History of access to justice: Selected information resources

For reference, following are additional selected information resources on the history of access to justice in the US. This is not a complete or comprehensive list.

ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives

The ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives produced a new report released in August of 2018, entitled Access to Justice Commissions: Increasing Effectiveness Through Adequate Staffing and Funding by Mary Flynn, which is a comprehensive review of the 40 Access to Justice Commission, their funding, creation, structure, activities and staffing.

Fordham Law Review

In The A2J Summit Collection, NCAJ gathered and published in the Fordham Law Review On line a set of writings by access to justice activists describing the leading edge and future promise of the civil justice reform movement. The A2J Summit Collection was an outgrowth of a pathbreaking Fall 2018 national convening — the A2J Summit — that brought more than 85 activists and leaders together at Fordham Law School for a strategic reconsideration of the place, purpose, and importance of civil justice reform. The pieces in the A2J Summit Collection make the case for the crucial importance of a civil justice reform movement to address the national crisis in which people face the loss of their homes, their children, their savings, their physical and emotional well-being, even their liberty, because of challenges posed by the civil justice system. NCAJ’s executive director (in the Foreword to the Collection), and several authors in their respective pieces, urge consideration of the civil justice reform movement as a next step in the criminal justice reform movement. The authors and their subjects are:

Building the Access to Justice Movement by David Udell (PDF)

A Perspective from the Judiciary on Access to Justice by Jonathan Lippman (PDF)

“What Do We Want!”? by Rebecca L. Sandefur (PDF)

Striking a Match, Not a Pose, for Access to Justice by Gillian K. Hadfield (PDF)

Access to Legal Help is a Human Service by Jo-Ann Wallace (PDF)

Don’t Go It Alone by Ariel Simon and Sandra Ambrozy (PDF)

Self-Representation is Becoming the Norm and Driving Reform by Katherine Alteneder (PDF)

Integrating the Access to Justice Movement by Lauren Sudeall (PDF)

Building a Movement: The Lessons of Fines and Fees by Lisa Foster (PDF)

A National Movement for Access to Justice Must Be Holistic by Justine Olderman and Runa Rajagopal (PDF)

The Legal Empowerment Movement and its Implications by Peter Chapman (PDF)

A Few Interventions and Offerings from Five Movement Lawyers to the Access to Justice Movement by Jennifer Ching, Thomas B. Harvey, Meena Jagannath, Purvi Shah, and Blake Strode (PDF)

The Role of Data in Organizing an Access to Justice Movement by James Gamble and Amy Widman (PDF)

All Rise for Civil Justice by Martha Bergmark (PDF)

Dædalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

A major new publication “Access to Justice,” the Winter 2019 issue of Dædalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is a multidisciplinary examination of this crisis, from the challenges of providing quality legal assistance to more people, to the social and economic costs of an often unresponsive legal system, to the opportunities for improvement offered by new technologies, professional innovations, and fresh ways of thinking about the crisis. Guest editors were:

  • Lincoln Caplan (journalist and author; Yale Law School)
  • Lance Liebman (Columbia Law School; Academy Member), and
  • Rebecca L. Sandefur (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; American Bar Foundation; 2018 MacArthur Fellow)

This issue of Dædalus is part of a larger, ongoing effort of the American Academy to gather information about the national need for improved legal access, study innovations piloted around the country to fill this need, and advance a set of clear, national recommendations for closing the justice gap — between supply and demand for services provided by lawyers and other problem-solvers. “Access to Justice” features the following essays:

John G. Levi (Legal Services Corporation; Sidley Austin; Academy Member) & David M. Rubenstein (The Carlyle Group; Academy Member)

How Rising Income Inequality Threatens Access to the Legal System
Robert H. Frank (Cornell University)

The Invisible Justice Problem
Lincoln Caplan (journalist and author; Yale Law School)

Reclaiming the Role of Lawyers as Community Connectors
David F. Levi (Duke University School of Law; Academy Member), Dana Remus (legal scholar) & Abigail Frisch (Duke Law Journal)

More Markets, More Justice
Gillian K. Hadfield (University of Toronto; University of California, Berkeley; OpenAI)

Access to What?
Rebecca L. Sandefur (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; American Bar Foundation; MacArthur Fellow)

The Right to Civil Counsel
Tonya L. Brito (University of Wisconsin Law School)

The New Legal Empiricism & Its Application to Access-to-Justice Inquiries
D. James Greiner (Harvard Law School)

The Public’s Unmet Need for Legal Services & What Law Schools Can Do about It
Andrew M. Perlman (Suffolk University Law School)

Access to Power
Sameer Ashar (UCLA School of Law) & Annie Lai (University of California, Irvine School of Law)

The Center on Children and Families
Shani M. King (University of Florida Levin College of Law)

Techno-Optimism & Access to the Legal System
Tanina Rostain (Georgetown University Law Center)

Marketing Legal Assistance
Elizabeth Chambliss (University of South Carolina School of Law)

Community Law Practice
Luz E. Herrera (Texas A&M University School of Law)

The Role of the Legal Services Corporation in Improving Access to Justice
James J. Sandman (Legal Services Corporation)

Participatory Design for Innovation in Access to Justice
Margaret Hagan (Stanford Law School)

Simplified Courts Can’t Solve Inequality
Colleen F. Shanahan (Columbia Law School) & Anna E. Carpenter (The University of Tulsa College of Law)

Corporate Support for Legal Services
Jo-Ann Wallace (National Legal Aid and Defender Association)

Justice & the Capability to Function in Society
Pascoe Pleasence (University College London) & Nigel J. Balmer (University College London)

Why Big Business Should Support Legal Aid
Kenneth C. Frazier (Merck & Co.; Academy Member)

Executive Branch Support for Civil Legal Aid
Karen A. Lash (American University)

Why Judges Support Civil Legal Aid
Fern A. Fisher (Maurice A. Deanne School of Law at Hofstra University)

Lawyers, the Legal Profession & Access to Justice in the United States: A Brief History
Robert W. Gordon (Stanford Law School; Yale Law School)

The Twilight Zone
Nathan L. Hecht (Supreme Court of Texas)