Lives in the Law: John Pollock on the Right to Counsel in Eviction Cases

Location: Eidman Courtroom

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Eidman Courtroom and 12:45-1:45 p.m. in the Jury Room. Lunch served at 12:45.

During the first hour, which is free and open to the public, John Pollock will discuss his work to establish the right to counsel for low-income individuals in civil cases involving fundamental rights in a talk entitled “The Right to Counsel in Eviction Cases:  Successes and the Potential in Texas.” During the second hour he will meet with students more informally over lunch to discuss his life and career.

John Pollock is a Staff Attorney for the Public Justice Center and serves as the Coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. He focuses entirely on working to establish the right to counsel for low-income individuals in civil cases involving fundamental rights such as child custody, housing, and benefits.  Previously, he served as the Enforcement Director for the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center (CAFHC) in Montgomery, Alabama, addressing systemic housing discrimination in rental, sales, lending, and insurance.  He started his legal career at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, where he worked on immigrant civil rights violations by state and federal officers, involuntary land loss in minority communities, wage/hour violations by employers of migrant workers, predatory lending, and hate crimes.  While at SPLC, he founded the Heirs’ Property Retention Coalition, a network of dozens of organizations across the southeastern United States working on stopping the forced sales of ancestral property within low-income African-American communities.  John  drafted the first version of what eventually became the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, a uniform law to reduce forced sales that was adopted by the ABA and the Uniform Law Commission in 2011.  The Act has been adopted by the states of Nevada, Georgia, Montana, Alabama, and Arkansas, and has been introduced as legislation in several other states.  He attended Wesleyan University and Northeastern University School of Law.

The “Lives in the Law” speaker series focuses on the work and lives of lawyers who strive to improve the lives of others through litigation, advocacy and public service.

Hosted by the Career Services Office, the UT Opportunity Forum, and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law. Cosponsored by the UT Chapter of the American Constitution Society, If/When/How, and the Public Interest Law Association.

Event series: Lives in the Law Speaker Series