The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense
& The National Legal Aid and Defender Association
Congratulate the Winners of the 2019 Harrison Tweed Award!
The Mississippi Bar and the state's Access to Justice Commission has worked to deliver access to justice in the state of Mississippi by undertaking a project to conduct civil legal clinic events throughout the state starting in January 2018. The statewide pro bono initiative began with a challenge from the then Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court to all chancellors and members of the Mississippi Bar to help pro se litigants in every chancery court district. Legal clinic events were organized and supported by the Bar and Access to Justice Commission staff, chancellors, and their staffs, along with legal services offices, many local bar associations, and volunteer lawyers. By year's end, over 450 attorneys provided over 1,300 hours of free legal services to over 850 participants in need.
Philadelphia Bar Association
The Philadelphia Bar Association created its Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force to focus on developing creative strategies to improve access to justice and a right to counsel through a number of innovative projects addressing the legal needs of low-income members of the community. A recent example was the November 2018 release of a groundbreaking economic impact study commissioned by the Association, detailing the economic justification for funding of legal counsel to all eligible tenants, which was closely followed by the March 2019 introduction of legislation in City Council calling for the establishment of a legal defense fund for tenants facing eviction. Taken together, the study and proposed legislation change the landscape by offering a sustainable answer to the eviction crisis and serves as a capstone to a decade of work by the Philadelphia Bar Association.