New York Justice for All Grant Recipient
In November 2016, New York was awarded a grant under the Justice for All Project. The grants support each state awardee in forming partnerships with all relevant stakeholders in the civil justice community and to develop state assessments and strategic action plans to implement Resolution 5. Resolution 5, passed by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators, supports the goal of 100 percent access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs and urges the National Center for State Courts as well as other national organizations to develop tools and provided assistance to states in achieving the goal of 100 percent access through a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services. Furthermore, the project seeks to enhance the commitment of the states to reimagine how to work across organizational boundaries and optimize resources to advance access to justice for all.
On December 22, 2017, New York completed its Justice For All Strategic Plan and now looks forward to the implementation phase of the Initiative. To assess its justice needs, New York created an Access to Justice Commission with members appointed by the Chief Judge of the New York Unified Court System. The group conducted “listening sessions” in four parts of the state and then convened a statewide stakeholder conference. New York plans reforms in several areas. The state will develop technology to coordinate and simply access to legal resources, and it will expand self-help centers statewide and online through CourtHelp. New York will develop new educational requirements for judges to learn about cultural competence, implicit bias, and the impact of poverty. The state will focus on translating court materials and forms into “plain language,” and it will also recruit more court interpreters and translate more resources into Spanish. The state will encourage legal aid groups to bring more impact litigation for large-scale resolution of legal issues. New York will encourage more limited scope representation through training for attorneys and judges, as well as encourage more pro bono representation.
This project is supported by the Public Welfare Foundation and housed at the National Center for State Courts.