2020 Workshops

Conference Materials and Speaker Bios are in DropBox

 Keynote by Andrea Young, Executive Director of ACLU of Georgia

Available Materials

Workshop Sessions A-E

50 Tech Tips 2020

Available Materials


This fast-paced, engaging session will provide tips about free and low-cost technology tools, including mobile apps, web platforms, and solutions for Windows and macOS. Technology leaders will share new tips relevant to the access to justice community at what is always one of the most popular sessions at EJC.

Panelists:
David Bonebrake, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net, San Francisco, CA
LaDierdre McKinney, MichiganLegal Help, East Lansing, MI
Glenn Rawdon, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Jane Ribadeneyra, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC


Assessing the Need and Tapping Federal Resources to Protect Consumers

Available Materials


Learn about federal funding opportunities through the Office of Victims of Crime, especially identity theft and consumer fraud crimes. Using Consumer Sentinel Network statistics and data to assess need in their areas, and how to develop metrics of how many consumers they serve. Lastly, participants will learn how to use available and free federal resources to help clients, such as specific plans, letters, etc., to recover from identity theft.

Moderator
Monica Vaca, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC
Panelists
Kathrina Peterson, Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, Washington, DC
Monica Vaca, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC


Brave New World: Pro Bono, Technology, and Virtual Services in the Age of COVID

Available Materials

As the traditional model of pro bono shifts to a virtual service delivery platform, providers and volunteers alike are pivoting to new and creative methods of bridging the access to justice gap.  The pandemic and the recent spotlight on systemic racism have laid bare the harm that the digital divide places on low-income households and communities of color.  The panel will explore innovations, challenges and practical tips on securely connecting pro bono clients with pro bono lawyers.  How can lessons learned from these challenging times strengthen pro bono advocacy for years beyond the pandemic?

Panelists:
Paul Lee, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington, DC
Dr. Rashid Muhammad, Volunteer Lawyers Services Project of Monroe County, Rochester, NY
John Greiner, Just-Tech, LLC, New York City, NY

Decolonizing Justice: Looking Toward Indigenous Knowledge for Empowerment and Creating New Systems of Justice

Available Materials


Last year, Native people's movements began to grow and calls for self-determination and decolonization of existing systems were made. With Covid-19, the inequities in health care and infrastructure amongst our native peoples became so much clearer with the Navajo nation having the third highest per capita infection rate in the country and indigenous economies all being shut down because of the threat.

Yet, as our history has shown us, indigenous people have survived with resiliency in the face of disease, colonization, family separation, and decimation of culture. While our times are difficult now, we have an opportunity to rebuild our future to incorporate indigenous knowledge and experiences which carry values and lessons to transform the law.

As attorneys at the heart of enforcing the rule of law, better understanding of indigenous knowledge and history, can help ground challenges against an unjust system and to develop opportunities for change.

Moderator
Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Panelists
Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson, Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, AK
Stephanie Hudson, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK
Nikole Nelson, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, Anchorage, AK

Enlisting Philanthropy in Support of Civil Legal Aid

Available Materials

Many foundations and other donors seek to address the needs of the economically disadvantaged and promote economic and social/racial justice. But relatively few understand the key role civil legal aid can play in achieving their goals. This session aims to help practitioners better make their case for philanthropic support. The principal presenters have extensive experience in philanthropy and civil legal aid and are engaged in a year-long examination of (1) how to better inform foundations and other donors about how civil legal aid can help them achieve their social justice goals, and (2) how civil legal aid programs can better demonstrate the impact of their work and make stronger cases to foundations and other donors. The workshop will present the study’s findings and engage participants in interactive exercises aimed at equipping participants with better tools and strategies for engaging social investors.

Panelists:
Stephen P. Johnson, Johnson Philanthropic, Lincoln, MA
Lonnie Powers, Lonnie Powers Consulting, Newton, MA
Betty Balli Torres, Texas Access to Justice Foundation, Austin, TX

Workshop Sessions F-K


Hot Topics in Asylum and Immigration

Available Materials

 
Asylum and immigration law are facing rapid changes that dramatically impact pro bono attorneys and their clients. This panel will discuss hop topics and trends in asylum and immigration, preparing attorneys to better represent and inform their clients.

Panelists:
Jenna Gilbert, Human Rights First, Los Angeles, CA
Nareeneh Sohbatian, Winston and Strawn LLP, Los Angeles, CA


Hot Topics in Civil Legal Aid

Available Materials

This session will focus on developments at the Legal Services Corporation, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, and NLADA particularly related to the COVID-19 legal response and the emerging dialog about racial justice in the United States. Presenters will address these issues from their respective institutional perspectives and will engage with participants in a Q & A segment responding to their particular questions or concerns.

Panelists:
Ron Flagg, President, Legal Services Corporation
Theodore Howard, Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants
Don Saunders, NLADA Senior VP, Policy

Innovations in Eviction Defense: the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP)

Available Materials

Come learn about a groundbreaking collaboration to address the eviction crisis. The Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP) is a coalition of six legal and social service organizations providing expert legal representation, court navigators, community education, and financial counseling to thousands of tenants each year. PEPP is increasing access to justice, improving court culture, advancing client-centered practices, and forging relationships for stronger advocacy. While nascent, PEPP is hailed as a model in coordinated eviction services and has successfully garnered support for passing right to counsel legislation in Philadelphia.

The presentation will feature an overview on how PEPP built political will, as well as perspectives on systems change, collective advocacy, and the day-to-day efforts of making a multi-dimensional eviction defense program a success.

Moderator

Rasheedah Phillips, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia, PA
Panelists
Joan Belfus, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia, PA
Tom Ferrant, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia, PA
Lex Harris, Tenant Union Representative Network, Philadelphia, PA

Innovative Pro Bono Programs - The Elusive Unicorn or an Attainable Goal?

Available Materials

Learn how the design thinking process can help you meet the unique needs of your staff, clients and pro bono attorneys. Transform your pro bono program by involving the right people, asking the right questions and using a process that encourages "wild ideas" to break through the inertia and innovate.

Panelists:
Jeff Harvey, Community Legal Services of Mid Florida, Orlando, FL
Beth Johnson, thredpartners, Chicago, IL
Gretchen Slusser, thredpartners, Chicago, IL


Workshop Sessions L-O

Mobilizing Attorney Volunteers in the Wake of Disaster

Available Materials

As disasters hit Alaska, North Carolina, and Ohio, pro bono attorney volunteers played a vital role in helping victims recover and rebuild. Attend this webinar to hear insights learned from managing earthquake, hurricane, and tornado crises, and strategies to effectively use attorneys (within and outside the state) who want to help. Don’t wait until disaster strikes your service area! In addition to providing useful information and a framework for handling legal issues, get to know the network of experienced pro bono professionals who will support you in your time of need.

Moderator
Cheryl Naja, Alston & Bird, Atlanta, GA
Panelists
Katherine Asaro, North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, Raleigh, NC
Kelly Henrici, Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, Dayton, OH
Krista Scully, Alaska Bar Association, Anchorage, AK


Narrowing the Justice Gap Without Lawyers? The Underestimated Role of Navigators in Increasing Access to Justice

Available Materials

Across the country, cross-sector collaborations seeking innovative ways to narrow the justice gap are gaining momentum. Experts will present models focused on partnering with trusted nonlawyers, leveraging technology, and harnessing existing capacity, with a goal of identifying justice issues before they become life crises, and reducing legal barriers to stability.

Panelists:
Chris Albin-Lackey, National Center for Access to Justice, New York, NY
Mary Cosme, New York Immigration Coalition, New York, NY
Ignacio Jaureguilorda, Center for Court Innovation, New York, NY
Sarah Mesick, National Partnership for New Americans, Chicago, IL
Kate Crowley Richardson, Legal Link, Oakland, CA


Obstacles and Opportunities in Long-Term Disaster Recovery

Available Materials


This presentation will demonstrate the broad array of issues faced by disaster survivors following a disaster. Understanding the lengthy recovery process will assist advocates in setting their clients up for a robust recovery. Panelists will draw on common legal challenges in long-term disaster recovery to provide administrative and litigation strategies. This presentation will begin with interactive case studies of common legal challenges faced by low-income clients in long-term disaster recovery to demonstrate the all-encompassing nature of the disaster recovery process. The panel will allow for various levels of expertise and experience giving rise to different perspectives on a diverse and ever changing topic. The interactive aspect will give participants an inside look at the lack of resources available to low-income survivors and how this compounds and complicates recovery and mitigation.

Moderator
Linda Anderson Stanley, Equal Justice Works, Tampa, FL
Panelists
Amanda Brown, Lagniappe Law Lab, New Orleans, LA
Hannah Dyal, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Corpus Christi, TX

Workshop Sessions P-S

Protecting Against the Financial Harms of COVID-19

Available Materials


The COVID-19 pandemic is creating upheaval in people’s lives, especially the most vulnerable. From the onset, advocates have been working together to secure relief and protections on both the federal and local levels for people facing financial distress in light of the coronavirus crisis. This panel will discuss existing consumer protections and ongoing efforts to secure additional measures. Panelists will present CARES Act protections, enacted this past spring, as well as other federal protections, such as post-forbearance options for federally-backed mortgages. The discussion also will include state measures to protect individuals and families harmed financially by COVID-19 and policy suggestions for states to provide further protections.

Panelists:

Andrea Bopp Stark, National Consumer Law Center, Boston, MA
Michael Best, National Consumer Law Center, Boston, MA

Reaching the Other 80%: Technology Strategies to Build Legal Capacity in Local Communities

Available Materials

Technology has helped to transform how legal aid programs enable access to and deliver services for low income communities. But what about the estimated 80% of individuals in many states who experience a civil justice problem, but never seek help from a lawyer?

This workshop will explore efforts to use technology to engage and educate communities who are generally disconnected from traditional justice systems, and to strengthen the work of community-based lawyers and advocates serving them. Presenters will discuss how technology and legal empowerment strategies can help to bridge the gulf between individuals with justice problems and traditional justice institutions such as legal aid programs and the courts, and support communities in understanding and defending their rights.

Moderator
Liz Keith Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net, San Francisco, CA
Panelists
Matthew Burnett, Open Society Foundations, New York, NY
Ariadna Godreau Aubert, Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Tanina Rostain, Georgetown Law, Washington, DC

Report from the Field: Domestic Violence Survivors & the Impact of COVID-19

Available Materials

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all communities, but perhaps none more vulnerable than domestic violence survivors ordered to "stay at home" with their abusers. Further, survivors seeking legal assistance and protection find courts closed, police overwhelmed, and jails considering releasing inmates without warning to crime victims. This session will consider how COVID is affecting legal responses to domestic violence in three jurisdictions: California, Texas, and Virginia. We will learn about challenges faced in communities across the nation and lessons learned as we rapidly respond to this pandemic and the needs of domestic violence survivors.

Panelists:
Kelly Behre, UC Davis Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic, UC Davis School of Law, Davis, CA
Maricarmen Garza, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Houston, TX
Dipti Pidikiti-Smith, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Fairfax VA
Rebecca Henry, American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Washington, DC (moderator)


Right to Counsel in a World Gone Mad: Evictions During and After COVID-19

Available Materials

Even prior to COVID-19, housing courts were a disaster: millions of families faced eviction every year, landlords almost always had counsel but tenants rarely did, cases disposed in as little as 90 seconds in some jurisdictions, and evicted tenants suffered from a cascade of negative consequences such as homelessness, incarceration, and loss of child custody and employment. Increased recognition of the unfairness and impracticality of this system, driven heavily by tenant organizing, led half a dozen cities to recognize a right to counsel in just three years, and the right to counsel movement was surging across the country. However, with COVID-19 potentially changing the very nature of housing court, what does reform look like now? This panel will examine the due process concerns of in-person and remote hearings in the COVID-19 era, as well as eviction moratoria and rent cancellation efforts, in order to understand where and how right to counsel fits into this ever-changing world. It will also examine how the racially disproportionate impacts of both evictions and COVID-19 strengthen the race equity arguments for guaranteed representation in housing court.

Moderator:
John Pollock, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, Baltimore, MD
Panelists:
Emily Benfer, Columbia Law School, New York, NY
Randy Dillard, Right to Counsel Coalition of NYC, New York, NY
Jesse McCoy, Supervising Attorney, Duke Civil Justice Clinic, Durham, NC

Workshop Sessions T-Z

Untangling Racial Inequity with a Systems Thinking Model

Available Materials


This session will focus on utilizing a systems thinking approach to understand and untangle systemic racism. We will begin with an overview of basic systems thinking theory and introduce tools for analyzing the interconnected parts of systems, emphasizing how these parts work together to create and perpetuate inequities and disparities based on race. Participants will then apply systems analysis tools to their own advocacy issues and organizational challenges to deepen their understanding of the systems of inequity at play in their daily work.

Moderator
Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Panelists
Kimberly Merchant, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Werdell, Justlead Washington, Seattle, WA

Updating the ABA Civil Legal Aid Standards for 2020

Available Materials


The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) is moving forward to revise and update its Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid in light of changes occurring in society, the profession, and technology since the Standards were last updated in 2006. At this session, SCLAID will present its conceptual framework and areas of focus for the revision of the Standards based on feedback it has received from the national legal aid community. Join this session to learn about the specific topics selected for revision and to have an opportunity to provide your input and feedback. SCLAID is especially interested in hearing from the community about additional ways the Standards should be revised in light of recent experiences and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panelists:
Theodore Howard, Wiley Rein LLP, Washington, DC
Nikole Nelson, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, Anchorage, AK


Walking the Line - Ethical Considerations for Legal Aid Lawyers When Collaborating With Other Professionals in Providing Legal Services to Low-Income Clients

Available Materials


Many legal aid organizations are comprised of lawyers and other professionals who work together when providing services to low-income clients. In some instances, the programs are managed by those who are not lawyers or employ other professionals who collaborate with the lawyers on staff. Other times, legal aid lawyers must collaborate with other professionals outside the organization. Using discussion scenarios based on real-life, our panel of experts will explore with the audience ways to stay on the right side of the lines drawn by Model Rules of Professional Conduct 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.7.

Moderator
Ellyn S. Rosen, American Bar Association, Chicago, IL
Panelists
Jenny Mittelman, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
Anne K. Sweeney, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH


Why We Can't Wait: Training Pro Bono Volunteers on Institutional, Structural, and Systemic Racism

Available Materials

Legal Services providers reply on law firms to expand pro bono services as well as provide financial support. Many of our clients are people of color, immigrants, and indigenous people, impacted by institutional, structural, and systemic racism. How can law firms understand the impact of structural racism on the legal issues our clients face? Does this type of difficult training make it harder to access and increase law firm support. A candid discussion between legal services and law firm representatives.

Moderator
Lillian Moy, Legal Aid Northeastern New York, Albany, NY
Panelists
Caprice R. Jenerson, Esq., New York Legal Assistance Group, New York, NY
Ben Weinberg, Dentons, Chicago, IL
Kimberly Merchant, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Chicago, IL