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44 J. Kan. B. Ass'n 3 (1975)

handle is hein.barjournals/jkabr0044 and id is 1 raw text is: From the
WHILE SERVING my year as
President of the Kansas Bar Asso-
ciation I have learned that among
knowledgable lawyers, the Kansas
Bar Association has a well-earned
recognition as a progressive, inno-
vative, and imaginative Associa-
tion. It has, for instance, been in
the forefront with judicial reform,
procedural reform, disciplinary reform, prepaid legal service, computerized
legal research, lawyer referral, consideration of mandatory continuing
legal education. It has, indeed, been a signal honor to have been President
of such an active forward-looking Association.
I leave the office, however, with the great regret that the Kansas Bar
Association has not yet come to grips with the most important problem of
all, that of making the lawyer's singular skills available, at an affordable
cost, to all who need them. The lawyer's claim, sometimes made, that no
one is turned away because he cannot pay, is often not true, but in a larger
sense is most unrealistic, for most people who need reduced fees not only
do not want charity, but resent it. In addition, the recipients of charity
often believe that their matter has been slighted because no fee is charged.
I know, and I believe every lawyer who reads this knows, of great numbers
of people who have believed (often grossly erroneously) that they could
not afford legal advice, and that all likewise know of great numbers of
persons who dealt disastrously with a legal problem without knowing they
had one. Some suggested solutions, prepaid legal service, legal clinics,
advertising, socialization of legal service (for instance public defender
programs), have been suggested, and some have been tried, but the solution
is yet to emerge. If lawyers perform a true and necessary public service,
and our experience leaves no doubt on this point, then the Kansas Bar
Association, and the lawyer members, and my successors, will some time
have to provide a method of making legal services more generally available.
I leave the Office of President with the hope that my successors will
be more successful than either I or my predecessors have been in solving
this vital problem.
LEONARD 0. THOMAS, President


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