On Thursday, May 16, 2013, legal services providers, elected officials, members of the judiciary, members of the private and public bar, human services agents, law students, and paralegals will convene from across the state for the fifteenth consecutive year to attend the Maryland Partners for Justice Conference in Baltimore City. This panel-based forum, hosted by the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, addresses the challenges, pitfalls, and highlights of access to justice issues throughout the state.
The recent economic downturn has impacted all aspects of society yielding an unprecedented ripple effect. The upside down housing market, the unemployment rate, and the lack of community stability have pushed many into a new realm of poverty or near poverty. This causes a level of frustration and stress for legal services advocates who are already overwhelmed. Having a conference to strategize about new approaches and rejuvenate one another is that much more meaningful during these challenging times.
Panelists from across the country who work both in and outside of the legal services community will discuss critical issues facing poor and underrepresented Marylanders. A wide array of concerns will be examined throughout the day including the impact of foreclosure on tenants, immigration, same sex marriage, youth homelessness, secondary trauma, workers’ rights, and much more.
Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, is slotted to be this year’s keynote speaker. Ifill’s robust résumé boasts a concentration in civil rights, voting rights, judicial diversity, and judicial decision-making, while maintaining a strong commitment to access to justice.
Due to her national standing, this year’s conference offers a special Lunch Only ticket for those interested in hearing Ifill speak.
“There is no better vehicle than this conference for networking and exchanging new ideas related to the legal rights and protections of Maryland’s disadvantaged and underrepresented populations,” says Sharon E. Goldsmith, Executive Director of the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland. “We are especially honored to have Sherrilyn Ifill address the participants during our fifteenth conference milestone given her incredible commitment to equal rights and achievements in enhancing diversity and social and economic justice. ”
The conference will take place on Thursday, May 16, 3013 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center in downtown Baltimore. A continental breakfast and plated lunch will be provided for attendees.
Registration is offered at a discounted Early Bird rate until April 26.
For more information about the conference, including a full list of panel topics, panel descriptions, and panelists, or to register, please visit www.probonomd.org/conference.
Carey Moore is the Marketing and Communications Manager at the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.