Justice for All FAQ
1. How did the Justice for All initiative begin?
The Justice for All initiative was launched in response to the 2015 Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) Resolution 5 on Meaningful Access to Justice for All. It was developed within the National Center for State Courts in partnership with the Self-Represented Litigation Network and with funding from the Public Welfare Foundation. The purpose of the JFA initiative is to support efforts by interested states to better understand, adopt and implement initiatives in furtherance of serving all those with legal needs. This work is undertaken with traditional legal stakeholders of the civil justice community and non-traditional community partners. In addition to the Public Welfare Foundation, the initiative has been funded by generous support from The JPB Foundation, Open Society Foundations and The Kresge Foundation.
2. Will there be additional JFA grants beyond the 14 states currently working?
At present, there is not additional funding to support additional states to receive grants to implement the JFA gap analysis and strategic planning. That said, the JFA Guidance Materials are publicly available for all jurisdictions interested in using them. And there is nothing to stop a state, jurisdiction or territory from seeking to find local funding to support its JFA work. The JFA Advisory Committee, NCSC and SRLN stand ready to support and assist any states interested in exploring JFA either on their own or after local funding is identified. If additional national funding becomes available to open new requests for JFA proposals, such information will be shared widely.
3. How can the JFA initiative help my state if we are not a grantee?
The guidance materials, inventory tools, lessons from the field and other resources developed by the Justice for All initiative and its partners are available to any state wishing to advance its work on implementation of meaningful access to justice for all. States can employ these guidelines and tools in their own statewide initiatives. And they can benefit from studying the outcomes and findings from the 14 JFA grantee states, particularly where there are commonalities in regard to demographics, issues of geography and language, and the structure of court and legal services systems.
4. What are the next steps the JFA initiative will be taking?
Through its enhanced website, the JFA initiative is making the materials, tools and lessons more readily available to the access to justice community. As the grantee states make progress and the national partners draft additional white papers and resources leveraging learning across JFA states, the JFA initiative will continue to share lessons learned from the field. Over time, the JFA initiative will develop a series of issue-specific white papers to provide further resource materials and guidance.
5. Who must lead JFA efforts within a jurisdiction? Are all JFA teams structured in the same way?
There is no one organization, association or institution that must lead the JFA initiative. To be successful, it is vital for the state court system, the organized bar, the Access to Justice Commission if one exists, legal services providers and a wide array of community organizations (including libraries, public health providers, human services providers and faith communities) to be involved. Within the 14 states currently engaged in JFA work, the leadership and staffing models vary: leadership and staffing can reside with the courts, the bar and/or the commission.