NCAJ and Equal Justice Works submit Comments urging ABA to modify its law school accreditation standards to specify the number of hours of pro bono service for law students to perform

The ABA is weighing a comprehensive proposal to change the Accreditation Standards for American law schools. The proposal, developed during an administrative process conducted by the ABA over the past several years, touches on many important aspects of legal education and law school accreditation, including pro bono service, experiential learning credit requirements, and law professors’ tenure. … Continue reading

Amount a key source of funding for civil legal aid in MA fell since 2008: 78%; Increase in families eligible for civil legal aid during that period: 13%

According to, “Hundreds of lawyers, judges and advocates packed the State House on Wednesday, asking lawmakers to match Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to fund legal aid by $15.5 million in the 2014 state budget.  Advocates say income from a key legal aid funding source, the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, has dropped by 78% … Continue reading

Grade the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty gives the US for access to counsel in housing cases: F

In its 2012 Human Right to Housing Report Card, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty notes that in the US, “no court anywhere as of yet has recognized a right to counsel in housing matters such as evictions and foreclosures,” even though, according to the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human … Continue reading

100 Days Promoting Access to Justice

On November 4, DOJ’s Senior Counsel for Access to Justice Karen Lash issued a challenge to advocates and academics gathered at the University of Colorado Law School:  report to me in 100 days about what you have done to advance access to the justice system.  Here is how the National Center for Access to Justice … Continue reading

DOJ to Courts: Evaluate Your Foreclosure Mediation Programs

 A new Department of Justice report urges courts to examine the effects of foreclosure mediation programs.  As the report documents, courts have implemented mediation programs to try to deal with the flood of foreclosure filings over the past few years.  The formats vary widely:  some are voluntary, while others are mandatory; some operate before a … Continue reading

Turner v. Rogers, Decided and Blogged

The Supreme Court on June 20, 2011 declined to find a categorical federal constitutional right to counsel for persons facing prison for  willful refusal to pay child support in proceedings initiated by an unrepresented spouse. The decision explicitly leaves open the question of whether counsel will be required in civil contempt or other categories of … Continue reading

Turner v. Rogers Project, Symposium on Concurring Opinions

No one knows what the Supreme Court will do in Turner v. Rogers, but its decision is likely to shape our understanding of access to justice going forward. The issue before the Court is whether an indigent person has a constitutional right to counsel in a civil contempt proceeding that could lead to incarceration for … Continue reading

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