Grading Basis: Graded
This course explores the access to justice movement in the United States and examines the history, policies, and laws related to access to the courts and legal services. The course will consider the reasons why access to civil and criminal courts is limited, including difficulties in using legal services, lack of resources, lack of awareness of legal rights, language, poverty, and others. The course will survey the various ways limited access has been addressed and identify ongoing gaps to access. Topics will include the history of the right to counsel and the provision of legal services to the poor, innovations in legal services, self-represented litigants and courts, access to information, the role of technology in access to justice, and restorative justice. The course will include court observations and guest speakers from legal services organizations, policy organizations, and the courts. Students will be evaluated on a course paper and short response papers.