Skip to Main Content

Lawyer as Public Citizen: Access to Justice

Law 492



Writing Experience (WE)



This seminar examines the “justice gap” between legal resources for the poor and their unmet need for legal services. It reviews the history of legal aid, first as charity and then under the Office of Economic Opportunity culminating in the Legal Services Corporation Act. Students will explore the development of poverty law as a result of expanded access to the courts for the poor, legislative initiatives that have enlarged or constricted access, efforts to close the “justice gap” including pro se and pro bono developments, and international human rights standards on the topic. Students will work on case modules in order to explore the consequences of the “justice gap.” They will observe court proceedings, draft pro se forms, pleadings, and litigation plans in order to learn practical skills and to consider the obstacles facing unrepresented litigants. Students will also complete a legislative drafting exercise relevant to the issues of access to justice. Speakers from the courts will review the assigned counsel system, and bar association representatives will discuss support for small and solo practitioners, and pro bono activity of small and large firms.

Intended for all 2Ls and for 3Ls. The course will complement clinics, professional responsibility, trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, evidence, civil rights, and legislative advocacy.

D. Weissman

Go to Top of Page
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.