Campus News

School of Law to host ninth Working in the Public Interest Conference

The School of Law will host the ninth annual Working in the Public Interest Conference on March 1. This event, which focuses on practical approaches to lawyering that promote social justice and the protection of human rights, will be held in Hirsch Hall starting at 10 a.m.

Key issues to be explored during the conference include the Voting Rights Act, poverty in suburbia, the costs and consequences of prison privatization, effective means for delivering public assistance and conflicts between law enforcement and the community as a result of the increasing use of military tactics.

Georgetown University Law Center’s Abbe Smith will deliver the keynote address. An expert in criminal defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice and clinical legal education, she will discuss her perspective and experiences as a lifelong criminal defense attorney. Smith currently serves as the director of the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic and as a professor of law at Georgetown. A former Senior Fulbright Scholar, she is the author of Case of a Lifetime: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Story.

The luncheon speaker will be Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League. With considerable experience in consumer protection issues, she will explore public interest lawyering on the national scale. Previously, she worked for the Consumers Union and the U.S. Department of Justice Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

The event will conclude with the presentation of the Milner S. Ball Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors practitioners who have dedicated their careers to public interest work. The winner will be announced during the law school’s annual Equal Justice Foundation Auction, which raises money to support Georgia Law students working in unpaid public interest positions during the summer. This function, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will be held at The Melting Point in downtown Athens.

This conference is free for members of the UGA community. The fee for all other registrants is $10. For attorneys, continuing legal education credits are available for $45.

Each year, the Working in the Public Interest law student organization seeks to highlight dynamic and creative ways to combat social injustice through the vehicle of the law by organizing a forum to address persistent social matters with the goal of getting one step closer to the resolution of the major public interest law issues in the Southeast.

For more information or to register for the event, visit or contact Courtney Poole at