At this year's Pre-Conference to the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference, SRLN will be hosting an early morning coffee hour (7:30 - 8:30). During this time, we will provide first time attendees:
- A brief history of the SRLN
- Survey of resources and opportunities for involvement
- Introduction to leaders from the many sectors that come together in this network to develop an integrated access to justice ecosystem.
What is SRLN?
In 2001, the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) was formed as a national organization under the leadership of Richard Zorza and others dedicated to transforming our legal system so that people would longer must face some of life’s most difficult challenges without help and alone.
SRLN doesn’t represent a single voice.
We are a network of judges, court managers, attorneys, librarians, scholars, technologists, and community leaders that believes everyone deserves access to justice and that when people come to court, they have a right to procedural justice and to understand the proceedings in which they are participating.
As the only organization in the United States focused on the needs of the self-represented in civil courts, we envision a nation in which every person can get some form of effective assistance with their civil legal needs.
To that end, SRLN identifies, supports and evaluates innovative services and strategies to create a user-friendly legal system for self-represented litigants.
For more information, check out the "About" section of this website!
Who is involved?
The Self-Represented Litigation Network is formed by a collaboration between many parties. The list below catalogs the many sectors of the legal system that make up the network, in addition to the representatives that will be present at the Pre-Conference this year in Chicago.
Introducing... our "Sector Connectors":
Courts (Admin): Bonnie Hough, Judge Juhas & Fern Fisher
Bonnie Rose Hough is the Principal Managing Attorney for the Center for Families, Children & the Courts of the Judicial Council of California and oversees its Access to Justice, Self Help, Family Law, Domestic Violence, and Tribal/State programs. She manages the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Pilot project and the Equal Access Fund providing over $24 million in funding for legal services agencies. Bonnie also manages three grant programs providing $12.5 million in funding for court based, attorney supervised, and self-help centers. Bonnie serves on the SRLN Executive Committee.
Judge Juhas has presided in family court in Los Angeles County Superior Court since he was appointed to the bench in 2002. He also chairs the California Commission on Access to Justice and teaches extensively in the areas of family law, self-represented litigants and access to justice.
Fern A. Fisher is the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts. Judge Fisher is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the trial-level courts located in New York City. Judge Fisher works with the Administrative Judges of the various courts in New York City in order to allocate and assign judicial and nonjudicial personnel resources to meet the needs and goals of those courts. Judge Fisher also serves as the Director of the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program, providing oversight in developing and implementing programs to assure meaningful access to justice for all.
Courts (Self-Help): Rochelle Klempner & Stacey Marz
Rochelle Klempner is the Chief Counsel of the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program. She primarily works on technology-based tools, self-help resources and volunteer lawyer programs for litigants who do not have an attorney. This includes the development of plain language forms, publications videos, and the www.nycourthelp.gov, and www.nycourts.gov/efile-unrepresented websites, as well as, creation, implementation and promotion of New York State DIY Form (A2J Author) document assembly programs. Ms. Klempner has published law review articles on document assembly and unbundled legal services, co-authored the Volunteer Lawyer for a Day Pilot Project Report and is the author of best practices guides for court systems on document assembly and Court Help Centers. Before joining the court system in 1991, she worked in a law firm specializing in tenant representation. She received her J.D. from Hofstra Law School.
Stacey Marz is the Director of Self- Help Services for the Alaska Court System. In this position, she oversees the Family Law Self-Help Center, a statewide program for self-represented litigants in family law cases that works with customers by phone . She also manages the court's self-help websites and self-help forms development for appeals to the Supreme Court, family law, probate estates and guardianship and conservatorship. She co-founded the innovative Early Resolution Program that mass calendars newly filed contested divorce and custody cases and uses pro bono unbundled attorneys and court mediators to help self-represented litigants resolve their disputes usually in one court hearing. Stacey is a member of several Supreme Court committees, representing the perspective of self-represented litigants and improving access to justice.
Admin Agencies: Judge Laura Bradley
Laura Bradley is an Assistant Chief Industrial Appeals Judge who supervises hearing and review/mediation judges at the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA). She also leads the New Appeals Section, which processes every appeal submitted to the BIIA. Prior to joining the ATJ Board in October, Judge Bradley became involved with the Board’s work as the chair of its Administrative Justice Subcommittee. Since joining the Board, she has expanded her leadership by also cochairing the ATJ Technology Committee. More than a judge and ATJ Board member, this Cheyenne, Wyoming, native is a 10 year cancer survivor, fiber artist and proud mother of two sons and two cats.
Legal Aid: Glenn Rawdon
Glenn Rawdon is Program Counsel for Technology with the Legal Services Corporation. He is responsible for helping legal services programs with their technology efforts and with the administration of the Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program. Since the program started in 2000, TIG has made over 640 grants totaling over $53 million, many of them in partnerships with SJI and the courts. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Self-Represented Litigants Network and a frequent speaker on self-help strategies. He is a fellow in the College of Law Practice Management. Before coming to LSC in 1999, he was a managing attorney at Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma for five years and before that, he was in private practice. He has served as co-chair of the Law Office Management section of the Oklahoma Bar Association and was a member of the Legal Technical Advisory Counsel of the ABA. Glenn serves on the SRLN Executive Committee.
Private Bar: Tiela Chalmers
Ms. Tiela Chalmers worked as a litigation attorney with Farella, Braun & Martel in San Francisco after earning her J.D. and graduating magna cum laude from Hastings College of the Law. Her early volunteer service with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Volunteer Legal Services Program and Swords to Plowshares steered her career toward pro bono legal services.
Ms. Chalmers’ passion is building and sustaining legal services programs that effectively and creatively serve low-income communities and increase access to justice. She has received many awards for her work, including Pro Bono Professional of the Year by the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals and Attorney of the Year by the Legal Aid Association of California both in 2011.
Librarians: Larry Meyer
Larry Meyer is committed to law librarianship, and, in particular, the librarians of Southern California. Larry gives his time, expertise and (boundless) energy to AALL and SCALL. His advocacy on behalf of county law libraries is notable, and appreciated by librarians across the country.
Funders: Melissa Moss and more!
Melissa Moss is an attorney with 20 years of experience in legal aid, bar and other nonprofit leadership, having spent more than a decade in corporate marketing communications prior to law school. As Deputy Director and Chief Program Officer for The Florida Bar Foundation, she is responsible for the grants, development and pro bono departments. As part of the Foundation’s executive team, she directs strategic investments in research, program assessment, capacity-building, technical assistance and technology. She also provides research and other support to the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice.