Big data, technology and unprecedented connectivity provide the legal profession with new avenues for the delivery of legal services. While many assume these tools make justice more accessible, it hasn’t played out that way.
Each year, tens of millions of legal problems arise in low- and moderate-income households. Yet the majority of these problems don’t make it to a lawyer or court.
What role might empirical research play in identifying routes to transformative change around a shared agenda for inclusion, justice and a healthy legal profession? Agreeing that evidence-based methods have a place in improving the justice system is the first step. But when it comes to the details, the pathway is less clear.
About April Faith-Slaker
April Faith-Slaker is the associate director of research innovations at Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab. In this role, she conducts rigorous empirical research on access to justice issues in the criminal and civil arenas.
Prior to the Lab, April served as the director of the Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives at the American Bar Association. At the ABA, she supported the creation and expansion of state access to justice commissions and conducted research on pro bono legal services. Earlier in her career, she served as a program evaluator at Legal Aid of Nebraska, conducted research under a court improvement project at the University of Nebraska’s Center on Children, Families and the Law, and researched the use of the social sciences in the juvenile justice system at Northwestern University. April served as managing editor for the Political and Legal Anthropology Review from 2007-2016.