AJS played a very major role in moving forward a broad view of access to justice. They published the first national materials on self-represented litigants, organized the critical 1999 Scottsdale Arizona Conference on the self-represented, and put together a number ot regional conferences. Kate Sampson, their now retired SRL leader, “got” this issue long before almost anyone else. The AJS magazine Judicature, has carried many articles on access to justice, and their Center on Judicial Ethics has been a leader in promoting changes in the Model Code of Judicial Conduct, particularly with respect to SRL issue. Fortunately, the Center, run by Cindy Gray, will now be part of the National Center for State Courts. Cindy has long been an expert to whom I have always known I could turn.
What is particularly sad is that AJS was one of the very few organizations promoting a general view of justice, rather than the perspective of particular stakeholders – valuable as that is too.
Lets hope others also step up to this important plate.