Read here for updates about justice, civil legal aid, and the Arkansas IOLTA program.
The Justice Report                              July 2016
Arkansas Adopts Ethics Rules on Unbundling Legal Services

In May, Arkansas Supreme Court adopted proposed changes to the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct, clarifying the responsibilities of attorneys who offer services on a limited scope basis. 

Also known as "unbundled" or "a la carte" legal services, limited scope representation offers an affordable alternative to clients without the money to pay for traditional full-service representation, opens up new business opportunities for lawyers, and facilitates greater efficiency in the court system.

To read the full order regarding limited scope legal services, click here .   Sample notices referenced by the new rules can be found on the Commission's  Attorney Resource Page . More resources, including a limited scope representation toolkit, will be available soon.
2016 EJ Distinguished Service Award by ABA
Coulter Honored With 2016 Equal Justice Distinguished Service Award

Former Arkansas Access to Justice Commissioner and Foundation Board Member Nate Coulter was honored at the June 2016 Arkansas Bar Annual Meeting with the Equal Justice Distinguished Service Award.

Over the course of his career, Coulter has played a major role in shaping the access-to-justice movement in Arkansas. In 2000, he convened and invited leaders in the Arkansas bar, bench, law schools, and other stakeholders to speak at the first symposium on the legal needs of low-income Arkansans and access to justice in Arkansas. This event ultimately led to the creation of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. 

Click here to read more about Coulter and the award.
2016 Annual Report Cover
2015 Justice Partners Report Released

Did you know that nearly two-thirds of adults have experienced a civil legal problem in the past 18 months, but only 14% made their way to a court, a lawyer, or legal aid? Or that Arkansas pro bono attorneys donated more than $1.2 million worth of services to legal aid clients last year? To learn more about challenges our state faces when it comes to access to justice and what we are doing to help, check out our newly-released  2015 Annual Justice Partners Report.

This report details how your volunteer service and financial support through the Campaign for Legal Aid ensures that thousands of vulnerable Arkansans have equal access to justice each year. Thank you for helping us represent hope for Arkansas families.
Is Your IOLTA Account at a Preferred Bank?   

If you are an Arkansas attorney with an IOLTA account, one simple way for you to support justice is to bank with one of the IOLTA Program's Preferred Banks. Preferred Banks are financial institutions that waive fees and pay competitive interest rates, generating more funding to support grants for legal aid. By banking with a Preferred Bank--or by encouraging your financial institution to join--you can help ensure that domestic violence victims, veterans, families in need of economic security, and children with special education needs have equal access to the justice system. 

For a full list of preferred and participating banks, click here.
Legal Aid 'Modest Means' Program Connects Lawyers to Reduced-Fee Pro Bono Clients

Arkansas has taken a novel approach to addressing the unmet legal needs of clients who make too much money to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to pay full price for an attorney. In April 2015, Legal Aid of Arkansas announced the formation of its Modest Means Panel. Sometimes known as "low bono," services provided through the Panel are provided on a sliding-scale fee based on the client's income.  Cases accepted through the Panel--even though paid--qualify as pro bono hours for purposes of Arkansas Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1

You can read more about the Modest Means Panel here, or contact Stephanie Blahut if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.

Job Postings & Announcements
The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission is seeking a Program Coordinator to lead implementation of its programs to increase access to justice for persons of limited and modest means, including those who are not eligible for legal aid and are unable to obtain full-service private representation.

The Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation has issued a Request for Proposals from investment firms to manage a $4 million portfolio of funds designated for grants to legal aid. The deadline for responses is July 8, 2016. More information, including a link to the RFP, can be found here.

The Center for Arkansas Legal Services is accepting applications for a Justice Technology Specialist. Legal Aid of Arkansas is seeking applicants for AmeriCorps and VISTA positions; a Staff Attorney Position in its Springdale office; and a Chief Financial Officer. Click here for position descriptions and information about how to apply.

Interested in taking a pro bono case? Check out the latest Pro Bono Case Alerts.
About Us
The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission works to ensure justice for all by researching the unmet civil legal needs of Arkansans, making recommendations to policymakers for evidence-based solutions, encouraging attorneys to do volunteer work for families who cannot afford to pay. Further, we strive to educate the public about the importance of justice for all. 

Our sister nonprofit organization, Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation, manages the state's Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts Program and coordinates an annual statewide Campaign for Legal Aid. We in turn distribute grants with the funds raised to the Center for Arkansas Legal Services (CALS) and Legal Aid of Arkansas (LAA). Together, the organizations represent more than 13,000 Arkansans annually.

Arkansas Access to Justice | 1300 W. 6th St., Room 110 | Little Rock, AR 72201 | (501) 492-7175