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2019 Access to Justice Community Summit
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About the 2019 Summit

The York County Bar Foundation hosted the third York County Access to Justice Community Summit on October 23, 2019, at Wyndham Garden, York.

The bi-annual civil legal aid summit brought together over 120 attendees representing 70 different organizations; including human services agencies, social services, court personnel, elected officials and legislative staffers; to learn about the availability of critical legal services for York County residents.

The Access to Justice Community Summit provided attendees with details on programs available to York County residents seeking access to legal services; the York County Bar Foundation, MidPenn Legal Services, ACCESS-York, Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center, the York County Court Self-Help & Law Resource Center, and PA 2-1-1 presented.  In 2019, Judge Craig Trebilcock joined the Summit to provide an overview of a new initiative - Community Action for Recovery and Diversion (CARD) - that is designed to tackle systemic change in York County for those who are involved in the justice system.

After learning about the legal services available, the attendees engaged in a Question & Answer session.  Surveys were provided and the resulting feedback will be used to identify the barriers to legal services in the community and develop ideas and solutions to close the access to justice gap.   

To view the complete civil legal aid summit video, click here.

 

L to R:  The Honorable Judge Craig Trebilcock; Caty Houtman, YCBA Past President; Mary Studzinski; and David Trevaskis, Esq., PBA Pro Bono Coordinator 

 

Pro Bono Partner Award Presented

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, David K. Trevaskis, Esq., Pro Bono Coordinator, presented Mary Studzinski with the Pro Bono Partner Award.

In Mary Studzinski’s time as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), she worked tirelessly to grow the organization.  From her efforts, PIRC’s revenues nearly tripled from $500,000 to $1.3 million, to vastly expand PIRC’s reach. 

The Immigrant Survivors Project has grown from serving a 9-county region in south central Pennsylvania, to assisting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking throughout the Commonwealth.  Thanks to her foresight on growing needs and the opportunity to apply for Victims of Crime Act funding, the project now has an 8-person staff located in three offices: York, Pittsburgh, and Allentown.  In 2018, PIRC's Community Programs expanded again, and began providing dedicated naturalization services to eligible lawful permanent residents in partnership with the York County Literacy Council, through funding received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In the past year, the Citizenship Program has screened and assisted dozens of individuals to apply for naturalization.  PIRC's detention work has also thrived under Mary's leadership. The Legal Orientation Program has expanded to serve the Berks Family Detention Center in addition to the York County Prison, and PIRC has become a local provider of representation for those in immigration proceedings deemed not competent to represent themselves through the National Qualified Representative Program.  PIRC has continued to receive steady funding for detained representation for vulnerable populations with Mary's support and guidance. Most recently, Mary led PIRC into a statewide conversation about the potential for universal representation in immigration proceedings in Pennsylvania. The fruits of that work are evident as PIRC is a leading member of the Pennsylvania Immigrant Family Unity Project, a pilot program launching this fall. While at PIRC, Mary sought out leadership training for herself, PIRC’s Senior Team and the Board of Directors, resulting in invigorated leadership that has facilitated much of their success.

For all of these reasons, Mary was recognized for her leadership by the PA Bar Association with the Pro Bono Partner Award.  The York County Bar Association and Foundation are grateful to Mary for her leadership as a community partner.

 

 

 

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