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Jo-Ann Wallace On The 'Tipping Point' For Civil Justice Reform

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Jo-Ann Wallace On The 'Tipping Point' For Civil Justice Reform

"When Jo-Ann Wallace addressed the annual Equal Justice Conference this year in Louisville, Kentucky, she told an audience of 1,100 court and legal aid staff, attorneys, public defenders and researchers that the moment was "a historic tipping point for change in civil justice and civil legal aid."

The May conference co-hosted by the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association and the American Bar Association is the largest convening of state access to justice commissions and legal aid groups in the country, and this year's attendance was the largest ever.

As president and CEO, Wallace oversees America's oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to delivering legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. The post gives her unique perspective on efforts to make the justice system more accessible to all, especially those least able equipped to handle their civil legal problems.

Having previously served as the director of Washington, D.C.'s Public Defender Service from 1994 to 2000, Wallace also has experience on the criminal side, which has seen increasing momentum for reform.

She sat down with Law360 during the conference to talk about how civil legal aid reform efforts can take cues from similar efforts in the criminal system, as well as the role corporate pro bono efforts and federal agencies can play in solving the access to justice crisis..."

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