"Johnson is the perfect author for this three-volume set on the history of civil legal aid from its beginnings in 1876 to today. This is a truly comprehensive and exhaustive work. . . . Highly recommended."
"To Establish Justice for All, from the definitive historian of the American legal aid movement, is essential reading for anyone who has ever worked in a legal aid program or served on a board of directors. Each chapter is filled with finely detailed accounts of the key players and moments that have led to today's system of civil justice. Newer advocates, in particular, can gain a rich understanding of the history of the critical movement of which they are a part."
"Earl Johnson, Jr., who in 1966 became the director of OEO-Legal Services as a 33-year-old attorney, provides the definitive history of civil legal aid in the United States from 1876 to present. It is a story told with fascinating biographical detail about such figures as Lewis Powell, Sargent Shriver, Richard Nixon, Archibald Cox, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, Clinton Bamberger, Gary Bellow, Jean Charn, and Hillary Rodham, among others. From the early era of charity-supported legal aid in the late 19th century, to the progressive idealism of Reginald Heber Smith, to a brief period of impact litigation from 1968–1974, to the political compromises that led to the creation of the Legal Services Corporation, this multi-volume effort chronicles the troubled efforts to provide civil justice for all Americans. The book reveals that despite American rhetoric about its commitment to equal justice, the United States falls far short in providing basic representation in civil matters compared to other advanced western democracies. Johnson has written a book that will fascinate and challenge all American lawyers."
"This is the definitive history of civil legal aid in the United States. It is comprehensive and beautifully written. It is a story of the elusive quest to ensure that rich and poor alike have access to our legal system. It is a must-read for all who care about justice in this country."
"This is a magnificent work. Johnson traces not just the history of an institution (Legal Aid), but also of an idea—the right to counsel in civil cases. Beginning in the 19th century with the struggles of German immigrants and reaching across the length and breadth of 20th-century America and beyond, Johnson traces the search for fairness and the determination of its opponents. The fulfillment of this nation's commitment to a right to counsel remains incomplete, but Johnson's three illuminating, readable, and powerful volumes may help expedite the day when those rights are fully secured. This is an essential addition to every law library and important reading for those who care about the nation's legal history."