Visiting scholar Tonya Brito (University of Wisconsin-Madison) has been elected a member of the American Law Institute (ALI). The ALI is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. Members include prominent judges, lawyers, and law professors, and elected to the organization on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law.
At RSF, Brito is exploring the challenges faced by low-income defendants who owe unpaid child support and cannot afford attorney representation within the family court system. She is using interviews, court records, and ethnographic observations of child support enforcement hearings to compare the legal outcomes of parents who owe child support in two states: Wisconsin, which provides full attorney representation to defendants, and Illinois, which provides only limited legal assistance, such as informational websites and hotlines.