College of Law to Stream Live White House Event Celebrating Pro Bono Service, Oct. 13

On October 13, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., MDT, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law will participate in President Obama’s Champions of Change event.  In the words of organizers, the event will represent “a historic conversation about what lawyers can do to close the justice gap, and an exciting opportunity to encourage thousands of law students to step up their own pro bono efforts.”

Viewers at the 100 participating law schools across the nation will have the opportunity to watch live-streaming video of Attorney General Holder and others at the White House calling on law students to step up their pro bono efforts. In addition, 16 exemplar public service champions will, in the words of organizers, “illustrate the range and quality of public interest lawyers’ accomplishments.”

This year’s Champions of Change include:

Laura Abel, Acting Co-Director, Brennan Center Justice Program, New York, NY

Martha Bergmark, President/CEO, Mississippi Center for Justice, Jackson, MS

Todd Belcore, Staff Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Chicago, IL

Deborah Ellis, Assistant Dean for Public Service, New York University School of Law, New York, NY

Paula Sela Gomez, Executive Director, Brownsville Community Health Center

David Gray Hall, Executive Director, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Brownsville, TX

(Shared Champion Award for their Medical/Legal Partnership)

Nan Heald, Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Portland, ME

Lillian Johnson, Executive Director, Community Legal  Service, Phoenix, AZ

Addison Parker, Former Litigation Director, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Prestonsburg, KY

Michael Pinard, Professor and Director of Clinical Programs, University of Maryland Francis Carey School of Law, Baltimore, MD

Deborah Rhode, E.W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA

Tom Saenz, President and CEO, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Los Angeles, CA

Brad Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation, Seattle, WA

David Stern, Executive Director, Equal Justice Works, Washington, DC

Jo-Ann Wallace, President/CEO, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Washington, DC

Ron Whitener, Director, Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic, University of Washington Law School, Seattle, WA

 The College of Law will broadcast the event on October 13 in room 107 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.  For more information, contact JoLynn Spruance at 801-581-5418 or

 The Champions of Change event is organized by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Access to Justice Initiative at the U.S. Department of Justice.