Reform: Start Small

In early September, I attended the conference LawTechCamp 2014. Mr. Chris Bentley, executive director of the Ryerson Law Practice Program, presented at the conference. He mentioned that discussions about reforming the legal system inevitably end in proposals to restructure the entire system. Reforming the entire legal system is nearly impossible as a result of many factors. Inertia, big bureaucracies, the coordination of multiple players etc. all prevent changes on a grand scale. Therefore, he suggested that we direct our energy towards implementing small solutions.

His suggestion reminded me of the book, Think Like a Freak. The authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner state that since big problems are often a “dense mass of small problems” we make more progress by tackling a small piece of a big problem.

The big problem of access to justice should be tackled first by asking small questions and applying small solutions to combat barriers to justice. Eventually these small solutions will chip away at the bigger issue of access to justice. A design thinking process could be used to prototype new solutions.