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UH Law Center Professor Knake Jefferson offers a blueprint for increasing legal access for all in new book

Book cover

Jan. 22, 2024 – University of Houston Law Center Professor Renee Knake Jefferson presents a practical plan for providing legal help to anyone, regardless of financial resources, in “Law Democratized: A Blueprint for Solving the Justice Crisis” (NYU Press).  In the book, Jefferson aims to educate the public about how to determine whether they can solve legal issues on their own or when to hire a lawyer.

According to the American Bar Association, 55 million people in the United States face legal problems, often without lawyers. This book offers a series of recommendations inspired by legal success stories from around the globe. “Law Democratized” builds on over a decade of research around innovation in legal services, outlining different paths pursued by bar associations, courts, entrepreneurs, law schools, nonprofits, and others, evaluating the promise and pitfalls of each.

Jefferson analyzes regulatory reforms employed in other nations, along with emerging efforts in a handful of U.S. states.

“Law Democratized” makes the argument for transforming the American legal landscape through engaged citizenship, ethical innovation, expanded education, and regulatory reform, to democratize law and make legal help more accessible.

Deborah Enix-Ross, Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association, hails the book as “a masterpiece of thoroughly researched observations and practical advice on how to bridge the justice gap in the United States.” David Luban, a Distinguished University Professor at Georgetown Law, describes it as “superb” and “the best book on access to justice in many years.”

Jefferson is the Joanne and Larry Doherty Chair in Legal Ethics at the University of Houston Law Center, and she is the author of the “Legal Ethics Roundup” weekly newsletter.

To learn more about “Law Democratized,” click here.

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