Read here for updates about justice, civil legal aid, and the Arkansas IOLTA program.
The Justice Report                            October 2016
Celebrate Pro Bono Week - October 23-29: The Court Said So

Arkansas is joining states around the country in celebrating the essential role that legal aid lawyers and pro bono volunteers in ensuring justice for all Arkansans, not just those who can afford it.

Hundreds of Arkansas lawyers give of their time each year to help domestic violence victims, veterans struggling to readjust to civilian life, children in need of stable homes or special education, and families who would otherwise have nowhere to turn.

In a per curiam opinion issued earlier this month, the Arkansas Supreme Court joined the American Bar Association in designating October 23-29, 2016, as Pro Bono Week in Arkansas.

Events for the week include an expungement clinic, the launch of AR Free Legal Answers, and our signature " Just Jeans" casual Friday. For a complete list of events and information about how you can participate, click here.
Pro Bono In Your PJs? Volunteer for Virtual Legal Advice Project Today

Arkansas lawyers now have a unique opportunity to give back while fulfilling the ethical obligation to perform at least fifty hours of pro bono service each year: with the launch of AR Free Legal Answers, you can sign up to answer online questions from low-income, elderly, and disabled Arkansans about non-criminal legal issues.

As a volunteer attorney, you can select which questions you will answer. You will remain anonymous to clients, who will only see "Volunteer Attorney." You will be covered by the program's malpractice insurance and have access to hundreds of advocate resources on the topics covered.

AR Free Legal Answers is administered by Arkansas Access to Justice as part of the American Bar Association's Free Legal Answers project. The site is now open for attorney volunteer sign-ups and will be available for client sign-ups later this month. For more information, check out the project FAQs and our attorney sign-up page.  
Rock Your 'Just Jeans" on Friday, October 28   

Join us in raising awareness of the importance of civil legal aid and pro bono service by participating in 'Just Jeans' during National Pro Bono Week. Register here by October 21 to receive stickers for you or your office, then wear your jeans and make a minimum $5 contribution on or before Friday, October 29.

Elder Abuse, Criminalization of Poverty Among Topics at Legal Aid Conference 

More than 85 legal aid advocates from around the state gathered last week in Little Rock for three days of specialized training on legal issues that vulnerable Arkansans frequently face and innovative solutions for addressing such problems. Participants heard about strategies for decriminalizing poverty, interventions in cases of elder abuse, and the impact of medical-legal partnerships on health outcomes.

The Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas also honored Cory Crawford, Kevin De Liban, Brenda Dokes, Teresa Franklin, Kathy Grady, Barbara Griffin,Bonnye Griffin, Jennifer Liguori, Lynne Pence, Yevonne Presley, and Jennifer Stone for their years of service dedicated to advancing the cause of justice for all Arkansans.

Click here to view the Conference photo gallery.
Arkansas Access to Justice Commission Welcomes New Staff

Jordan Rogers  began work last month as the new Program Coordinator for Arkansas Access to Justice. His work at the Commission is focused on promoting awareness and use of limited scope representation, providing resources to encourage attorneys to practice in rural Arkansas, and increasing participation in the pro bono and modest means panels of Arkansas's legal aid providers. Jordan is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and previously worked as a Justice for Arkansans Legal Fellow with the Center for Arkansas Legal Services.

Sarah Purtill
joins us for one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. In that role, she will develop a template for a statewide civil legal needs assessment, evaluate the effectiveness of current legal interventions, and assist in developing a statewide plan for for strategic allocation of legal aid and related justice interventions. She is a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut and will be attending law school next fall.

Are You a Member of the 6.1 Society?

Think for a minute about the things we spend $25, $50, or even $100 on each month.  For the same investment, you can cover what it costs for legal aid to ensure justice for a client. Attorneys who give also fulfill part of their professional responsibility outlined in Arkansas Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1 .

You can support the Campaign for Legal Aid with monthly gifts directly from your bank account, credit card, or debit card. Monthly giving eliminates the need for writing checks and stamping envelopes. Your gift can be adjusted at any time.

Members of the 6.1 Society represent hope for Arkansas families by providing sustained support for the work that legal aid does to ensure fairness and access for all.

To join, simply visit our donate page and select our monthly giving option. When you sign up, you will receive our 6.1 Society decal so that you can proudly show your support for legal aid.
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