The Center for Public Interest Law Seventh Annual Symposium was split between two days, March 13 and 15.
This year’s symposium featured both an Academic Conference and Action Day. On March 13, over 80 students, local practitioners, and community members joined CPIL for the symposium’s keynote address by Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project in D.C. The conference hosted two additional panels Battling Collateral Consequences from the Angles of Policy, Law; and Community Organizing; and Statutory Barriers, Remedies, and the Path Moving Forward, which featured local attorneys, community and policy advocates, a NPR reporter, and a Circuit Court Judge.
On March 15, CPIL piloted its first-ever Symposium Action day, which featured a criminal records relief legal training and clinic in partnership with Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA). The Action Day provided attendees the opportunity to work with communities in need, and contributed to the Symposium’s goal of not merely identifying issues, but furthering remedies.
Paul Haidle, Supervising Attorney with CGLA, provided a criminal records relief legal training in the morning, after which, volunteer students and attorneys headed to Grace Place where they provided direct-services to 56 individuals with criminal records. At the Action Day, volunteers worked in teams of two people to provide brief services to clients, including assistance with Health Care Waivers, Certificates of Good Conduct and Relief from Disability, and Petitions for Executive Clemency.
Clients left the Action Day with completed or partially completed petitions and detailed information on their next steps. Volunteers gained valuable transferrable legal skills, and made new connections within the community.
For more information about the Action Day portion of the symposium, visit CGLA's blog.