The ABF Access to Justice Research Initiative Hosts Research Conference with Wayne State University Law School

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) Access to Justice Research Initiative is a dynamic hub for innovative empirical research and programs that bridge the divide between access to civil justice scholarship and practice in the United States and around the world.

In an effort to critically examine how empirical research might provide answers to the access to civil justice crisis, the Access to Justice Research Initiative and Wayne State University Law School co-hosted a conference on May 8, 2024 titled, “Emerging Insights from Access to Justice Research: Translating Ideas into Action” at Wayne State’s campus in Detroit. This conference featured presentations from 14 past and current ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars producing pathbreaking research in the field of access to justice, including Wayne Law Professor Kirsten Matoy Carlson who was also instrumental in hosting the event at Wayne State University.

Wayne Law Dean Richard Bierschbach provides remarks
at the ABF Access to Justice Research Conference.​​​

At the conference, Wayne Law Dean and John W. Reed Professor of Law Richard Bierschbach provided opening remarks to welcome the attendees and a lunchtime discussion about the importance of this vital work. Harold D. Pope,   ABF Board Member and Sustaining Life Fellow, concluded the opening remarks with an introduction to the ABF and its long history of work in this field. He stated, “Access to justice research is an important theme across the ABF’s work, and we want to thank the Access to Justice Research Initiative team for fostering the next generation of scholars in the field.”

Wayne Law Professor and ABF 2023-2024 Access to Justice Scholar Kirsten Carlson presents her research on May 8.

In the day’s first session, panelists presented research rooted in partnerships with legal aid organizations. Wayne Law’s Kirsten Matoy Carlson, a 2023-24 Access to Justice Scholar, presented “Practitioner Initiated Research: Michigan Indian Legal Services,” which studies a Michigan-based legal service organization’s efforts to address the disparity between Native American client needs and traditional legal aid outcomes measurement. In the subsequent sessions throughout the day, panelists explored topics at the intersection of civil and criminal law, presented research projects where data plays a key role in justice outcomes, and explored housing and environmental justice and its intersections with access to justice.

“The Emerging Insights in Access to Justice Research Conference was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the incredibly diverse range of policy-relevant research being generated by both past and current ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars,” said Rebecca Sandefur. “We were thrilled to see such strong interest in access to justice research among practitioners and policymakers in-person and online, and to co-host the conference with Wayne State University School of Law.”

Visit the ABF website for the full story. To view photos of the conference, visit the photo album


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