The Access to Justice Symposium Series arises from the work of the Justice Action Group (JAG), a coalition providing leadership and coordination in planning for the provision of civil legal aid to low income and elderly Mainers statewide. JAG was established in 1995, and its membership includes representatives of the Maine Legislature, the judiciary, the executive branch, the Maine State Bar Association, the Maine Bar Foundation, the Maine Trial Lawyers Association, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project, Legal Services for the Elderly, Maine Equal Justice Partners, the Maine Civil Legal Service Fund, and the University of Maine School of Law.
In October 2007, JAG completed a two-year statewide planning study culminating in a report entitled “Justice For All: A Report of the Justice Action Group” which set forth specific recommendations and strategies to expand and enhance access to justice for all Mainers. One of the key recommendations was to hold a biennial symposium to encourage collaboration, education and creative thinking around access to civil justice issues.
The past topics of the symposia are as follows:
- Serving Those Who Served: Meeting the Legal Needs of Veteran Service Members and Their Families (2016)
- Rights and Relations: Emerging Issues for Maine Families (2014)
- Changing Maine: Serving the Legal Needs of Maine’s Changing and Aging Population (2012)
- Expanding Justice in Maine: Upstream Solutions to Downstream Problems (2009)