Chief Justices’ Forum on Civil Legal Aid Highlights National LSC Board Meeting in Ann Arbor; Dennis Archer is Featured Speaker

Washington, DC— Dickinson Wright Chairman Emeritus Dennis W. Archer will address the national Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Board of Directors when it meets in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on July 27.

Archer, who served on the Michigan Supreme Court and as mayor of Detroit, was the first African-American president of the American Bar Association (2003-2004). He will speak at the board’s luncheon on Friday, July 27, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m., at the Sheraton Ann Arbor. 

Suellyn Scarnecchia, a University of Michigan Law School Clinical Law Professor who served as Vice President and General Counsel of the University of Michigan from 2008-2012, will also speak at the luncheon. 

The day before, at a forum held at the University of Michigan Law School, board members will hear from a panel featuring Hon. Denise Page Hood of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and four state chief justices.  They will also hear from representatives of LSC-funded legal aid programs across the country, and from Michigan access to justice leaders. 

Judge Hood, together with Chief Justice Mark Cady of Iowa, Chief Justice Cornelia Clark of Tennessee, Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride of Illinois, and Chief Justice Richard Teitelman of Missouri, will address LSC Board members about the role of legal aid for the poor in safeguarding the fair administration of justice.  That panel will take place on July 26, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in 1225 South Hall, 701 South State Street.

The board will also hear from experts in service delivery, domestic violence, and resource development: 

  • On Thursday, domestic violence law experts will tell board members about innovative work being done by LSC-funded legal services programs in California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, and Wisconsin (July 26, 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., in 1225 South Hall, 701 South State Street).
  • Also on Thursday, a panel of Michigan equal justice community leaders will discuss how the state’s collaborative approach affects both the quality and efficiency of legal services, and how legal aid offices are coping with the dual challenges of growing demand and reduced funding (July 26, 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., 1225 South Hall, 701 South State Street).
  • On Friday, representatives of LSC-funded programs in Michigan, Missouri, and Georgia, and a consultant from the ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives will update the board on successes and challenges related to resource development by legal aid programs. (July 27, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m., Sheraton Ann Arbor).


Domestic Violence

Gabriel Campos, New Mexico Legal Aid, Director, Family Law Safety Division

Vicky Kimbrell, Georgia Legal Services Program, Director, Family Violence Project

Wendy Pollack, Shriver Center, Director, Women Law & Policy Project

Jessica Roulette, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Staff Attorney

Rebecca Shiemke, Legal Services of South Central Michigan/Michigan Poverty Law Program, Managing Attorney, Family Law Project and State Support Specialist on Family Law

Sotivear Sim, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Asian Pacific Islander Unit

Michigan Statewide Collaboration

Lorray Brown, Co-Managing Attorney, Michigan Poverty Law Program

Bruce Courtade, President-Elect, State Bar of Michigan

Robert Gillett, Executive Director, Legal Services of South Central Michigan

Bridget Mary McCormack, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs & Clinical Professor of Law, UMLS

Margo Nichols, President, Michigan State Bar Foundation

Linda Rexer, Executive Director, Michigan State Bar Foundation (Moderator)

Deierdre Weir, President and CEO, Legal Aid and Defender Association

Resource Development

Jennifer Bentley, Outreach & Development Manager, Legal Services of South Central Michigan

Daniel Glazier, Executive Director, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Steve Gottlieb, Executive Director, Atlanta Legal Aid Society

Meredith McBurney, ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives

Deierdre Weir, President and CEO, Legal Aid and Defender Association

The luncheon and presentations will be in conjunction with meetings of the LSC Board and its committees, which will occur on July 27 at the Sheraton Ann Arbor.  Details regarding the board and committee meetings may be found in a notice published in the Federal Register at   Members of the public who are unable to attend may listen to open sessions of the board and its committees by telephone, using the instructions in the notice.

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.

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