Lost in Translation: From Research to Practice

Big data, technology and unprecedented connectivity are providing the legal profession with new avenues for the delivery of services. While many assume these tools are making justice more accessible, it hasn’t played out that way, April Faith-Slaker explained.

Each year, tens of millions of legal problems arise in low- and moderate-income households. Yet most of these problems don’t make it to a lawyer or court. What role might empirical research play in identifying routes to transformative change around a shared agenda for inclusion, justice and a healthy legal profession?

Faith-Slaker urged improved collaboration between legal researchers and the profession. New technology alone will not address access to justice inequities, she said. To enact systemic change, the legal profession must acknowledge that academic legal research and lawyering should work together. Only then can important research findings be quickly translated into meaningful changes in the practice of law.