June 9, 2009
The Fund for Modern Courts, together with the New York State Bar Association, sponsored a Continuing Legal Education entitled: Legal Services in a Time of Crisis: Policy, Practice and Economics.
The panelists discussed the present and ongoing crisis in providing civil legal services in New York State. The program focused on what happens when there is insufficient funding for legal service programs, how clients and the practice of law are effected, does the practice change? What can lawyers do differently when representing the poor? What happens when the court system is similarly experiencing a lack of resources? Are there alternatives that work and how does that effect the practice of law? How can the Legislature and the Judiciary respond? What new ideas exist to address funding and practice constraints? The panelists addressed the issues from the perspective of legislators, the judiciary, administrators of legal service programs, attorneys, educators, and advocates.
Bottom Row from l to r: Lillian M. Moy, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York; Hon. Fern A. Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City Courts and also charged with Statewide responsibility for access to justice issues, Top Row from l to r: Kristin Brown Lilley, Director of Legislative Advocacy for Empire Justice Center, Edwina Frances Martin, Director of Communications and Government Relations, Legal Services NYC; Lisa Frisch, Executive Director, The Legal Project and the panel was moderated by Professor Mary Lynch, Clinical Professor of Law, Albany Law School.