More than 550 attorneys and paralegals from across New York meet in Albany this week to discuss how best to assist low-income individuals with a wide range of legal issues, including
immigration, foreclosure, domestic violence, government benefits and housing.
The New York State Bar Association’s 2016 Legal Assistance Partnership Conference, titled “Justice Rising,” begins Wednesday Sept. 14 and runs through Friday, Sept. 16. Held every two years, the conference is considered the premier networking and continuing legal education program for legal services providers in New York. This year’s program was sold out in August.
“The Partnership Conference provides a unique opportunity for lawyers working in the public interest and pro bono coordinators to meet and share their expertise and best practices,” said State Bar Association President Claire P. Gutekunst of Yonkers. “Ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to legal services continues to be a priority of the State Bar Association.”
Gutekunst will address the plenary session on Thursday morning, following remarks from Court of Appeals Associate Justice Jenny Rivera, a former legal services attorney, who will discuss New Yorkers’ continued need for access to justice and how civil legal service providers and pro bono attorneys can best work with the court system to accomplish this.
Andrew Scherer, policy director of the Impact Center for Public Interest Law at New York University Law School, will moderate a panel of civil legal service organization staff attorneys on best practices, focusing on what has worked well and suggested improvements from their experiences working in the field. Among the topics of the conference’s 37 workshops are:
• Cultural Competency
• When Criminal Justice Involvement Affects Civil Legal Needs
• A New Vocabulary for a New Paradigm: Race, Gender, Language, Inclusion, Identity & More
• Serving Veteran Clients
• Representing Clients with Limited English Proficiency
• Elder Abuse Prevention
• Immigration Law for Non-Immigration Attorneys
• The LGBTQ Community and the Law
• Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline: Representing Students in School Discipline Matters
On Thursday evening during a reception and dinner, the Committee will present its annual Denison Ray Civil Awards, which recognize a strong commitment to serving disadvantaged and low-income clients. The awards are named for the late Denison Ray, a longtime Albany-area civil rights attorney and executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.
Also, the late Phil Dailey will be honored with an award named for him, which recognizes a non-attorney who is a champion of civil legal services and pro bono work.
Maya Wiley of Brooklyn, a civil rights attorney and expert on racial justice and equity, will be the keynote speaker. Wiley is senior vice president for Social Justice at the New School and the Henry Cohen professor of Urban Policy and Management at the New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. She is also chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the independent oversight agency for the city’s police department.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Friday, Sept. 16
Where: Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Albany, N.Y.
Denison Ray Civil Awards Reception and Dinner: Thursday, Sept. 15, 6:15 to 9:30 p.m.
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
September 14, 2016
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs