Until Civil Gideon: Expanding Access to Justice

  • Special Programs

In November 1, 2013, Fordham Law School's Urban Law Center, Urban Law Journal, and Feerick Center for Social Justice are sponsoring an all-day conference entitled Until Civil Gideon: Expanding Access to Justice. Timed for the fiftieth anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright ruling, the conference will convene leading scholars as well as national and local leaders in the access to justice movement. In particular, the conference will explore emerging issues and innovations that can promote access to justice in civil proceedings in the absence of a right to counsel. While obtaining a form of civil Gideon is a goal, the conference will ask, from a broad variety of perspectives, what are the best strategies until that point? We are honored to offer the following program, plus many other distinguished speakers:

Hon. Earl Johnson, Jr. will open the day with a reflection on the civil Gideon movement and its current efforts; Professor Benjamin H. Barton and Richard Zorza will respond.

New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman will deliver the keynote speech during the conference's luncheon session.

Professor Russell Engler, Justice Fern A. Fisher (Director of the New York State Access to Justice Program), and Professor Deborah L. Rhode will conclude by discussing the outlook for the access to justice movement and the role of various stakeholder communities, such as the organized bar, law schools, courts, and legal services providers.

Panels throughout the day will explore key issues, including the role of non-lawyers, unbundled legal services, the use of technology and self-help, and court-led initiatives to facilitate access to justice. The conference will provide a platform for thoughtful reflection and shared insights about how to continue to make strides on access to justice in the absence of civil Gideon-particularly during these challenging fiscal times. Additionally, the conference will serve as a springboard for continued information sharing and dialogue among the practitioners, experts, and scholars who attend.