OXFORD, Miss.–North Mississippi Rural Legal Services (NMRLS) and the University of Mississippi School of Law will host an anniversary celebration at the law school January 21 at 4 p.m. on the University’s Oxford campus. The celebration will recognize NMRLS’s 50 years and the school’s Clinical Programs’ 25 years of legal service to north Mississippians.
Special guests will include Presiding Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jess H. Dickinson, University of Mississippi School of Law Professor Emeritus John Robin Bradley, former law school student and professor Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, and Constance Slaughter-Harvey, Esq., the first female African American to receive a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. A reception will follow the presentations.
The event will celebrate the commitment that both organizations have had to the communities they serve.
“The 1960s marked the beginning of our commitment to assist in providing legal aid to the underprivileged. Now, 50 years later, the need is just as great and the clientele is much more diverse. It is my hope that NMRLS as well as the clinical programs at Ole Miss Law can continue on this quest for justice,” said Ben T. Cole II, executive director of NMRLS.
Both NMRLS and the Clinical Programs provide legal services for low income individuals in Mississippi. NMRLS’s mission is to provide attorney representation and advocacy for the most vulnerable members of society. Some examples of their work include preserving and retaining habitable and affordable housing for families; protecting children and families in matters of safety and health; promoting economic security and financial independence of families; and helping the disabled, vulnerable and elderly maintain autonomy and dignity.
The Clinical Programs mission is to teach essential practice skills while providing high-quality representation to underserved clients. It has 11 practices areas including Child Advocacy, Criminal Appeals, Elder Law, Housing, Legislation and Policy, MacArthur Justice Clinic, Conflict Management, George C. Cochran Innocence Project, Street Law, Tax and Transaction, in additional to the Pro Bono Initiative and the Clinical Externship Program.
The event is free and open to the public.