20 Years Spent advancing the civil right to counsel!


Can you believe it?  We're turning 20 in 2023!


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In 2003, five organizations (the Public Justice Center (PJC), the Schriver Center, NLADA, ABA's Standing Committee on Legal Aid andIndigent Defense (SCLAID), and the Brennan Center) recognized that there was growing interest in the civil right to counsel across the country, as well as the need for better coordination of state and local efforts. They founded the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC), and over the years, the Public Justice Center took on the role of operating the NCCRC as one of its core projects. A lot has changed in the last 20 years! We've expanded our capacity with new staff, created a website that serves as the national clearinghouse of civil right to counsel info, and grown our network of partners andparticipants to 600 people in 45 states. And we've witnessed and assisted the expansion of the civil right to counsel across the country. 


In our work to support advocates working to advance the civil right to counsel over the last 20 years, we've:

  • directly supported right to counsel legislative campaigns involving housing, child welfare, child custody, mental health, civil incarceration, and more;

  • assisted litigation to establish the right to counsel under state constitutions;

  • coordinated and connected advocates from across civil practice spheres and the country;

  • educated thousands on the state of the civil right to counsel via webinars, conference presentations, keynotes, and written publications;

  • maintained the country's only research hub and status map dedicated to tracking the current status of the right to counsel;

  • compiled CRTC-related resources in a comprehensive bibliographyand

  • kept the press informed and focused on right to counsel.


Read all about the work we've done and supported in the past year in our 2022: A Year in Review, and the NCCRC spread in PJC's FY2022 Annual Report!

We're so proud of all that's been accomplished on the civil right to counsel front over the last 20 years, and in 2023 we intend to celebrate! Keep an eye out for more information about upcoming events (and some changes to what the NCCRC does and how it does it). We're excited to share this upcoming year with you all! 

If you see the benefit of the work the NCCRC is doingplease consider a donation.