Narrowing the Justice Gap: Legal Services for the Poor in an Economic Downturn
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On Wednesday, July 8, 2009,  the American Constitution Society for Law, Center for American Progress, and Washington Council of Lawyers will co-sponsor a lunchtime event exploring the effect of the recession on civil legal services.  

The state of the economy has exacted a toll on most people over the last year, but perhaps none more harshly than people who were vulnerable before the crisis.  Two panels featuring experts from a variety of perspectives will discuss the funding and regulation of legal services programs at the federal level, explore how the economic downturn has impacted legal services communities across the country, and offer and in-depth review about how programs in Washington, DC are coping with strained resources amidst swelling demand for services. 

Panel One:  Legal Services on the National Stage

Professor Peter B. Edelman, Georgetown University Law Center
Ted Frank,
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Don Saunders, Director of Civil Legal Services, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Moderator, Joy Moses, Policy Analyst, CAP Poverty & Prosperity Program


Panel Two:  Poverty Law in the District of Columbia

Susan M. Hoffman, Public Service Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP
Jonathan M. Smith, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of DC
Hon. Inez Smith Reid, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Moderator, Steven L. Grumm, WCL’s Board President and Director of Public Service Initiatives at NALP

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