Just Mercy and Access to Justice
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2.0 CLE/1.0 Ethics

When: Friday, June 26, 2020
12:30 - 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Accessible Online (Zoom)
United States

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Just Mercy and Access to Justice:
Illuminating Bias, Confronting Systemic Racism, and
Doing the Hard Work that Needs to be Done

Presented in partnership with ReelTime Creative Learning ExperiencesJLAP and the ISBA CLE Committee

Friday, June 26
12:30 - 2:30 p.m. ET 

2.0 CLE/1.0 Ethics


About the event

Just Mercy brings to life the powerful and thought-provoking true story of newly-minted lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice on behalf of innocent people wrongfully convicted. Stevenson’s story of navigating multiple levels of appeal and habeas corpus review, serving the most underserved criminal defendants, and confronting the demons of overt racism and implicit bias presents a perfect catalyst for engaging conversations about the cracks and flaws in our system, and what seemingly “ordinary” lawyers can do about it.

With its honest portrayal of the toll that this kind of work takes on a lawyer, the film also provides a profound opportunity to consider how lawyers can (a) develop greater resilience in the face of adversity, and (b) develop a sustainable passion for doing meaningful work to provide greater access to justice for the underserved. ReelTime's Michael Kahn, JD, LPC will provide practical tips and strategies for engaging in this gut-wrenching work without burning out in the process.

To make sure this program is practical and well-informed, we will be joined in this conversation by folks “in the trenches”—not only those who have been doing the hard work of exonerating the innocent, but also some of the grateful clients who have benefitted from that work. Our special guests for this roundtable discussion will include:

  • Ricky Kidd, founder of the I AM RESILIENCE movement, following his exoneration and release from a prison after serving 23 years for a double-murder he did not commit
  • Joseph Amrine, wrongfully convicted of capital murder in 1986, and fully exonerated in 2003 by the Missouri Supreme Court based on "clear and convincing evidence of actual innocence that undermines confidence in his conviction.”
  • Professor Sean O’Brien, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School (Board Member of Miracle of Innocence and longtime criminal defense clinic supervisor and innocence lawyer)
  • Quinn O’Brien, adjunct Instructor at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, and lead private investigator in numerous successful exonerations


What you'll learn

Participants in this live webinar will be encouraged and equipped to:

  1. Identify implicit biases and understand how they operate, as well as the settings and circumstances in which they are more likely to show up
  2. Recognize the hallmarks of systemic racism, and commit to the path of pursuing anti-racism, instead of staying silent and thereby compounding existing problems
  3. Employ practical tools and strategies for confronting instances of bias and systemic injustices or inequities
  4. Take practical steps to help providing meaningful access to justice for the chronically disadvantaged and marginalized
  5. Understand the concept of vicarious trauma, and how to develop effective habits and commitments to sustainable and effective self-care and well-being, no matter what type of law or in what settings they practice


Who might enjoy this

This lively, interactive virtual webinar will provide practical takeaways and guidance for developing resilience that are applicable for lawyers in all kinds of practice areas and all types of cases.



12:30 - 1:30 p.m.    
Illuminating Bias-and Confronting Racism: The Role of Unconscious Bias and Systemic Racism in Hindering Access to Justice

1:30 - 2:00 p.m.
“It’s Just a Flesh Wound!”: The Reality of Vicarious Trauma, and the Costs of Caring About our Clients

2:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Failure is an Option—and Somewhat Inevitable: Developing Resilience and Maintaining Well-Being


Pricing and registration

This program is free for members and nonmembers, but registration is required. Secure your spot using the "Register" button at the top of the page. The digital meeting link will be included in the confirmation email.