An estimated 695,000 people live at or below poverty in Mississippi. With one legal services lawyer per every 21,000 eligible individuals, the challenges are great, but the desire to achieve justice for all is greater. While many organizations in Mississippi have long been committed to improving the delivery of civil legal services to the poor, there was no single entity that was representative of all such organizations. Recognizing the need for a single unifying entity to bring together the various providers of civil legal services, the Mississippi Supreme Court created the Access to Justice Commission on June 28, 2006, becoming the 23rd state to appoint such a commission. With the proposed development of a unified strategy to improve access to the civil courts for the poor, a vision was born. Funded through the generous support of the Mississippi Supreme Court, The Mississippi Bar and The Mississippi Bar Foundation, the Commission aims to make a difference for one, for all.
Identify the current and future needs of the legal services community in providing access to justice to the poor in Mississippi
Develop and establish a strategic statewide plan for delivery of legal services to the poor in Mississippi
Work to maximize the wise and efficient use of available resources, including development of local, regional and/or statewide systems
Develop and implement initiatives designed to expand civil access to justice
Work to reduce barriers to the justice system by addressing existing and proposed court rules, procedures and policies
Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the statewide system and services provided