ABA to Proceed with Equal Justice Conference and Expand Immigration Programming
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 4, 2010 — The American Bar Association announced today that it will move forward as scheduled with the Equal Justice Conference in Phoenix May 13 – 15.
“The American Bar Association has already made its opposition to the new Arizona immigration law known, and we will continue to do so,” said ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm. “The law infringes on civil rights and belies our nation’s principle of justice for all. When justice for anyone in America is threatened, it diminishes us all as a free people.
“The Equal Justice Conference brings together all components of the legal community to further the delivery of legal services to the poor and low-income individuals who are in need of legal assistance,” Lamm continued. “We are not going to allow these efforts to be even temporarily derailed by an unjust law. Doing so would have a further detrimental effect and run contrary to ensuring the principles on which our nation was formed continue to thrive.”
Among the skills and tools that conference attendees will bring back to their law practices, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies include the essential elements for designing a pro bono project, maintaining a client-centered approach to low-income legal service delivery, utilizing volunteers in access-to-justice programs, and developing legal assistance partnerships between lawyers and judges.
The conference will offer expanded programming for participants to learn about, discuss and respond to issues arising from the Arizona legislation, particularly addressing broader issues of immigration reform and the status of immigrants in America.
“The Equal Justice Conference is now in its 12th year,” Lamm said. “It is always extremely moving to see the passion that is in the room when lawyers gather for public service efforts. To that end, the ABA calls on lawyers across the country who are committed to equality and justice to convene in Arizona so that they can become better informed firsthand about what is going on in that state and learn how to join personally in fighting for social justice.”
The ABA will carefully assess whether to schedule future conferences in the state of Arizona unless the law is invalidated.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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