Georgia Law hosts public interest law conference


Writer: Heidi Murphy, (706) 583-5487, hmurphy@uga.edu Contact: Courtney Poole, (404) 452-2832, ccoons24@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. –The University of Georgia School of Law will host the 9th Annual Working in the Public Interest Conference on March 1. This event, which focuses on practical approaches to lawyering that promote social justice and the protection of human rights, will be held in Hirsch Hall starting at 10:00 a.m.

Key issues to be explored during the conference include: the Voting Rights Act, poverty in suburbia, the costs and consequences of prison privatization, effective means for delivering public assistance, and conflicts between law enforcement and the community as a result of the increasing usage of military tactics.

Georgetown University Law Center’s Abbe Smith will deliver the keynote address. An expert in criminal defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice and clinical legal education, she will discuss her perspective and experiences as a lifelong criminal defense attorney. Smith currently serves as the director of the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic and as a professor of law at Georgetown. A former Senior Fulbright Scholar, she is the author of Case of a Lifetime: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Story.

The luncheon speaker will be National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg. With considerable experience in consumer protection issues, she will explore public interest lawyering on the national scale. Previously, she worked for the Consumers Union and the U.S. Department of Justice Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

The event will conclude with the presentation of the Milner S. Ball Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors practitioners who have dedicated their careers to public interest work. The winner will be announced during the law school’s Annual Equal Justice Foundation Auction, which raises money to support Georgia Law students working in unpaid public interest positions during the summer. This function, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will be held at The Melting Point in Downtown Athens.

This conference is free for members of the UGA community. The fee for all other registrants is $10. For attorneys, continuing legal education credits are available for $45.

For more information or to register for the event, please visit http://www.law.uga.edu/wipi or contact Courtney Poole at ccoons24@uga.edu.

Each year, the Working in the Public Interest law student organization seeks to highlight dynamic and creative ways to combat social injustice through the vehicle of the law by organizing a forum to address persistent social matters with the goal of getting one step closer to the resolution of the major public interest law issues in the Southeast.

UGA School of Law Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, the School of Law at the University of Georgia was established in 1859. With an accomplished faculty, which includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship, Georgia Law offers two degrees—the Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in U.S. Law—and is home to the renowned Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy. The school counts six U.S. Supreme Court judicial clerks in the last nine years among its distinguished alumni body of more than 9,700. For more information, please see www.law.uga.edu.