Building a culture of trust is an intentional act that benefits members, family, and community.
“Just as health is not found primarily in hospitals or knowledge in schools, so justice is not primarily to be found in official justice-dispensing institutions. Ultimately, access to justice is not just a matter of bringing cases to a font of official justice, but of enhancing the justice quality of the relations and transactions in which people are engaged.
-Marc Galanter, (Justice in Many Rooms)
To ensure access to justice in equitable and civil matters for New Yorkers of all incomes, backgrounds and special needs, by using every resource, including self-help services, pro se programs, and technological tools, and by securing stable and adequate non- profit and government funding for civil and equitable legal services.
Finding long-term solutions to chronic lack of civil legal assistance for people of low- income and modest means in New York including finding a permanent public funding stream for civil legal services.
Improving and increasing the availability of civil action representation to people praying charges.
Gathering and reviewing statewide data on legal and cultural services delivery and needs towards increasing and improving civil and equitable legal assistance.
Coordinating efforts between courts, legal aid organizations and other legal and non-legal organizations, administrative agencies and lawmaking bodies to expand access to justice.
Analyzing, recommending and promoting proposed legislation, court rules, codes of conduct, policies and systemic changes that will open greater access to the courts.
Analyzing and addressing the collateral consequences of criminal convictions.
Fostering the development of new low-income and modest means income pro se programs
and supporting and improving the quality of existing pro bono programs both court-based and outside the court, using lawyers, law students and other professionals.
Testing and developing delivery of legal assistance models both court-based and non- court- based, including limited scope representation delivery systems to improve and increase availability of assistance.
Expanding access to justice for unrepresented litigants by increasing the availability of self- help tools using a variety of methods including, but not limited to, technology, plain language forms and signs, and informational materials.
Providing culturally competent access to justice for litigants of diverse backgrounds and vernaculars.
Addressing access to justice for individuals with special needs or social services needs by expanding social work and social services out the court system.
Providing more opportunities for justice via community empowerment using outreach, education and training of government officials and offices, neighborhood agencies and community members.
Fostering awareness of the needs of unrepresented litigants and litigants of diverse backgrounds and special needs and insuring high quality service by both judicial and non- judicial personnel via education, training and literature.
Legal information institutions and law libraries have a keen interest in and a duty to promote access to justice in the various law libraries in which we occupy, be they academic, firm, state, court and county, or special. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to provide self-represented litigants with needed information and assistance and provide referrals to legal and equitable resources in the community. It is important to distinguish between providing information and engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, however, e.g., giving legal advice. It is also important to maintain impartiality and neutrality.
Access to justice includes affordable equitable legal services; readily available legal information and forms; the ability to bring a case to trial without hiring an attorney; the unbundling of legal services; fair treatment and equality in the justice system regardless of social standing; and confidence that the outcome will be fair and just. It is all these things and more.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
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