Rural Legal Services and UM Law School Hosting Anniversary Celebration

NMRLS celebrates 50 years as university's clinical programs mark 25 years

PrintOXFORD, Miss. – North Mississippi Rural Legal Services and the University of Mississippi School of Law are teaming up for an anniversary celebration at 4 p.m. Jan. 21 at the law school. The celebration honors NMRLS’s 50 years and the 25 years of legal service to north Mississippians by the school’s clinical programs.

Special guests will include Jess H. Dickinson, presiding Mississippi Supreme Court justice; John Robin Bradley, a UM professor emeritus of law; AC Wharton, a UM law school alumnus and former professor and Memphis mayor; and Constance Slaughter-Harvey, the first female African-American to graduate from the UM law school. A reception will follow the presentations.

The event will celebrate the commitment that both organizations have demonstrated to the communities they serve.

“The 1960s marked the beginning of our commitment to assist in providing legal aid to the underprivileged,” said Ben T. Cole II, executive director of NMRLS. “Now, 50 years later, the need is just as great and the clientele is much more diverse. It is my hope that NMRLS as well as the clinical programs at Ole Miss law can continue on this quest for justice.”

Both NMRLS and the school’s clinical programs provide legal services for low-income Mississippians.

The mission of NMRLS is to provide attorney representation and advocacy for the most vulnerable members of society. Some examples of the group’s work include preserving and retaining habitable and affordable housing for families; protecting children and families in matters of safety and health; promoting economic security and financial independence of families; and helping the disabled, vulnerable and elderly maintain autonomy and dignity.

The clinical programs mission is to teach essential practice skills while providing quality representation to underserved clients. The law school has 11 practices areas: Child Advocacy, Criminal Appeals, Elder Law, Housing, Legislation and Policy, MacArthur Justice Clinic, Conflict Management, George C. Cochran Innocence Project, Street Law, Tax and Transaction, in additional to the Pro Bono Initiative and the Clinical Externship Program.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Ethel Gilmore at or 662-234-8731, or visit