Access to Justice

231 ABA Journal Access to Justice articles.

Afternoon Briefs: 3 online law schools get state accreditation; cop immobilization maneuver can be fatal

3 fully online law schools get California accreditation

On Friday, California accreditation was given to three online law schools—the Concord Law School at Purdue University Global, the Northwestern California University…

Do you have an idea for an access-to-justice project? ABE is offering grants

Kentucky’s Legal Aid of the Bluegrass bought a Mercedes Sprinter van outfitted with a mobile law office. Iowa Legal Aid opened its state’s first medical-legal partnership in a…

Utah embraces nonlawyer ownership of law firms as part of broad access-to-justice reforms

The Utah Supreme Court has unanimously approved a slate of reforms that allow for nonlawyer ownership or investment in law firms and permit current legal services providers to try new ways of serving clients during a two-year pilot period.

Federal judiciary wrongly used PACER fees for unrelated projects, Federal Circuit rules
The federal judiciary wrongly used PACER fees for unrelated projects such as courtroom technology, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Thursday.
Should there be an Aspen Dental equivalent for lawyers? Task force backs rule changes
"Antiquated" legal ethics rules are interfering with access to justice and a more sustainable legal profession, according to a bar association task force.
The civil justice system: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—but is it broke?

Is the civil justice system broken? Given the extra time many of us have on our hands these days, compliments of COVID-19, lawyer Marcel Strigberger has come across some articles commenting on the problems of access to justice.

San Diego lawyers create new pro bono program amid COVID-19 crisis

While courthouses were closed because of COVID-19, members of San Diego’s legal community developed a new program designed to help parties tackle their civil disputes for free outside the court system.

Legal reform advocates need to more actively engage the public

Supporters of broad reforms to how the legal profession is regulated must do a better job involving the public, says the former longtime executive director of the Washington State Bar.

BigLaw firms and legal clinics join ACLU in initiative to stop racism in policing
Large law firms and legal clinics are partnering with the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana in its campaign "to dismantle racially discriminatory policing practices."
Another state cancels its July and September bar exams because of COVID-19 concerns
In light of COVID-19 concerns, Kentucky canceled on Thursday its July and September bar exams, which would have been in-person tests. The state now plans to use the National Conference of Bar Examiners remote test, which is scheduled for early October.
How the Washington Supreme Court’s LLLT program met its demise

The state supreme court’s Limited License Legal Technicians initiative won over the state bar’s board of governors, as the panel unanimously approved a resolution indicating its strong endorsement of the rule. But in a stark 180-degree turn, the limited license program rapidly lost the support of the bar’s board and the court as the makeup of both bodies changed.

Do police union contracts inhibit reform?

Few, if any, unions have as much power in bargaining for discipline, internal investigation stipulations and conditions of employment as police do, say labor lawyers interviewed by the ABA Journal. And although complaints about police union contracts are not new, the criticisms have amplified since May, following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Small businesses have COVID-19 questions, and the legal profession is working to answer them

Small businesses are struggling. It’s been more than three months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to shut down, send their employees home and get by on little-to-no income. “I think a lot of people, even as many big law firms and others put out webinars, still have questions that are personal to their organization and their business,” says Lana Kleiman.

New York court system’s admin board lifts ban on law firm trade names
The New York court system’s administrative board has lifted the ban on law firms advertising their services under trade or domain names.
ABA commission gets behind movement to open homeless courts across the country

When asked about the importance of homeless courts, Jeff Yungman’s thoughts go to a sick man who was living in the woods and panhandling on the streets. He received several citations for blocking the sidewalk, which came with fines and fees he would never be able to pay. “Having people like him, we can see why the homeless court is needed and why he probably still would be in the woods if there hadn’t been some intervention for him,” Yungman says.

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