A conference to bring public understanding and support for legal assistance is planned for NDSU. “Access to Justice Convening” is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Memorial Union and the Group Decision Center.
The conference is sponsored by NDSU, the Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU, Bremer Banks and the Otto Bremer Foundation, Dakota Medical Foundation, Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation and United Way of Cass-Clay.
Scheduled speakers include Helaine Barnett, president of Legal Services Corp.; Judge Kermit Bye of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals; Mary Schneider, director of Legal Aid for Northwest Minnesota; and Jim Fitzsimmons, executive director of Legal Services of North Dakota. Two panel discussions also are planned.
According to Dennis Cooley, associate director of the Northern Plains Ethics Institute and associate professor of philosophy and ethics, the conference is designed to increase support for legal services for disadvantaged persons.
“The organizations sponsoring this event are community citizens looking for solutions to local and state problems that begin with the stakeholders themselves,” Cooley said. “NDSU, as an engaged university, is a perfect place to host this marketplace of ideas.”
Cooley said representatives from federal, state and local governments; area businesses, non-government organizations and nonprofit groups are expected to attend. He said 25 selected attendees representing various stakeholder interests in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota will brainstorm ways to address legal aid issues in the region at NDSU’s Group Decision Center at the end of the conference.
The conference is anticipated to attract up to 150 people.