Access to Justice: Looking Back, Thinking Ahead

This Article seeks to assess our progress and reassess our goals concerning access to justice. It begins in Part I by summarizing the nature of the challenge. Although there is much we do not know about the scope of the problem, the data available suggest a shameful inadequacy of services for the poor and a declining commitment of federal funds to address it. The remainder of the Article explores the most plausible responses. Part II reviews the role of technology, self-help, and nonlawyer services. Part III analyzes the extent of pro bono contributions and what can be done to increase them. Part IV surveys the evolution and contributions of public interest law, and how best to support it. Part V concludes with an agenda for reducing the justice gap. It argues for greater involvement of legal educators and practitioners in expanding understanding of the problem and supporting the most cost-effective solutions.

Citation: Rhode, Deborah and Cummings, Scott L., Access to Justice: Looking Back, Thinking Ahead (September 29, 2017). 30 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 485 (2017); UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-31. Available at SSRN:

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