The nation’s first and only cross-discipline, cross-institution, and cross-jurisdiction legal innovation lab.
i4J designs, builds, and tests disruptive solutions to the justice gap.
Housed at both the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, Innovation for Justice (i4J) applies design- and systems-thinking methodologies to expose inequalities in the justice system and create new, replicable, and scalable strategies for legal empowerment.
Housed at both the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, Innovation for Justice (i4J) is the nation’s first and only cross-discipline, cross-institution, cross-jurisdiction legal innovation lab.
Reaching across silos
As an interdisciplinary community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, partners, and collaborators interested in access to justice, we apply design- and systems-thinking methodologies to expose inequalities in the justice system and create new, replicable, and scalable strategies for legal empowerment.
Working with and within the community
Our action-based research engages lived experience experts and diverse stakeholders in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors to advance fair and equitable dispute resolution through systems-level change at both service and policy levels.
Challenging the status quo
We believe legal knowledge is not the exclusive province of attorneys. We create opportunities for legal advice and assistance to be delivered by trusted community-based advocates with specialized legal training.
Developing future changemakers
Our graduates are prepared to lead with empathy, check their assumptions, creatively problem-solve, test new ideas, embrace and learn from failure, iterate and co-create solutions, and engage in data-driven decision-making.
Advancing a human-centered justice system
We believe that well-designed technologies that are useful, usable, and accessible for the populations that need them can mitigate existing access to justice barriers and create a more equitable and simplified justice system.
Increasing capacity to engage with the legal system
i4J focuses on three disruptive strategies to spark systems-level change:
- Service: Creating new legal service models
- System: Improving justice sector technologies
- Structure: Building tech for policy advocacy
i4J serves as a catalyst for justice sector transformation that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion as an essential part of increasing access to justice for all.
In the classroom: We strive to create inclusive and equitable learning environments and to intentionally develop psychological safety in order to make all students feel welcome and valued for their unique contributions. We invite collaboration on classroom norms and values that serve as the north star to the work of the team. We teach vibrant, action-oriented, project-based, community-engaged courses with an explicit expectation that everyone will contribute towards collective excellence. We promote diversity of thought, background, experience, and culture in the classroom because it creates a better classroom community, and because it reinforces the value of diverse perspectives and contributions that drive our research.
In the community: i4J actively works to bridge the justice gap and close the digital divide that disproportionately affects under-represented communities. We work with and within under-represented populations to conduct research and co-design solutions. Our research teams are trained to recognize how cognitive and implicit biases can impact communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and community-engaged research. Our research teams are also trained in trauma-informed community engagement with emphasis on the agency, resilience, and individuality of the community members we work with. We provide compensation to lived experience experts to respect the value of their time and to acknowledge their valuable contributions to the work.