Web Banner

Does Access to Justice include Access to Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Room 306: 9:45 AM to 11:15 AM

What does Alternative Dispute Resolution have to do with justice? Do low-income and minorities have access to quality ADR processes? Do the lack of diversity in mediators and ADR professionals create an environment that limits access to justice within mediation for impacted communities? Can a subjective experience securing justice be created within an adversarial system that limits remedies to those prescribed in law? In this session, two experienced lawyer/mediators, a consumer and a legal services attorney providing ADR services, all working in Appalachia, will explore these questions to examine whether or not implicit bias (or lack of awareness) about ADR exists and impacts the delivery of legal services aimed at creating subjective experiences of justice for low-income people.

What is justice? Usually, the formal legal processes provide only objective responses within a narrow menu of options. Low-income clients experiencing injustice may find broader satisfaction in the subjective resolutions created in ADR, including mediation, restorative justice, and collaborative law. Yet, people need money to afford many of these processes. Lawyers often assume that a court ruling creates more justice than meeting the subjective needs of clients. This session explores the systemic problems and day-to-day impacts.


  1. Elliot Hicks, Hicks Resolutions
  2. Emily Neely, Legal Aid of West Virginia
  3. Nicole A. Bailey, Nicole A. Bailey Enterprises, LLC

Moderator: Brenda Waugh, Waugh Law & Mediation