2023 Honorable Mention Award Recipient

ALSC’s Community Justice Worker Project


Alaska Legal Services Corporation


ALSC’s Community Justice Worker Project


Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Inc.

Alaska Pacific University

Kodiak Area Native Association

Association of Village Council Presidents

ALSC’s Community Justice Worker Project

Alaska Legal Services Corporation

1016 West Sixth Avenue, Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501

Maggie Humm

Interim Executive Director


In rural areas across the U.S., a growing shortage of attorneys has created so-called “legal deserts.” Within these communities, people often have little or no access to legal representation for civil procedures, putting their homes, benefits and safety at risk.

Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) is dedicated to ensuring that all Alaskans have access to civil justice, no matter their means or distance from a courthouse. This is crucial, as 90% of Alaskan communities are not accessible by road, and Alaska is home to 229 Alaska Native Tribes that also face barriers to legal access.

To address these issues, ALSC partnered with local Indigenous organizations to create the Community Justice Worker (CJW) Project. Launched in 2018, this bold initiative aims to bridge the justice gap by training non-attorney volunteers to address their communities’ unmet civil legal needs.

ALSC’s CJW Project borrowed inspiration from a program developed by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) that addresses the shortage of healthcare professionals in remote areas. Using this blueprint, ALSC collaborated with community and Tribal leaders to create an inclusive, culturally competent solution to providing civil legal aid in underserved communities. CJWs are recruited from rural communities and provided training through free online modules that ALSC developed in partnership with ANTHC and Alaska Pacific University.

To enable CJWs to perform legal tasks, ALSC sought a first-of-its-kind legal waiver. The Alaska Supreme Court approved the waiver in 2022, allowing CJWs to legally represent clients for certain issues in state courts. ALSC’s CJW Project was also named one of the top-five access-to-justice solutions worldwide by the World Justice Challenge in 2019.

“Since 2022, CJWs, with support from ALSC, have completed 152 cases and secured $1.2 million in food benefits,” said Maggie Humm, Interim Executive Director of ALSC. “Their remarkable results demonstrate the project’s effectiveness in helping to close the justice gap. The American Bar Foundation is currently studying the program as a scalable solution to civil justice problems in the U.S. We’re eagerly awaiting their findings.”


Community Justice Workers from 42 different communities have entered training


cases completed since 2022, 377 relating to food insecurity


million in food benefits secured for clients

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