Justice Futures

Around the world, 5 billion people live outside the protection of the law. In the United States, this includes the tens of millions of people annually who confront civil justice issues that threaten their ability to have a safe place to live, earn a dignified living, and to care for the people who depend on them. Justice Futures seeks to imagine and make real more just and accessible legal pathways for everyday Americans: grandparents raising their grandchildren, trying to figure out how to get them on health insurance and enrolled in school, people living in unsafe and unhealthy rental housing, trying to figure out how to get the rats out and the hot water in, and entire communities whose land, water, and clean air are threatened.

Most people will get no help with these justice issues from anyone with legal expertise. In most cases, Americans handle potentially life-altering civil justice issues on their own. Not with the help of a lawyer, but with the support of family or friends, or by reaching out to religious or community groups. This happens not just because lawyers are expensive, but because people don’t have access to the information and support they need to recognize their problems as legal and explore just solutions.

Through original research, public engagement, conferences, and workshops, the Justice Futures project endeavors to develop evidence-based solutions that empower people to use their own laws and realize more just and sustainable futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.



2024 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

Global Access to Justice Reception

Saturday, June 8, 2024
Denver, CO

Access to Justice and the Future of Justice Work Conference

Wednesday, February 28 - Friday, March 1, 2024
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Access to Civil Justice, Regulatory Reform, and Just Solutions

February 17-18, 2022
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Global Indigenous Access to Justice conference

February 1-3, 2023
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ


Matthew Burnett is a collaborator on Michele Statz’s project, Bridging the Rural Justice Gap: Innovating & Scaling Up Civil Access to Justice in Alaska. National Science Foundation (Grant Number: 2228588).

Teufel, James, William Pelletiers, and Michael Gallo. "Intersection of Health and Civil Justice in the United States: Health Harming Sociolegal Needs." In APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo (Nov. 2-Nov. 6). APHA, 2019.

Pelletiers, William, James Teufel, and Michael Gallo. "Rule of Law Predicts Global Health Outcomes." In APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo (Nov. 2-Nov. 6). APHA, 2019.


Matthew Burnett and Rebecca L. Sandefur. 2022. “Designing Just Solutions at Scale: Lawyerless Legal Services and Evidence-Based Regulation.” Revista Direito Público 19(102): 104-119.

Rebecca L. Sandefur and Emily Denne. 2022.  "Access to Justice and Legal Services Regulatory Reform." Annual Review of Law and Social Science 18.

Matthew Burnett and Pascal Soboll. 2021. Making the Law Work for People: A Handbook on Legal Empowerment and Inclusive Innovation. Open Society Foundations.

Rebecca L. Sandefur, Thomas M. Clarke, and James Teufel. 2021. "Seconds to Impact?: Regulatory Reform, New Kinds of Legal Services, and Increased Access to Justice." Law and Contemporary Problems 84(3): 69-80.

Rebecca L. Sandefur and James Teufel. 2020. "Assessing America's Access to Civil Justice Crisis." UC Irvine L. Rev. 11

Rebecca L. Sandefur. 2020.  "Legal Advice From Nonlawyers: Consumer Demand, Provider Quality, and Public Harms." Stan. JCR & CL 16