Access to Justice and Legal Services Regulatory Reform

Posted: 21 Oct 2022

See all articles by Rebecca L. Sandefur

Rebecca L. Sandefur

Arizona State University; American Bar Foundation

Emily Denne

Arizona State University (ASU)

Date Written: October 2022


Researchers have launched a new era of studies exploring relationships between legal services regulation and access to justice. These scholarly developments respond to recent changes in how Anglo-American jurisdictions regulate the practice of law, changing who can make money from the practice of law, who can engage in it, and who can direct and control it. Often described as projects of deregulation, most are actually acts of reregulation. This article reviews empirical evidence of the relationship between these changes and access to justice. While evidence suggests some promise for increasing access, particularly through lawyerless legal services, most of these projects are in early stages and their impacts on access to justice will take some time to understand. Because much remains to explore, we also offer a research agenda for this emerging subfield.

Suggested Citation

Sandefur, Rebecca L. and Denne, Emily, Access to Justice and Legal Services Regulatory Reform (October 2022). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 18, pp. 27-42, 2022, Available at SSRN: or

Rebecca L. Sandefur

Arizona State University ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

American Bar Foundation ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Emily Denne (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

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