On November 3, distinguished jurists, educators, and leaders of the legal community will convene at the University of Michigan Law School for panel discussions on how to expand access to justice. The Access to Justice Forum will include opening remarks from John Levi, Chair of the Board of Legal Services Corporation and Michigan Law Dean Mark West.
They will be joined by the University of Michigan’s J.T. Rogan, Director of Communications & Operations for the Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh, and Broderick Johnson, who formerly served as Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary under President Obama and is now a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School and a partner with Bryan Cave LLP.
Two panel discussions will follow, focusing on ways to increase access to civil legal assistance for low-income Americans.
The first, “Judicial Perspectives on Access to Justice,” will feature Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret H. Chutich. They will discuss barriers to justice and the impact that large numbers of litigants without lawyers have on the justice system.
The second panel, “Legal Services and Law School Collaborations to Expand Access to Justice,” will explore ways of expanding the availability of civil legal services for low-income Americans. The panelists include Bob Gillett, Executive Director of the Michigan Advocacy Program; Elizabeth Rios, Managing Attorney, Lansing Office, Legal Services of South Central Michigan; and Suellyn Scarnecchia, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School, and a Michigan Advocacy Program Board Member.
University of Michigan Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh serves on LSC’s Leaders Council, which works to raise public awareness of the crisis in legal aid. He has named LSC’s Board Chair John Levi and me honorary co-captains of the University of Michigan football team for the game against the University of Minnesota at 6:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, November 4.
On Saturday, John and I will join Coach Harbaugh at Michigan Stadium for Legal Services Day. I hope you have a chance to watch the opening of the game, when John and I will accompany the Michigan team as they enter the stadium. Go Blue!