WASHINGTON – Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins and Judge Robert W. Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa joined Supreme Court justices from five other states at Drake Law School in Des Moines on July 21 for panel discussions on civil legal aid.
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) held the forum in conjunction with the Board of Directors’ quarterly meeting.
Joining Justice Wiggins and Judge Pratt were North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. Crothers, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David R. Stras, Missouri Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman, and Nebraska Supreme Court Justice John F. Wright.
The panel addressed LSC Board members and an audience of approximately 100 attorneys, judges and other access-to-justice leaders from across the region. They discussed the importance of access to justice issues for the judiciary.
LSC Board Vice Chair Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School, moderated the panel, which took place from 9:15-10:45 a.m. at the Neal & Bea Smith Legal Clinic, 2400 University Avenue.
A second panel examined the importance of community partnerships in delivering legal aid to low-income people, focusing on best practices to improve the delivery of holistic services. Moderated by LSC President James J. Sandman, the panel included directors from three LSC-funded legal aid offices: Joan Boles of Bay Area Legal Services in Florida; Neal S. Dudovitz of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County; and Dennis Groenenboom of Iowa Legal Aid. They were joined by representatives of their community partners: Mindy Murphy, President & CEO of The Spring of Tampa Bay; Barbara Kamenir Siegel of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; and Eric Tabor, Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Iowa Attorney General’s office. The panel took place from 10:45 a.m. to 12 noon.
David Stern, executive director of Equal Justice Works, delivered the keynote speech at a luncheon following the panel discussions, with welcoming remarks from Alan O. Olson, Board President of Iowa Legal Aid.
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established by the Congress in 1974 to provide equal access to justice and to ensure the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.