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Christine Morganti
(505) 797-6028
cmorganti@nmbar.org

Legal Service Provider Conference on June 18 and 19 Helped to Align Agencies – June 24

The Second Annual New Mexico Legal Service Provider Conference, co-sponsored by the Public and Legal Service Department and the Center for Legal Education, New Mexico State Bar Foundation, was held at the State Bar Center on June 18–19. Attorneys and staff from agencies such as New Mexico Legal Aid, Law Access New Mexico and Pegasus Legal Services for Children came together with the goal of providing a more organized system of delivering legal services to the poor in New Mexico.

With approximately 14 such organizations in the state and limited state and federal funding, it is crucial that these entities operate efficiently, fill gaps in services and avoid duplication. Participants attended seminars on a variety of topics including consumer law, family violence, immigration law, Medicaid issues, working with clients, statewide resources, benefits, working with people with disabilities, technology, and more.

“Overall, it was an exciting opportunity to learn about other services in order to give referrals and to discuss the legal matters we encounter,” said Andre Shiromani of Legal FACS.

In addition to educational sessions and social opportunities, participants were also able to get information, materials, and resources from several organizations that set up display booths where attendees were able to learn more about the non-legal resources available to clients.

“My goal was for this training to be helpful and enjoyable for the poverty law attorneys and their support staffs who choose to work on a daily basis for so much less than most private attorneys for the benefit of people living in deep poverty,” said Public and Legal Services Director Kasey Daniel.

This coordinated effort of delivery of legal services stems from the New Mexico Commission on Access to Justice, created by the New Mexico Supreme Court in 2004 and dedicated to expanding and improving civil legal assistance.