Affordability, accessibility, and convenience are the hallmarks of consumer-centric services of the 21st Century. The legal profession is no exception. To be seen as relevant to consumers, the profession must become client-focused, finding new ways to meet the needs of the public.
Exploring preventative lawyering practices and adopting legal expense insurance mechanisms provide the public with clarity about and assistance with their legal needs at an affordable cost. Similar to health insurance, legal insurance plans give consumers flexibility to purchase coverage for legal fees and choose a trusted attorney within the plan’s designated network to handle legal matters.
Will the legal profession follow in the footsteps of the medical profession? If legal insurance can make legal services more affordable to everyone, maybe it will also bridge the access to justice gap.
Nicolle Schippers is the Associate General Counsel and Legal Industry Advocate at ARAG, an international legal insurance provider. In this role, she advocates for legal insurance as a necessary means to close the access to justice gap, encouraging dialogue to incorporate it into the profession.
Nicolle serves on the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Board of Directors, the Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA) Board of Governors, and the Board of Directors for: the Group Legal Services Association (GLSA), ISBA Public Service Project, the ACC Iowa Chapter, and the Polk County Bar Association. Nicolle was recently appointed to the Iowa Access to Justice Commission, is chair of the ISBA Corporate Counsel Section and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the ISBA Foundation.
Nicollle is a published novelist and author whose work has been featured in legal publications such as the ACC Docket and Law Practice Today.