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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 9, 201212:00 PM EST

National Equal Justice Conference in Jacksonville May 17-19

by: Kathy Para

Jacksonville continues to emerge as a growing center for both commerce and the legal community, as evidenced by the most recent national conference coming to town — the Equal Justice Conference.

Set for May 17-19 at the Downtown Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel, the Equal Justice Conference is a national event that brings together all components of the legal community to discuss equal justice issues as they relate to the delivery of legal services to the poor and low-income individuals in need of legal assistance.

Co-sponsored by the America Bar Association and the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association, the Equal Justice Conference focuses on strengthening partnerships among the key players in the civil justice system to strengthen and expand civil legal services to the poor.

The conference itself has an agenda that will be beneficial to a broad range of legal professionals. With workshops, networking opportunities and special programming, the conference provides a wide range of learning and discussion experiences for all attendees.

The conference will include programs and presentations based on all levels of legal experience and expertise, from those just starting out in pro bono work to those who are looking to expand their legal portfolios. 

The conference offers a special opportunity for pro bono and legal services program staff, judges, corporate counsel, court administrators, private lawyers, paralegals and bar association leaders from across the country.

In addition to the national organizers of the American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid Defenders Association, a number of local attorneys and legal professionals are serving as members of the local conference host committee.

The local host committee is composed of representatives of The Jacksonville Bar Association, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Florida Coastal School of Law and several local law firms. 

Members include Circuit Judge Jean Johnson, The JBA President Mike Freed, Karen Millard, Leslie Goller, Ray Driver, Lanny Russell, Kathy Para, Emily Magee, Josh Zmroczek, Christa Figgins, Paul Doyle, Karen Ladis, Adrianne Johnson and Kathy Grunewald.  

The host committee is coordinating two workshop opportunities at the conference in which Florida pro bono initiatives will be featured. 

The committee also is very pleased to invite conference attendees to the annual JBA Paws and Laws Casino Night May 18 at EverBank Field.

Registration for the Equal Justice Conference currently is open and more information on this very worthwhile resource and national event can be found at

For more information on the Equal Justice Conference or pro bono opportunities throughout the Fourth Judicial Circuit, contact Kathy Para, chairperson, The JBA Pro Bono Committee, [email protected]

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