Jennifer Clarke to Present at PBA Making a Difference Seminar

Executive Director Jennifer Clarke will present on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at the PBA Pro Bono Seminar: Making a Difference 2014, as part of a panel titled, “From Senate Hearings to An Access to Justice Commission.” 

She, Sam Milkes and Jim Creenan, who are the Tri-Chairs of the Civil Justice Coalition, will join Senator Stewart Greenleaf in recounting the lessons learned about access to justice from the three Senate hearings held by Greenleaf’s Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s annual Pro Bono Conference is the legal community’s foremost pro bono event and the only CLE seminar specifically tailored to the interests, needs, resources and issues attorneys encounter when fulfilling their obligations to provide pro bono legal services. Join Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and public interest attorneys and advocates from around the Commonwealth as they lay the groundwork to enable you to best use your experience to contribute to those less fortunate.

Here is the full schedule with speaker information:

May 13, 2014

Morning Session simulcast from Philadelphia; Afternoon Session simulcast from Mechanicsburg

Click here to register and to find a simulcast location near you.


8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Networking Breakfast

Live from Philadelphia:

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Access to Justice (Ethics)

9:00 — 9:20 a.m. The Chief Justice on Access to Justice

Chief Justice Ron Castille will kick off the conference with remarks on access to justice and the importance of civil legal aid.

9:20 – 10:00 a.m. From Senate Hearings to An Access to Justice Commission

Sam Milkes, Jennifer Clarke and Jim Creenan, the Tri-Chairs of the Civil Justice Coalition will join Senator Stewart Greenleaf in recounting the lessons learned about access to justice from the three Senate hearings held by Greenleaf’s Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013.  The panel will be moderated by Allegheny County Foundation Pro Bono Center Director and PBA Legal Services to the Public Committee Co-Chair Barbara Griffin.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Alphabet Soup (VIP,  MCAP , LBP, Inc., TLC, PPCP) : The State of Pro Bono In Pennsylvania

This session will feature programs across the Commonweath  that offer pro bono opportunities.  Mary Pugh of Montgomery Child Advocate Program, Sara Woods of Volunteer Indigent Program, Sylvia Hahn of Lackawanna Pro Bono, Inc., Mary Bates, of The Legal Clinic and Barbara Griffin on behalf of the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership will discuss the different opportunities available to pro bono lawyers across Pennsylvania.

11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Immigration Law Pro Bono for the Non-Immigration Lawyer (Citizenship Day, DACA, and Immigration Reform)  

This session will highlight developments in immigration law, especially the status of immigration reform, that will provide opportunities for pro bono service for both the veteran immigration lawyer and the non-immigration attorney.  Featured is Citizenship Day, an annual opportunity for pro bono service  that any lawyer can support.  DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will be discussed to emphasize how work in such areas requires immigration expertise.  There will also be a review of Family Law/LGBT Rights and Interpersonal Violence (VAWA and U visas). PBA Immigration Law Committee Co-Chairs Wendy Hess and Guerline Laurore wil be joined by HIAS’ Judi Berstein-Baker for this exciting update on what is, and what may soon be, happening in this field.

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

Live from Mechanicsburg:

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Don’t Shut Me Off: The PUC Utility Clinic

This session on the newly established Public Utility Clinic features a partnership between Widener Law School and the PUC to help lower-income consumers receive legal help in navigating the complaint process before the PUC.   Mary Beth Osborne from the PUC will be joined by Widener Law Professor Palmer Lockard, PUC Chief Administrative Law Judge Charles Rainey and Dianne Dusman of the Office of Consumer Advocate in showcasing the many ways private practice attorneys can help support the poor in PUC matters.

2:00 – 2:15 p.m. Break

2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Pro Bono Week 2014: Serving Those Who Serve (ethics)

PBA President-Elect Frank O’Connor, just days from becoming the 120th  leader of the statewide bar, will kickoff this session about the PBA’s 2014 Pro Bono Week focus of serving those who serve, our veterans of recent and not so recent wars.  Wes Payne, Chair of the PBA’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, will highlight developments in providing access to justice for veterans along with Jeremiah Underhill , who is running the new clinic for veterans in Harrisburg, and Susan Saidel, who heads the Widener Law School Veteran’s Clinic. Materials on veterans from and will be shared by David Trevakis, PBA Pro Bono Coordinator.

3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Job Readiness: Establishing A Statewide Pro Bono Expungement Program

The Pennsylvania Bar Association, under the leadership of Executive Director Barry Simpson, has been exploring establishing a statewide pro bono expungement project.  Lisette McCormick, Executive Director of the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness will join Cumberland County’s Linda Cecconello, Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico, PBA Legal Services to the Public Co-Chair Kandice Hull, Montgomery County Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey  and Philadelphia attorney Mike Lee in this panel that explores what is being done today and what might be done in the future to handle expungements across the Commonwealth.