Read what those who have experienced what Access Justice has to offer are saying…
Initially, I was simply amazed by the value of your legal services. After working with you, I realized it is the quality of your services and the kindness of your staff that truly make Access Justice stand out.
- R.P., Former Client
Jim: Thanks for making me feel so comfortable as a person with my situations. Thanks for your advice and your staff is wonderful. May God bless Access Justice.
- Q.T, Former Client
As you know, I am a worker of modest means with a wife and a young adult son who is mentally disabled (autism). Without Access Justice’s help, I would have lost my home to foreclosure in the early part of 2010. AJ battled for us in a way that left no doubt the desire to help the disadvantaged against those who have a larger advantage in today’s world. I will never be able to re-pay or thank AJ enough for the hours of tireless work and the days of consideration to assure us “not to worry, you are NOT going to lose your house,” and the help AJ showed us even after everything was accomplished. Thanks to AJ, my family is still residing in our very modest home (700 total square feet, 2 BR, 1 BATH) in North Minneapolis. Without AJ’s help, we would not be in this home, and we have no idea where we would be at this time. We do know that our world is a better place with AJ in it. The legal community could learn a huge lesson of humility, and the joy of helping others without desire for excessive monetary gain from AJ’s commitment to helping our community.
- M.F. and family, Former AJ Client
Thank you for everything! I never could have done it by myself. I am relieved that my problems are over; and instead of losing all that money, you found a way to make the government help me. My rights were protected, and now I know the legal system can help regular people like me. Your small fee was so worth it.
- H.S., Client of former Access Justice Volunteer Attorney
I was desperate and certain I was going to be in prison in five days for violating the government’s terms of my release last year. I had totally given up on trying to find a quality, affordable, or for that matter any attorney that could help an ordinary person like me. Frankly, I really didn’t think there was one. Four days before my scheduled court date, my father called Access Justice. Unfortunately, in recent years I’ve had to work with attorneys and with the court system on a number of (too many!) issues. Simply, Access Justice is the most effective law firm I’ve been involved with…profit or non-profit. I couldn’t believe that your attorneys helped me not only to avoid a prison sentence upon such short notice, but also to resolve my legal issues. And, incredibly, you did so without any fees to me. I didn’t think it was possible. I am so grateful.
“I only wish the hundreds of thousands….of low-income and disadvantaged people like me could have the privilege of working with Access Justice. Except, I suspect, you’d be overwhelmed with work (unless and until you get some deserved and generous funding)! Someday, soon, I hope you find a way to open offices in California (where I now live)…and all across the country. Your practical and proactive approach to solving problems is wonderful, and should be made available nationwide. I’ll be spreading the word for you. Meantime, thanks again.
- M.S., Former AJ Client
No one would talk to me. For months, I went from one legal services office to another. They kept saying the same things: “we can’t take your case because you don’t have enough resources to see it through,” and “we can’t deal with your legal issue.” Several also told me it was nearly impossible for a single father to be sympathetically treated in our court system these days. I was discouraged to say the least. Then, I called Access Justice. Wow! I hit the jackpot by calling you, and then you shared with me the ways in which we could work together on my immediate problem, without costing me an arm and a leg; and then you began doing so. Now, I hope and expect that I finally will be able to get a fair hearing and obtain full custody of my son. I thank my lucky stars that your firm exists. You showed up just in time. I’ll be telling a lot of people about AJ, so watch out—beef up your staff, quick!
- A. T., Current AJ Client
About Access Justice
We recognize and are pleased with both the compatibility of our organization’s mission with the mission of Access Justice, as well as the mutual benefits that we see from acting in partnership over time. Through our work with you, people in the Somali community finally will be able to get real legal assistance. There is no other firm like Access Justice. We appreciate your willingness to work with the Somali Justice Advocacy center both in partnership and as a guiding force to the thousands of Somali’s who can and will benefit from your legal assistance and counsel.
- Dahir Mirreh Jibreel, Executive Director, The Somali Justice Advocacy Center
You have launched a law firm that has long been needed!
- Deborah Randolph, Retired Minnesota Attorney
As a former state judge, Mayor of St. Paul and Commissioner in Ramsey County I have seen first-hand the unfortunate consequences of the inability of large segments of our community to get the legal assistance they need. This courageous effort to provide quality and affordable legal services for ordinary people of limited means is just what the doctor ordered…I will do all I can to ensure that Access Justice achieves the support and success it deserves…
- The Honorable Lawrence D. Cohen, Former Mayor of St. Paul, MN
I applaud your efforts; a public interest law firm such as Access Justice is so desperately needed. I will share this information with others. I believe they will find this exciting.
- Betsy Sitkoff, J-CHAI Coordinator, Jewish Family and Children’s Services
I came to the law from social work because of my profound belief that, although it wasn’t really true, there should be “justice for all” Finally working for Access Justice, I feel like I am helping to make that ideal a reality.
- Mary, Former Access Justice Volunteer Attorney
Our non-litigious approach solves problems efficiently and saves clients time and money. By staying out of court as much as possible we help clients protect what is rightfully theirs and achieve their goals at minimal cost.
- Elizabeth, Former Access Justice Volunteer Attorney
As discussed, you seem to be attempting something I’ve been thinking (maybe dreaming) about for many years. I read something about your firm in the employment section of the Bench & Bar. I was intrigued by what I read as I have imagined a Firm like this for several years. My expertise has been ERISA (employee benefits, etc.) for 20 years and I have never found a satisfactory place to send employees looking for help.
- Bob Seng, Assistant Counsel, Target Corporation
As a seasoned organizer, I was particularly impressed by the Access Justice attorneys because they came to talk to the Hmong community in order to find out what legal issues we have to deal with. No one has ever done that before; usually we have to search, often in vain, for competent and affordable legal assistance. Your attorneys sat and intently listened to what our community and faith leaders had to say. This proved to us that Access Justice really cares about meeting the needs of our community. Your approach instilled trust among us. We hope and expect to be working closely with you in the months ahead, as we seek meaningful representation for our many legal issues. Thank you very much.
- S.X., Hmong Community Organizer/Administrator
From Our Colleagues
The New York City Bar Report announces a plan to start an organization, one similar to Access Justice,
a pilot project to test a potentially scalable business model intended to deliver high-quality civil legal services to persons who can afford to pay some amount for representation, but who have been unable to access affordable legal services int he past or may be unaware of the benefits of legal representation.” The goal of the pilot will be to demonstrate a “sustainable commercial, but mission-driven, model to address these historically unmet needs while providing solid career opportunities for properly trained and supervised lawyers.
- Connecticut Bar Association Summary of The New York City Bar Report
Mr. Boies said the legal profession needed to find a way to better spread legal resources to improve representation of the interests of individuals and groups who lack the money and power to argue for themselves… “I think one way the legal profession has got to adapt,” he said, “is to serve not just the people who it has largely served excessively, but develop a business model for people who are underserved.”
- Lawyer David Boies, Article By Matthew Goldstein, The New York Times Business
From Our Founder & Executive Director, Jim Cohen
Tens of millions of forgotten Americans–especially low- and moderate-income working families of limited means–still find access to justice an elusive and often hollow process. Quality and affordable legal services are beyond their reach. That can and must change. Our goal and commitment at Access Justice is to play a meaningful part in helping to ensure that such unfairness and disparity is at very least minimized, in Minnesota and eventually nationwide.”
At its most fundamental level, Access Justice is part of a cutting edge, innovative way to achieve economic and social equity for the working poor, especially women and children of color and ethnic minorities who currently constitute the largest majority of our clients. Indeed, addressing poverty and racism are at the heart of our efforts to provide access to the legal system for ordinary working-class people, who have been marginalized to the point where justice for all has become a hollow concept.
Accomplishing this important task involves, frankly, risks and fears. Intrinsically, Access Justice is about, helping to heal the split between love and spirit, between awareness and creativity, between concept and reality—a wide fold of potential for ordinary working class families to finally, and practically, be part of a new paradigm for our legal system.
In pursuing our commitment to bring about greater fairness in our legal system, Access Justice salutes and celebrates the ‘Jewels of Justice’ in our communities: individuals and organizations (often nonprofits) that courageously and humbly demonstrate through their actions, with distinction and dignity, that justice and access to it is, and must be acknowledged as, a constitutional right not reserved just for some, but available to all.
- Jim Cohen, Founder and Executive Director