Legal Aid Veterans to Advise Obama Team on LSC
LaVeeda Morgan Battle and Alan W. Houseman.
Former LSC board member LaVeeda Morgan Battle and national legal aid leader Alan W. Houseman have been selected to advise President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team on issues relating to the Legal Services Corporation.
Battle, who served on LSC’s board from 1995 to 2004, says she was approached months ago to provide information on LSC, according to a Nov. 12 article in Alabama’s Birmingham News. “I am certain that this, as well as all issues the administration is going to have to address, will be carefully considered,” said Battle, who is currently the principal attorney of the Battle Law Firm in Birmingham. She is a former administrative law judge for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice.
Houseman, who served as a senior member of LSC’s staff from 1976 to 1981, is the executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, an advocacy group whose mission includes securing equal justice for all. He has a long history of involvement in poverty law advocacy and the delivery of legal services to the poor. In 1968 he was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow with Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services in Michigan. In 1969 he founded the statewide Michigan Legal Services. Since then he has written extensively on legal aid and poverty law issues, and is considered a national expert on the subject.
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LSC Newsletter – Obama Transition article 2008
Birmingham, Alabama – Officials with three local legal groups will be waiting Saturday night to find out whether a documentary they funded about Birmingham lawyers’ and judges’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s will win awards at the Southeast Regional Emmy awards.
“Preserving Justice,” produced by the Birmingham Bar Foundation, the Magic City Bar Association, and the Birmingham Bar Association, along with the University of Alabama’s Center for Public Television, is up for Emmy awards in the categories of writing and editing.
The National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Southeast Chapter Awards will be held Saturday night in Atlanta.
The documentary recalls the efforts of the lawyers and judges to challenge discriminatory laws and practices in Birmingham in 1963, a pivotal year in the movement.
“Our desire was to preserve the narratives of the lawyers, activists and children whose courage and commitment to justice 50 years ago served as the impetus for a change in America’s laws on civil rights,” LaVeeda Morgan Battle, who with Leila H. Watson served at film committee co-chairs on the project, stated in a prepared statement. “We are honored to be considered for these Emmy nominations, and we wish to thank all of the people who made Preserving Justice possible.”
Preserving Justice highlights the work of a number of lawyers involved in issues such as the desegregation of Birmingham schools and public facilities, such as the train station and local parks. Among those highlighted in the documentary are the late Arthur Shores, Abe Berkowitz, Orzell Billingsley, former Birmingham mayor David Vann and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The project was part of the 50th Anniversary of the key civil rights events that happened in 1963.
“Citizens still need lawyers and judges who will pick up this hard work and carry on. I hope the documentary inspires its viewers to become the next generation of heroes,” Watson stated. “This special honor will be the catalyst for Preserving Justice to accomplish the objective of raising the work of these lawyers and judges into the public eye again, and to remember and recognize their contributions.”
Link to article
LaVeeda Morgan Battle is a 2014 Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Women of Distinction honoree. GSNCA honored 10 women at its Women of Distinction Luncheon 2014 held at The Harbert Center. The annual event is a tribute to women who have made special contributions to their community through civic, academic or professional involvement.
Honorees were LaVeeda Morgan Battle, attorney, Battle Law Firm; Kate Cotton, vice president, Community Relations and executive director, Protective Life Foundation; Malena Cunningham, president and CEO, Strategic Media Relations, Inc.; Helene Elkus, community volunteer; Shirley Fagan, director of Communications, O’Neal Steel; Linda A. Friedman, partner, Bradley Arant Boult & Cummings; Rosilyn Houston, East Retail Regional Executive, BBVA Compass; Debra Taylor Lewis, partner, Balch & Bingham; and Lissa Tyson, community volunteer.
Teresa Zuniga Odom, volunteer in the Hispanic community, received the 2014 Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award.