Center for Access to Justice
The Center for Access to Justice was founded in 2016 to support those working to ensure meaningful access to the courts and equal treatment in the civil and criminal justice systems, with a regional focus on the South. To that end, we convene stakeholders, engage in research and public education, and train the next generation of lawyers to serve the public interest.
- Collaboration. The center serves as a convening space within the university context to explore existing obstacles to access to justice and discuss strategies for lasting change. To that end, we organize interdisciplinary workshops for faculty and graduate students; co-sponsor CLE programs for practitioners; host guest lecturers, including academics, policymakers, and lawyers; and collaborate with other departments, universities, and research centers to promote access to justice.
- Research. The center also conducts and facilitates research to help identify and better understand the difficulties individuals face in navigating the justice system. For example, the center worked with the Sociology and Criminal Justice & Criminology departments at Georgia State and public defender offices in Fulton and DeKalb counties to study the civil legal needs of indigent criminal defendants. Read more about our current projects on our Research page.
- Education. The center is a hub for students interested in pursuing public interest or pro bono work, either during or after their time in law school. Law students may enroll in the Public Interest Law and Policy Certificate Program, designed to give students the training and legal knowledge necessary to serve traditionally underrepresented individuals, communities and interests. The center also houses an award-winning student-run Pro Bono Program, which connects law students with volunteer legal opportunities and facilitates Alternative Spring Break, week-long trips during which students are immersed in a substantive legal issue while engage in related pro bono service. The Center for Access to Justice is building a community at Georgia State to support student contributions to access to justice and encourage students to maintain a commitment to access to justice throughout their professional careers.