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State Bar and Community Partners Recognized for Support of Access to Justice Initiatives

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state Bar anD CommunitY Partners reCogniZeD for suPPort of aCCess to JustiCe initiatives
BY KRISTINA MARzEC, ACCESS TO JUSTICE DIRECTOR
LRIS Gifts One-Time Emergency Grants to Civil Legal Aid The news surrounding civil legal aid has been especially dire during the past few years, and the commission is thankful for the improvements made to the IOLTA program though the hard work and cooperation of the bench, the bar and the Nevada Law Foundation. The assistance provided by IOLTA cannot, however, come close to filling the void created by large-scale cuts to all levels of funding for civil legal aid programs. Responding to pleas for help, the state bar considered possible emergency aid sources. The state bar’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) had a banner revenue year. Thenpresident Cam Ferenbach, Executive Director Kimberly Farmer, and LRIS manager Lori Wolk approached the LRIS Committee to discuss ways of providing supplemental funding assistance to legal aid in this time of crisis. Recognizing the need and special circumstances, the LRIS committee, chaired by R. Christopher Reade, recently made it possible for the Board of Governors (BOG) to approve special onetime emergency grants totaling $262,354, to be distributed as follows: EmERGENCY LEGAL AID GRANT DISTRIBUTION Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada................. $153,477 Washoe Legal Services .......... $35,417 Nevada Legal Services .......... $30,695 Senior Citizen Law Project Las Vegas .................. $18,364 Volunteer Attorneys of Rural Nevada ........................ $16,528 Washoe County Senior Law Project ... $7,870 Ferenbach noted that the BOG is committed to supporting Access to Justice programs and it is fortunate that this year’s high level of LRIS revenue gave the
Then-state bar President Cam Ferenbach and Chief Justice Michael Douglas present welcome and opening remarks at the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference on May 19, 2011.
The Access to Justice Commission is pleased to recognize the extraordinary support recently provided in two key areas: State Bar of Nevada emergency LRIS grants to civil legal aid providers and community support of the recent ABA/ NLADA Equal Justice Conference.
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July 2011
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BOG an opportunity to meet a critical need caused by the recession’s impact on traditional revenue sources. The Access to Justice Commission sincerely thanks the State Bar of Nevada and the LRIS Committee and joins the state bar in the sincere hope that improvements to the IOLTA program, improvements to Nevada’s economy and efforts to develop new funding sources or increase old ones will benefit the good works of civil legal aid organizations in the years to come. EqUAL JUSTICE CONfERENCE fINDS A SAfE LANDING IN LAS VEGAS Every year the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association bring together many components of the legal community at the Equal Justice Conference. The conference provides a forum for discussing equal justice issues as they relate to the delivery of legal services to poor and low-income individuals in need of legal assistance. The emphasis of this conference is on strengthening partnerships among the key players in the civil justice system. Through plenary sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and special programming, the conference provides a wide range of learning and sharing experiences for all attendees. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the conference, which was to have taken place in San Francisco, suddenly found itself without a home just months before the scheduled event on May 19-21 of this year. LACSN executive director Barbara Buckley suggested Las Vegas as an alternative and, for the first time ever, the conference was held in Las Vegas. For those who have never attended, the Equal Justice Conference is always an ambitious week, including more than one hundred workshops covering a wide array of subjects such as pro bono, substantive law, information management and technology, management and diversity, partnership programming and resource development. This year more than 700 people came to Las Vegas from all over the U.S. and Canada to attend. Chief Justice Michael Douglas and then-President Cam Ferenbach presented opening comments and participated in panels for substantive programming. Local tours of the Eighth Judicial District’s Civil Law and Family Law Self-Help centers were provided. Due to the sudden change in venue, there was no funding for the traditional welcome reception. The ABA/NLADA and the Access to Justice Commission would like to thank the following sponsors of the Equal Justice Conference Nevada Welcome Reception for the generous contributions that made the event possible.
EqUAL JUSTICE CONfERENCE NEVADA WELCOmE RECEPTION SPONSORS
Access to Justice Champion ($2,500 Donation) Bank of America* Access to Justice Partners ($1,000-$2,000 Donation) Ballard Spahr Bank of Nevada* Family Law Section, State Bar of Nevada Kortek Solutions Mutual of America State Bar of Nevada Tyler Technologies
*Participating IOLTA Financial Institution
There can be no equitable system of law without at least equal access to the front door of the court house. The Access to Justice Commission recognizes that times continue to be difficult for everyone and is grateful for the continued support of our community partners.
KRiStinA mARzec is a 16-year employee of the state bar. She worked for 12 years in the office of bar counsel before assuming the position of access to justice executive director in 2008.
July 2011
Nevada Lawyer
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