Toward National Standards for Publicly-Funded Legal Services

Part of the Envisioning Equal Justice Initiative, this discussion paper describes a strategic framework for the access to justice agenda by examining the idea of national standards for publicly funded legal services. Legal aid services are typically categorized by types of legal matters covered, who can access services, and the type and amount of legal assistance provided. This paper considers the value of having national standards and reviews principled policy foundations for these standards. It emphasizes integrating knowledge from research and studies into this foundation and developing standards. The paper concludes with consultation questions to elicit feedback and discussion.