LSC Board Meeting at UNM Law School to focus on access to justice

October 12, 2016 - Tamara Williams

Professor Gloria Valencia-Weber Thumbnail
Professor Gloria Valencia-Weber

The Board of Directors for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest funder of civil legal aid for low income people in the U.S., will be in New Mexico October 15 - 18. LSC is hosting events that are open to the public and the legal community in New Mexico.

UNM Law School Professor Gloria Valencia-Weber, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the LSC Board of Directors, says the Board is here to learn about New Mexico, the legal community, and the cultural framework of the state. 

On Saturday, LSC Directors and Executive staff will be traveling to Acoma Pueblo, meeting with the Acoma Pueblo government officials and the Acoma Pueblo Court judges, as well as visiting Sky City and enjoying a traditional Acoma meal.

Public invited to business meetings

On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday the public is invited to the business meetings of the Board at the Andaluz Hotel.

Monday, Oct. 17 – Board meeting at the Law School

On Monday, the LSC Board is holding a meeting featuring two panels focused on access to justice in Room 2401 at the UNM Law School from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, followed by a reception.

The “Forum on Access to Justice” will comprise two panels of leading jurists and lawyers from the Southwest, introduced by LSC Board Chair John G. Levi, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, and UNM Law School Dean Sergio Pareja.

Panel One: “The Importance of Access to Justice to the Judiciary”

This panel will discuss the access to justice programs and assistance developed when persons who cannot afford attorneys have civil cases involving home foreclosures or evictions; family law, including domestic violence, child custody; credit and employment and other issues.

Panelists are:

  • Chief Judge M. Christina Armijo, U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
  • Justice Eva Guzman, Supreme Court of Texas
  • Justice William W. Hood, III, Colorado Supreme Court

  • Judge William Johnson, Pueblo of Acoma Tribal Court

  • Justice Petra Jimenez Maes, New Mexico Supreme Court
  • Moderator: Dean Martha Minow, Harvard Law School & LSC Board Vice Chair

Panel Two: “Legal Services & Law School Collaborations to Expand Access to Justice”

The second panel of distinguished public interest attorneys will focus on the civil representation needs of children living in poverty at this time in the southwest.

Panelists are:

  • Jennifer Barnes, Director of the Externship Program, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Pamela Bridge, Director of Litigation and Advocacy, Community Legal Services (Arizona)
  • Beth Gillia, Director, Corinne Wolfe Children’s Law Center, University of New Mexico School of Law
  • Ed Marks, Executive Director, New Mexico Legal Aid
  • Moderator: James J. Sandman, President, Legal Services Corporation

Pro Bono Awards Reception, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Law School Forum

A reception featuring awards for the New Mexico private attorneys and law firms that have done outstanding work in in providing pro bono (voluntary) representation of low income persons in NM will be honored. The LSC Board will present awards to these attorneys who have improved the lives of New Mexicans. New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels, State Bar of New Mexico President J. Brent Moore, and UNM Law School Dean Alfred Mathewson will be involved in this event.