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Rebecca L. Sandefur


Rebecca L. Sandefur joined the ABF in September 2010 to lead the Foundation's new access to justice research initiative. Her research has two strands: one focuses on inequality and civil justice and the other focuses on lawyers' work and careers. A nationally and internationally recognized expert on legal professions, access to justice and public experience with civil justice problems, she is a frequent speaker at scholarly conferences and meetings of practitioners. Her scholarship has appeared in numerous edited volumes and law reviews as well as outlets such as American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, and Law and Society Review. She is the editor of the multidisciplinary volume Access to Justice (Emerald/JAI Press, 2009) and an author of Urban Lawyers: The New Social Structure of the Bar (with John P. Heinz, Robert L. Nelson and Edward O. Laumann, University of Chicago Press, 2005). She has served in elected governance positions with the American Sociological Association, the Law and Society Association, and the Pacific Sociological Association, as well as on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Sociology, Law and Social Inquiry and Law and Society Review. Her public service includes work on the Right to Counsel Committee of the California Access to Justice Commission and on the Research Advisory Board of the Civil Right to Counsel Leadership and Support Initiative. Before joining the American Bar Foundation, Sandefur served on the faculty of Stanford University for nine years after receiving her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago. In addition to being Senior Research Social Scientist at the ABF, she is Consulting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stanford University.

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