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Access to Justice


In-depth looks into topics relevant to you. Find all of the Access to Justice Committee’s articles in this archive.


Trial Lawyers: The Palladium of Access to Justice
By Paul Mark Sandler – July 23, 2021
The women of ancient Rome have much to teach us about the importance of courage when facing fearful odds.

A Mediation Story about Access to Justice
By John M. Barkett – July 23, 2021
A personal tale shows the good things that can happen when we make an effort to provide justice for all.

A Toolbox for Mediation with LGBTQIA+ Litigants
By Emory S. Robertson and Shelly L. Skeen – July 23, 2021
While some members of the LGBTQIA+ community are willing to litigate matters in open court, others opt to forgo the legal system altogether because the risks are simply too great.

John Minor Wisdom Award Given to Two Extraordinarily Deserving Recipients
By Hon. Nancy Atlas – July 23, 2021
Recipients of the Wisdom Awards have made outstanding contributions to the quality of justice in their communities.

Limited-Scope Representation: Preparing for the COVID-19 Influx of Cases
By Dalton Courson – March 25, 2021
There is great potential that courts will be overwhelmed with eviction and foreclosure matters.

Confronting Mounting Case Backlogs Using Creative Strategies and Virtual Jury Trial Technology
By Mitchell A. Chester – March 25, 2021
Now is a good time to ponder the ethical implications of failing to include virtual jury trials and other creative strategies in the list of powerful advocacy and case management tools available as the pandemic rages on.

Summit Panel Recap: Practical Tips for Post-Pandemic Trials—Hybrid Jury Trials
By Benjamin Perkel – March 25, 2021
While civil jury trials are likely to proceed primarily virtually in the imminent future due to public health concerns, it is anticipated that a hybrid jury trial model will take their place as 2021 proceeds.


State-by-State Information on COVID-19 Issues
By Access to Justice Committee – May 21, 2020
Access-to-justice commissions and related developments.

Can’t Pay Your Rent Because Of Coronavirus? This Chat Bot Connects You With An Attorney For Free Legal Advice
By Pascal Sobino – May 6, 2020
The AI-powered "Rentervention" can create customized legal letters for those facing eviction and connect renters with pro bono attorneys.

Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti Announces LA Represents: Pro Bono Legal Services Available to all Angelenos affected by COVID-19 Pandemic
By Betti Halsell – May 6, 2020
Mayor Eric Garcetti provided news surrounding the recovery stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Coronavirus: Homeless Community Adverse Impact from Eviction and Lack of Safe Housing
By Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice – April 10, 2020
How can legal advocates adequately address needs during a time when the health dangers to people experiencing homelessness have never been higher?


Political Unrest, Violence Have Forced Millions to Migrate and Seek Protection of the Rule of Law
By Amanda Robert – November 1, 2019
When countries lack the capacity to stop violence and corruption, and their legal and law enforcement systems lack the ability to hold perpetrators responsible, their people often have no other choice but to seek protection elsewhere.

ABA Works to Increase Access to Justice for Victims
By ABA News – October 21, 2019
As part of National Domestic Violence Month, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence (CDSV) is focusing attention on its work to increase access to justice for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking by training lawyers to assist victims.

Whose Court Is This Anyway?
By Lorelei Laird – April 1, 2019
Immigration judges accuse executive branch of politicizing their courts.

Low-Income Populations: Underrepresented Socially, Overrepresented as Victims of Natural Disasters
By Erin Capps, Jo Ann Howard, Chhunny Chhean, John Marshall, and Edward A. Thomas – March 20, 2019
A follow up on two ABA sponsored presentations describes how all of us, especially the legal community, can help reduce disaster risks for all members of society, especially those most vulnerable to disasters who are too often hit first and hardest and recover last, if at all.

Mass Shootings Prompt Bar Associations to Offer Pro Bono Services to Survivors and Victims' Families
By Angela Morris – March 1, 2019
A wide array of legal issues arise for survivors and victims’ family members in the wake of mass shootings.


Exemplary Defense: A Study of Three Groundbreaking Projects in Public Defense
By Malia N. Brink – October 1, 2018
A report that provides details on three Exemplary Defense Projects and identifies key elements critical to their success.

The Supreme Court's Assault on Civil Rights and Access to Justice
By Kristen Galles – September 26, 2018
Examining Gonzaga, McCleskey, Gebser, and other lesser-known cases that reflect the Supreme Court’s assault on civil rights and access to justice.

Addressing the Access to Justice Crisis in Rural America
By Robin Runge – September 26, 2018
There are very few attorneys providing legal services in rural communities, and their numbers are dwindling.

There Is No Justice as Long as Millions Lack Meaningful Access To It
By Robert J. Grey Jr. – August 30, 2018
We are not keeping full faith with a founding principle of our country.

Access to Justice Commissions: Increasing Effectiveness Through Adequate Staffing and Funding
By Mary Lavery Flynn – August 1, 2018
We are not keeping full faith with a founding principle of our country.


Roe Revitalized: The Supreme Court Sharpens "Undue Burden" Analysis
By Brandon Robb – July 15, 2016
Casey's "undue burden" standard has been enhanced, clarified, and given new energy, and the right to choose has been reaffirmed for the foreseeable future.

OFCCP Issues First Updates to Sex Discrimination Guidelines Since 1970
By David Gevertz – July 5, 2016
The updates address compensation discrimination, harassment, accommodations for pregnant workers, gender-identity bias, and family caregiving responsibilities, and more.

Transgender Rights Litigation Moves Through Fourth Circuit
By Nancy C. Marcus – June 6, 2016
The issue has found footing in the Fourth Circuit, particularly in the context of the right of transgender individuals to use the facilities that correspond with their gender identities.

Supreme Court Clarifies a "Legal Twilight Zone" in Excessive Force Claims
By Sarah E. Ricks – March 23, 2016
The Court adopts objective reasonableness as the Fourteenth Amendment standard.

Are Courts Viewing Pretextual Searches and "Good-Faith" Exceptions More Skeptically?
By David Schoen – March 16, 2016
Recent cases give reason for hope.

Reed v. Town of Gilbert: Upholding the Free Speech Ideals of the First Amendment
By Anannya Tripathy – January 29, 2016
A Supreme Court decision on sign regulations extends to panhandling controls.

With Liberty and Justice—For Some
By Kyle Z. Varga – January 29, 2016
A look at the troubling statistics of, and possible solutions to, the nation's growing justice gap.

Karsjens v. Jesson as Ordered: Liberty, Politics, and the Unpopular
By Mária Zulick Nucci – January 29, 2016
The efforts to correct the long-standing constitutional infirmities of the MCTA and MSOP, as found by the court, will continue.

Volcanic Justice: Procedural Due Process for Mauna a Wakea
By Mária Zulick Nucci – January 29, 2016
Issuing a permit to construct a telescope on Mauna Kea, without a requested contested case hearing, violated procedural due process.


"Remove That Rag!" and Other Humiliations of Religious Minorities in the Courthouse
By Gurjot Kaur - January 27, 2015
The First Amendment rights of an individual do not evaporate at the courthouse door.

Justice, Faith, and Jefferson: Neighborly Breaks in That Separation Wall
By Maria Zulick Nucci - January 27, 2015
President Jefferson did not advocate absolute removal of faith from the public sphere but the proper relationships of law, government, and faith inter se.

Yale Law School Veterans Clinic Advocates for Marginalized Veteran Populations
By Michael Wishnie - January 27, 2015
The work of the clinic has brought veterans' rights out of the shadows in Connecticut.

2014: Noteworthy Cases in Review
By Stella Kim - January 27, 2015
A roundup of some of the year's most important rulings.


The Penn Law Criminal Record Expungement Project
By Molly Kenney, William Moine, Kevin Hoagland-Hanson, Elizabeth Frawley, and Robert Kieffer - July 31, 2014
Helping Philadelphians with criminal records get back to work.

Student Legal Services: An Emerging Provider of Legal Aid on Campus
By Donald C. Heilman - July 31, 2014
SLS programs are providing access to legal assistance and support from the legal profession in ways that did not exist just one generation ago.

Shelby County v. Holder: The Mirror Image of Plessy v. Ferguson
By Danyahel Norris - July 31, 2014
The Supreme Court's decision undermined key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

How Junior Associates Can Make Working for Free Pay Dividends
By Nikaela Jacko Redd - July 31, 2014
There are many noble as well as practical reasons why an attorney may engage in pro bono work.

The Young Lawyer's Guide to Indigent Defense
By Cleveland M. Patterson III - July 31, 2014
A few pointers for young attorneys on how to represent indigent defendants where there is no local public defender's office.

Interview with David Troutt
By Ronald W. Brown - July 31, 2014
The founding director of CLiME and author of The Price of Paradise discusses regional equity.

The Man in the Red Bandana: The Case of Eugene Gilyard
By Charlotte Whitmore and Shaina A. Tyler - April 28, 2014
The Pennsylvania Innocence Project frees a man 15 years after a wrongful conviction.

Reading Aloud to Children and Its Impact on Literacy and Crime
By Andre J. Webb - April 28, 2014
Be the change that our youth need.

Obstacle in Indian Law Reform Addressing Sexual Assault of Women
By Anannya Tripathy - April 28, 2014
India has been ranked the fourth-most dangerous country in the world for women.

Cleared for Takeoff: Disability Rights under the Air Carrier Access Act
By Mária Zulick Nucci - April 28, 2014
People with disabilities have specific rights and recourse, and the ACAA is their copilot.

The 2014 John Minor Wisdom Awards
By Leila Lawrence - April 28, 2014
This year's recipients include Martin Glick and Lisa Wood.


Miracle Drugs Have a Familiar Face
By Lydia Cipriani - October 23, 2013
Food and nutrition make a tremendous difference in health-care costs.

Book Review: Gospel Justice
By Jonathan J. Tofilon - October 23, 2013
A successful lawyer gives up everything to fight for access to justice.

Justice for the Poor: More Than Duty, It's Opportunity!
By Bruce D. Strom - October 23, 2013
Legal aid is an area where all faiths and those of no faith can come together to strengthen communities.

The Aftermath of Steubenville: Implications for Future Juvenile Cases
By Anannya Tripathy - October 23, 2013
There is currently no global procedure in the United States for determining whether a juvenile offender is eligible for a transfer into adult court.

Tuition Equality: The Ongoing Battle for the Right to Higher Education
By Mollie Berkowitz - October 23, 2013
The majority of state legislatures have remained silent on the issue.