Image of Spokane with the text 2019 Access to Justice Conference, Amplifying the Power of Community, When June 14-16, 2019 and Where Spokane WA

Pre-Conference Opportunities

During the day on Friday, June 14 we have a variety of pre-conference activities where you can connect, engage and learn from a variety of groups.

American Bar Association’s Women in Criminal Justice Task Force Listening Session and Supper Club

Listening Session: Friday, June 14 – Gonzaga University School of Law – 721 N Cincinnati Street

In collaboration with the Access to Justice Conference, the American Bar Association’s Women in Criminal Justice Task Force will hold listening sessions at Gonzaga University School of Law throughout the day on Friday, June 14. The Task Force is holding listening sessions all over the country with the goal of hearing from women criminal lawyers (state and federal judges, prosecutors, defenders, non-profit lawyers, private defense, and others) about their experiences with equity and inclusion in hiring, retention, and promotion. Women who are interested in testifying before the Task Force about their experiences are encouraged to contact the Task Force reporter, Professor Maryam Ahranjani at Participation may include a short commitment of 75 minutes or up to the entire day. To learn more about the Task Force, listen to the Feb. 18 episode of JustPod, a podcast of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section.

Supper Club: Friday, June 14 – Mizuna – 214 Howard St, Spokane – 7:30pm – 9:00pm

All women criminal lawyers interested in learning more about the work of the Task Force in an informal setting are invited to attend a no-host “Supper Club” focused on women in criminal justice on Friday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. at at Mizuna, 214 Howard St, Spokane. To register, please email

Reentry Simulation

Friday, June 14 – Spokane Convention Center – 10:00am to 12:00pm 

Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. Please register here to reserve your spot

How hard is it to actually understand the puzzle of another’s life? Although we may attempt to empathize with people, many times we don’t understand or even recognize all the pieces of the puzzle that join together to form a unique person. If we the service and resource providers and community members cannot identify with an individual’s circumstances, it is very difficult to appreciate a person’s approach to life challenges and opportunities, which is substantially impacted by many personal experiences.

This simulation is intended to be a respectful opportunity to understand the barriers individuals face when returning to the community after a period of incarceration. The hope is that it will help us identify ways to improve our processes and provide much needed resources for this unique population of people. Participants will be given the life story of a fictional person who is releasing into the community. They will be asked to meet specific court-ordered obligations, as well as meeting basic needs and, in some cases, returning to the demands of family life. This reentry simulation is an influential and persuasive chance for anyone in the community to realize the barriers people face when re-integrating into the community. After completing the simulation, participants should be able to better recognize the many experiences that play a part in putting together, or picking up, the puzzle pieces of a life after incarceration.

Joint Meeting of the Access to Justice Board and Minority and Justice Commission

Friday, June 14 – Spokane Convention Center – 10:00am – 12:00pm

Immigration advocates will give an overview of enforcement taken by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol in courts across the state and the effect it is having on access to justice. Join the Access to Justice Board and the Minority and Justice Commission as they discuss how to support solutions directed to ensuring access to the courthouses. Anyone is welcome to come. Please RSVP here.

Washington Court of Appeals 50th Anniversary Open House

Friday, June 14 – Court of Appeals – 500 N Cedar St, Spokane – 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Come to the Court of Appeals to celebrate its 50th Anniversary! A short program and light lunch will be offered. Please RSVP here.