News & Events

Patricia C. Gandy Appointed to Serve on the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission

Butler Snow is pleased to announce that Patricia C. Gandy has been appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court to serve on the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission. Gandy’s term begins on July 1, and ends on June 30, 2021.

“We look forward to Patti’s leadership as she serves on the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission,” said Donald Clark, Jr., chairman, Butler Snow. “We applaud her commitment to improving access to justice for everyone in communities across Mississippi.”

This year’s commission meetings are slated for Sept. 4 and Dec. 4 at the Mississippi Bar Center in Jackson, Miss.

The mission of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission is to develop a unified strategy to improve access to justice in civil legal proceedings for the underprivileged in Mississippi.

The commission is comprised of a diverse group of providers of civil legal assistance, business and community leaders, representatives of the three branches of state government, bar leaders, clergy, deans of the two Mississippi law schools and members of the legal community.

Recognizing the need for a single unifying entity to bring together the various providers of civil legal services to the impoverished, the Mississippi Supreme Court created the Access to Justice Commission on June 28, 2006, becoming the 23rd state to appoint such a commission. Nearly 700,000 people live at or below poverty in Mississippi. With one legal services lawyer per every 21,000 eligible individuals, the challenges are great, but the desire to achieve justice for all is greater. While many organizations in Mississippi have long been committed to improving the delivery of civil legal services to the poor, there was no single entity that was representative of all such organizations, so the commission was born.

Gandy was the founding director of the Mission First Legal Aid Office, established by Mississippi College School of Law and Mission First, Inc. In this position, Gandy and her team provided civil legal services to qualified residents of Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties. The Mission First Legal Aid Office works with more than 300 volunteer attorneys to serve approximately 1,200 Mississippians per year. Gandy served as an attorney in Butler Snow’s litigation department from 1998 – 2006. She completed her undergraduate education and Juris Doctor at Mississippi College and clerked for the Mississippi Court of Appeals.