As has been reported numerous times (even in Arizona Attorney Magazine), access to justice is in a pretty sorry state in Arizona and the United States.
It’s worth noting that the problem extends beyond borders.
Thanks to a lawyer and former State Bar colleague Nedra Brown, I’m reading a report out of the Canadian Bar Association on their own challenges.
Titled “Reaching Equal Justice: An Invitation To Envision and Act,” the 59-page report paints a bleak picture of the country’s legal access situation. Ultimately, though, the report authors provide a solid roadmap that could rectify the situation.
As a news story from Canadian Lawyer Magazine opens:
“The ‘abysmal’ state of access to justice in Canada can be turned around by 2030, according to a Canadian Bar Association report published today. But the report says hitting the deadline will require ‘dramatic’ change, and sets out 31 recommendations for the legal industry, regulators, and government. These include establishing national benchmarks for legal aid coverage, increasing federal justice spending, and drawing up clearer guidelines on alternative billing structures.”
The complete report is here in PDF format. (The “solutions” portion begins on page 15.)
What lessons do you think we can learn here in Arizona? Do attorneys (especially those who have been in the legal access trenches for years) see a similar positive path to a better system for delivering justice?
Do you think a similar Arizona report could cast needed light onto the problem and possible solutions?
Here is a graphic from the excellent report. How do you picture access?