At the end of November 2014, I published a short survey on this site, asking respondents to weigh in on the ‘Access to Justice movement’ (if we can speak of one at all, as if it were a cohesive thing). I’ve published some of their responses in an earlier post, and here is another visual of responses — this time on the topic of what’s going wrong with Access to Justice work.

Respondents are discussing mostly the US & Canadian contexts. I’ve pulled out some of the themes that emerged from the quotes.

Access to Justice - What's going wrong with the legal services movement

To repeat these themes here, as pain points for future design & development work to focus on:

  1. Regulation chills experimentation & new efforts.
  2. A lack of scaling of good solutions — and a lack of central leadership to push & spread good ideas, practices, tech.
  3. Mis-framing of what the targets for work should be — aiming either too blue-sky (not viable or feasible) or too small-scale (looking at band-aid solutions rather than true resolutions)
  4. Lack of user-centered projects. The people creating and implementing new ideas for access are not tied into the end-users (the lay people who need more access). The stakeholders who are involved in what new projects are piloted & supported are motivated so much by self-interest that they aren’t delivering the right kind of solutions.
  5. Lack of public engagement. The end-users aren’t involved in the movement (or even very aware of it).

This shortlist can be used in future design workshops & hackathons — a hitlist for us to target as we work to make a proper, robust, impactful Access to Justice movement.

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