I'm in my tenth year of practice in California handling general civil litigation. I can try to share a few key points that won't get me in trouble with my peers or area judges.
-- Every state should implement a PACER-like system where the public has remote access to all court records and can download all the PDFs they want for a small fee, 24/7. PACER/ECF is the Federal system for accessing and filing court documents, and it makes it really convenient when you can review an entire case file without physically going to the courthouse as you have to do in most state courts. The cost of implementing PACER with every state court system would be astronomical, but it would also provide astronomical benefits to the public. For one, the public (or more likely the legal section of the local news media) would be able to verify or refute bullshit public relations statements made by lawyers by reviewing the actual case filings.
-- Absent a full PACER/ECF implementation, every court system in a state should be linked to a centralized repository of searchable metadata instead of the current patchwork of incompatible systems for searching records. In California there are fifty-eight separate counties, each with its own Superior Court. This means each court has its own system for storing and accessing court records. Some aren't even searchable online; you have to go there in person. It makes it really difficult to conduct research on a particular case or client. Also, this is one reason why the private legal providers WestLaw and Lexis have services that I can't do without-- without a unified system, these private providers are the only way to sensibly aggregate and organize judicial opinions.
-- Lawyers should make better use of technology in their practices and lower their hourly rates as a result. I wrote my own calendaring software a few years ago that gave me a fully electronic calendar (until I started using Google calendar, which is a big improvement). I also run a paperless office with no permanent support staff and with a tiny physical office. This means I can make deals on my hourly rate with savvy clients so that we both win, and I can scale my practice appropriately so that I don't make big financial commitments and then not meet them. Some lawyers use electronic practice management software like Rocket Matter. Others find clients on Craigslist. Realistically, this type of technology interaction is one of the only ways to increase access to justice; currently, you have to make well over $100,000 per year to afford an actual lawyer, and even then it is a stretch for most people. Most hourly clients in civil litigation are actually businesses and companies, not individuals, because individuals don't have enough money to pay hourly. What I've observed though is that lawyers who have great technology keep their hourly rates the same and just pocket the extra money. And why shouldn't they?
-- Courts and older attorneys should get with the program in terms of new technology. Currently there is a lot of bureaucratic resistance as well as a generational gap in how lawyers and courts use technology. There are plenty of older attorneys out there who do not even have email, and there are many others who just don't care enough to learn MS Word. After all, if they can just hire support staff to do that, there is no incentive. As older lawyers retire or learn technology, this problem decreases for the profession, but courts are still way behind. There should be rules for judges requiring them to use technology.
-- State legislatures should spend more money on courts, but condition that funding on the use of industrial psychologists or other experts to help design better systems for information management. A local Superior Court that I practice in frequently and that I don't need to name still has physical documents hand-carried between its courthouses and administrative facilities. This is a huge waste of time, money, and effort when a few ScanSnap type machines and automated data processing could completely eliminate that waste. Meanwhile, the California legislature has decreased judicial branch funding by at least a billion dollars in the last few years. This makes access to justice even worse.
-- More people should make use of private judges and juries to resolve cases. A private judge in California, for example, can be any attorney with I believe ten years of practice who the parties agree on. The private judge then conducts the case just as if he or she were sitting in a real courtroom. This is different from arbitration in that private judging retains all of the formalities of the public court system. One reason people don't do this is that the cost of private judging is exorbitant because they have to pay at least $500 per hour just for the judge. The cost of private judges with private juries would be even more exorbitant. Again, use of technology could greatly reduce that cost and increase access.
-- My most important gripe with the current system is that it's not designed to find the truth. It's designed to end disputes by determining which side made the better "showing" of its evidence. Now that science and technology can show us the truth, the system should rely more on the truth instead of which side was more persuasive about facts that might not even be the truth.
I could go on but I would only get myself in trouble.