Newsletter of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission - November 2015
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Following are access to justice related news items from Mississippi and throughout the country.  

Provider News
  1. Two Mississippi Attorneys and Mission First Legal Aid Office Volunteers Featured in Christian Legal Society Video During National Celebration of Pro Bono Week
  2. Law Students Join in the Lee County Pro Se Family Law Legal Clinic held by the Pro Bono Initiative
The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi (ACLU-MS) sued the City of Biloxi in October for alleged debtors’ prison practices. Find some of the articles that appeared in the national media about the lawsuit here:  
  1. Biloxi Accused of Running "Modern-Day Debtor's Prison"
  2. ACLU Sues Mississippi City Over 'Debtors' Prisons'
  3. Mississippi City Sued Over 'Jailhouse Shakedown' That Hurts Poor
  4. A Debtors’ Prison in Mississippi
  5. Pay Up Or Go to Jail: How a Mississippi Town Resurrected the Debtors' Prison
  6. Lawsuits Target 'Debtors' Prisons' Across the Country

Civil Legal Aid
  1. Criminal Justice Reform Will Fall Short If We Fail to Invest in Civil Legal Aid
  2. Court by Court, Lawyers Fight Policies that Fall Heavily on the Poor
Poverty in America
  1. Mississippi’s Women Are Some of the Poorest in the Country. But We’re Getting Organized
  2. Selling Plasma to Survive:  How Over 1 Million Families Live on $2 Per Day
  3. How to Reduce Poverty and Increase Economic Mobility
  4. The Persistence of Childhood Poverty
  5. What We Can Do to Increase Opportunity in America
  6. Americans in Poverty at Greater Risk for Chronic Health Problems
The Commission, Young Lawyers Division of The Mississippi Bar and the Jackson Young Lawyers Association sponsored a "Lawyers in the Library" legal advice clinic at Eudora Welty Library in Jackson on October 29. Jackson area attorneys gave advice to local residents on wills and estates, expungement, family law, social security and employment. Following are pictures from the event.  
Spotlight On ... The Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence and the Northcutt Legal Clinic  ...

The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence and the Northcutt Legal Clinic are dedicated to the prevention of violence, especially among family members. The Legal Clinic provides services with a full-range of services that deal with the abuse they have suffered and the consequences of that abuse, including divorce, protective orders, child custody and visitation, child support and paternity.  The Clinic also helps with problems related to public assistance, housing and employment. 

The organization serves the following counties: Harrison, Jackson, Hancock, Pearl River, Stone, George, Covington, Forrest, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marion, Smith, Perry, and Wayne Counties of Mississippi.
To learn more about the organization, visit or call 601-705-0139.
The Commission co-sponsored an Expungement Legal Clinic with the Mississippi Association for Justice, Capital Area Bar Association, Senator Sollie Norwood and the City of Jackson at the Metro Center Mall in Jackson on October 30. Fourteen local attorneys provided extensive pro bono services to local residents in need of help with clearing their criminal records. A follow-up clinic has been scheduled for November 11, where more residents will receive expungement assistance. The Commission is pleased to participate in events that help fill this civil legal service gap. The event started with a CLE presentation that was led by Faye Peterson, former District Attorney of Hinds County.  Following are pictures from the event.
Click Here for a List of Free Legal Resources in Mississippi
Following is a list of upcoming access to justice events in Mississippi.  Contact the sponsoring organization(s) to volunteer or learn more.    

November 12
: The Tishomingo County Chancery Court, Tishomingo County Bar Association and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project will host a Pro Se Family Law Legal Clinic at the Tishomingo County Chancery Court in Iuka from 4:00-7:00 pm.

November 30: The Monroe County Chancery Court, Monroe County Bar Association and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project will host a Pro Se Family Law Legal Clinic at the Monroe County Chancery Court in Aberdeen from 4:00-7:00 pm.
December 3: The Commission’s Executive Director, Tiffany Graves, will address the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women at 12:00 pm on the challenges affecting women in poverty in Mississippi, specifically in the civil legal aid context.
December 14: The Commission’s Executive Director, Tiffany Graves, will address the newly-elected state justice court judges at the Marriott Hotel in Jackson at 8:00 am. Tiffany will present on access to justice and how courts can effectively serve self-represented litigants. 

December 14: The Alcorn County Chancery Court, Alcorn County Bar Association and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project will host a Pro Se Family Law Legal Clinic at the Alcorn County Chancery Court in Corinth from 4:00-7:00 pm.
December 16: The Washington County Chancery Court, Washington County Bar Association, Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Pro Bono Initiative of the University of Mississippi School of Law will sponsor a Pro Se Day at the Washington County Chancery Court in Greenville from 9:00 am-1:00 pm.

For a list of all upcoming access to justice events, click here
The Commission will meet on December 1 at The Mississippi Bar Center on 643 North State Street in Jackson. We will hear presentations from Professor Thomas Mitchell of the University of Wisconsin Law School on the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act and Martha Bergmark of Voices for Civil Justice on messaging civil legal aid.  

The Commission will celebrate ten years in existence in 2016.  We will host an "Access to Justice Summit" on August 25, 2016.  

We want all of our supporters at this event so please mark your calendars now!  

The Mississippi Supreme Court created the Access to Justice Commission in June of 2006 to identify the current and future needs of the legal services community and develop and establish a strategic statewide plan for delivery of civil legal services to the poor.  We are generously supported by the Mississippi Supreme Court, The Mississippi Bar and The Mississippi Bar Foundation. 

In addition to the state's civil legal service providers, the Commission works with other partners throughout Mississippi who share our vision. We are confident that, together, we will expand access to critical legal services and supports and change the narrative about civil legal aid and people in poverty.  

This newsletter provides periodic updates on the work of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, legal aid and our pro bono partners, including county and state bar associations.  To view past issues of the newsletter, click here. For a list of upcoming access to justice events, click here.  For a list of the current voting and ex-officio members of the Commission, click hereThank you for your interest in our work.
Yours in service,

Tiffany M. Graves
Executive Director
Mississippi Access to Justice Commission 
Copyright © 2015 Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, All rights reserved.

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