Access to Justice

Academic Year

This course will introduce students to the role of lawyers in ensuring access to justice. It will explore the access to justice movement in the United States and examine the history, policies, and laws related to access to the courts and legal systems. The course will consider the reasons why access to civil and criminal courts and other systems is limited, including barriers created by race, gender, poverty, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disabilities. Students will become familiar with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Constitutional requirements with respect to a lawyer's duty to ensure access to justice and the competent representation of clients. Students in this course will be required to participate in 6 hours of pro bono work in one of the law school's various pro bono projects or other off-campus opportunities available (for example, Legal Aid of NENY and The Legal Project).