ABF/JPB Access to Justice Research Initiative Early Career Workshop

The American Bar Foundation’s Access to Justice Research Initiative is a dynamic hub for innovative empirical research and programs that bridge the divide between access to civil justice scholarship, policy, and practice in the United States and around the world. The Research Initiative aims to develop and raise the profile of access to civil justice research, support empirical scholarship that informs fundamental understanding of civil justice, and serve as a resource for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners as they seek to respond to the legal needs of the public today.

More information about the ABF Access to Justice Research Initiative is available here.


The Access to Justice Research Initiative Early Career Workshop, generously supported by the JPB Foundation, invites early stage researchers interested in developing their scholarship in access to civil justice to apply. Program participants will join the ABF/JPB Access to Justice community of scholars, where they will receive opportunities for professional development, mentorship, and scholarly feedback from a community of engaged peers. Participants will take part in monthly virtual meetings with fellow members of their cohort, focused on providing feedback on work shared by members of the group and conversations about relevant professional development topics. Participants will also attend a two-day, in-person preconference and present at the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association in Chicago in June 2025.


Applicants must include:
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A draft abstract (1-2 pages) of the project they intend to workshop and submit for consideration to present at the 2025 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association in Chicago.
  • Early career scholars must submit a letter of endorsement from a department chair or equivalent (no longer than two pages).
  • PhD students must submit a brief statement of support (no longer than one page) from their dissertation advisor or another faculty member in a similar supervisory role. This statement should speak to the project’s potential and the applicant’s suitability for the program.


Participation in the Workshop is open to PhD students and early career scholars in a range of social science disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics, law, political science, psychology, public policy, and related fields. Applicants must be a PhD student or faculty member or researcher (at an academic or research institution) and not have held—nor currently hold—a tenured position or equivalent.
Proposed research projects must:
  • Be empirical.
  • Be about access to civil justice or intersections between civil and criminal access to justice.
  • Explore relationships between access to justice and poverty or inequality in the United States. (Comparative studies between the US and other jurisdictions will also be considered.)

Program Stipend/Benefits

Each scholar selected for the program will receive travel support to Chicago for the in-person workshop and the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association (flight, hotel, transportation, and incidentals), as well as a research stipend of $750.

Application Deadline

August 16, 2024
If you have questions, please email emucha@abfn.org.