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Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards to deliver keynote address at inaugural public interest law conference

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Vanessa Volz, 706/714-1123, vevolz7@uga.edu

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards to deliver keynote address at inaugural public interest law conference

NOTE: Registration has closed. The School of Law has arranged for Edwards' remarks to be carried live on UGA's cable channel, Channel 15, on Charter Communications. For more details, please go to http://www.law.uga.edu/news/archives/060404edwards.html.

ATHENS, Ga. - Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards will kickoff the inaugural Working in the Public Interest Law Conference at the University of Georgia School of Law by delivering the keynote address on April 7, 2006.

This student-led conference will bring together eminent practitioners in their respective fields as well as students and faculty to discuss practical approaches to lawyering that can best serve the underprivileged. "The practical methods of challenging poverty are often not covered in traditional law school courses. This conference seeks to remedy that and provide dynamic, creative ways to combat poverty through the vehicle of the law," conference organizer and third-year law student Vanessa E. Volz said.

The two-day conference will include a variety of panel discussions and roundtables on issues relating to poverty law, addressing topics such as immigration, health care, homelessness, education, community economic development, indigent defense and government benefits.

Panelists will include: Judith Browne, co-director of the Advancement Project in Washington, D.C.; Brad Caftel, vice president and general counsel of the National Economic Development and Law Center; Tim Casey, senior staff attorney of Legal Momentum; Tom Ehr, executive director of the MTV Europe Foundation; Phyllis Holmen, executive director of the Georgia Legal Services Program; Eric Kocher, legal director of the Georgia Center for the Homeless; Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU Southern Regional Office; Mike Mears, director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council; Alisha Morgan, state representative, the Georgia House of Representatives; Joe B. Pierce Jr., executive director of the United Way of Northeast Louisiana; and Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

The conference will start with Edwards' address, titled "Restoring the American Dream: Fighting Poverty and Expanding the Middle Class," and will be delivered at the University Chapel at 11:00 a.m. The former senator and 2004 presidential and vice-presidential candidate practiced law for 20 years and currently serves as the director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Former Georgia Governor and Georgia Law alumnus Roy E. Barnes will introduce Edwards.

The official welcome ceremony will be held that same evening at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. The panel discussions, roundtables and a career networking reception will be held Saturday, April 8.

The conference is open to the public, but registration is required as conference organizers anticipate some events reaching maximum capacity before the registration period closes. For more information and to register, please go to http://www.law.uga.edu/wipi . Priority registration closes March 31.

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Note to editors: Due to anticipated space limitations, if you are planning to cover this event, you will need to contact Heidi Murphy at (706) 542-5172 to reserve your spot. This is essential to ensure you will be able to gain access to the event.

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