University of Denver

National Self-Represented Litigants Project Announces Launch of Access Revolution Blog

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) recently announced the launch of their rebranded blog, “The Access Revolution Blog: Dispatches from the Frontlines.” The NSRLP is an organization whose core work is to advocate for better and deeper understanding of the needs, motivations, and challenges of self-represented litigants (SRLs), and this new blog is an effort to create a “collaboration between self-represented litigants and justice professionals in a very real and direct way.” The rebranding came in part from the success of their October 2018 Dialogue Event, which brought together SRLs and members of the legal profession, including IAALS, who are actively working to improve access to justice.

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The goal of the blog is to serve as a collaborative platform, breaking down the disconnect between users of the court and legal stakeholders, and to offer practical solutions to address the access to justice problem in Canada. The NSRLP hopes to create a space where SRLs and legal stakeholders can connect with each other to discuss issues with the court system by posting pieces written by SRLs, members of the public, and justice system professionals, allowing for a balanced discussion with multiple perspectives. Submissions are open to anyone and the blog will be overseen by a steering committee made up of legal professionals, SRLs, authors, and members of the NSRLP staff.

The Access Revolution Blog is an important step forward in connecting court users with court administrators. Ensuring that these two groups engage in a constructive dialogue is imperative when it comes to truly improving the court system. IAALS is also a proponent of this approach, having hosting five legal design sprint workshops across the country focused on incorporating feedback from both SRLS and court stakeholders. We also recently released Listen > Learn > Lead, a practical “how to” guide for developing user-centered reforms through these interactive design sprint workshops. In order to refine court process that will have the greatest positive impact on the court user, we must work alongside the court users themselves.