Oklahoma Bar Journal

A Day for Justice

By Katie Dilks

Most attorneys are aware that our justice system doesn’t adequately meet current legal needs. However, you may not know that a full 80% of civil legal needs go unaddressed in the United States, or that a majority of matters in state courts have at least one unrepresented party. You may also be unaware that the recommended ratio of legal services attorneys to population is 10 for every 10,000 people – Oklahoma currently has less than 1 per 10,000. These challenges, among many others, make up the civil justice gap.

Although the civil justice gap presents an array of significant challenges, many creative and dedicated individuals and organizations are working to address these issues daily. To highlight and support these efforts, the Oklahoma Access to Justice Commission and OBA presented Oklahoma’s first Access to Justice Summit in October 2018 – a full day of programming featuring national and local speakers on a wide variety of access to justice topics. We are excited to announce the second statewide Access to Justice Summit is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2021.

Hosted by the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation, Access to Justice Commission and OBA, the summit will offer at no cost six hours of CLE credit appropriate for lawyers in all settings. It will also serve as informative and educational programming for judges, law students and others interested in addressing the civil justice gap. Legal Services Corporation President Ron Flagg will join us as the plenary speaker, addressing national trends and opportunities in civil justice.

Other summit topics will include a discussion of the eviction crisis and potential solutions, how attorneys can incorporate limited-scope representation to help meet the needs of modest-income Oklahomans, the challenges of meeting rural legal needs, the impact of law students on access to justice and trends in the use of technology in the courtroom. We will also honor the winners of the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation’s Summer Pro Bono Challenge and hear some best practices on incorporating pro bono in a modern legal practice.

The Access to Justice Summit is being planned as a “hybrid” event, where all panels will be livestreamed across the state. This will open the summit to geographically distant attendees as we plan for a safe and healthy live event at the Oklahoma Bar Center in Oklahoma City.

We are thrilled that, thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to offer this amazing programming at no cost. You can learn more and register at www.okaccesstojustice.org/summit. If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, contact me at katie.dilks@okaccesstojustice.org.


About the Author
Katie Dilks is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation.


Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 92 Vol 7 (September 2021)