The Atlanta Lawyer March 2014 : Page 5

metro atlanta, or of the ten million people now living in our state? our collective experience and Justice thompson’s report answer that question. based on the number of calls i get in my own office from people who cannot afford counsel, i believe i could spend all my time providing free services. that would be almost as hard as…as....wait for it…being a bar president--but that is a subject for another column. how can we do better? providing access to justice to me is the greatest challenge the legal profession faces. i suggest that in order to provide meaningful access for all our citizens we have to come up with a better way to finance basic legal services. somehow the cost has to be spread out among more people either through some kind of insurance or taxation or some combination of both. at this point i expect some of you have recoiled in horror at my suggestion and have uttered the dreaded s word 1 as an expletive. Yet we cannot just sit back and let the current situation continue. if we do not devise a solution, someone or something will devise one for us. one need only look to our brethren in the medical profession to see that change is coming and what happens if the practitioners leave the solution in the hands of the bean counters and politicians. universal access to justice, like access to health care, is rapidly coming to be regarded as a fundamental right of citizenship. once a consensus on that idea forms, and it is forming rapidly, the status quo will yield. come senators, congressmen please heed the call Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall for he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled there's a battle outside and it’s ragin' it'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls for the times they are a-changin' 2 . so, what shall we do? 1 2 socialist bob Dylan Find people worthy of the name on the door. That was my mentor’s advice. But the landscape has changed over the last few years. Profits are harder earned and have to be more wisely spent. So I’m getting help to ensure we’re always healthy enough to attract and retain top talent. After all, it might as well be my name on the door. WE SHINE WHEN WE HOLD OURSELVES TO A HIGHER STANDARD. Our Legal Specialty Group provides a dedicated team with tailored solutions to meet the unique financial needs of attorneys and their firms. Visit suntrust.com/law Investment and Insurance Products: Are not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured • Are not Bank Guaranteed • May Lose Value SunTrust Private Wealth Management Legal Specialty Group is a marketing name used by SunTrust Banks, Inc., and the following affiliates: Banking and trust products and services, including investment advisory products and services, are provided by SunTrust Bank. Securities, insurance (including annuities) and other investment products and services are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., an SEC registered broker-dealer and a member of the FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory products and services are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., RidgeWorth Capital Management, Inc., and GenSpring Family Offices, LLC, investment advisers registered with the SEC. © 2013 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust is a federally registered service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc. How Can We Help You Shine Today? is a service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc. The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association March 2014 THE ATLANTA LAWYER 5

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