Texas Access to Justice Commission (TATJ)

Created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 2001 and charged with developing and implementing initiatives designed to expand access to, and enhance the quality of, justice.
Link to organization

Primary geographic focus: Texas
Organization type(s): ATJ Initiative
Acronym or short name: TATJ
Tags: Access to Justice Commissions

Specifically, the Commission aims to:

  • Identify and assess current and future needs for access to justice in civil matters by low-income Texans.
  • Create a framework for equitable access to justice by promoting policies, procedures, court rules, and legislation that remove barriers to our judicial system.
  • Increase resources and funding for access to justice in civil matters and ensure both are applied to the areas of greatest need.
  • Ensure wise and efficient use of available resources including local, regional and statewide coordination systems.
  • Develop and implement other initiatives designed to expand civil access to justice, such as assisted pro se programs, strategic use of technology, and enhanced community education.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the statewide system and services provided.


Letter , News Story

Letter by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson and Justice Nathan L Hecht

Wallace B. Jefferson, Nathan L. Hecht
June 1, 2011
This letter by the two justices is an eloquent and practical statement in favor of state funding for civil legal aid.


Lawyers must fulfill their duty to society

Jack Balagia
Houston Chronicle
March 15, 2016
Providing services pro bono or helping to fund legal aid for the poor is a fundamental tenet of justice.


Why Texas’ poor should blow kisses at all-Republican, all-conservative Texas Supreme Court

Dave Lieber
Dallas Morning News
April 10, 2016
The Texas Supreme court ruled that poor people who show they’re broke can still use the courts.


Judges Across The Country Are Shaking Down Poor People

Bryce Covert
August 24, 2016
Court fees stand in the way of justice for poor people.

News Story

Lawmakers, Courts Consider Ways to Help People Who Can’t Afford Lawyers

Johnathan Silver
Texas Tribune
September 15, 2016
Ahead of the next legislative session, lawmakers and legal service providers are looking for ways to make the legal process easier for those who represent themselves.


Hurricane Harvey creates huge need for legal aid

Eva Guzman
Dallas Morning News
October 26, 2017
After an event as catastrophic as Hurricane Harvey, which destroyed property and tore apart lives, legal needs continue for years. For people already stripped of their worldly possessions, more trials are to come. That is where legal aid comes in.


States’ Vital Role in Providing Civil Justice for Everyone

Martha Bergmark
April 2, 2018
It's up to lawmakers to provide the funding that's needed and to back reforms that make the system work better.

News Story

Cornyn meets with Texas Access to Justice Commission, vows to fight for funding for Legal Services Corporation

Carrie Bradon
SE Texas Record
April 30, 2019
On April 10, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) met with a group from the Texas Access of Justice Commission in order to discuss future funding for the Legal Services Corporation.


More State Money is Needed to Provide Legal Representation for Poor

Editorial Board of Austin American-Statesman
Austin American-Statesman
March 30, 2015
The editorial board of the Austin American-Statesman urges the state legislature to increase funding for civil legal services in Texas.

This page last modified: Wed, April 15, 2015 -- 9:06 am ET