In this series of Legal Talk Network interviews, producer Laurence Colletti and ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Victor Li interview Judge Lora Livingston from the 261st Civil District Court in Travis County, Texas, Joseph West from Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and Eleanor Acer from Human Rights First. In addition, they interview Judge Charles V. Harrington from Arizona Superior Court, Pima County, and Alex Gulotta from Bay Area Legal Aid.
Together, they recap the Ted talk style mini-presentations during the ‘Focus on the Client’ speaking event at the ABA’s National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services. Hear how in-house legal departments are changing from cost centers to profit centers, why so many immigrants are without attorneys, what courts are doing to provide better customer service, and what questions Legal Aid organizations should ask to make sure those in need get the help they require.
Victor Li is the legal affairs writer for the ABA Journal. Previously, he was a reporter for Law Technology News, The American Lawyer magazine, and Litigation Daily (NYC). A former prosecutor in the Bronx, Victor earned a J.D. from Tulane, a M.S. from Columbia University School of Journalism and a B.A. in history from Amherst.
Honorable Lora J. Livingston is the judge of the 261st District Court in Travis County, Texas. She served several terms in the ABA House of Delegates and has served on the Select Committee of the House. She has served on the ABA Commission on IOLTA, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID). She currently serves on the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
Joseph West is the president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Prior to that, he served as associate general counsel at Walmart Stores, Inc., where he established himself as an innovator in the legal services arena and a leading advocate for diversity and inclusion.
Eleanor Acer is the director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program where she oversees Human Rights First’s pro bono representation program and advocacy on issues relating to refugee protection, asylum, and migrants’ rights. She advocates, speaks and writes regularly on issues relating to the human rights of refugees and migrants, including legal representation, detention, U.S. asylum law and policy, and protection from xenophobic and bias-motivated violence.
Honorable Charles V. Harrington is a judge for the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County, Arizona. He attended Gonzaga University School of Law where he received his J.D. (magna cum laude).
Alex Gulotta is the Executive Director of Bay Area Legal Aid. He has twenty-eight years of experience as a poverty law advocate and nineteen years as an executive director. Prior to joining Bay Area Legal Aid, he was a legal aid lawyer in Kentucky and Wisconsin before moving to Virginia in 1994 to become the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC).