Expanding Justice in Maine: UpstreamSolutions to Downstream Problems

  • Seminar
  • Pro Bono Program/Legal Services Organization

The Symposium's theme reflects one of the core recommendations of the Maine Justice Action Group's recent report of its statewide planning initiative: to intervene "upstream" to solve problems before they become legal crises. The Symposium will revisit the core mission of civil legal aid as it was originally envisioned in the context of the "War on Poverty" as a means to bring fundamental change to the lives of people living in poverty. Professor Peter Edelman of the Georgetown University Law Center, our keynote speaker, has been a national leader on access to justice issues for more than forty years and currently chairs the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission. Panel discussions with national and local experts will examine the evolution of civil legal aid in Maine, its wide impact on policy affecting Maine residents, and the importance of ensuring that access to justice programs reach Maine residents of all races and backgrounds. The Symposium will also feature workshops with interdisciplinary panels examining innovative upstream strategies, including medical-legal partnerships; foreclosure diversion and affordable housing initiatives; and outreach to low-wage workers. We hope to attract participants from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to engage in these discussions.