The July 4th holiday was a timely reminder that our
nation’s founding proposition is one of equality and our guiding pledge promises
justice for all. But we still have far
to go towards these ideals, as this year’s events have wrenchingly shown. The pandemic, economic dislocation, and nationwide
protests against racism should serve as clarion calls for recommitting
ourselves to building a justice system that ensures accountability and applies
our laws equally and fairly to everyone.
Such a system would earn the public’s trust and promote the
health of our democracy. This is why IAALS’
Public Trust and Confidence project is
more important than ever. The project’s findings released last week—which are a
culmination of two years of research—illustrate that people share common goals for our courts
and justice system. They want courts that protect individuals and communities,
maintain the rule of law, and provide justice without prejudice. Our full
findings offer an important look into public perceptions and insights into how
public trust can be earned and maintained. The project is one way that IAALS keeps working to promote justice we can believe in.
Scott Bales, Executive Director July 2020
New Report on Public Trust and Confidence in the Legal System:IAALS has released a new report that reveals valuable insights into how the public views court systems and processes, judges and the judiciary, and information about the legal system. Public trust and confidence in the American legal system is too low, as evidenced by studies and polling done by IAALS and others over the last several decades; this new report set out to uncover the why behind this reality.
Regulatory Reform and Racial Justice: Unauthorized practice of law rules grant lawyers a monopoly on providing legal advice and prevent “nonlawyers” from providing any meaningful legal assistance. The mindset codified in these rules, along with our country’s staggering racial wealth gap, have a chilling effect on Black Americans' access to the legal system.
Online Dispute Resolution's Role in a Post-Pandemic World: Courts are faced with the task of balancing the public’s need for an efficient justice system with everyone’s health and safety during the pandemic. Online dispute resolution, along with a host of other approaches, will likely play a role in tackling the post-pandemic demand for legal services.
My Experience on the Long and Winding Road to Civil Justice: IAALS Senior Director Lynnea Louison shares her recent experience with the civil justice system, including the numerous roadblocks she encountered along the way. "Through it all, though, my journey through the system has given me a more personal perspective on the importance of our work at IAALS and helping the real users of our system—like me—have better and more efficient access to justice."
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Eighteen Ways Courts Should Use Technology to Better Serve Their Customers cited in the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice's request for proposals for their 2020–2021 Online Dispute Resolution Program