LSC Updates | December 2013
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SENIOR JURISTS GATHER AT LSC PANEL DISCUSSION;
FATTAH, THORNBURGH SPEAK AT RECEPTION
Leading jurists from three states gathered in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Pittsburgh courtroom on October 21 for a panel discussion on “The Importance of Access to Justice to the Judiciary,” hosted by the Legal Services Corporation. The discussion was held in conjunction with the LSC Board's quarterly meeting and featured Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Chief Justice Brent D. Benjamin of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn of the District Court of Maryland, and Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylavnia. Harvard Law School Dean and LSC Board Vice Chair Martha Minow served as moderator. 
 

A second panel discussion featured in-house counsel, legal aid lawyers, and others describing innovative private partnerships that LSC grantees are using to promote pro bono service.

This panel discussion, moderated by LSC President James J. Sandman, included:
  • Dottie Alke, vice president and senior counsel, CBS Corporation;

  • Lori A. Chumbler, associate general counsel, legal administration & external relations, Walmart;

  • Stephen Dickinson, executive director, Central Virginia Legal Aid Society;

  • John G. Finneran, Jr., general counsel and corporate secretary, Capital One;

  • Barbara Griffin, pro bono coordinator, Allegheny County Bar Foundation;

  • Kathryn M. Kenyon of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP, and chair of the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership;

  • Robert V. Racunas, executive director, Neighborhood Legal Services Association (Pittsburgh); and

  • Lee Richardson, executive director, Legal Aid of Arkansas.
LSC President James J. Sandman
Following the panels, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Dean William M. Carter, Jr., and Duquesne University School of Law Dean Ken Gormley spoke at a luncheon.
That evening, Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah and former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh spoke via live stream at a reception for the eight Pennsylvania recipients of LSC Pro Bono Service Awards. Pennsylvania Bar Association President Forest N. Myers also spoke at the event.

Former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh addressed the reception via live stream from his K&L office in Washington, DC. 
* Image Credit: Marcos Navarro
LSC Board Chair John Levi ; pro bono award recipients Mary Bates, Ronald Bolig, Joseph Sullivan, Katie Kenyon (for Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership); LSC President Jim Sandman; pro bono award recipients James DeAngelo, Pamela Shipman (for Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Harris, Waters & Waffenschmidt); PBA President Forest Myers; pro bono award recipient Bruce Tobin (for Westmoreland Bar Foundation). 

* Image Credit: Marcos Navarro
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LSC AWARDS NEARLY $3.4 MILLION IN TECHNOLOGY GRANTS

On November 4, LSC announced that 33 projects nationwide will receive Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) funding in 2013.

The grants will support a variety of initiatives, including “legal triage” tools to guide self-represented individuals through complex legal procedures, online support for pro bono attorneys, and improved access to legal assistance for people in remote areas. 

“Leveraging scarce resources to expand access to legal assistance for low-income Americans requires innovative and smart use of technology,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “Judges repeatedly tell us that the number of low-income individuals who come to court without legal assistance is rising. I am particularly pleased that several of the 2013 grants will be used to develop information and tools for self-represented individuals.” 
 

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LSC ANNOUNCES HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF GRANTS

In October, LSC awarded grants to four legal aid organizations in New York and New Jersey to provide mobile resources, technology, pro bono assistance, and other services to help victims of Hurricane Sandy address civil legal issues resulting from the storm.
 
Funding for the grants is part of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The legislation’s nearly $51 billion to help victims of Hurricane Sandy included $1 million for LSC to provide assistance to low-income people in areas significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. Sequestration reduced LSC’s appropriation to $950,000. This is the first time that Congress has appropriated funds for legal assistance after a disaster since 1993.


The grants are:

Read more about these grants

 
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ABOUT THE CHAIRMAN

 
LEVI INDUCTED INTO AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES 
LSC Board Chair John G. Levi was inducted into the 233rd class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on October 12, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education.

“I am deeply grateful to the Academy for this great honor and for recognizing my service as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation,” said Levi.  

Also:

Levi Updates ABA House of Delegates on LSC accomplishments, impact of funding cuts. Watch a video of the ABA speech.
Levi Discusses LSC at Yale Law School. View his presentation.
Levi Discusses LSC and the Justice Gap at the Eisenberg Award Dinner in Milwaukee. Read his prepared remarks.

 
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SANDMAN, CONSULTANTS REPORT ON LSC DATA PROJECT AT NLADA CONFERENCE

LSC President James J. Sandman and two consultants discussed the LSC Data Project during a standing-room-only panel discussion at the annual conference of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) in Los Angeles on November 7. Their presentation included a summary of the results of LSC’s recent survey of grantees about their collection and use of data.

 

Sandman and other LSC staff members also participated in a number of other panels at the NLADA conference. 
James Gamble, Director, Access to Justice Index Project; Chuck Greenfield, NLADA Chief Counsel, Civil Programs; Jim Sandman, LSC President; and Karen Lash, Senior Counsel, Access to Justice Initiative, U.S. Justice Department take part in a panel discussion, “Relying on Data: New Initiatives to Increase Access to Justice.” 
 
* Image Credit: Elizabeth Arledge
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NEWS FROM THE FIELD

Legal Aid of Nebraska celebrates 50th anniversary.

Michigan Legal Help’s innovative online self-help site gets more than 6,000 visits each month.

Clients recount the help they received at the Legal Aid office in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Georgia Legal Services Program Helps People with Limited English Proficiency Seek Justice: first-person account.  

Pine Tree Legal Assistance posts a YouTube video on home foreclosure.

Closing legal aid offices in Alabama hurts domestic violence victims and veterans.

Legal aid cuts imperil domestic violence victims, Pennsylvania. Senate Judiciary Committee is told.

Case illustrates the importance of Indiana Legal Services' medical-legal partnership.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s new program serves mentally ill adults in St. Louis.



 

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