University of Virginia Library

Reagan Names Law School Dean
To Head Legal Services Programs


Monrad G. Paulsen, dean of the
University's Law School, has been named
by California Governor Ronald Reagan to
head a national advisory committee
setting up an experimental legal services
program for California.

Mr. Paulsen said that the new position
does not mean he will be leaving the
University. "It is an advisory committee
and like most advisory committees it will
only meet time to time."

The California Experiment, as the
program has been called, is a $2.5 million
project funded by the federal and
California State Offices of Economic
Opportunity (OEO) and designed to test
a variety of models for the delivery of
legal services to the poor in California.

A major purpose of the project will be
to determine whether greater involvement
of the private lawyer can provide legal
services that are more efficient and
effective than the traditional OEO-funded
legal services programs now underway
throughout the nation.

The six-member advisory committee
headed by Mr. Paulsen will propose
various models to be evaluated under the

The committee also will help to
formulate the California Legal Services
Foundation, a corporation established
under the auspices of the state OEO,
interested attorneys and local bar
associations to administer the program.

A chief criticism leveled at the current
legal services program is that it is too
organizational, Mr. Paulsen said. "A
person goes to a local legal services office
with a problem, is interviewed and then
referred to a staff lawyer. What's missing
is the selection of the lawyer by the
client," he added.

Some of the models to be tested in
California, says Dean Paulsen, may be
based on the Legal Aid and Advise
Scheme, a system utilized in Britain and
21 other countries.

This program is called Judicare in the
United States because it is a
fee-for-service program like Medicare. A
person may apply for legal assistance. If
his application is approved by a
committee, he goes to the lawyer of his
choice, who is then paid by the state. It
has already been tried on a small scale in
Wisconsin, but has not yet been
attempted on a large scale.

Other models to be tested may
include prepaid legal insurance plans
whereby a group such as a labor union
contracts with attorneys for legal services,
and lawyer referral systems whereby
potential clients are referred to attorneys
willing to handle their cases at a reduced

Named to serve on the committee with
Mr. Paulsen is Seton Pollock who heads
Britain's Legal Assistance and Advice
Program, which is based on Judicare.

Also named to the committee are B.J.
George Jr., director of the Center for
Administration of Justice at Wayne State
University Law School; George A.
Pelletier, associate dean for academic
affairs and director of continuing legal
education at Southern Methodist
University School of Law; A. Kenneth
Pye, professor of law at Duke University;
and Gordon D. Schaber, dean of
McGeorge School of Law at the
University of the Pacific.