Historical researchers

Oral histories

This website offers full transcripts (and links to video) for about 140 videotaped interviews with the early leaders of federally funded civil legal aid and indigent criminal defense. The interviewees were active primarily during the 1960s through the 1990s. They include access to justice leaders, bar leaders, judges, and others.

In each oral history, a person shares their unique journey — how they found and pursued a life’s work dedicated to justice.

Together, these oral histories tell the story of a modern movement that built on a rich history, reshaped American society, and improved the lives of millions of Americans.


Key federal court cases

Legal aid lawyers and public defenders have played key roles in many major cases. These cases have protected the interests and rights of the poor through judicial decisions.

This website compiles key cases in lists that are easy to filter and search. We know of no other list like it. read more >>

Federal first: Due to limited resources, the Consortium has started with federal cases, mostly from the US Supreme Court. We invite suggestions for additional federal cases, civil and criminal, that meet our criteria and that we may consider adding. We also welcome suggestions for state cases (see state cases for more info).

Other publications

This website also compiles other documents as well as lists of information sources.