Dr. Rebecca Sandefur

LSI Committee Member

Dr. Rebecca Sandefur is Professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University and a Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. She also serves on the IAALS Justice Needs Advisory Committee and the Executive Coordinating Committee of the the American Bar Foundation’s Study of After the JD.

Her research investigates access to civil justice from every angle — from how legal services are delivered and consumed, to how civil legal aid is organized around the nation, to the role of pro bono, to the relative efficacy of lawyers, nonlawyers and digital tools as advisers and representatives, to how ordinary people think about their justice problems and try to resolve them. Her current research includes the Community Needs and Services Study (CNSS), a community-sited, multi-method study of ordinary people’s experiences with civil justice problems and the resources available to assist them in handling those problems. Her work has been published in law reviews, edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals such as American Sociological Review, Work and Occupations, and Law and Society Review.

In 2013, Dr. Sandefur was The Hague Visiting Chair in the Rule of Law. In 2015, she was named Champion of Justice by the National Center for Access to Justice. In 2018, she was named a MacArthur Fellow for her work on inequality and access to justice. In 2020, she was awarded the Warren E. Burger Award by the National Center for State Courts. She is currently Editor of Law & Society Review.  

Her past public service includes advising state access to justice commissions and service on the Right to Counsel Committee of the California Access to Justice Commission, the Research Advisory Board of the Civil Right to Counsel Leadership and Support Initiative, and the Sargent Shriver Civil Right to Counsel Evaluation Committee.

You can view Dr. Sandefur’s publications here.

Photo courtesy of MacArthur Foundation.