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Blogs | May, 10 2021

Join the Access to Justice Commission at the Partners for Justice Conference This Week!

The Access to Justice Commission is participating in the 2021 Partners for Justice Conference, running all week long! Register here for the discounted rate of $65.

Held annually, the conference brings together elected officials, legal services staff, human services agencies, members of the judiciary, the public and private bar, and others dedicated to the work of improving access to justice in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This year’s virtual event runs Monday through Friday and will feature panelists and presenters from over two-dozen organizations.

A2JC Director Reena Shah, along with Sam Scarrow of Voices for Civil Justice and Caitlin Brown of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, will present “Tools and Best Practice for Effective Storytelling and Communications” on Friday, May 14th, at 1:30pm.

Why “storytelling?” All successful lawyers, whether they realize it or not, are storytellers. Whether in court, in the legislature, or before a funder, telling stories – and telling them effectively – is essential to the work of advocacy. Yet few people seem to know what terms like “access to justice” or “civil legal aid” mean, nor why they are so important. To bridge this gap, the legal services community must do a better job of telling its stories and raising public awareness about why the work they do matters. In this program, national and state-focused communications experts will share practical tips and tools to advance a myriad of organizational goals, including advocacy, fundraising, and public awareness.

Also on Friday, the conference will host author, artist, and social justice advocate Chris Wilson as its keynote speaker. At age 17, Wilson was sentenced to life without parole. His journey to reclaim his freedom – and a greater sense of purpose in life – is the subject of his book, The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of PurposeHe will be introduced by the Honorable Cathy H. Serrette, the Maryland Circuit Court Judge whose decision to reduce his sentence enabled his release.

Other program offerings range from discussions of sexual harassment in fair housing to tech tips and legislative updates. Check out the full schedule of virtual programming here