modern legal practice, and the Regulatory Committee, which focuses on the most effective ways to regulate and protect the public as the legal world shifts to a more Internet-dependent place. This article describes the findings and recommendations of these two committees, including recommendations such as: the establishment of a program for paraprofessionals to provide limited legal services and integration of online-based legal assistance for self-navigators.