The National Center for Access to Justice is dedicated to achieving reform that helps people obtain justice in the courts.
We rely on our system of justice to halt domestic violence, stop unlawful foreclosures, preserve the unity of families, secure wages owed to employees, and in certain circumstances to stop or reverse unfair criminal proceedings.
But, too often, people are unable to obtain a legal representative, understand the proceedings against them, and secure a just result. In civil cases, 80% of the legal needs of the poor are unmet. In criminal cases, people are promised counsel if they are unable to afford a lawyer, but only the poorest obtain it, often it is late, and its quality is often impaired.
Justice is among our society’s most profound ideals. Access to justice is the right to be heard. It means that people can learn about and protect their rights through a neutral and nondiscriminatory process that determines the facts, applies the fair rule of law, and enforces the result.
In the Justice Index, www.justiceindex.org, NCAJ is using cutting edge data analytics to help replicate best practices for access to justice in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and (soon) Puerto Rico. In other work, NCAJ is doing research on new models of legal assistance, including models for service delivery by “non-lawyers” and is also working to strengthen law student pro bono service.
We hope you will learn more about NCAJ’s mission and activities, and join us in supporting NCAJ’s work to increase access to justice.