Rebecca L. Sandefur investigates access to civil justice from every angle -- from how legal services are delivered and consumed, to how civil legal aid is organized around the nation, to the role of pro bono, to the relative efficacy of lawyers, nonlawyers and digital tools as advisers and representatives, to how ordinary people think about their justice problems and try to resolve them. In addition to her appointment at ASU, Sandefur is Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, where she founded and leads the Access to Justice Research Initiative.
Her public service includes her appointment by the Supreme Court of Utah to the state's Office of Legal Services Innovation, her role as Co-Vice Chair of California's Closing the Justice Gap Working Group, and her appointment by the Supreme Court of Arizona to the Arizona Commission on Access to Justice.
In 2013, Sandefur was The Hague Visiting Chair in the Rule of Law. In 2015, she was named Champion of Justice by the National Center for Access to Justice. In 2018, she was named a MacArthur Fellow for her work on inequality and access to justice. In 2020, she was awarded the Warren E. Burger Award by the National Center for State Courts. She is currently Editor of Law & Society Review.