Court leaders have announced results of the latest Justice Index, an online, data-intensive ranking survey published this week by the National Center for Access to Justice, which measures the extent to which states have adopted best practices for ensuring access to justice for all. Massachusetts ranks third overall behind Maryland and Washington D.C., and first in the Northeast.
Since the release of the previous Justice Index in 2016, Massachusetts has focused on several efforts to expand access to justice. Recent efforts include:
• Expanding self-help information available on mass.gov/courts and organizing information in a user-friendly format;
• Offering Lawyer for the Day Programs through which lawyers offer basic legal advice and assistance with court matters to self-represented litigants;
• Establishing Zoom Room stations within select courthouses where litigants can use a computer to participate in hearings through videoconference;
• Revising and simplifying court forms using plain language, and posting dozens of translated forms online; • Establishing seven physical Court Service Centers and one virtual Court Service Center accessible statewide to provide legal information to self-represented litigants