UGA School of Law to host annual public interest law conference and auction

Monday, February 13, 2012

Writer: Cindy H. Rice, 706/542-5172, cindyh@uga.edu
Contact: Karen S. Bemis, 617/850-2364, kbemis@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. - Topics ranging from judicial budget cuts to the sustainability of animal farming will be explored at the University of Georgia School of Law's 7th Annual Working in the Public Interest Law Conference. Open to the public, this event will kick-off with a reception and keynote address March 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Melting Point in Downtown Athens, Ga., with the actual conference taking place the next day, March 3, at the law school.

Delivering the Friday night keynote address will be attorney Jan R. Schlichtmann, who became famous during the 1980s as a result of his lawsuit alleging that chemicals from several companies had contaminated drinking water in a town north of Boston. This case served as the basis for the book, and later the film, A Civil Action.

Also participating in the conference as panelists will be Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein of the Supreme Court of Georgia; Joyce Tischler, co-founder of the Animal Legal Defense Fund; and Tom Rawlings, Guatemala field office director for the International Justice Mission, to name a few.

"WIPI is an entirely student-run public interest law conference that seeks to bring together both practitioners and students to discuss real issues confronting attorneys and others working in the field of public interest," third-year law student and conference director Karen S. Bemis said.

The full conference agenda includes panels on the impact of college student debt on the economy, the fallout from budget cuts in the area of domestic violence prosecution, the constitutionality of the death penalty, the sustainability of animal farming, and the advantages and disadvantages of solo practices as well as alternative public interest careers.

The school's Equal Justice Foundation will also host its annual auction as part of the conference to help raise money for Georgia Law students who choose to take unpaid or low paying public interest legal positions during the summer. The auction will be held March 2 at the Melting Point following the keynote address.

Continuing legal education credits are available (pending approval). For more information about the conference or to register, please visit www.law.uga.edu/wipi. Registration is due by Feb. 28th.

For more information about the EJF auction, please visit www.law.uga.edu/ejf.

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