Innovation for Justice: Unlock Change

The civil legal system promises justice for all, but in reality, that promise is not being delivered. Barriers to entry, power imbalances, and flawed processes inhibit the civil legal system from working as it should. Marginalized populations are most likely to be excluded from effective use of the civil legal system. In the midst of this system failure, how can innovation and technology unlock the promise of equal justice?  

The Innovation for Justice program exposes students to the justice gap, engages students in thinking critically about the power of technology and innovation to close that gap, and empowers students to be disruptive problem-solvers in the changing world of legal services. Students will work across disciplines and with government, private and community partners, implementing design thinking and systems thinking to create new models of legal empowerment.

Upcoming Events


Innovating Legal Services
Panel discussion with Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales, Arizona State Bar President Jeffrey Willis and Arizona Access to Justice Commission Chair Lawrence F. Winthrop on changes facing the civil legal profession

Jan. 22, 2019, 3-5 p.m.
Click here for details, registration and CLE materials

The Innovation for Justice Curriculum

The I4J program includes three courses, as well as a variety of extracurricular opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students across campus.

Fall -- Innovation for Justice: Law 672.  This project-based course exposes the ways in which America’s civil legal system fails to provide justice for all, explores innovations targeted at addressing that systemic failure, and empowers students to design and launch solutions to the justice gap. Topics include: the constitutional underpinnings of our right to access our legal system; poverty in our community; the civil legal needs of low- and moderate-income Americans; how the design of our legal system inhibits equal access; the access to justice movement; how technological innovations are changing the legal system; and methodologies for innovating and improving the civil legal system. In Fall 2018, the Innovation for Justice course will partner with BYU Law's Law X course as students tackle problems related to eviction.

Spring -- Innovating Legal Services, Law 672A.  The majority of Americans can’t afford to hire counsel when confronted with a civil legal need.  As a result, they attempt to navigate the civil legal system without representation, or simply do not engage with the system at all.  What are the societal implications of that system failure, and what can we do to change the status quo?  Each semester, the course will focus on a particular avenue of legal service and explore what’s working and what’s not, with the goal of generating creative solutions. Guest participants from the community will be invited to work with students in problem identification and solution building.  In Spring 2019, this course will be co-taught by incoming State Bar President Jeffrey Willis. 

Spring -- Visualizing Justice, LAW/ART 360.  This is a 3-credit, interdisciplinary course that combines legal, art and design concepts to explore: (1) what are legal rights; (2) how do we communicate legal rights; (3) how do we navigate legal processes; (4) how can art and design inform how legal rights and legal information are conveyed, in order to empower people and make legal systems more accessible and navigable?  This course is co-taught by associate art professor Kelly Leslie.

I4J in the News

Who We Are

Stacy Butler, Director

Stacy Butler has two decades of experience in community advocacy and expanding the reach of civil legal services for under-served populations. In 2017, she launched Step Up to Justice, a pro bono civil legal center that delivers free legal services to low-income families in Pima County. Butler created an Access to Justice course at University of Arizona Law in 2017.  She earned a BA from Trinity University and a JD from the University of Arizona. Butler was named one of the Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys in Arizona by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services in 2006, 2014 and 2015.  

(520) 621-3002 


Kimball Dean Parker is the Director of LawX, the legal design lab at BYU Law School. Under his direction, LawX developed SoloSuit, an automated software that helps debt collection defendants answer a lawsuit in Utah. Kimball is also the President of Parsons Behle Lab, the innovation subsidiary of the law firm Parsons Behle & Latimer. Parsons Behle Lab recently released an automated GDPR compliance software called GDPR IQ (   For his efforts to make the law accessible, Kimball received a Fastcase 50 Award. He was also recognized as the 2018 Cyber Pioneer by the Utah Bar and a Forty under 40 recipient by Utah Business magazine. 


Jeffrey Willis is the 2018-2019 president of the State Bar of Arizona and is a senior partner with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. based in the Tucson office. Jeff has engaged in substantial service to the Bar and the public regarding Access to Justice issues, including co-chairing the 2015 “Arizona Forward” initiative at the request of Chief Justice Scott Bales. He has served in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and as Chair of the ABA Legal Services Training Committee. Jeff was president of the Tucson Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and was a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He is currently on the Board of the Arizona Justice Project and soon to be inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. From 2012 to 2016 he was an Adjunct Professor at the James E. Rogers School of Law teaching Advanced Trial Advocacy.


Kelly Leslie teaches Beginning Design Studio, Publication Design, Design for Web and Devices, and Professional Practices in Design. Her work includes client based commissions, drawings, and digital fabrication. She has exhibited in China, Japan, and Australia as well as the US.