WACO, Texas -
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), there is a staggering number of Americans who have basic legal needs but cannot afford the services of an attorney. The more than 100 million low- and middle-income Americans who cannot afford legal representation for housing, health and safety, child custody situations, and other common issues, are effectively blocked from accessing the justice system.
Legal Mapmaker is a collaborative program sponsored by every law school in the state of Texas and other organizations designed as an effective solution to this problem. Designed by Baylor Law, Legal Mapmaker is a three-day series of workshops and seminars that instructs lawyers and recent law school graduates how to start their own law firm with overhead that is far less expensive than the norm. Strategically mapping out ways that entrepreneurial lawyers can leverage advanced technology solutions, effective marketing plans, and legal workflows to accomplish more with less, means that these newly-created firms can offer legal services at affordable rates to traditionally underserved communities.
There is a fear that reaching underserved communities means a lawyer can't make a decent living [...] Legal Mapmaker helps solve that problem."–Assistant Dean Stephen Rispoli
"There is a need to make access to the legal system more available to people and communities that otherwise would be excluded," says Stephen Rispoli, assistant dean of student affairs and pro bono programs at Baylor Law "There is a fear that reaching underserved communities means a lawyer can't make a decent living, so there isn't an affordable supply of attorneys who can serve them. Legal Mapmaker helps solve that problem."
Legal Mapmaker 2018 will be held on August 15-17 at Baylor Law and will feature more than 25 experts, 19 sessions, workshops, and personalized one-on-one coaching on topics ranging from building business plans, marketing strategies, efficient, vetted, legal and web technologies, to effective community engagement.
An estimated 15-17 hours of CLE credit, including three hours of ethics credit, is anticipated for the seminar. An application for accreditation of this activity has been submitted to the MCLE committee of the State Bar of Texas and is pending.
"From its inception, Legal Mapmaker's mission has been the same: help lawyers start a law firm efficiently, economically and ethically," Dean Brad Toben said. "If lawyers follow the steps mapped out at Legal Mapmaker, they will be able to serve low- and moderate-income Americans and small businesses. Equally important, they will be able to serve their clients while turning a profit. Teaching lawyers how to do well by doing good is essential to closing the disturbing access-to-justice gap in this country."
MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Nelson, Director of Marketing & Communications
ABOUT BAYLOR LAW
Established in 1857, Baylor Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,400 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. Baylor Law boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked #50 in the magazine's 2019 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and #4 in the nation in its most recent "Best Law School Facilities" listing. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award's inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu