Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : April 2010

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 PRO BONO Profile:  

Addressing barriers to the justice system. Finding reduced fee and fee shifting options for lawyers. Learning immigration basics that may impact an immigrant client. Treating girls in the juvenile justice system.

These and other topics will be covered at the 12th annual Maryland Partners for Justice Conference on May 27, 2010, sponsored by the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland with support from the MSBA Section on Delivery of Legal Services and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. This once-a-year opportunity exists in order to learn about poverty law and the issues facing the disadvantaged in accessing legal assistance in our state. The networking and collaboration which occurs is both unique and stimulating. The all-day event will take place once again at the Baltimore Convention Center; conference registration starts at 8:15 a.m., and panels will continue from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This year’s keynote speaker is the Honorable Andre M. Davis of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the 4th Circuit, Judge Davis was an Appellate attorney for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. His distinguished career includes extensive community service and board membership with special focus on discrimination, education and housing.

The seventeen panels for the 2010 gathering will focus on improving access to legal services by making delivery of those services more creative and efficient. The conference coordinated each year by a committee of legal services staff, judges and bar members is dedicated to designing a diverse list of panels appealing to anyone interested in access to justice. Other topics include using paralegals and law students in the public interest arena; foreclosure prevention and the impact on tenants’ right; best practices for pro bono programs; exploitation of misclassified workers; and a right to housing.

While most discussions will focus on how public interest lawyering can be improved for the benefit of those it serves, some sessions have been focused toward helping the people who do public interest work to improve their own quality of life. One example of this is “Right on the Money! Living Well on a Public Interest Employee Salary”. Another panel for the public interest employee will focus on the newly minted MDJustice.org website, which has been created for the express purpose of providing useful information and resources for those engaging in public interest and pro bono legal work.

Prior attendance at the Partners for Justice Conference has reached 260 people and the organizers expect similar attendance this year. To register, or for more information, visit www.probonomd.org. The Early Bird registration fee (by May 20) is $75, with a discount for students. If you have any questions about the conference, please call Danyell Cox at the Pro Bono Resource Center at (410) 837-9379 or (800)396-1274, or e-mail dcox@probonomd.org

Support your local legal service provider. Add your resources to the fight. For more information on volunteering or training opportunities around the state of Maryland, contact Danyell Cox at (410) 837-9379 or (800) 396-1274, or dcox@probonomd.org.

Andy Lee Hagepanos is Project Assistant for the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.


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Publications : Bar Bulletin: April 2010

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