On partnering with the state library system to provide access to the interactive software:
We’ve, with a grant from the Legal Services Corporation, developed an interactive software program that sort of asks common sense questions that a self-represented litigant can answer and have that program generate forms for them which then work in our court system.
I think the librarians, this is what they do, they reach out to people, they give them information about issues they are not familiar with and it’s a perfect match for us because we have information to share. We have services that are available, and we need to get the word out to people about what those services are.
The Legal Services Corporation has long been in the forefront of efforts to secure access to legal services, and to make that now possible, it also needs to be in the forefront of demanding access to qualified non-lawyer providers.
I think we could help close the income inequality gap if we were to do something about the legal access gap.
[On developing metrics to gage the effectiveness of efforts to bridge the legal access gap]:
We need something that is relatively simple, that people can understand, that can say yes it’s getting better or no it’s not getting better. And we need some way to come up with a quotient that’s not unlike GDP that people can quickly grasp: yes, the access to the legal system is falling or getting better because of so many hours have been provided to people who need it, or by other measurements that people can come up with. But without a short, simple metric, I don’t think people, outside of the community that cares about this, will really feel we’ve made progress or we’re not making progress.
Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald
Hawaii Supreme Court