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Article Title

Don't Go It Alone

Abstract

Civil legal challenges cut across an astonishing range of headline-making social issues. And so, while it is possible to make a compelling case for “access to justice” without tying it to issues of inequality, mobility, race, and equity, that is no way to build or ally with a movement. Access to justice should not just be about “justice” in a narrow legalistic sense, but in the way that the broader world understands it and people feel it, driven by imperatives such as: expanding opportunities for underserved populations; creating legal systems that protect the most vulnerable; and building institutions and structures that are fair and work for everyone regardless of race, class, or gender. Indeed, some of the field’s most promising innovations emerge from a “justice” framework that explicitly connects civil legal aid to other sectors and movements, and to other barriers faced by low-income Americans rather than trying to go it alone.

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