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On Shared Suffering: Judicial Intimacy in the Rural Northland

Law & Society Review

Published online on


["Law & Society Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, Page 5-37, March 2021. ", "\nRural state and tribal court judges in the upper US Midwest offer an embodied alternative to prevailing understandings of “access to justice.” Owing to the high density of social acquaintanceship, coupled with the rise in unrepresented litigants and the impossibility of most proposed state access to justice initiatives, what ultimately makes a rural courtroom accessible to parties without counsel is the judge. I draw on over four years of ethnographic fieldwork and an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to illuminate the lived consequences and global implications of judges' responses, which can be read as grassroots‐level creativity, as resistance, or simply as “getting by.”\n"]