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Rebecca Sandefur

Rebecca Sandefur headshot

Faculty Fellow

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  • Chicago, IL 60611
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Joint appointment

Professor, Arizona State University


Ph.D., Sociology University of Chicago

Curriculum vitae


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Rebecca L. Sandefur joined the American Bar Foundation in 2010 to found and lead a new access to justice research initiative. She continues to head up this initiative as Faculty Fellow at the Foundation and also serves on the Sociology and Law faculty of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Professor Sandefur studies access to civil justice from every angle - from how legal…

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Research focus

Access to justice, how legal services are delivered and consumed, how civil legal aid is organized around the nation, the role of pro bono, the efficacy of lawyers and non-lawyers as advocates and representatives, and how ordinary people think about their justice problems and try to solve them


Access to Justice

Since the founding of the American Bar Foundation, ABF scholars have been deeply engaged with fundamental questions of access to justice. Faculty Fellow Rebecca L. Sandefur's research on access to…

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“Paralegals and the Casualisation and De-Professionalization of Lawyers” (Forthcoming)
Lawyers in Society
“Legal Advice from Nonlawyers: Consumer Demand, Provider Quality, and Public Harms”
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
“Lawyers and Access to Justice”
Lawyers in 21st Century Societies (Hart Publishing, 2020)

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Nonlawyer Advocates – How Well Do they Do?
Jun 2013
Pervasive Civil Justice Problems, Why People Lack Aid, What’s Done Without It
Apr 2013
Can Lawyers Afford to Do the Public Justice?
Apr 2013

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Professional Service & Recognition

2018 MacArthur Fellow

2013 The Hague Visiting Chair in the Rule of Law

Collaborator, Cost of Justice Research Alliance, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice  

Sargent Shriver Civil Right to Counsel Evaluation Committee

Member, Research Advisory Board of the Civil Right to Counsel Leadership and Support Initiative


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