Legal Aid Staff Participates In ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference
FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

Last month, Karen Cacace, Supervising Attorney of The Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit, Legal Aid New Leadership Program Member Neil Steinkamp, Managing Director of Stout Risus & Ross, Inc. (SRR), and Marlene Halpern, the Society’s Supervising Attorney for Pro Bono, participated as panelists at the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference.

The conference, which was held in St. Louis, was designed to bring together all components of the legal community committed to ensuring civil equal justice for the lowest income, most disadvantaged people and communities in the United States.

Karen Cacace’s and Neil Steinkamp’s panel focused on “How to Utilize Pro Bono Financial Experts: The Benefits to Clients and Public Interest Organizations.” Cacace and Steinkamp shared their experiences in working collaboratively to represent and protect the rights of unemployed and low-wage workers. Steinkamp and the SRR team have provided Legal Aid's Employment Law Unit staff with invaluable assistance in identifying and quantifying assets of unscrupulous employers and have created tools to assist in determining proper damage claims and evaluating settlement offers. The purpose of the panel was to encourage pro bono practitioners to utilize the resources of financial experts in assisting low-income clients. Also on the panel were Betsy Cavendish, President of Appleseed, Inc; Dr. John Johnson IV, CEO of Edgeworth Economics; and Steven Schulman, Pro Bono Partner at Akin Gump.

Halpern co-facilitated a pre-conference session on “Impact Pro Bono: Utilizing Litigation, Transactional Assistance & Public Policy” for public interest attendees, and participated in a companion workshop on “Public Interest Impact Litigation: Improving Law Firm and Public Interest Partnerships.” Other panel participants were Nancy Anderson, Pro Bono Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Marnie Berk, Pro Bono Director, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest; Jennifer Kroman, Director of Pro Bono Practice, Cleary Gottlieb; and Steven Schulman. In addition, Halpern and Miriam Buhl, Pro Bono Counsel at Weil, Gotschal & Manges LLP, participated in a panel that on “ Filling the Justice Gap: Innovative Law Firm/Public Interest Partnerships Address Benefits and Housing,” which highlighted the Legal Aid/Weil New York City Housing Authority Pro Bono Project. Also on the panel were Lynda Krupp, Managing Attorney with Legal Aid and Defender Association; and Joseph A. Sullivan, Special Counsel and Director of Pro Bono Programs at Pepper Hamilton LLP.