Taking Stock of the Civil Legal Aid Movement in 2015: The Year the Pieces Came Together to Increase Access to Justice in the United States

By: David Udell. Published by: National Center for Access to Justice. Published on: December 31, 2015

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While the crisis in access to civil justice and the failings of the U.S. criminal justice system gained greater media attention in 2015, the civil legal aid reform movement was also strengthened in certain areas during this year. This outline of leading civil legal aid reform initiatives in the U.S. serves to take stock of the movement in 2015, and project its course in 2016.

This document outlines civil legal aid reform initiatives that occurred in the United States in 2015, including the following:

  • A section on Models for Civil Legal Aid details the Civil Right to Counsel Movement and the push to to establish a civil right to counsel for low-income people. It also provides information on new models of pro bono service, and Legal Education Reform.
  • A section on Indexing, Research & the Global Access to Justice Movement provides information on the U.S. Justice Index and its use of data to track and promote the adoption of best practices for access to justice in the states. Additionally, it presents the websites for several research resources.
  • The final section, Coordination and Funding, mentions the several organizations dedicated to increasing funding to civil legal aid including: Access to Justice Commissions, Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA), and the Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (LAIR).


Categories: Legal Aid Practitioners, National, Policymakers and Funders, Researchers and Academics

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