Access to Justice

211 ABA Journal Access to Justice articles.

Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and America’s cruel justice equation

“Change must come, not just through outrage but by powerful, countervailing forces. Every state needs strong and enforced hate crime laws, prosecution of police officers who abuse their power, and top-down political resolve that this will not be tolerated,” writes the ABA Journal’s Liane Jackson.

California bar gives approval to broad sandbox proposal
The State Bar of California’s board of trustees approved the most ambitious of three regulatory sandbox proposals to test new and innovative ways of delivering legal services it considered during its meeting Thursday.
Hope for nonprofit law firm model remains despite closing of Open Legal Services

When nonprofit law firm Open Legal Services ceased operating last year, the news sent a shudder through the nonprofit legal world and raised questions about whether the nonprofit model could work for other firms.

Could Zoom jury trials become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic?

Just weeks ago, the idea might have seemed inconceivable. Now, as remote meetings using videoconferencing tools such as Zoom become a regular fixture in courts, some are concerned that virtual trials would deprive defendants of the constitutional right to confront witnesses, an impartial jury, due process of law and effective counsel.

Law firms are seeing major slowdown in business because of COVID-19, data shows
The shock to the global economy stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has produced a 40% drop in the number of new legal matters being opened each week in the U.S. compared to late February, according to cloud-based company Clio’s recent analysis of data from its practice management software.
Want to provide COVID-19 pro bono help? Try this new portal launched by ABA and Paladin
Lawyers who want to provide pro bono help to people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters can sign up at a new pro bono portal launched Thursday.
Out of pace with reality? PACER’s flaws run counter to original purpose of increasing access to law

PACER seems like a simple enough concept: It provides digital access to U.S. appellate, district and bankruptcy records and documents. But the people the ABA Journal spoke with describe PACER as less of a service to citizens and more of a labyrinth that’s not only difficult to navigate but also costly and tedious to even enter.

Utah’s high court proposes nonlawyer ownership of law firms and wide-ranging reforms
The Utah Supreme Court has proposed far-reaching regulatory reforms that would broadly open up the state’s legal marketplace to nonlawyers, including allowing them to own or invest in law firms.
ABE Opportunity Grants support projects focusing on elder law, immigrant rights
For the fourth year in a row, the American Bar Endowment is supporting organizations that focus on addressing the urgent legal needs of underserved communities across the country.
Pandemic power plays: Civil liberties in the time of COVID-19

The power to respond to a public health crisis exists in the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, regulations and case law. But the way they fit together is not always clear, especially in the wake of a modern-day global crisis.

Is my law firm preparing me for success in the next decade?

Every lawyer, from the solo practitioner to lawyers in large international firms, should ask themselves this question, says lawyer Thomas Aertgeerts. For young lawyers and law students, this is even more important.

Boston law school leads initiative to develop mobile court forms during pandemic crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited access to courts across the country, including in Massachusetts.

ABA Young Lawyers Division establishes national hotline for pandemic-related legal services
Updated: The ABA Young Lawyers Division has created a national hotline to connect those needing legal services during the COVID-19 pandemic through its Disaster Legal Services Program.
Legal aid programs likely to be hard hit by drop in IOLTA funds, group warns
The National Association of IOLTA Programs is sounding the alarm about an expected drop in funds from Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts and other sources that support legal aid programs.
Cash-register justice: Fees collected from defendants are funding the system

Proponents of bail bond reform argue that bond retention statutes are unconstitutional, unfairly place the cost of criminal justice on the backs of defendants before they have been convicted of any crime, and result in innocent people pleading guilty, many of them indigent.

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