Williamsburg, Va. (March 24, 2014) – Richard Zorza, an access to justice national expert, is the recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest awards presented by the organization. The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of NCSC.
“Richard Zorza has been an invaluable asset to NCSC with his consulting work in the area of access to justice, especially for self-represented litigants.” NCSC President Mary McQueen said. “He is a tireless advocate for the Center on Court Access to Justice for All. Richard’s passion in this field has helped bring experts together who have successfully improved awareness of the importance of equality in law.”
Throughout his career, Zorza has been a leader in getting information to the court community through a variety of formats, including issue briefs, webinars, updated curriculum modules and presentations to court constituents. In 2011, he created the blog Access to Justice, which is designed for members of the court community to discuss new ideas focused on access to justice. He also has provided individualized technical assistance to numerous courts and assisted in identifying the appropriate expert or existing program to provide additional hands-on technical assistance to courts in need of additional assistance.
Zorza established the National Self-Represented Litigation Network and coordinated the National Judicial Conference on Self-Represented Litigation at Harvard Law School in November 2007. Zorza also helped to develop Washington State’s Access to Justice Technology Principles and has acted as a consultant to the Harvard Law School Bellow-Sacks Project on the Future of Access to Civil Justice.
Zorza recently was recognized by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators for his work with the National Self-Represented Litigation Network. “Richard Zorza has been prolific in his production of influential scholarly articles, ground-breaking education curricula, innovative protocols and toolkits, and has served as the foremost ambassador and crusader for the cause of self represented litigants in the United States,” the resolution says.
The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.