National Center for Access to Justice

The National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ) uses data, research, policy analysis and advocacy to expose how the justice system fails to stand up for equal justice and, all too often, functions as a source of oppression. Our work is rooted in the principle that all people should enjoy access to justice, which we describe as the meaningful opportunity to be heard, secure one’s rights and obtain the law’s protection. Our current projects include the following:

The Justice Index – Relying on data and rankings to prompt adoption of best policies for access to justice (Overview, here).

    • Event, Justice Index Attorney Count with Q&A, describing NCAJ’s research project to count all the civil legal aid organizations in the US and all of their attorneys (2019)
    • Video, ABA Pro Bono Publico Award, telling the story of the Justice Index on the occasion of the ABA’s award to NCAJ’s team of law firms, law schools, and corporate counsel (2017)

Fines & Fees Project – Building a consensus on best policies for reducing reliance on fines and fees to fund government, and expanding the Justice Index to replicate those policies in all states.

    • Project Description, describing the work ahead and inviting stakeholders to offer feedback on provisional best policies (2019)

New Models, Including New Roles for Non-lawyers – Enabling residents of vulnerable communities to secure legal advice from non-lawyers (including neighbors, social workers, and others) by adjusting scope of “unauthorized practice of law rules.”

Tracking Outcomes: A Guide for Civil Legal Aid Providers & Funders – Using data to track effects of civil legal aid in people’s lives.

AtJ Scholars Project – Gathering researchers (with NSF support) from across disciplines to build civil justice research.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 – Implementing in the US the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda which calls on all countries to use data to expand access to justice.

A2J Initiative at Fordham Law School – Putting access to justice at the center of legal education.

Overview Materials: