Earlier this month, the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) and Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) staff participated in the Equal Justice Conference in St. Louis.
Adrienne Packard, assistant director of CPIL, was on the planning committee for the national gathering of law school pro bono and public service program directors.
Packard also moderated a panel discussion of New York's mandatory pro bono admission requirement and the national implications of the rule. She was joined by David Udell from the National Center for Access to Justice and Cordozo Law School, Thomas Maligno from Touro Law School, David Johnson from George Washington University Law School and Holly Eaton, formerly of Georgetown Law School.
Panelists discussed the implication of this rule for the law school community and the potential effects on law school curriculum and pro bono programs. The panel agreed that there are still many details of the rule that are unclear and much anticipation about evidence of a measurable impact from the rule. Several states, including New Jersey and California, are currently in the process of creating their own pro bono requirements for admission to the bar.
CPIL and PBCSI staff also participated in sessions concerning law student pro bono ethics, effective lawyering for law students, creating and improving law school pro bono programs, pro bono tracking and outcome measures, law school access to justice commission partnerships and fostering relationships with legal aid providers to create meaningful partnerships. CPIL and PBCSI staff met and networked with law school professionals in their field from across the country, sharing ideas and gaining support for future endeavors.