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.

Events & Announcements


i4J is one of six nominees for the Arizona Bar Foundation's Innovation Awards:  Donate by June 7, 2019 to help us earn a matching donation and support our project-based, community-engaged social justice work!



Innovators Welcome
Join us on April 2, 2019, 3:15 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. in Room 21.  Students will share works-in-progress as they tackle the challenge of designing a new tier of legal professional in partnership with Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.
We want your feedback on our work! RSVP to



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 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 2019-2020, the Innovation for Justice program will partner with the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law, the Joan B Kroc School of Peace Studies at USD, Harvard Law's Systemic Justice Project and Duke University School of Law in a multiple jurisdiction, interdisciplinary collaboration examining the complex needs of human trafficking survivors and exploring innovative ways to spark social change.

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.

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.

Karen Adam retired from the bench in November 2015 after 34 years of service as a Tucson City Court Magistrate, a Pima County Superior Court Commissioner, and a Pima County Superior Court Judge. As presiding judge of the Pima County Juvenile Court from 2011-2014, Judge Adam led the effort to convert PCJCC to a trauma-responsive court.

Judge Adam is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and the Arizona and National Chapters of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is president of the board of the Children’s Center for Law and Policy and is a member of the Prevention and Family Recovery National Advisory Council at Children and Family Futures, consulting on Family Treatment Drug Court grants and programs.

Judge Adam writes and lectures on juvenile and family law topics and has served as faculty for the National Judicial College since 2007.


I4J students' project-based, community-engaged learning would not be possible without the generous support of these individuals and organizations who donated their time and talent to our program in Fall 2018:

Bonnie Bazata, Pima County Ending Poverty Now 

Judge Tom Berning, Tucson City Court 

Emily Bregel, Arizona Daily Star 

Jane Carter, Pima County Consolidated Justice Court 

Georges Clement, Just Fix NYC 

Manira Cervantes, Pima County Community Action Agency 

James Daube, Southern Arizona Legal Aid 

Rick DeBruehl, Arizona State Bar 

Randy Downer, Inter-State Investigative Services 

Judy Drickey-Prohow, Law Offices of Scott M. Clark 

Gregg Flatt, MC Properties 

Judge Keith Frankel, Maricopa County Justice Court 

Prof. Christopher Griffin, Arizona Law 

Heather Hiscox, Moves the Needle 

Judge Anna Huberman, Maricopa County Justice Court 

Peggy Hutchison, Primavera Foundation 

Hanna Kaufman, Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois 

Anne Kurtin, UA Office of Student Engagement 

Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Multihousing Association 

Chris Maglione, Maglione Rentals 

Alex Mastengelo, Habitation Realty 

Sarah Mauet, UA Academic Initiatives and Student Success 

Prof. Brian Mayer, UA Dept. of Sociology 

Judge Ron Newman, Pima County Consolidated Justice Court 

Pima County Public Library, Main Library 

Pima County Mothers in Arizona Moving Ahead 

Pima County Consolidated Justice Court 

Judge Vincent Roberts, Pima County Consolidated Justice Court 

Prof. Christopher Robertson, Arizona Law 

JJ Rico, Arizona Center for Disability Law 

Amanda Rutherford, Step Up to Justice 

Sally Stang, City of Tucson HOusing and Community Development Department 

Cristie Street, Nextrio 

Dan Sullivan, Pima County Sullivan Jackson Center 

Michael Wagenheim, Arizona Law 

Matthew Waterman, Southern Arizona Legal Aid 

Alden Woods, Arizona Republic 

Jay Young, Southwest Fair Housing Council