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The American Bar Foundation Welcomes New Cohort of Access to Justice Faculty Scholars

May 5, 2021, Press releases

CHICAGO, May 05, 2021- The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 cohort of ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars. The incoming group will bring innovative research to help advance access to civil justice.

This year’s cohort features seven scholars from diverse disciplines selected by an Advisory Council from a highly qualified pool of applicants. The scholars’ work explores critical questions about access to justice for underrepresented groups, including issues such as digital exclusion and bias in virtual court proceedings, the impact of court-ordered debt on access to basics of life such as housing, and rural access to justice.

“The ABF is proud to welcome our next cohort of access to justice scholars,” said ABF Executive Director Ajay K. Mehrotra. “We are grateful to The JPB Foundation for supporting an important anti-poverty program that serves as a platform for access to justice scholars nationwide.”

The ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program promotes the next generation of scholars leading the field of access to civil justice and grows the human infrastructure of this burgeoning field. The program brings together cohorts of faculty scholars from across the nation to support research, provide mentorship, and build intellectual relationships. Each cohort serves a 15-month term. By facilitating the translation of research into practice, the program endeavors to generate more effective approaches to access to justice that combat poverty and improve justice for all. 

“Like the first group of scholars, this second group is extraordinary, conducting rigorous research on issues critical to the lives of individuals, families and communities. Their work is at the leading edge of a growing field that produces knowledge that shapes both practice and policy,” said program director Rebecca Sandefur, an ABF Faculty Fellow and Arizona State University Professor.

Learn about the 2021-2022 Access to Justice Scholars:

Robin Bartram (Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tulane University) will study homeowners at risk of displacement, how they understand justice and injustice, and how this serves as key to their ability to access justice.

Brittany Friedman (Incoming Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California) will research the civil justice crises behind the relationship between legal representation, pay-to-stay policies in prisons and jails, and civil recoupment strategies and how these contribute to socioeconomic inequality.

Shannon Gleeson (Professor of Labor Relations, Law, and History at Cornell University ILR School) will examine the impact of immigration status on worker precarity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and amid racial inequality.

Karin D. Martin (Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance) will investigate how amnesty for unpaid court-ordered debt affects subsequent housing insecurity.

Victor Quintanilla (Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Affiliated Professor of the IU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences) will examine access to justice for unrepresented persons in virtual court proceedings, particularly the structural, technological, and psychological challenges people face.

Michele Statz (Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Affiliated Faculty at the Law School) will research how socio-spatial dimensions of rural jurisdictions influence access to justice, rights mobilization, and the work of tribal and state courts in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Nicole Summers (Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School)  will study the legal pathways by which eviction filings result in actual evictions. 

About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world’s leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.

 About The JPB Foundation

The JPB Foundation is a private foundation whose mission is to advance opportunity in the United States through transformational initiatives that empower those living in poverty, enrich and sustain our environment, and enable pioneering medical research.  

 Find Media Contact and a PDF of the Press Release here.

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