More than 650 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 housing and foreclosure, consumer debt, immigration, family law, health care and access to benefits.
The 2014 Legal Assistance Partnership, titled “Moving Towards Civil Gideon,” begins Wednesday Sept. 10 and runs through Friday, Sept. 12.
Held every two years, the event is considered the premier Continuing Legal Education program for legal services providers in New York. This year’s program is sold-out, attracting 200 more attendees than it did in 2012.
Partnership Conference, which began in 1994, is sponsored and substantially underwritten by the New York State Bar Association.
“The State Bar Association is committed to ensuring that low-income New Yorkers receive top quality legal services. The conference offers attorneys with a forum to share their expertise. We are honored to play a role in making this happen” said President Glenn Lau-Kee of New York City (Kee & Lau-Kee).
Lau-Kee will open the plenary at 8:45 a.m. Thursday. He will introduce Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who will conduct a conversation about Civil Gideon and access to justice, moderated by Andrew Scherer, a well-known legal services advocate.
Among the topics of the conference’s 30 workshops are:
• Meeting clients immediate needs for emergency assistance
• The color of a bruise: addressing racial inequalities in legal protection of victims
• Bridging the gap between arrest and re-entry with a holistic approach
• Using non-lawyers to assist pro se litigants
• Defending consumers in debt collection lawsuits
• Meeting the legal needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender client
• Breaking down barriers to language access
• Avoiding foreclosure through Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans
• Future of technology in effective delivery of legal aid
On Thursday evening, the Committee on Legal Aid will present its annual Denison Ray Awards, which recognize attorneys who demonstrate 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.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 10, through Friday, Sept. 12
Where: Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Albany, N.Y.
Denison Ray Awards Reception and Dinner: Thursday, Sept. 11, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Speakers: Steven Banks, commissioner of New York City Human Resources Administration and former attorney-in-chief of The Legal Aid Society in New York City.
The 75,000-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
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs