Community Outreach Programs
Rural Courts

Rural Courts Course -Civil Justice in Rural Communities: The Role of Courts in Reducing the Justice Gap

Civil Justice in Rural Communities: The Role of Courts in Reducing the Justice Gap. This course serves to enhance judges’ and other court staff’s awareness of the issues affecting rural civil courts and the Americans seeking justice within them.

This is a multidimensional issue since eight (8) million people living in rural areas have household incomes below 125% of the poverty threshold. Civil court does not guarantee a right to an attorney and rural areas have become legal deserts with no attorneys located within many, sometimes hundreds of miles of these communities. Rural areas also rarely have legal aid resources to assist citizens, forcing them to “go it alone” because they are unable to afford legal counsel.

This course explores actions that will potentially narrow the gap for our citizens living in rural areas and accessing civil courts and include case studies to illustrate their effectiveness.  The course is broken into 14 chapters with a short quiz after each chapter to help students assess understanding of the presented concepts.  Each chapter takes approximately 6-8 minutes to complete.  Students do not need to complete all chapters of the course in one-sitting.  Enrollment through the NAWJ Thinkific learning system is free and required for students to access the course.

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