Future Law

Survey: Share Your Experience with the Judicial System During COVID-19

A team of researchers wants to know how COVID-19 has impacted your experience with the judicial system. The COVID-19 and the Courts Survey will examine how the pandemic has affected access to justice and the operation of the courts for attorneys, judges, litigants, court staff, and other members of the community.

The survey, which is being conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of South Carolina, is evaluating two major time periods: March – August 2020 and September 2020 – the present. The National Center for State Courts and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois System are survey co-sponsors.

The researchers seek to learn which changes in court operations during the pandemic worked well and should be kept in place and which didn’t. The results of the study will help plan for future emergencies and provide a basis for thinking about more permanent reforms to how courts work.

“In Illinois and around the country, COVID-19 disrupted court operations and required courts to adopt new procedures if they were to continue to hear and decide cases,” said Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and one of the survey’s lead investigators. “Our survey is designed to make sense of the impact those changes have had and to determine how the pandemic has affected access to justice. Hearing from a wide range of participants in the judicial system will allow us to make concrete recommendations for the future.”

Below are three links for the COVID-19 and the Courts survey, each for a different group of respondents. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous. The links can be shared with colleagues and (where relevant) clients.

If you have questions, please contact Professor Mazzone at mazzonej@illinois.edu or Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson at wils@illinois.edu.

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