Eighth Circuit Chief Judge Smith and Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Wynne Join Leaders from the Business and Legal Communities for LSC Access to Justice Forum

January 28, 2020

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Distinguished jurists and leaders from the legal aid and business communities will gather on Friday, January 31, for the Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Forum on Increasing Access to Justice. LSC is hosting the event in conjunction with its Board of Directors’ quarterly meeting.

Justice Robin F. Wynne of the Arkansas Supreme Court will provide opening remarks. He will be joined by LSC Board Chair John G. Levi.

The first panel, “Legal Aid in Rural America,” will highlight the challenges of meeting the civil legal services needs of low-income individuals living in rural communities. A 2017 report from the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation found that Arkansas has the fewest attorneys per capita of any state in the country, with only one attorney for every 406 residents.

The panelists include attorneys at legal services organizations, a law professor, and former fellows of LSC’s Rural Summer Legal Corp (RSLC). RSLC, a partnership with Equal Justice Works, places law students at LSC-funded civil legal aid organizations to provide direct services in underserved rural areas across the United States and its territories. The speakers are: Jon Asher, Executive Director, Colorado Legal Services; Carmel Joseph, a law student at Quinnipiac University School of Law and a 2019 RSLC Fellow; Courtney Klus, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid of West Virginia and a 2016 RSLC Fellow; Amy M. Pritchard, Assistant Professor of Clinical Education, University of Arkansas William H. Bowen School of Law; Kace Rodwell, Equal Justice Works Fellow, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services and a 2017 RSLC Fellow; and Adrienne Worthy, Executive Director, Legal Aid of West Virginia. Lynn Jennings, LSC’s Vice President of Grants Management, will moderate the panel.

The second panel, “The Business Community's Role in Increasing Access to Justice,” will explore why American businesses depend on a justice system where consumers, employees, and employers can access their legal rights and protections. The panelists will include Lori Chumbler, Senior Associate General Counsel, Walmart; Christy Kane, Pro Bono Counsel, Entergy Corporation; Rod Nagel, Vice President, Tyson Foods; and Dr. Karama Neal, President, Southern Bancorp Community Partners and Chair of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. William A. Waddell Jr., partner at Friday Eldredge & Clark LLP, will serve as moderator.

Ronald S. Flagg, LSC’s Vice President of Legal Affairs & General Counsel, will provide closing remarks. Following the forum, Chief Judge Lavenski R. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will deliver remarks at a luncheon in the Great Hall inside the Clinton Presidential Center at 1200 President Clinton Avenue.

The Forum on Increasing Access to Justice will take place 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. CST at the 1836 House of Representatives Chamber at the Old State House Museum, 300 W. Markham Street. Members of the press are invited to attend.

The event will also be livestreamed via Facebook Live and Twitter. To view it, visit LSC’s Facebook or Twitter page or follow the conversation at #LSCforum.  

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.