Lay participation is a conventional, but little examined, aspect of Alaska's administrative law tribunals. The legal community is sometimes suspicious of lay members' competence, leading to a trust gap between legal professionals and their lay counterparts. With the goal of bridging this divide and shedding light on participants' perspective of serving on tribunals, this Article reviews the first survey study of Alaska lay members on state adjudicatory panels. Among other things, the survey focused on tribunals' gender and ethnic diversity, members' understanding of fairness and impartiality duties, their training, and the relationship lay participants had with administrative law judges. As detailed within this Article, the survey's results offer important findings that can help the legal community understand its interaction with lay participants. The Article also considers starting points for improving involvement on tribunals by lay members, who altogether appear to take their roles seriously.

Included in

Law Commons