Access to Justice

97 ABA Journal Access to Justice articles.

Does a diverse bench really matter?
It has been said that justice is blind, and for the legal profession, that is the hope and the ideal that we believe in. Unfortunately, in reality “justice” has many factors that influence outcomes, and the lack of diversity on the bench can lead to unjust results.
New game lets players train AI to spot legal issues
Got a free minute? There’s a new game that will help train an artificial intelligence model to spot legal issues and help close the access-to-justice gap.
DoNotPay app aims to help users sue anyone in small claims court—without a lawyer
Updated: A new update to an existing chatbot app promises to allow users to "sue anyone in small claims court for up to $25,000 without the help of a lawyer," though early users warn of technical bugs and legal and ethical concerns.
Have an innovative idea to serve community legal needs? This ABE grant program could be for you
Applications are open for the American Bar Endowment's Opportunity Grant Program, which gives one-time monetary awards to innovative legal services or research programs offered by nonprofit groups. Previous Opportunity Grant awardees include Kentucky's Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, which used the money to buy a Mercedes Sprinter van outfitted with a mobile law office, and the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which started a medical-legal partnership embedded in a diagnostic clinic for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Access-to-justice work earns MacArthur ‘genius grant’ for American Bar Foundation faculty fellow
American Bar Foundation faculty fellow Rebecca Sandefur has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for 2018 for her work "promoting a new, evidence-based approach to increasing access to civil justice for low-income communities."
Let’s trash ‘data dump’ litigation ploys

Lawyers become their own worst enemies when they abandon reasonable discovery compromise to chase the ever-elusive smoking gun. A second misconception that has to go is that only the manual review of produced documents will suffice.

Atlanta pro bono program expands to resolve elementary school students’ housing issues
The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation addressed issues in an apartment complex where evictions are routine and black mold is rampant.
Legal aid program in Oklahoma is dedicated to representing moms in trouble
Still She Rises seeks to address criminalization and incarceration of women in Oklahoma, focusing on helping indigent mothers in northern Tulsa, a historically impoverished and underresourced community. Still She Rises began taking clients in January 2017 as the first pro bono law office in the country specifically dedicated to representing mothers involved in the criminal justice system.
ABA releases new report on access to justice commissions in the US

Twenty-four years after the founding of the first access to justice commission, the American Bar Association has released a report analyzing the the structure, activity, staffing and funding in 40…

Can licensed legal paraprofessionals narrow the access-to-justice gap?
Proposals for addressing the commonplace civil legal needs of low- and moderate-income persons by authorizing limited practice by licensed nonlawyer paraprofessionals have been gaining acceptance. Unlike paralegals, such paraprofessionals provide services without supervision by an attorney. Two state supreme courts have embraced the licensed legal technician concept, and other jurisdictions are closely studying it.
Firms provide pro bono assistance to Kansas City communities
Adopt-a-Neighborhood was conceived as a way to use pro bono work to support economic development in Kansas City’s eastside neighborhoods, where homes sit vacant and most residents qualify for Legal Aid’s help.
Billie Tarascio: Her law firm is her lab
Billie Tarascio is experimenting on her law firm for the profession’s greater good.
Miguel Willis: Bringing law to the last frontier
Miguel Willis is only 29, and he’s already created his own job—twice.
Michele Mirto: Stepping up A2J while cutting cost
Michele Mirto’s commitment to access to justice started as a little girl. Her parents drove home the importance of community involvement by leading their kids to donate to the food bank and homeless shelter.
Lisa Colpoys: Forming new futures in law

Legal technology suits Lisa Colpoys because “there’s always something new and shiny,” says the Chicago attorney who recently left a legal aid career to help build the boot camp for the Institute for the Future of Law Practice.

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