Focus on addressing service gaps for basic, essential legal services including family law, wills, employment, housing and consumer issues
Develop and expand alternative ways to get legal help including different kinds of professionals, partnerships or ways of doing business
Make legal aid available to more people and for a wider range of legal problems
Emphasize the responsibility of lawyers and paralegals to fill access to justice gaps
Meeting everyone’s legal needs means building on what is already working and expanding and adapting service models to make more legal services available to more people. This includes legal help for the wide range of legal issues that people face in language they understand, to pursue the legal options that work best for them. Meeting legal needs means expanding and innovating legal services while also maintaining existing legal aid and pro bono.
Meeting legal needs also requires finding ways to deliver legal services in different languages, reflecting different approaches to dispute resolution, available across big distances. Technology and creativity are being used to meet the same range of needs in remote and rural communities as in cities. New court-based models and alternatives to litigation are being integrated as dispute resolution options in both cities and small communities.
In 2019, although many legal aid plans grappled with funding cuts, legal aid remained a critical response to the access to justice crisis. Legal aid plans and clinics found creative and effective ways to increase their impact, while law foundations and pro bono lawyers continued to support innovative activities to meet legal needs.
© 2019 Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters