'Shaping Justice' Conference Will Honor UVA Law’s Public Service Legacy

Event Celebrates 20 Years of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center
Shaping Justice
January 17, 2017

A conference hosted by the University of Virginia School of Law on Feb. 3-4 aims to inspire students and lawyers to promote justice.

The “Shaping Justice” conference — sponsored by UVA Law, the Program in Law and Public Service, the student-run Public Interest Law Association, and numerous student organizations — will honor the 20th anniversary of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center, which has helped students fulfill their pursuit of careers in the public interest and pro bono work since 1996. (Register)

 “Since its creation in 1996 — my first year as a law student — the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the nation’s top public interest advising centers,” said Annie Kim ’99, assistant dean for public service and director of the center. “Founding director Assistant Dean Kimberly Emery '91, the Law School Foundation’s Chief Development Officer Jason Trujillo ’01, and [former center director] Yared Getachew ’98 are a few of the dedicated leaders who paved the way for the PSC today. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the support we receive on a daily basis from our enormously loyal and accomplished alumni who give of themselves in so many ways to nurture the next generation of public service lawyers.”

A variety of guest speakers, panel discussions, workshops and networking sessions will explore subjects that bridge legal work and social justice, such as affordable housing development, the environment, women in the criminal justice system, and aid for victims of domestic violence. Additionally, the conference will offer workshops providing practical information for future public interest lawyers.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Robin Steinberg, founder and executive director of The Bronx Defenders, which has worked at the forefront of indigent defense since 1997. Steinberg’s organization pioneered the “holistic defense” model, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to address the underlying factors that lead poor clients into the criminal justice system in the first place.

Numerous other experts drawn from academia, public service and private practice will participate in the conference. Dean Risa Goluboff, a leading civil rights scholar, will kick off the conference in Caplin Pavilion at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

The keynote lunch on Saturday is open to the public, and all events are open to students, staff and alumni with registration.  UVA Law students and staff may register here and UVA Law alumni may register here.


Friday, Feb. 3

2-5:30 p.m.
and Registration
Clay Hall Lobby (in front of Caplin Pavilion)

2:30-3 p.m.
Welcome by Dean Risa L. Goluboff
Caplin Pavilion

Dean Goluboff is a leading civil rights scholar and the author of “Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s” and “The Lost Promise of Civil Rights.”

3:15-4:30 p.m.

Building Wealth: Expanding Economic Opportunities Through Land, Housing and Development
Sponsored by the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law

  • Jim Gray, Manager, Division of Housing Mission and Goals, Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • Savonala Horne, Executive Director, Land Loss Prevention Project
  • Jessica Shoemaker, Professor, Nebraska College of Law 

Before, During and After: Issues Facing Women in the Criminal Justice System
Sponsored by Women of Color, Feminist Legal Forum and the Virginia Law in Prison Project

  • Georgia Lerner, Executive Director, Women’s Prison Association
  • Anisah Sabur, Project Associate, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
  • Josh Bowers, Professor, University of Virginia School of Law

Environmental Justice and the Law: Attorneys’ Many Roles in Combating Environmental Injustice
Sponsored by the Virginia Environmental Law Forum

  • Joe Szakos, Executive Director, Virginia Organizing
  • ​Jamie Cole, Policy Advocate, North Carolina Conservation Network
  • Lisa Garcia, Vice President of Litigation for Healthy Communities, Earthjustice

4:45-6 p.m.

Crime, Youth and Justice: A Multidisciplinary Approach
Sponsored by Child Advocacy Research and Education and the UVA Law National Lawyers Guild

  • Janet Van Cuyk, Legislation and Research Manager, Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice 
  • Emilee Hasbrouck, Assistant Public Defender, Richmond Public Defender’s Office
  • ​Jennifer Woolard, Professor, Georgetown University
  • Jeree Thomas '11, Policy Director, Campaign for Youth Justice

Invisible Violence: Increasing Awareness and Improving Aid for Domestic Violence Victims in Underrepresented Communities
Sponsored by the Domestic Violence Project, LAMBDA Law Alliance and the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law

  • Maj. Michael Scaletty, former Special Victim Prosecutor, U.S. Army Alaska, U.S. Army Legal Services Agency

  • Patty Roseberry, Outreach Advocate, Shelter for Help in Emergency

  • Kathryn Finley, Attorney, Tahirih Justice Center

  • Jonathan Yglesias, Programs and Services Director, Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

  • Anne Coughlin, Professor, University of Virginia School of Law

Fair Housing and Civil Rights in Virginia
Sponsored by the UVA Black Law Students Association and the Center for the Study of Race and Law

  • Wes Bellamy, Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Kim Rolla '13, Attorney and Housing Team Coordinator, Legal Aid Justice Center
  • Helen Hardiman, Vice President of Law and Policy, Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • Joy Johnson, Chair, Public Housing Association of Residents, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Kim Forde-Mazrui, Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Law, University of Virginia School of Law

6-7:30 p.m.
Networking Reception  
Karsh Student Center Atrium and Clay Hall


Saturday, Feb. 4

9:30-10:15 a.m.
Breakfast With Practice Area Breakouts
WB Lounges 1, 2, and 3

Meet fellow students who are interested in the same professional area of public interest and share ideas and tips.

10:30-11:45 a.m.

  • Initial Interviews:  Building the Client, Witness, Victim Relationship | WB104
    Joe Platania, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Charlottesville, Virginia, and former Assistant Public Defender
  • Trafficking 101 | WB105
    Sabrina Talukder '14, Staff Attorney, The Legal Aid Society, New York City
  • Exploring and Handling Trauma With Clients and Victims | WB114
    Matthew Yoder, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Sara Boyd, Ph.D., Forensic Psychologist
  • An Introduction to Community Organizing and Policy Advocacy | WB127
    Kate Duvall, Director of Student Affairs, University of Virginia School of Law; former Attorney and Policy Coordinator at the Legal Aid Justice Center​
  • Lawyering in the Field of Civil Rights | WB164
    Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lunch With Keynote Speaker Robin Steinberg, Founder and Executive Director, The Bronx Defenders
Caplin Pavilion

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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