THL_MayJune21

Page 13

does not make us more empathetic. It ress in areas we think make our lives seems to cause us to look inward rather better. We aren’t making much progress than outward. And empathy is really in the selfless endeavor of providing important in law. Law is a pro bono legal services. people business. Modern Our prognosticators told communication technology us that human nature can do more than we previwasn’t going to change. Modern ously thought, but we need Billable hours and client to interact with each other communication calls will always compete more than we thought, too. with pro bono ser vices. technology can It is human nature. As Pro Bono Service Versus lawyers, we (of all prodo more than we fessions except perhaps the Jealous Mistress: The Challenge Continues previously thought, clergy) should remember Our 2000 prediction about that human nature will but we need to always be with us. As pro bono legal services could be succinctly stated thusly: interact with each much as we might wish “Until someone makes it otherwise, we advance other more than we mandatory, most lawyers the profession when we won’t do it.” We said it nicremember and make dethought, too.” er. We spoke about the prescisions accordingly. sure of increasing billable hours to offset increasing lawyer comTim McInturf was the editor-in-chief of pensation. We spoke of the constant call The Houston Lawyer in the 1999-2000 of a busy law practice. “The law is a jealbar year. He enjoys our professional ous mistress.” This was the case in 2000 advances, and he laments the areas we and it is still the case today. have stood still or lost ground. He is a husband, father, and professional conflict ADR Advances resolver. He can be reached at the We previously noted that 1980 to 2000 Caroline Mediation Center, 5009 saw mediation and arbitration move Caroline Street, Suite 100, Houston, into the mainstream. And we predicted, Texas 77004. His telephone is correctly, that from 2000 to 2020 the 713-449-8873. Learn more at use of these tools would increase; now, www.timmcinturf.com. most serious cases use one or both. The demand for these tools is consistent Endnotes 1. See generally Timothy T. McInturf, From the Editor, with growing and increasingly complex HOUS. LAW. (Sept./Oct. 2000) (available on court dockets without a corresponding Westlaw). increase in judicial resources. Between 2. See, e.g., Lawyering Skills and Strategies, UNIV. HOUS. L. CTR, http://www.law.uh.edu/lss/ (last discovery, delay tactics, and busy judgvisited May 6, 2021) (reflecting UH Law Center’s es, there is a tremendous need to get minimum required courses on Lawyer Skills and disputes resolved. Reports of huge jury Strategies); see also Discover the Clinics, UNIV. HOUS. L. CTR., https://www.law.uh.edu/clinic/ verdicts strike fear (or fuel fantasies deDiscover-the-clinics.asp (last visited May 6, pending upon your perspective). People 20201). (reflecting UH Law Center’s minimum required clinics). whose job it is to not-pay-any-money 3. See, e.g., 2020 Entering Class Profile, UNIV. HOUS. tend to view juries as a last resort. The L. CTR., https://www.law.uh.edu/admissions/ future has never been brighter for priclass-profile.asp. (last visited May 6, 2021) (reflecting UH Law Center’s entering class devate mediation and arbitration. mographics); Student Profile, S. TEX. COLL. L. Our prognosticators did pretty well. HOUS., http://www.stcl.edu/about-us/studentprofile/ (last visited May 17, 2021) (indicating But it should be noted that the advances that 45.5 percent of the 2020 fall registered class they predicted have not solved one single were minority students and 44 percent were feproblem. At most, we are making progmale).

‘‘

thehoustonlawyer.com

May/June 2021

11