Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland to speak at UGA law school public interest weekend


Writer: Cindy Rice, 706/542-5172, cindyh@uga.edu
Contact: Stinson Ferguson, 706/424-8119, stinsonw@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law will host a public interest law weekend Feb. 26-27. Former U.S. Sen. J. Maxwell "Max" Cleland will serve as the keynote speaker.

The two-day event, composed of the 25th Annual Equal Justice Foundation Auction and the 5th Annual Working in the Public Interest Law Conference, will address issues such as prison reform, environmental justice, child advocacy, hate crimes and immigration law.

"We are delighted and honored to have Senator Cleland come speak about the importance of public interest work as we celebrate significant event anniversaries," third-year law student and conference organizer Stinson W. Ferguson said. "The vehicle of law is one of many tools available to combat social injustice. Our goal is to raise awareness while supporting and equipping those trying to make a difference."

Cleland will present "We are Public Interest" Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Melting Point in downtown Athens. He will be followed by an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding contributions made by those in the public interest arena and a reception with a live and silent auction. Proceeds from the auction will go toward EJF’s 2010 summer fellowships, which help support Georgia Law students working in public interest positions.

The conference will resume Saturday morning at the School of Law with a plenary on human sex trafficking. There will also be panels and roundtables featuring notable academics and practitioners from across the country. Topics include: Issues facing former inmates struggling to reintegrate into society; the disproportionate impact of pollution in minority and impoverished communities; the pipeline carrying children from foster care to juvenile delinquency; hate crimes directed at members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community; and balancing the competing interests of our nation and immigrants.

Friday night is free and open to the public. Saturday is free for students and faculty and $25 for all other attendees. Additional costs for CLE credits will apply. Up to 5.5 CLE hours are available. For more information on the conference, please visit www.law.uga.edu/wipi.

For more information about the EJF Auction, please visit www.law.uga.edu/ejf.