Access to Justice

Access to Justice

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"Equal Justice Under Law" is one of America's most proudly proclaimed and widely violated legal principles. But it comes nowhere close to describing the legal system in practice. Millions of Americans lack any access to justice, let alone equal access. Worse, the increasing centrality of law in American life and its growing complexity has made access to legal assistance critical for all citizens. Yet according to most estimates about four-fifths of the legal needs of the poor, and two- to three-fifths of the needs of middle-income individuals remain unmet. This book reveals the inequities of legal assistance in America, from the lack of access to educational services and health benefits to gross injustices in the criminal defense system. It proposes a specific agenda for change, offering tangible reforms for coordinating comprehensive systems for the delivery of legal services, maximizing individual's opportunities to represent themselves, and making effective legal services more affordable for all Americans who need more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 134.6 x 221 x 20.3mm | 294.84g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195306481
  • 9780195306484

About Deborah L. Rhode

Deborah L. Rhode is Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and Director of the Stanford Center on Ethics at Stanford University. She has served as president of the Association of American Law Schools, Chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, and senior counsel for the House Judiciary Committee on impeachment issues. She has received the Keck Foundation Award for Distinguished Scholarship on Legal Ethics by the American Bar Foundation as well as the Pro Bono Publico Award from the American Bar Association. This is her twelfth more

Review quote

"Based on decades of study, the book fights myths with facts, and offers a comprehensive look at the haphazard way Americans find help, or fail to, for their most serious legal problems. For anyone who really cares about the American system of justice, this beautifully written book is indispensable."-David Luban, author of Lawyers and Justice "Many critics of American law say the system is in crisis because it is flooded with frivolous claims. Deborah Rhode argues instead that the system is in crisis because it serves too few people, and serves the poorest of them, who are in the worst trouble, badly or not at all. If our society ever decides to make good on its promises of justice, this book will be an admirable manual and guide."- Robert W. Gordon, Yale Law School "Deborah Rhode's Access to Justice offers a devastating and compelling depiction of the illusion of equal justice in the American legal system, not only for the poor, but for most Americans, and outlines a sensible and pragmatic roadmap for making the promise of equal justice for all a reality."-David Cole, author of No Equal Justice "Deborah Rhode has jolted a million lawyers with a wake-up call. She urges them to open the doors to the unmet need for justice by most of the people who cannot afford their services. A challenging book for anyone, not just lawyers and law students, who believes that justice can be done if we have the will to pursue it."-Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate "What makes Ms. Rhode such an effective advocate is not the piercing nature of her salvos-which are lethal-but the abundance of support for her arguments. Access to Justice is thoroughly researched and finely written."-New York Law Journal "Rhode has written an important, thoughtful, and well-argued book."-Law and Politics Book Reviewshow more

Table of contents

1. Equal Justice Under Law: The Gap between Principle and Practice ; 2. Litigation and Its Discontents: Too Much Law for Those Who Can Afford It, Too Little for Everyone Else ; 3. Historical Perspectives: Legal Rights and Social Wrongs ; 4. Access to What? Law without Lawyers and New Models of Legal Assistance ; 5. Locked In and Locked Out: The Legal Needs of Low-Income Communities ; 6. Presumed Guilty: Class Injustice in Criminal Justice ; 7. Pro Bono in Principle and in Practice ; 8. A Roadmap for Reformshow more

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