The Hidden Crisis in Civil Legal Services
The national crisis in civil legal services facing poor and low-income Americans was the focus of this panel discussion featuring authors of essays in “Access to Justice”, the Winter 2019 issue of Dædalus. Topics for discussion and featured in the issue of Dædalus included the challenges of providing quality legal assistance to more people, the social and economic costs of an often unresponsive legal system, and opportunities for improvement offered by new technologies and professional innovations.
The introduction to the issue, coauthored by John G. Levi (who offered the welcoming remarks) and David M. Rubenstein, begins:
Emblazoned on the facade of the United States Supreme Court building are four simple words intended to embody the overriding principle of the U.S. legal system: EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW. Yet after more than 225 years, the nation still has not developed the means to fulfill this principle.
The essays written by other speakers, in a conversation moderated by Judge Diane Wood, are:
- How Rising Income Inequality Threatens Access to the Legal System by Robert H. Frank
- The Twilight Zone by Nathan Hecht
- The Public’s Unmet Need for Legal Services & What Law Schools Can Do about It by Andrew M. Perlman
- Access to What? by Rebecca Sandefur
- The Role of the Legal Services Corporation in Improving Access to Justice by James J. Sandman
All of the essays in the “Access to Justice” issue of Dædalus are online.