Academic journal article The American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Equal Access to Justice for All

Academic journal article The American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Equal Access to Justice for All

Article excerpt

Larry and I worked together as volunteer members of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services for a number of years. The Pro Bono Committee was charged with the responsibility, among others, of documenting the pro bono legal assistance being undertaken across the Commonwealth as well as seeking to promote and increase the delivery of pro bono legal services. I continue to serve on the Committee.

Every year, my program (the New Center for Legal Advocacy), a provider of free legal assistance to poor and low-income persons, receives between 2,500 and 3,000 applications from eligible individuals seeking legal representation. Our staff attorneys cannot possibly meet this demand--which is a fraction of the overall demand for legal aid statewide. The help we receive from private attorneys is critical to providing meaningful access to justice.

This is where Larry came in--his commitment to justice and, more importantly regarding his work with me and the Pro Bono Committee, his passion for equal access to justice.

It is not enough to say that all citizens have access to the courts and are free to represent themselves. Without counsel, one is left with questionable "access" and certainly not meaningful access to justice. …

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