The Kentucky Access to Justice Commission was established in 2010 by order of the Kentucky Supreme Court. In announcing the formation of the Commission, Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr., declared that the Kentucky Supreme Court was making access to justice a priority for the Judicial Branch of government. He was joined by Justice Bill Cunningham, the Supreme Court of Kentucky liaison on the commission, and Judge Roger L. Crittenden (ret.), chair of the commission. Chief Justice Minton envisioned a Commission where the Judicial Branch would collaborate with other stakeholders, including the Executive and Legislative Branches, as well as legal, business, civic and religious communities to ensure access to justice for Kentucky’s low and moderate income citizens.
In 2017, the Kentucky Supreme Court reaffirmed its commitment to increasing civil legal aid to low and moderate income Kentuckians and the ongoing work of the Commission. Chief Justice Minton named Justice Michelle Keller as the Chair of the Commission. “After my appointment by our Chief Justice, I began to study how Kentucky might better embody our Supreme Court's comprehensive vision regarding access to justice. It became apparent to me fairly early in the process that the jurisdictions where the most progress was being made maintained Commissions led by full-time staff.”
In December 2017, the Kentucky Bar Association provided a generous grant that allowed the Commission to hire staff and open an office in the Capitol.
To increase access to the courts and high quality legal representation for people of low and moderate income in Kentucky through innovative partnerships with the civil legal aid programs, the judiciary and court personnel, the Kentucky Bar Association, the private bar and non-lawyer professionals, law schools, and business and community based organizations.