Bench & Bar

MAR 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| MARCH/APRIL 2018 4 highest levels of the Courts, the bar and other participating institutions to raise the visibility and credibility of these efforts. When Chief Justice Minton introduced the Kentucky Access to Justice Commis- sion in October 2010, he challenged the newly formed Commission and Kentucky's legal community to remove impediments to access to the justice system, including physical, economical, psychological and language barriers; to develop effective plans for funding for civil legal services, who work on behalf of those who have no meaningful access to the justice system; and to expand assistance available for self-repre- sented litigants. During its early years, the Commission was ably led by Judge Roger L. Crittenden, a retired Franklin County circuit judge. Judge Crittenden brought years of judicial and administrative expe- rience, as well as the leadership ability and diplomacy, to the newly formed Commis- sion. Since its inception, the Commission's work has been facilitated by the Access to Justice Foundation. In 2017, the Kentucky Supreme Court reaffirmed its commitment to increasing civil legal aid to low and moderate income Kentuckians and the ongoing work of the Commission. Chief Justice Minton named Justice Michelle Keller as the Chair of the Commission. In commenting on her appointment to the Commission, Justice Keller said "After my appointment by our Chief Justice, I began to study how Ken- tucky might better embody our Supreme Court's comprehensive vision regarding access to justice. It became apparent to me fairly early on in that process, that the juris- dictions where the most progress was being made maintained Commissions led by full- time staff. at allowed those Commissions to devote focused attention to the various issues, while coordinating volunteer and stakeholder participation. e leadership of both the Kentucky Bar Association and the Access to Justice Foundation stepped up and assisted me in transforming Ken- tucky's Commission into the model I have described." While specific projects will continue to evolve, broadly speaking, the Commission's goals include identifying and addressing obstacles to providing access to the justice system; developing strategies to increase funding, resources, support, development and delivery for those working to ensure access to the courts; assisting in increasing access to the justice system through use of volunteer attorneys; expanding the delivery and support of civil legal aid through the development of committed government leaders; increasing public awareness of civil legal aid and its positive impact on the state and local communities; and partnering with other service providers to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the statewide delivery systems. e Kentucky Access to Justice Commis- sion office is located in Suite 225 at the state Capitol in Frankfort. Glenda Har- rison serves as the executive director of the Commission. Glenda has worked for Legal Aid of the Bluegrass for over 40 years and most recently served as advocacy director for the program. Nan Hanley is the communications/training coordinator of the Commission. Nan worked for the Access to Justice Foundation, a statewide resource center for civil legal aid programs, for over 20 years. ey can be contacted via phone at (502) 564-5493 or email at: glenda.harrison@kyaccesstojusticecommi ssion.org. As I have said many times, while speaking to lawyers all over the Commonwealth, the practice of law is a profession dedicated to the service of people. We all do a fairly good job of being of service to people who can pay for lawyer services. We do not all do such a good job in providing service to those who cannot afford to compensate their counsel, and actually pay for legal services. at's where the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission comes into play. It is there to help all Kentucky lawyers find better ways to provide legal service to those who can least afford it. By so doing, the Access to Justice Commission makes us all better lawyers. PRESIDENT'S PAGE

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