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National Center for Access to Justice

New York, United States
Joined January 2016
Presence in: United States
Focus: Access to Information, Community / Customary Land Rights, Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Family, Gender-based violence, Generalist Legal Services, Health, Housing & Sanitation, Labor & Employment, Traditional / Customary Justice

The National Center for Access to Justice is dedicated to achieving reform that helps people obtain justice in the courts.

We rely on our system of justice to halt domestic violence, stop unlawful foreclosures, preserve the unity of families, secure the wages owed to employees, and in some circumstances to halt and reverse unfair criminal proceedings.

But, too often, people cannot get into court, obtain interpretation, obtain a legal representative, and secure a just result. In civil cases, 80% of the legal needs of the poor are unmet. In criminal cases, people are entitled to receive free counsel if they cannot afford a lawyer, but only the poorest obtain it, often it is late, and in many communities its quality is impaired.

Justice is among our society’s most profound values. Access to justice means that people can learn their rights and then protect them through a neutral and nondiscriminatory process that determines the facts, applies the fair rule of law, and enforces the result.

NCAJ is relying on data to make the United States justice system more accessible and fair. In its flagship project, the Justice Index, www.justiceindex.org, NCAJ is doing research and using cutting edge data visualization strategies to promote best practices for access to justice in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and (soon) Puerto Rico. In other projects, NCAJ is doing research on new models of legal assistance, including those provided by “non-lawyers” and is also working to strengthen law student pro bono service.

People Associated With This Organization

David Udell

United States  
National Center for Access to Justice
Joined January 2016
Interests: Access to Information, Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Family, Gender-based violence, Generalist Legal Services, Health, Housing & Sanitation, Labor & Employment, Land & Natural Resources, Traditional / Customary Justice
David S. Udell is Executive Director of the National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ) and Visiting Professor from Practice at Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University (NYC). David guides NCAJ’s work to rely on data to enable people to obtain justice in state-based and federal justice systems in the United States. NCAJ's flagship project is The Justice Index, www.justiceindex.org. David was founding director of the Justice Program of the Brennan Center for Justice from September 1997 to August 2010. He served as a Senior Attorney at Legal Services for the Elderly (NYC) and as a Managing Attorney at MFY Legal Services (NYC). He is a 1982 graduate of New York University School of Law.
David Udell is the network champion (main point of contact) for National Center for Access to Justice.

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