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Amid Wave of "Social Distancing" Directives, Baylor Law Launches Online Version of Its Groundbreaking Legal Mapmaker Program

Designed to help U.S. lawyers open and operate efficient online firms, Baylor Law’s Legal Mapmaker program approved for 13 hours of continuing legal education in Texas, of which 2 hours will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.

Waco, TX, March 21, 2020 --( Four years ago, Baylor Law founded its innovative Legal Mapmaker program to teach attorneys a model business strategy with two primary goals: help lawyers succeed by building a law firm designed to operate online, help the public find affordable legal services by showing lawyers how to provide legal services efficiently and with low overhead. In order to impact more lawyers, and offer distance continuing education during the current coronavirus outbreak, Baylor Law’s Legal Mapmaker program is now available for free to any U.S. attorney via an online learning portal. In exchange, lawyers must agree to take at least one pro-bono case in the next 12 months.

“At Baylor Law we believe in the people’s fundamental right to access both the court system and competent legal representation when they need help,” said Stephen Rispoli, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs at Baylor Law. “Legal Mapmaker is a program designed to assist lawyers and law students utilize specific best-practices and technology advancements to bootstrap a successful law firm. But it is not just for new firms – existing firms can learn how to improve their automated and technology practices through this program. By implementing our recommendations, lawyers can make more money while better serving Americans without access to affordable legal services.” He added, “During this time of mandated social distancing, there is no better time for lawyers who are thinking of starting or improving their own firms to take advantage of this learning opportunity.”

According to a study cited in the American Bar Association’s “Report on the Future of Legal Services in the United States,” more than 100 million poor and middle-income Americans cannot afford representation for basic human needs. Basic human needs are defined in the report as cases related to shelter, sustenance, safety, health and child custody. “During this time of crisis, Americans will need lawyers to help guide them and provide legal advice regarding their rights and remedies,” said Rispoli. “The lawyers implementing the Legal Mapmaker framework will be ready for virtual meetings, online scheduling, payments, and many other facets of a virtual practice so that they may assist clients now. Of course, when things return to ‘business as usual,’ we believe these practices will help make lawyer even more efficient.”

“We have been 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, “and we look ahead to seeing the impact this program can have on a national scale.” Legal Mapmaker was created in a partnership with the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the Texas Opportunity and Justice Incubator, South Texas College of Law Houston, SMU Law School, St. Mary’s Law School, Texas A&M Law School, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, the University of Texas Law School, the University of Houston Law Center, and UNT Dallas College of Law.

“Legal Mapmaker’s mission is to help lawyers operate law firms efficiently, economically and ethically,” stated Dean Brad Toben. “By doing so, these lawyers will, in turn, be able to serve low- and moderate-income Americans and small businesses. Importantly, they will be serving their clients and making a profit. We believe those goals are essential to addressing the access-to-justice gap.”

Visit the Legal Mapmaker website for more information. This course has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of thirteen (13) credit hours, of which two (2) credit hours will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.
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Baylor Law
Ed Nelson

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