Addressing the Access-to-Justice Gap: Baylor Law School’s Legal Mapmaker Program Helps Young Lawyers Open Cost-Conscious Firms

Legal Mapmaker
Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben presents during the Law School's Legal Mapmaker program in 2016. This year's program (Aug. 16-18) will be in Fort Worth. (Nick Teixiera, Baylor Law School)
Aug. 15, 2017

WACO, Texas (Aug. 15, 2017) – Baylor Law School founded its Legal Mapmaker program on two primary goals: 1) help young lawyers launch successful and efficient law practices and 2) address the growing “access to justice” gap affecting more than 100 million Americans.

This year’s three-day program runs Aug. 16-18 in Fort Worth and is hosted by partner institution Texas A&M University School of Law. Attendees will attend workshops led by experts in numerous areas ranging from business planning and alternative fee arrangements to marketing, client relations and community involvement.

“We believe in the rule of law and the people’s right to access the courts and lawyers for help,” said Stephen Rispoli, assistant dean of student affairs and pro bono programs at Baylor Law School. “Legal Mapmaker is one of the programs designed by Baylor Law School, in partnership with all other Texas law schools, to assist lawyers and law students by teaching efficient law firm management practices while addressing the access to justice gap in our country.”

More than 100 million poor and middle-income Americans cannot afford representation for basic human needs, according to a study cited in the American Bar Association’s 2016 “Report on the Future of Legal Services in the United States.” Basic human needs are defined in the report as cases related to shelter, sustenance, safety, health and child custody.

“We are pleased that the Baylor Law Legal Mapmaker program has been so well-received by the legal education community in Texas, as well as by the practicing bar,” said Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben. “Texas A&M University School of Law is graciously hosting this year’s program and we look ahead to the event being educational and productive for each attendee.

Visit the Legal Mapmaker website for more information.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 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.


Established in 1857, Baylor Law School 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 School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School 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 #4 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked #55 in the magazine’s 2017 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.

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