What is Access to Justice?
Advocates for Access to Justice work to help all Coloradans equally access the civil justice system regardless of income, age, disability, language, or culture.
Civil Legal Issues
These include issues like eviction, domestic violence, divorce, custody, bankruptcy, immigration, tax controversies, and government benefits like Veterans benefits, disability, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
The Colorado Access to Justice Commission (ATJC)
The ATJC is an independent commission that unites civil justice leaders statewide to drive local and systemic reforms and innovate solutions to inequities in accessing the civil justice system.
The barriers Coloradans face in accessing the civil justice system are continuously evolving. To ensure its work is relevant and meaningful, the ATJC has historically brought stakeholders together through statewide needs assessments to collaboratively plan and strategize.
Technological tools - like virtual proceedings, virtual legal aid clinics, and chatrooms with court staff - have revolutionized the concept of access to civil justice. The ATJC is working to preserve, enhance, and expand advancements like these. It also focuses on innovating new solutions, like court filing systems that help litigants file paperwork online, and web platforms that direct litigants to the services they need.
One of the most obvious challenges to fairness in civil legal matters is the inability to hire a lawyer. One of the ATJC priorities is increasing the number of lawyers that offer free or affordable legal help statewide. The ATJC advocates for funding for legal services, recruits and supports attorneys dedicated to pro bono work, supports legal aid clinics, unbundled legal help, and limited scope representation.
Many legal issues could be resolved without an attorney, but litigants still face barriers in resolving them. The ATJC works closely with the Colorado Courts on initiatives like creating simple and understandable forms, instructions, and procedures, developing a library of easily-accessible online self-help resources, and addressing issues like language, literacy, and public awareness that prevent many litigants from effectively representing themselves.
People with limited English language proficiency are already among the most marginalized populations in Colorado because of the barrier this presents in accessing all services. The ATJC continuously works to improve and increase access to interpreters and translated written materials.
New Hire - Executive Director
March 24, 2021
The Colorado Access to Justice Commission is excited to announce that it has named Elisa Marie Overall, esq. as its first Executive Director.
Listen and Learn Tour
March 11, 2021
Justice Melissa Hart is leading the ATJC's statewide tour to learn from a wide range of community stakeholders, about the barriers they and their clients face in accessing the civil justice system.
We are always seeking new partners, allies and volunteers. We also welcome ideas for increasing our impact on access to justice in Colorado. Please reach out to us at:
1290 Broadway, Ste. 1700
Denver, CO 80203