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About ATJ


The Office for Access to Justice works to break down barriers to the founding principle and enduring promise of the Department of Justice: equal justice under law. Our mission is to ensure access to the promises and protections of our civil and criminal legal systems for all communities.


We believe justice belongs to everyone. Our vision is a world in which fair and efficient legal systems deliver just processes and outcomes, promote confidence in the justice system, secure public safety, and meet the critical legal needs of the American people.

Who We Are

The Office for Access to Justice is a standalone agency within the U.S. Department of Justice that plans, develops, and coordinates the implementation of access to justice policy initiatives of high priority to the Department and the executive branch. 

Guiding Principles

The work of the Office for Access to Justice is guided by three guiding principles:

  • Expanding Access. We expand access to legal systems by increasing the availability of legal assistance, supporting public defense, and eliminating barriers that exclude people based on economic, demographic or geographic factors.
  • Accelerating Innovation. We support research, data and innovative strategies to improve fairness and efficiency in legal systems and to ensure Justice Department services and programs incorporate modern, evidence-based practices to further equal access to justice.
  • Safeguarding Integrity. We promote policies and reforms that improve the accountability, fiscal responsibility and integrity of legal systems and process.

Presidential Memoranda

Updated March 5, 2024