ABA Journal

Access to Justice

263 ABA Journal Access to Justice articles.

Success of ABA Day 2021 is a blueprint for year-round advocacy

On April 20 and 21, thousands joined the American Bar Association online during its annual advocacy event, ABA Day, to discuss the need for robust legal aid funding and increased judicial security.

ABA president, other leaders will volunteer for Free Legal Answers

ABA President Patricia Lee Refo will join other leaders from the ABA in volunteering for ABA Free Legal Answers, a virtual legal advice clinic that allows income-eligible users to ask volunteer attorneys civil legal questions.

New PBS documentary shows how one man’s legacy changed the trajectory of American race relations

Individuals and companies reach out to me regularly regarding their new law-related TV projects. Recently, I received an email regarding the new PBS documentary The Blinding of Isaac Woodard, which first aired March 30. I was sent a link to a press preview that gave access to the production prior to its release.

Increasing revenue while cutting down on billable hours? ‘AI for Lawyers’ says it’s possible

As the founders of a company that provides AI-powered contract analysis software, Kira Systems' Noah Waisberg and Alexander Hudek are used to facing skepticism, fear and doubt from attorneys. Will AI steal their jobs? Would using it violate ethics rules? How can it be good for a business model that relies on the billable hour to cut down on the amount of time that it takes to review a contract?

Artificial intelligence has made great inroads, but hasn’t yet increased access to civil justice

With AI using data to improve customer experience in other industries—from banking and retail to consumer electronics and transportation—can it enhance access to justice in civil court?

Several states consider lowering cut scores on bar exam, making it easier to pass

Rhode Island has followed California’s lead in lowering the bar exam cut score to make the test easier to pass, a step that several other states are also considering.

Falling behind on rent could mean jail time in one state, but that could change

Only Arkansas permits criminal consequences for nonpayment of rent—and it has enforced the law during the pandemic. Now, after ProPublica investigated the practice, some legislators want to revoke the statute.

First law firm owned entirely by nonlawyers opens in Utah

Law on Call—touted as the first entirely nonlawyer owned law firm in the United States—is open for business in Utah. Law on Call is operating as a result of legal reforms approved by the Utah Supreme Court in August 2020.

Permitting alternative business structures could spur tech innovation, Arizona justice says

Arizona is hopeful that its decision to permit alternative business structures in the law will produce greater technological innovation within the legal industry, said Arizona Supreme Court Vice Chief Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer during the ABA Techshow 2021 on Monday.

ABA becomes plaintiff in lawsuit over treatment of children affected by remain-in-Mexico program

The ABA’s immigration project in Texas has joined a lawsuit alleging that unaccompanied children affected by the Trump administration’s remain-in-Mexico program are being denied basic legal rights.

Alternative legal service providers continue to increase their market share, survey finds

Alternative legal service providers continue to make significant inroads in the legal industry, growing their global market share to $13.9 billion by the end of 2019, according to a new study released Wednesday.

Judge admits she presided in court while ineligible to practice law

A part-time municipal judge in New Jersey has acknowledged that she presided in trials and represented clients while ineligible to practice law.

New York may license social workers to handle some legal tasks

The New York state courts’ Working Group on Regulatory Innovation has unanimously recommended the state create a program to train and license social workers to provide limited legal services for clients.

Annual ABE grant program supports 15 ‘boots-on-the-ground’ projects

Survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking. Residents at risk of losing their homes. Immigrants and asylum-seekers who rely on legal representation. All three of these groups are among those supported by the American Bar Endowment’s Opportunity Grant Program, which announced Monday that it will provide more than $275,000 to 15 “new, innovative, boots-on-the-ground" projects that address the urgent legal needs of underserved communities.

Courts attempt to balance innovation with access in remote proceedings

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the judiciary was slow to innovate and resistant to virtual proceedings. Now courts are using every tool at their disposal, balancing safety with the need to keep the wheels of justice spinning.

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