The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program is dedicated to educating the public about the judicial system and removing barriers to justice for New York State residents through community outreach and education. The Courts and Community Center's outreach programs, such as the Community Seminar Series, Law Days, Court Tours, and Speaker's Bureau, help empower communities and ensure equal access to justice. Through the Community Leaders Roundtables and the Public Librarians' Program, the Courts and Community Center educates community leaders, public librarians, neighborhood agencies, and government offices on available resources.
The New York Sate Courts Access to Justice Program oversees the Unified Court System's Court Tours program, which has been in operation since 1990. Court Tours provide an opportunity for the public to become familiar with the court system. Guided tours of local court facilities are available to school, civic, business, religious and other community groups. Written information and promotional materials are distributed.
The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program periodically holds roundtable discussions with New York City community leaders to provide information for participants to bring back to members of their community, religious congregations, senior centers, schools and community-based organizations. To schedule a Roundtable, please call 646-386-3200 or email DCAJ-OJI@nycourts.gov.
The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program oversees a Speakers Bureau made up of judges and non-judicial personnel in the New York City Courts. Throughout the year, speakers visit schools, and community and governmental agencies to speak about civil, housing, small claims, family and criminal court topics. In addition, to legal information, speakers also provide information about court procedures and distribute resource materials about the court. Speakers have visited local senior citizen centers, planning boards, public libraries, school assemblies, town hall meetings, street fairs, housing fairs and conferences. To schedule a speaker, please call 646-386-3200 or email DCAJ-OJI@nycourts.gov.
The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program uses social media as a means of providing access to justice. Through Twitter, the followers can learn about community seminars, pro bono events, and Access to Justice self-help tools, such as DIY Form programs. Followers include government, media and social service agencies, as well as private citizens who want information on services provided to unrepresented litigants. The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program also uses YouTube to post helpful videos about self-help services in the courts.