Document Type



Russell G. Pearce, Redressing Inequality in the Market for Justice: Why Access to Lawyers Will Never Solve the Problem and Why Rethinking the Role of Judges Will Help, 73 Fordham L. Rev. 969 (2004)


Commentators have argued that the solution to addressing unequal justice under law lies in increased government funding for legal services for the poor and increased pro bono hours from private lawyers. While these proposals could result in providing more lawyers for more low income people, they fail to account for the pervasive inequality resulting from the distribution of legal services primarily through the market. Given the influence of market distribution of legal services on legal outcomes, government-funded legal services and pro bono assistance can provide a valuable form of charity, but not an effective means of equalizing justice. The Essay instead suggests that a more effective way to enhance equal justice under law would be to rethink the proper role of the judge and make the judge an “active umpire” responsible for the quality of justice.

Date of Authorship for this Version

September 2004