The mission of the Colorado Access to Justice Commission is to expand access, quality, and fairness in the justice system for all Coloradans.
Who We Are
The Commission is made up of twenty people appointed by organizations committed to the integrity and accessibility of our civil justice system, including the Supreme Court, the Bar Association, Colorado's statewide legal aid program, and the political branches.
What We Do
The Commission executes its mission by advocating for and supporting policy changes that help Coloradans resolve their legal issues, whether they are representing themselves or being represented by paid or volunteer professionals. This includes promotion and support of pro bono programming and legal clinics across the state. The Commission serves as a convener of organizations working on access to justice issues, including legal aid providers, law schools, and the Justice Department, so efforts are strategic and coordinated across sectors and across the state. The Commission also work to increase funding for legal aid, and to advance technological solutions like virtual court appearances, self help Apps and web-based plain language resources.
The barriers Coloradans face in accessing the civil justice system are continuously evolving. To ensure its work is relevant and meaningful, the ATJC unites stakeholders 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 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 our central objectives is to increase 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.