Justice Needs and Satisfaction in the United States of America 2021 Legal problems in daily life

This report, produced by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) and HiiL, provides nationwide data from the United States on the justice needs that Americans experience every day. It also discusses how people in the United States resolve their justice needs, as well as what is working and what isn’t, to inform and help target reform efforts.

Among some of the report's findings are:

  • Access to justice is a broad societal problem—66% of the population experienced at least one legal issue in the past four years, with just 49% of those problems having been completely resolved.
  • While low-income Americans are a particularly vulnerable population, this study shows that the need for fair resolution of legal problems is experienced universally across different groups of the population.
  • The effects of the justice crisis are not equally distributed. Certain socio-demographic and racial/ethnic groups are particularly disadvantaged in terms of access to justice. The following groups stand out as most vulnerable: lower income, women, multiracial and Black Americans, younger and middle-aged, and those living in urban and rural environments.
  • The most common negative consequences endured by Americans were negative emotions, negative impact on mental health, loss of money, loss of time, and negative impact on financial well-being.