From the 2009 News Archive
Mississippi Center for Justice CEO to Visit, Make Presentation
Martha Bergmark, president and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice, will be in residence at the School of Law in early April as a Distinguished Visiting Professor. She will deliver a public address on April 7 at 5:30 p.m. titled "Innovations in Justice" and participate in a panel discussion, along with lawyers in the Baltimore-Washington region who have participated as pro bono partners in the Center's Katrina recovery efforts.
Additional panelists include:
Matt Hjortsberg '96
Bowie & Jensen
Mr. Hjortsberg accompanied Maryland Law students during the 2008 Spring Break trip to provide civil law services to individuals affected by Katrina.
Pro bono counsel, DLA Piper
Bergmark will discuss the Center's approach to advocacy that combines traditional legal strategies with policy advocacy, community organizing and education, media advocacy, and coalition-building. She also will discuss the Center's partnership with the University of Maryland School of Law, which features a Summer Clinic on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as the Center's extensive network of in state and out of state pro bono attorney partners.
Prior to joining MCJ, Bergmark was president of the Legal Services Corporation, the nonprofit corporation established by Congress to administer federal funds for legal aid to low-income people. She was senior vice president of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and directed the Soros and Ford Foundation-funded Project for the Future of Equal Justice, where she advanced a vision of fulfilling America’s promise of justice for all as an achievable goal.
In 2003, she became the founding president and chief executive officer of the Mississippi Center for Justice. The Center achieved early successes in juvenile justice reform, with passage of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2005, and access to health care, with federal court and legislative victories that restored Medicaid coverage for 50,000 elderly and disabled Mississippians. When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi coast in 2005, the Center immediately opened a Katrina Recovery Office in Biloxi and led a nationwide mobilization of pro bono legal assistance that continues to this day.
Bergmark holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
A reception will follow the April 7 discussion. RSVP by Friday, April 3, to LEAD Initiative Coordinator, Maura DeMouy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie Smith on 3/25/09