Associate Dean and Alumnus Serve on ABA Commission


Professor Ben Cooper

The University of Mississippi School of Law was well represented at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco last week. Professor Ben Cooper, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Alumnus Randy Noel (JD 1978), attorney at Butler Snow in Memphis, served on the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. Cooper worked as a Reporter to the Commission, and Noel was one of the 30 members of the Commission, which was comprised of lawyers, judges, and academics from across the country.

“The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services is addressing issues critical to the legal profession and legal educators,” said Deborah Bell, dean of the Law School. “It is an honor for the Law School to be represented on the Commission by one of our distinguished graduates as well as Associate Dean Cooper.”

Since 2014, the Commission has been examining how to make legal services more accessible and affordable. . The culmination of the group’s work came with the Final Report, which Cooper had a hand in drafting. He also helped present the Report at the Annual Meeting.

“Working on these critical issues with this amazing group of innovative thinkers has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career,” said Cooper.


Randy Noel

The Commission’s Report made a number of findings concerning the market for legal services in the United States and then offered a series of recommendations aimed at making legal services more accessible and affordable. You can read the full report here.

With the conclusion of the conference, the Commission’s work is now complete, but some of the Commission’s work will be carried forward by the new ABA Center for Innovation, an idea that was recommended by the Commission in its Final Report.

Read the full report.