Access to Justice

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Oxford University Press, USA, Sep 23, 2004 - Political Science - 272 pages
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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 them.

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Contents

The Inadequacy of Legal Assistance
11
An Agenda for Reform
19
Argument by Anecdote
26
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

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 book.

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