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Georgia Law to host public interest conference focusing on social justice

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Writer: Kelly Tran, 706/542-5172, lawprstu@uga.edu Contact: Hannah Allen, 601/810-2775, hea4981@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law will host the 11th Annual Working in the Public Interest Conference on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 9 a.m. in the Larry Walker Room of Dean Rusk Hall. Registration is required.

The conference will shine a light on current social issues affecting the law and potential solutions that the law can offer in social injustice situations. Key topics to be explored during the event’s three panels include: the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage in regard to the administration of probate, estate planning and adoption proceedings; issues with inadequate representation for misdemeanor offenses and how the law can be used to remedy the problem; and opportunities to provide undocumented immigrants with access to higher education and legal advice.

Steve Gottlieb, executive director of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, will present the keynote address at 2:20 p.m. A 2015 Reginald Heber Smith Award recipient, Gottlieb has dedicated his time to the Atlanta Legal Aid Society to continue to expand its general poverty law practice as well as its services for other populations in need. Under Gottlieb’s leadership, more than 120 employees, over 60 of whom are lawyers, open approximately 25,000 cases per year to assist clients.

“The WIPI conference is a student-run event that focuses on how lawyers, students and the community can come together to combat the challenges those without legal representation face,” said third-year law student Hannah E. Allen, who serves as the conference’s publicity co-chair. “It is our hope that this year’s conference will highlight some current and expected issues in the legal world and create a meaningful dialogue on these topics.”

The event is free for members of the UGA community. For attorneys, six continuing legal education credits (five professional and one ethics) are available at a total cost of $100. The fee for all other entrants is $12. Lunch will be provided.

The Working in the Public Interest law student organization (WIPI) brings together practitioners, students and faculty to discuss equal treatment under the law, access to legal representation for the currently underrepresented and practical approaches to public interest lawyering. To register for the event, please visit https://estore.uga.edu/C27063_ustores/web/store_cat.jsp?STOREID=152&CATID=559 or contact Hannah Allen at hea4981@uga.edu or 601/810-2775.

The conference will be followed by the school’s 31st Annual Equal Justice Foundation Auction.

Proceeds from the auction will help support Georgia Law students who choose to take unpaid or low-paying public interest legal positions this summer. Previous auctions have included weekend getaways, bar preparation courses, concert tickets and professor packages. Some organizations where Georgia Law students have worked in the past include: the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, The Bronx Defenders, Gideon’s Promise, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Humane Society and the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

For more information about the WIPI conference, see http://www.law.uga.edu/working-public-interest-wipi. For more information about the EJF Auction, see http://www.law.uga.edu/equal-justice-foundation.

UGA School of Law Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, Georgia Law was established in 1859. Its accomplished faculty includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship. The school offers three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law – and is home to the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Georgia Law is proud of its long tradition of providing first-rate legal training for future leaders who will serve state and nation in both the public and private sectors. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.

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