Civil Justice Data Commons

The Commons is Open for Access!

The Civil Justice Data Commons is officially open for business! Fill out our easy application for access to the secure repository today!

Research, planning, and design for the Civil Justice Data Commons (CJDC) is supported by our generous funders—the National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, and JPB Foundation, as well as the Georgetown University Law Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy.

CJDC Design and Planning

With support from the National Science Foundation, we gathered information about the needs for a civil justice data commons.  We engaged with civil justice stakeholders in communities across the U.S. to understand their interests and concerns, and collaborated with academic data scientists about the technical requirements and best practices for the creation of a viable data commons in the civil justice field.

With support and expert facilitation from Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2020-2021, we conducted three Design Sprints to refine the scope and purpose of the CJDC, involving researchers, court officials, and legal service providers.  We continue our collaboration with AWS to improve our data management practices and further automate data standardization and harmonization.

CJDC Demonstration Project

In partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the CJDC conducted a pilot project to design a civil justice data commons.  We developed and refined a data governance model, obtained seventeen court datasets, and established a secure compute space for the authorized researchers in the pilot.  The project addressed the challenges of data acquisition, data cleaning and standardization, development of data governance protocols, matching a data infrastructure to user needs, and provisioning analytic tools for researchers.

Education and Outreach

Through the support of the McCourt Impact Initiative, the CJDC team is studying the legal, ethical, and technical issues associated with quantitative research on civil justice records.  We share our findings through seminars and publications.  See our Publications page for our growing scholarship in this field.

Using the CJDC

With support from the JPB Foundation, the CJDC team is demonstrating how civil court data can be linked to other sources to understand disparities in access to justice and outcomes.  Through our research on defendants in eviction and plaintiffs in medical debt, we will document best practices and limitations of methods that add race, ethnicity, and business characteristics to studies of civil justice outcomes.

How Can I Get Involved?

If you’d like more information about the CJDC or if you’re interested in getting involved, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at or connect with us on LinkedIn– we will be in touch soon!