Access to justice, the opportunity to understand the law and obtain its protection, is vitally important. People rely on the justice system to keep their families together, to protect their homes, to retain their savings, to assure their health and safety, and to hold the powerful accountable to the rule of law. The National Center for Access to Justice believes the American justice system must protect people from oppression, even as we recognize that our justice system is commonly viewed by members of vulnerable communities as a source of oppression. NCAJ is relying on data and on advocacy to improve the justice system and to build a more equitable society.
- The Justice Index – Relying on data and rankings to prompt adoption of best policies for access to justice (Overview, here). The Justice Index Attorney Count with Q&A is NCAJ’s national research project in Summer 2019.
- 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 prompt adoption of best fines and fees policies in the states.
- 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 the field of access to 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.
- A2J Summit at Fordham Law School – Convened national leaders to envision a unified civil and criminal justice system reform movement, producing the A2J Summit Collection
- AtJ Scholars Project – Partnering with Rebecca Sandefur and Alyx Mark to convene social scientists from across disciplines to build field of civil justice research,
- Tracking Outcomes: A Guide for Civil Legal Aid Providers & Funders – Authored this instruction on best policies for using data to track access to justice outcomes
- Pro Bono Publico Award – Received this Video and Award from American Bar Association, recognizing creation of the Justice Index by NCAJ with volunteers from corporations, law firms, and law schools.
- Recommended Access to Justice Indicators for Goal 16 in the US – Collected and edited this set of measures for civil justice in the United States through collaborative effort with US DOJ and nonprofit sector
- Where the Civil and Criminal Justice Systems Meet – Hosted panel with chief justices of state courts and leader of National Legal Aid & Defender Association on issues that unify civil and criminal justice systems, see also Building the Justice System Reform Movement on why civil justice system reform is the next front in the movement for criminal justice system reform
Videos, Articles & Transcripts:
- Video, Building the Justice System Reform Movement, IGNITE Talk, Access to Justice Commission Chairs Conference (2019)
- Video, Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Senior Reporter, host of Amicus Podcast, on access to justice, the rule of law, and NCAJ (video and transcript) (2018)
- Video, ABA Pro Bono Publico Award, describing how law firms, law schools, and corporate counsel created the Justice Index
- Video, Op-Ed.TV!, speaking on civil justice reform with Bob Herbert in television interview (2017)
- Video, Moderating Civil Right to Counsel Conversation for New York State Bar Association at Cardozo Law (2017)
- Video, Pro Bono & Professional Development Roundtable, speaking with National Association for Law Placement (2013)
- David Udell Dishes on Growing Access to Justice Research, interviewed in Law360 on civil justice reform, the importance of research, and a new project hosted by National Science Foundation to foster social science research on justice (2019)
- The A2J Summit Essay Collection, writings on the leading edge of the civil justice reform movement, including on why Civil Justice Reform is the Next Front in the criminal justice reform movement (2019).