This is a very major step forward.
On December 7 and 8, in Chicago, the American Bar Foundation, with NSF funding, will be conducting a two day event on research into access to justice. The scheduling is planed to facilitate attendance by those going to the NLADA Conference.
On Friday December 7, in the afternoon, there will be an open event — a poster session and town hall meeting, bringing together researchers and practitioners to explore issues of research into access to justice.
On Saturday Dec 8, there will be an all day invitational meeting to explore the possibilities further and move the agenda ahead.
Moreover, while the Saturday meeting is by invitation, it is possible to apply to be asked. The application to attend is here. The application is due Sept 28, 2012. Additional information is available from A2JWorkshop(at)abfn.org.
This presents an excellent opportunity not only to discuss the range of ideas emerging — randomized research, mapping of capacity, relationship of triage, outcome measures, opportunity that technology offers to provide troves of data, etc, but also to explore how these can be integrated into a comprehensive agenda, and how we might create an institutionalized capacity to explore these questions in a rigorous and coherently funded way.
The participation of NSF represents a fundamental departure and opportunity after literally decades of drought and relative inattention to this area. I look forward to blogging more in the future about this general process — and strongly encourage those interested, practitioners as well as researcher — to apply to attend. It will be very exciting and likely pivotal. Thanks to all those who have been working quietly on this initiative. Reasonable travel and hotel will be covered for those invited to attend.