This is the website of the Consortium for the National Equal Justice Library. The Consortium is an independent 501(c)(3) organization housed at NLADA’s offices in Washington, DC.

This unique website tells the history of civil legal aid, public defense, and access to justice in the U.S. The website includes many key players and their oral histories. It also includes the most important court decisions as well as narrative histories. about us >>

Statue of Liberty graphic,


Edgar Cahn
Edgar Cahn
January 23, 2022
Nan Heald
Nan Heald
January 20, 2022
De Miller
March 1, 2021
Mike Trister
October 20, 2018
Sara Mayeux, "Free Justice" book cover

“Free Justice: A History of the Public Defender in Twentieth-Century America” Sarah Mayeux

To Establish Justice for All by Earl Johnson, book cover

To Establish Justice for All: The Past and Future of Civil Legal Aid in the United States” by Earl Johnson


Historical researchers — Unique collections of oral histories, key court cases, and other info.

Legal aid practitioners — Help us make this site better with info from your state

Focused on my state — Oral histories, cases and legal aid organizations from my state

International visitors — Unfamiliar with US legal system and US legal aid

Multimedia — Video and audio

VIDEO: “Strands of Justice: The Story of Civil Legal Aid in America”

In America’s civil courts, you can lose your home, family or livelihood. But 3 of 4 people are in court alone, with no legal help. Civil legal aid is the equalizer.

From Londen Productions, a 33-minute video.
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