April 27, 2017

State Supreme Court justice, ABA president highlight meeting exploring access to legal services

CHICAGO, APRIL 27, 2016 — The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association will convene their annual Equal Justice Conference from May 4-6 in Pittsburgh, with more than 85 wide-ranging programs, including talks by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra McCloskey Todd and ABA President Linda A. Klein.

Equal Justice Conference

May 4-6

David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd.

Both Todd and Klein will speak at the opening plenary session at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom on the third floor of the convention center.

In 2007, Todd became the first Democratic woman elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the court’s 285-year history. Previously, she served as a state superior court judge and has been active in legal and civic organizations in Pennsylvania.

Two decades ago, Klein, now the senior managing shareholder at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz in Atlanta, became the first woman to serve as president of the State Bar of Georgia and one of the first women to lead a prominent Georgia law firm. She is a former chair of the ABA House of Delegates. Her one-year ABA term expires in August.

The luncheon program on Friday will feature Nicole Austin-Hillery, the first director and counsel of the Brennan Center’s office in Washington, D.C., which she opened in March 2008. In her role, Austin-Hillery has overseen the growth and development of the New York-based Brennan Center’s advocacy and policy development work in the nation’s capital, and serves as the organization’s chief liaison to Congress and the administration. The luncheon will also be in the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom.

Other conference highlights include:

·        "Hot Topics in Legal Aid" — The session will provide an overview of the most critical issues affecting the delivery of civil legal assistance in the United States, including funding for the Legal Services Corp., which the Trump administration has recommended defunding. Panelists include Lora Livingston, a state trial judge in Austin, Texas; James Sandman, president of the LSC; and Don Saunders, vice president of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. Friday,1:45- 3:15 p.m., Room 303

  • "VetLex: Connecting Veterans to Lawyers" — Spearheaded by lawyers with the Jones Day law firm, VetLex is an innovative and flexible national referral project to connect veterans with lawyers trained and ready to assist them with their specific legal needs. The session explores how this works and how lawyers can get involved. Panelists are Miguel F. Eaton, Jones Day, Washington, D.C.; (ret.) Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Annapolis, Md.; Mark Hornak, judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania; and Devin A. Winklosky, Jones Day, Pittsburgh. Friday, 10:30 a.m. – noon, Room 310
  • "The Consequences of Caring" — The interactive closing plenary will discuss how to recognize when you are experiencing secondary stress and will engage attendees in creating personal and team strategies to avoid fatigue and burnout. The presenters are Frank P. Cervone, executive director, Support Center for Child Advocates, and Meghan Johnson, project manager, Center for Excellence in Advocacy, Support Center for Child Advocates. Saturday, 10:30 –noon, Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom

The conference program can be found online.

Media are asked to register to cover the event. Please contact Bill Choyke at 202-662-1864 or bill.choyke@americanbar.org.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.