Workshop Sessions A-E
50 Tech Tips 2022
David Bonebrake, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net, San Francisco, CA
Glenn Rawdon, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Jane Ribadeneyra, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
This fast-paced, engaging session will provide tips about free and low-cost technology relevant to the access to justice community. This will include new mobile apps, remote work tools, web platforms, information security resources, and solutions for Windows and macOS. Technology leaders will emphasize practical, accessible technology that helps legal professionals do their work more effectively while encouraging audience feedback and participation throughout the presentation.
A Continuum of User-Experience Innovation in Utah
Stacy Butler, Innovation for Justice (i4), Tucson, AZ
Sarah Mauet, Innovation for Justice, Tucson, AZ
In this presentation, we discuss how i4J has partnered with the Utah State Courts and its Self-Help Center to apply a continuum of User Experience (UX) research and design methodologies to evaluate and redesign legal technologies in order to improve access to justice for people in Utah.
A Holistic Approach to Housing Justice
Laurie McFalls, Legal Services Alabama, Huntsville, AL
Nicholas McKinney, Legal Services Alabama, Montgomery, AL
Evictions ruin families financially, devastate communities, and disproportionately affect people who are marginalized by poverty. Join Legal Services Alabama as we explore multi-faceted advocacy approaches to housing justice during a public health crisis. We will explore initiatives legal aid organizations can take to support holistic approaches to housing advocacy, including training and mobilizing pro bono navigators from law schools to support emergency rental relief, using new tools of technology, understanding southern support networks and building collaborations with community faith leaders, creating large-scale expungement clinics, and leading court-based lawyer-for-a-day partnerships. We’ll also look at how to actively be antiracist in our advocacy, as housing justice is racial justice—as we know now that the housing crisis caused by the pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, with Black women and families being hit hardest. We’ll also discuss the intersection of community empowerment and trauma-informed lawyering, as well as ways to create partnerships that can build housing stability.
A Holistic Approach to Removing Employment Barriers for People with Criminal Records in Under-resourced and Rural Communities
Jarrell Mitchell, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Pacoima, CA
Osas Otasowie, Olive Support Services, Palmdale, CA
Carol Stevenson, The Children's Center of the Antelope Valley, Lancaster, CA
Nearly one in three people in the U.S. have a criminal record. As people with criminal records seek to re-enter society, they often encounter significant barriers to finding jobs. This panel will equip participants to identify and holistically address systemic employment barriers faced by people with criminal records in under-resourced and rural communities. Participants will also learn strategies for building effective partnerships between legal service providers, community-based organizations (CBOs), and other stakeholders with the underlying goal of providing holistic, trauma-informed services to this population.
A Whole New World: Developing Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Legal Aid Programs
Tanya Douglas, Manhattan Legal Services, New York, NY
Jennifer Rivers, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Dina Shafey Scott, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
One size fit most is an excellent concept for scarves, gloves, and hats—but not for legal aid inclusivity. How do legal aid organizations integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives to intersect with the design and development of new legal aid technology and training employees within this fully remote environment? This will be an interactive session including an introduction of valuable DEI resources for considering inclusion, such as an Implicit Bias Self-Assessment tool, Accessibility Options, and a framework for Engaging in Difficult Dialogues. Furthermore, using scenario-based learning, participants will engage the six elements for building Inclusive training programs: Format, Input, Newness, Bias-Checking, Perception, and the creation of a Culture of Inclusion. Participants will also be provided a space for open, authentic dialogue and receive tools to enhance Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive training development within their legal aid organizations
Achieving Digital Equity in the Post-Digital Era: Meeting the Challenge
Kate Murray, Legal Aid BC, Vancouver, BC
Alex Peel, Legal Aid BC, Vancouver, BC
John Simpson, Legal Aid BC, Vancouver, BC
This session will explore Legal Aid BC's Achieving Digital Equity (ADE) research project, its findings and recommendations. The project maps the continuing barriers to accessing digital legal resources faced by many low-income and marginalized people. The study explores the issues and challenges, how many are affected, and what can be done to ensure people can access the legal help they need, even if they can’t go online. The session will provide opportunities for participants to ask questions, discuss and how the research methodology and recommendations might be applied in their jurisdictions.
Addressing Vicarious Trauma & Resilience in Pro Bono & Legal Services Providers
Legal service providers and pro bono attorneys are critical to closing the access to justice gap. But how do we support and sustain service providers in a way that enables them to continue doing this important work? This facilitated and interactive session will bring that question to the forefront, focusing on how we can all support legal professionals engaged in public interest and pro bono work by (i) understanding vicarious trauma and its impact, (ii) brainstorming ways that individuals and organizations can address vicarious trauma, and (iii) discussing the concept of vicarious resilience and the importance of redefining success.
Arizona's Licensed Legal Advocate Pilot--the Nation's First Pilot Delivering Non-lawyer Legal Advice to Underrepresented Litigants
Karen Adam, Innovation for Justice, Tucson, AZ
Jessica D. Findley, University of Arizona Rogers College of Law, Tucson, AZ
Anna Harper-Guerrero, Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, Tucson, AZ
Innovation for Justice (i4J), with the Arizona Supreme Court and Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, launched the first pilot in the nation to train and license non-lawyer DV advocates to provide limited-scope legal advice to DV survivors regarding high-need family law issues. As a result of this session, attendees will gain an understanding of: the access to justice gap as it relates to survivors of domestic violence and the opportunity for community-based service providers to meet that gap; barriers nonprofits face in leveraging regulatory reform opportunities and delivering legal services; and obstacles non- lawyer advocates face in delivering legal services and strategies for overcoming those obstacles
Shannon Karam, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc., Portland, ME
Muria Kruger, Volunteer Lawyers Network, Minneapolis, MN
Mytrang Nguyen, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Raphael Ramos, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
The Legal Services Corporation analyzed effective practices for pro bono eviction defense programs in a year-long study focusing on the eviction crisis in the United States. Join this discussion with pro bono professionals to learn about partnerships to expand legal representation in this urgent, yet traditionally challenging, area for pro bono delivery. Panelists will discuss the strategic ways in which pro bono practitioners are addressing the evictions crisis and the factors stakeholders should consider in order to accomplish this work effectively.
Bridging the Digital Divide with Human-centered Legal Service Delivery
Rachel Albertson, Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota, Brainerd, MN
Triana Kalmanoff, A2J Tech, Berkeley, CA
Dori Rapaport, Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota, Duluth, MN
Kelly Wencl, Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota, Alexandria, MN
COVID-19 created a digital divide disproportionately impacting rural and native communities and exacerbating access issues. This session explores challenges and opportunities in creating partnerships and developing a human-centered model for service delivery by leveraging technology to create more access points in both rural and urban locations. Reach Justice Minnesota initiatives, in which Minnesota legal aid programs launched a statewide network of legal kiosks and mobile legal aid offices with federal pandemic relief dollars, will be discussed and analyzed by panelists. This session will also explore how human-centered approaches informed the design of these initiatives.
Building Up In-House Pro Bono Partnerships and Opportunities
Alyson Cauchy, U.S. Bank National Association, Minneapolis, MN
Christy Kane, Entergy Legal Department, New Orleans, LA
Jeffrey A. Proulx, Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN
Alyssa Saunders, Pro Bono Institute, Washington, DC
In-house pro bono continues to thrive and mature. Come learn how legal departments engage in pro bono, often in partnership with legal services organizations and law firms. Then in small groups we’ll develop strategies for engaging in-house lawyers and legal staff and learn how to work more effectively together.
Chat Bots, Collaboration Platforms and Intake Portals: Tech Fixes to Enhance Pro Bono
Jacqueline Haberfeld, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, New York, NY
Harlene Katzman, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, New York, NY
Peter Kempner , Volunteers of Legal Service, New York, NY
Law firms are increasingly using legal tech to better serve their clients. This technological know-how is also being brought to bear to better serve pro bono clients and collaborate with legal services providers. This panel will demonstrate how chat bots, collaboration platforms, and intake portals are enhancing pro bono projects.
Choose Collaboration Over Competition: How a Non-LSC and LSC Jointly Elevated Community Through Mutual Support
Bethanie Barber, Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc., Orlando, FL
Jeffrey Harvey, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc., Orlando, FL
As legal aid providers, we're used to lean times. Financial, professional, and volunteer resources are scarce, even in prosperous times. Learn how two programs in the same community- one LSC and one non-- went from competing for the same finite resources to sharing them, strengthening individual and collective results for everyone.
Clean Slate Foundations: Building Pro Bono Partnerships to Achieve Expungement Results
Steve Grumm, Legal Aid of Western Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI
NoahJoseph, Legal Aid of Western Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI
Shannon Lucas, Michigan Advocacy Program, Ypsilanti, MI
Sarah A. Munro, Michigan Advocacy Program/Legal Services of South Central Michigan , Ypsilanti, MI
Let’s talk about the "Clean Slate" criminal-record expungement movement! Michigan’s legal aid community is leveraging new expungement laws to invigorate pro bono work in our field offices, and creatively forming pro bono partnerships that serve clients while educating lawyers, judges, and employers on second chances. We are collaborating to train volunteers statewide, and with diverse ally coalitions, including court officials, the Attorney General’s office, civic organizations, and the business community. We will share what we have learned, including details on our service-delivery models, pro bono engagement with our own staff and private attorneys, and why expanded partnership networks are so valuable.
Coaching Skills for Legal Aid & Pro Bono Managers
Coaching skills are essential to both management (of programs and individuals) and to leadership. Participants will learn a practical set of key coaching skills and frameworks, and then have opportunities in pairs and triads to practice these skills during the session. Coaching supports reflection, awareness, communication, and accountability - all critical skills in managing pro bono and legal aid programs, personnel, and volunteers.
Collaborative Justice: Improving Reentry Outcomes
Rocky DeYoung , Montage Reentry Solutions, St. Paul, MN
Shannon Elkins, Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Eve Runyon, Pro Bono Institute, Washington, DC
Jim Volling, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP, Minneapolis, MN
The Minnesota Collaborative Justice Project seeks to dramatically improve the experiences and outcomes of formerly incarcerated individuals reentering the community. This case study addresses how diverse stakeholders can work together toward successful reentry, including through a unique pro bono program addressing civil legal needs of Federal Reentry Court participants.
Come Together - Developing, Maintaining and Managing an Agency-Wide Technology-Based Legal Services Initiative
Kristen Orr, Center for Elder Law and Justice, Buffalo, NY
Erin Riker, Center for Elder Law and Justice, Buffalo, NY
This session focuses on how the addition of a technology unit within an agency can increase use of and client access to legal services through bridging the digital divide. Technology-based initiatives are essential to bring legal resources to remote and underserved areas. Participants will learn the benefits of managing all of these options through an interconnected technology-based legal services unit instead of a decentralized approach. Through an interactive problem-solving exercise, participants will address common issues faced when developing, launching, and managing technology-based legal projects, as well as the challenges of bringing these projects together under one umbrella.
Community Coming Together to Respond to Civil Unrest
Russ Adams, Lake Street Council, Minneapolis, MN
Kathy Greiner, Rebuilding Together Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
David March, MN Corporate Pro Bono Council, Minneapolis, MN
Perla Mayo, Neighborhood Development Center, St. Paul, MN
Pamela Wandzel, Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis, MN
Leah Wilkes, MN Dept. of Commerce, St Paul, MN
This session will look at how a community can come together and collaborate in response to a civil crisis through the lens of the Minneapolis - St.Paul response to the riots that destroyed thousands of small businesses. The response brought together pro bono, nonprofits and governmental agencies to coordinate efforts to rebuild. Panelists will discuss how relationships within the community served as a foundation for successful integration of services.
Cultivating the Next Generation of Legal Services Lawyers Through Pro Bono
Jenni Gomez, Legal Services of Northern California, Sacramento, CA
Darcy Meals, Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, GA
Sue Schechter, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA
This session will discuss the myriad ways in which legal services organizations work with law schools to spark student commitment to public service. Panelists will offer practical tips about how to access available resources and expand your touchpoints with law students to help recruit and train the next generation of public interest lawyers to close the justice gap.
Cybersecurity Risks for Legal Aid: How to Prepare and Protect Your Organization
John Greiner, Just-Tech, New York, NY
Nonprofit legal aid organizations face an increasing risk of cybersecurity threats, including data breaches, fraudulent fund transfers, and ransomware attacks. Don’t wait until your systems are compromised - learn what you need to have in place to prepare and protect your organization, including policies, training, and best practices.
Designing & Facilitating Meetings
Danielle Hirsch, National Center for State Courts, Williamsburg, VA
Kelly Tautges, Faegre Drinker, Minneapolis, MN
Julia Wilson, John Paul Stevens Foundation, San Francisco, CA
Organizations, teams, projects, and commissions rely on meetings and group processes to get work done. But groups receive little support on how to design meetings, including agendas and tools to support discussions, and group leaders have little support on how to then facilitate the meetings. Participants will learn a set of core concepts on meeting design and facilitation, with time to apply these concepts to a meeting that they lead.
Do Legal Aid & Court Websites Show up When People Search?
When people go on Google to search about their life & legal problems, what do they see? Ideally, it would be reliable, jurisdiction-correct legal help sites from courts, legal aid groups, and other public interest sources. But Search Engine audit reveals a different picture. The Stanford Legal Design Lab, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and a network of legal aid and court providers have been auditing what Google's search algorithm shows to people in different jurisdiction when they search for things like 'help with eviction' or 'how do I get a restraining order'. We will present what Google is showing, and how legal help sites can improve their rank. This will include practical strategies to improve SEO, get reliable information to be shown more prominently, and attract more people to sites that can help empower them with correct, authoritative resources. The strategies can also help legal organizations orient their online help resources to be more usable and user-friendly.
Educating Legislators About Legal Aid 2.0
Carol Bergman, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Colleen Cotter, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
Ronald Flagg, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
Betty Balli Torres, Texas Access to Justice Foundation, Austin, TX
This session is designed to build on the workshops we have done for the past few years on how to explain legal aid as constituent services to legislators and their staff. Now that many LSC grantees and other legal aid programs have begun to develop relationships with their federal and state legislators and staff, we want to identify ways to build on and expand those connections, e.g., provide trainings for district caseworkers; involve legislative staff in community outreach efforts. The panel will include LSC grantee Executive Directors and civil legal aid practitioners with experience meeting with and educating federal and state legislators and their staff both in person and virtually. The panel will also address compliance with LSC lobbying restrictions applicable to LSC grantees in communicating with legislators.
Effective Strategies for Serving Clients Above the Legal Aid Income Eligibility Level, Just Don’t Call It Low Bono
Jessica Bednarz, The Chicago Bar Foundation Justice Entrepreneurs Project, Chicago, IL
Brian Gilbert, Chicago Advocate Legal, Chicago, IL
Bob Glaves, The Chicago Bar Foundation, Chicago, IL
Andrea Pinzon, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., Jacksonville, FL
Millions of people around the country are above the income eligibility line for legal aid yet still struggle to find affordable legal help when they need it. This panel will feature three promising models for helping to close that gap--a legal aid program, a nonprofit law firm, and a network of socially conscious private law firms—along with lessons learned along the way and some common principles and practices they are using that can easily be adapted by other programs.
Elevating the Connections Between Abortion Access and Low-Income Communities Through the Lens of Legal Services
Abortion bans disproportionately harm Black and Brown, low-income, and marginalized people. Members of these communities already experience difficulty accessing reproductive care because of racial and socioeconomic structural barriers. This session will examine the impact of abortion restrictions on these communities and their ramifications, through a research, storytelling, and legal lens.
Envisioning an Access to Justice Research Agenda to Shape and Strengthen Policy and Practice
Matthew Burnett, American Bar Foundation, n/a, IL
Alison Paul, Montana Legal Services Association, Helena, MT
Growing interest in access to justice by policymakers and an increasing focus on legal aid outcomes and innovations has created new demand for research evidence. However, the production of research relevant to understanding and improving access to justice has lagged. This session will bring legal aid leaders and researchers into conversation about the future of access to justice research and its potential to both shape and strengthen civil justice policy and practice.
Eviction Courthouse Projects: Lessons from COVID
Missy Greathouse, Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc., Murphysboro, IL
Britta Johnson, Prairie State Legal Services, Peoria, IL
Elise Tincher, The Chicago Bar Foundation, Chicago, IL
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted how many eviction courtrooms operate across the nation. Changing laws and increased funding allowed many communities to quickly adapt and create innovative eviction projects to address the eviction surge. Several projects expanded to adopt mediation and rental assistance programs. This session will discuss how to start an eviction project, how to improve an existing eviction project with a strong focus on mediation programs, and provide a space for an open discussion for advocates to explore solutions to expected barriers post-COVID
Workshop Sessions F-K
FundaMental Advocacy - Represent and Fight for Clients with Mental Health Disabilities
Jenny Farrell, Mental Health Advocacy Services, Los Angeles, CA
Susie Hoffman, Crowell & Moring LLP, Washington, DC
Vidhya Ragunathan, Inner City Law Center, Los Angeles, CA
Mental health issues impact a large portion of our population. For indigent clients who lack resources to healthcare, a stable income, and a safety net, mental health disabilities can be particularly debilitating and prevent an individual from getting back on their feet. Pro bono advocates can make a tremendous difference for clients living with several mental health disabilities by removing legal obstacles to living a safe and stable life. This workshop will offer an overview of mental health and the issues faced by clients, strategies for connecting clients with the right pro bono partner, and best practices so pro bono can provide effective advocacy and achieve great outcomes.
Funding Rural and Regional Access to Justice: Immigration Examples
Sarah Brenes, The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, MN
Ma Elena Gutierrez, Fe y Justicia, Minneapolis, MN
Phil Wheeler, Southeastern Minnesota Interfaith Immigrant Legal Defense (SMIILD), Rochester, MN
Resources to fund access to justice for low-income clients are limited, and providing legal services to immigration clients outside of large metropolitan areas presents additional challenges. Hear ideas on how to overcome barriers to serve these clients, success stories from funders, and describe unique ways communities can support these efforts.
Got Disaster? An Interactive Session on Making Disaster Preparedness and Relief More Equitable
Katherine Asaro, NC Legal Education Assistance Foundation, Raleigh, NC
Tiela Chalmers, Alameda County Bar Association and Legal Access Alameda, San Francisco, CA
Iris Peoples Green, Disability Rights North Carolina, Raleigh, NC
Cheryl Naja, Alston & Bird, Atlanta, GA
Jeanne Ortiz, Pro Bono Net, New York, NY
This interactive session will ask attendees to react and plan for a disaster guided by subject matter experts from across the country. The session will focus on real world work with an eye towards equity issues and proposed solutions, including:
- First steps: A Disaster happened: what the heck do we do now?
- Outreach: Getting Clients and Volunteers
- Marketing Strategies: Letting People know there is help in a meaningful way
- Delivery Models: What does the Clinic/Project look like?
- Preparedness: Taking everything you learned and being more prepared next time
Helping the Helpers: Tech and Training Strategies to Support Community Justice Partners
Rodrigo Camarena, Immigration Advocates Network, Brooklyn, NY
Nikole Nelson, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, Anchorage, AK
Social workers, community organizers, AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteers, librarians and health care professionals are often the first point of contact for people facing a life problem with a legal dimension. But these helpers need help -- to help people detect legal problems, learn about the law, navigate legal processes, and connect to legal services. This session will spotlight examples of technology and training tools designed to equip frontline allies with knowledge and support to effectively and appropriately help people with legal issues. Drawing on examples in housing, elder justice, public benefits, wage theft, domestic violence and other areas, panelists will discuss how these models work and what we are learning from them. We will highlight well-established and cutting-edge initiatives alike, and approaches that can be adapted for new settings to strengthen collaborations with community justice allies.
Hot Topics in Civil Legal Aid
Bryant Yang, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense, Pomona, CA
This session will focus on developments at the Legal Services Corporation, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense, and NLADA, including developments in Congress and the federal executive branch, the legal response to COVID-19, and ongoing efforts to advance racial equity in the justice system and our communities. 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.
Hot Topics in Immigration
Jenna Gilbert, Human Rights Representation, Los Angeles, CA
Nareeneh Sohbatian, Winston & Strawn, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
The session will focus on recent changes and developments in substantive immigration law, including asylum law. It will provide attendees an in-depth look at recent policy and legal developments pertaining to immigration claims, including pertaining to Afghan nationals and address recent changes in the adjudications of immigration claims.
How to evaluate legal technology projects: Deep dive into portal evaluations
Casey Chiappetta, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC
Susan Choe, Ohio Legal Help, Columbus, OH
Jennifer Singleton, Legal Services State Support, St. Paul, MN
The Pew Charitable Trusts and Auburn University's Center for Evaluation will discuss evaluation findings in five states and best practices for evaluating legal technologies. Highlights include discussion on accessibility, security, and user empowerment. Attendees will leave with tools to begin their own evaluations and considerations for making portals more user-friendly.
How to Stay Sane in an Insane World: Building Resiliency in Work
Alpa Amin, Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN), Atlanta, GA
Terri Hendley, Troutman Pepper, Atlanta, GA
Artika Tyner, St. Paul, MN
Managing emails, recruiting volunteers and also maintaining internal/external relationships can lead to stress and anxiety, with many leaders pushing ourselves emotionally and physically. This interactive panel will provide everyday tips on ways to manage the new normal in order to better manage our lives so we can continue to help others.
Improving Individual and Community Prosperity Through Record-Clearing: An Evaluation
Renee Danser, Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
Marilyn Harp, Kansas Legal Services, Topeka, KS
Anderson Parrish, Kansas Legal Services, Topeka, KS
Kansas Legal Services and the A2J Lab conduct a first of its kind evaluation of record-clearing to understand the downstream effects. By randomly assigning clients to either receive full or limited-scope representation, KLS will learn about optimal resource allocation.
Increase the value of your data by using standards.
John Greacen, Greacen Associates, LLC, Regina, NM
Jim Harris, National Center for State Courts, Orlando, FL
It is often heard that "standards are like toothbrushes, a good idea but no one wants to use anyone else's." However, if we want technology to fulfill its potential value and create meaningful scale, reach and quality, our approach to creating and adopting standards needs to change. The panel will explore new standards developed by the OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee designed to simplify data exchange among providers to improve outcomes and save resources. Also, they will discuss issues surrounding the exchange of data, data retention, and privacy concerns.
Information Justice: Centering Access, Equity and Care in Legal Resource Design
The legal aid community made enormous strides with online legal resources, forms and services accessible online for millions of people in the past 20 years. Yet we know resources don’t serve everyone equally, or equally well, like those historically without power in the legal system, in our society and/or unfamiliar with the system. In this session we focus on how to adopt a holistic interdisciplinary approach for online experiences that break down systemic barriers to justice and meaningful participation. This session will explore ”information justice:” a framework that brings together two decades of breakthrough approaches and experience to deploy online tools rooted in serving the racially, culturally, linguistically and socially diverse communities effectively and equitably. We’ll discuss core information justice competencies such as accessibility, language access, digital equity, gender neutrality in text and forms, and designing with compassion, and engage in a rich conversation about how justice tech advocates can holistically apply these interdisciplinary perspectives and allied practices to future tech initiatives.
Workshop Sessions L-O
Legal Navigator: Lessons in Learning, Growing and Launching
Jada Breegle, Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Washington, DC
Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Eric Vang, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, Juneau, AK
The Legal Navigator portal is a positive step forward for programs and states with less resources to create a simple and easy to use platform which integrates artificial intelligence to identify a legal problem, guided assistants to help users create a personalized action plan to know what steps they need to take, and legal and organizational information. This session will demonstrate the launched model and share lessons learned and how other states can utilize the platform for their own sites.
Legal Services for LGBTQ+ Clients in Rural Communities
Michelle Garcia, New Mexico Legal Aid, Inc., Santa Fe, NM
Victoria Smith, Lone Star Legal Aid, Belton, TX
Kate Wood, NYU School of Law, Bloomington, IN
This session will give participants tools to increase their organizations' capability to provide culturally competent legal services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) clients in rural communities. Panelists will share practical strategies for outreach, intake, case management, and capacity building.
Look What the Garden Grows: Legal Empowerment for Systems Change in the Wild
Sarah Carver, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, Anchorage, AK
Leigh Dickey, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, Anchorage, AK
During the last year, Alaska Legal Services saw our vast and remote state's limited infrastructure falter and our organization (Alaska's only statewide legal aid organization) struggled to maintain staff and services. Few things seemed to be heading in the right direction, so we were amazed to see that in during this most difficult time, we were also experiencing tremendous growth in our lay advocate volunteer program and that these lay advocates were achieving incredible outcomes for our clients. Come to this session and learn how the seeds of the legal empowerment framework planted years ago grew into a robust garden of more than 200 lay advocates, many from incredibly remote communities, who worked together with our staff to correct statewide public assistance failures and to achieve systemic change, including a $13.5 million supplemental distribution of emergency nutrition benefits. We will share our community driven advocacy model that is not only curing individual injustices but is also overhauling systemic failures.
Meeting the Moment: Recruiting Pro Bono Volunteers for the Eviction Crisis
Diego Cartagena , Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Los Angeles, CA
Lauren Gilbride, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
Laura Klein, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC
David Lash, O'Melveny & Meyers LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Caroline Shriver, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC
The eviction crisis presents an opportunity to reinvent how pro bono volunteers are enlisted to help in housing matters. This session will explore the bold strategies used to recruit volunteers to eviction defense work in Right to Counsel-Cleveland, Housing Justice is Racial Justice in California, and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s “Call to Action.” Join the discussion with pro bono professionals and learn how to motivate and engage your pro bono volunteers to meet the moment and become a part of the solution to address the evictions crisis in low-income communities across the country.
Microenterprise and Economic Advocacy - Business Law in Legal Services
Andrea Belono Harrington, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Austin, TX
Ashea Jones, Lone Star Legal Aid, Houston, TX
Chase Porter, Lone Star Legal Aid, Houston, TX
Microenterprises economic engines in low-income communities; providing opportunities to create and retain assets for low-income people. This session explores the hows and whys for microenterprise and economic development initiatives as important components of in-house legal services, including the need to address business law issues in other practice areas (family, disaster).
MIE Roundtable for Executive Directors and Program Leaders
Jacquelynne Bowman, Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston, MA
Jon Laramore, Indiana Legal Services, n/a, IN
Patricia Pap, Management Information Exchange, Boston, MA
The Roundtable is an MIE hallmark activity providing Executive Directors and program leaders the opportunity to share management concerns and receive peer support and assistance in an informal and confidential setting. Bring your most difficult challenges and benefit from the best thinking of your colleagues who have similar decisions to make, and experiences to share. This session will be facilitated by members of the MIE Board of Directors
More Than a Bus
Betsy Goodale, South Carolina Bar, Columbia, SC
Pamela DeFanti Robinson, University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, SC
Angela Schultz, Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, WI
ROAD TRIP!!! Take a road trip to justice. This panel will feature three different mobile legal service models. We will start in SC with a law school statewide outreach program that partners with the state bar, stop in Milwaukee to visit a mobile law clinic that connects a law school and legal services and make our final stop at a Minnesota legal aid outreach and service program that has wheels! Each program will discuss the basic design of their program and how the bus facilitates their mission and services. Panelists will also talk about challenges, benefits and how they have adjusted their programs along the road towards the goal to reach underserved populations who may be in rural areas, have limited broadband or little access to a lawyer. While there is no map for a perfect effort to accomplish this goal as each locale has unique parameters and resources, this practical guide can provide you with ideas for your own future road trip.
National Association of Indian Legal Services (NAILS) - Native Communities
Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste: Advocating for Tenants' Rights During a Pandemic
Luis Henriquez Carrero, Manhattan Legal Services, New York, NY
Samira Nazem, National Center for State Courts, Chicago, IL
Catherine Weiss, Lowenstein Center For the Public Interest, Montclair, NJ
Panelists and participants will discuss how the prospect of mass eviction during and following the pandemic prompted legislative, judicial, and regulatory reform in their states. The conversation will cover what and how changes were made and whether they will stick.
Workshop Sessions P-S
Pandemic Recovery Best Practices for Pro Bono Services Delivery
Cassandra Celestin, City Bar Justice Center, New York, NY
Kurt Denk, City Bar Justice Center, New York, NY
Skip Koenig, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles, Pacoima, CA
Two pro bono directors, one pro bono housing manager, and one legal services executive director profile how three organizations of different sizes and funding structures - from the East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast - have applied lessons from remote work to evolve pro bono programming that keeps clients at the center.
Paralegal Pro Bono Roundtable: A Discussion of Utilization of Paralegals to Assist Attorneys with Pro Bono
Christine Flynn, Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, Philadelphia, PA
Linda Odermott, Nike, Portland, OR
Teresa Scharf, Ulmer & Berne LLP, Columbus, OH
Maren Schroeder, n/a, Rochester-Austin, MN
Hear leaders from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. discuss key roles paralegals may play in the effective delivery of pro bono legal services. From staffing on specific cases and projects to licensure of paraprofessionals for particular practice areas and tasks, the panel will discuss how paralegals currently, and will in the future, provide a crucial link in bridging the justice gap.
Reimagining Pro Bono: Transactional and Remote Opportunities with Group Clients
Peter Hoffman, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Inc., St. Louis, MO
Abby Judah, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Kansas City, MO
Bradford Voegeli, Neighborhood Legal Service Program of D.C, Washington, DC
Concentrated poverty and the long-term, systemic impacts of racial injustice are most often visible at the neighborhood level. Three legal services providers will describe pro bono models that engage volunteer attorneys from large and boutique law firms in resident-led, long-term partnerships that support community-based solutions, recovery, and growth. Discussion will focus on innovative community development projects representing group clients, such as housing cooperatives and neighborhood-based organizations, and will share best practices for engaging volunteers to handle complex legal matters within their areas of existing expertise in a remote environment.
Service of Process in Debt Collection: What We Can Learn from Court Data and Community Interviews
In this session, we'll review the findings from research regarding service of process in debt collection cases in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Akron and Salt Lake City: what can be learned from court data and interviews and how that knowledge can be applied to ensuring that service of process achieves its due process goals.
Serving Communities of Color: What is the FTC doing and how we can work together
Joannie Wei, Federal Trade Commission, Chicago, IL
FTC staff will discuss cases where the conduct either specifically targeted or disproportionately impacted communities of color and new research that reveals the types of concerns these communities are reporting to the FTC. The panel will also share how anyone can help by amplifying consumer protection messages in communities of color.
Shriver Civil Counsel Act Evaluation: Multi-year Data from the Frontlines of California Eviction Defense
Colin Holloway., NPC Research, Portland, OR
Kelly Jarvis, NPC Research, Portland, OR
Trinidad Ocampo, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angles County, Los Angeles, CA
Researchers will present nine years of data from the Shriver pilot projects that illustrate eviction trends over time across six counties, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and innovative service approaches implemented by legal aid and the courts. Panelists will ground the data in programmatic realities and discuss takeaways from the evaluation of the data.
Skills for Success: How to be an Antiracist (Lawyer)
Justin Arrington, Legal Services Alabama, Selma, AL
Nell Brimmer, Legal Services Alabama, Montgomery, AL
Felecia Pettway, Legal Services Alabama, Montgomery, AL
Frederick Spight, Legal Services Alabama, Birmingham, AL
When creating training modules for new hires, legal aid and pro bono organizations often provide an overview of administrative procedures and substantive legal foundations. What if all legal aid and pro bono attorneys were first trained in antiracism and trauma-informed practices? This session will highlight the work that legal aid law firms cans engage in to further equal justice not only for our client communities but within our own organizations. This session will be a dynamic introduction to antiracist lawyering and trauma-informed advocacy, and will share perspectives and examples of why this work is critical for access to justice.
Social Advocacy: How Communications Can Advance Your Advocacy Objectives
Maria Duvuvuei, Community Legal Aid, Akron, OH
Melanie Shakarian, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
COVID-19 has forced legal aid organizations to think differently about how they meet the needs of their clients. Social marketing and mass communications tools provide an outlet and opportunity to reach both clients and communities in new and engaging ways. This session will discuss tactics used by legal aid programs across the country since the onset of COVID-19, the lessons they learned, and the best practices they’re keeping in place, even beyond the pandemic.
Solving Problem Courts: Overcoming Barriers to Due Process
Victoria Esposito, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY, Albany, NY
Marcie Kobak, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, White Plains, NY
Sam Young, Legal Services of Central New York, Syracuse, NY
Local courts and administrative tribunals often fail at providing due process, particularly to marginalized litigants. Promoting access to justice requires strategic advocacy, beyond defensive litigation. Participants will discuss barriers (lack of training, bias) and approaches to systemic change.
State Legislative Funding Roundtable
Shubi Deoras, American Bar Association, Chicago, IL
Radhika Singh, National Legal Aid & Defender Association, Washington, DC
Jared Smith, Management Information Exchange, Durham, NC
This interactive session will include reports on developments related to state legislative funding initiatives aimed at increasing resources for civil legal aid. Updates will be provided on the ABA's data collection process to support funding efforts and on potential federal funding, including COVID-19 relief funding, that might be available at the state or local advocacy levels. Participants will be able to share developments in their states in a roundtable format and learn from others about what has worked, and what has not worked, in raising state legislative funding and accessing potential federal funding.
Supporting the Pro Bono and Legal Services Community With Data and Predictive Research
Margaret Hagan, Legal Design Lab at Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Stephen Rispoli, Baylor Law, Waco, TX
Tali Albukerk, American Bar Association, Chicago, IL
Are your client outreach and attorney recruitment strategies data driven or are you simply relying on anecdotal information? What can be done using data to better address client needs and provide more targeted services? Representatives from Baylor Law School and Stanford Legal Design Lab will provide pro bono legal services strategies derived from the data research of common client inquiries on ABA Free Legal Answers and other platforms. Highlights include predictive timelines, dissemination of category-specific legal information and legal needs assessments based on the frequency, seasonality and layperson phrasing of legal inquires.
Workshop Sessions T-Z
The Afghanistan Humanitarian Crisis and Collaborative Responses
Paul Andrighetti, CAPI USA, Brooklyn Center, MN
Rachele King, Minnesota Department of Human Services, St. Paul, MN
Muhammad Tayyeb, Minneapolis Public Schools District, Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota has received over 1,000 evacuees from Afghanistan. Collaboration among State, refugee resettlement, and legal services agencies is critical so that people’s legal and other needs are met. This session will review Minnesota’s response to this humanitarian crisis and how structures can be established for long-term collaboration.
The End of Denial: Paying for Race Equity in Legal Aid
Karl Doss, Legal Services Corporation of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Yvonne Mariajimenez, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA), Los Angeles, CA
Nicole Elsasser Watson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC
The Future of Work: Remote, Hybrid and Back to the Office
LaDierdre Johnson, Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP), Ypsilanti, MI
This session will explore the ongoing impact of the pandemic on how and where work gets done and considerations for future work models. Instead of reverting back to the pre-COVID status quo, we should consider the permanent advantages of technologies adopted due to pandemic restrictions and embrace the lessons learned to enhance delivery of legal services. In considering remote/hybrid/back to the office, what are some of the potential impacts on tools, technology, and processes? How does the work model align with the program’s mission and with staff and volunteer expectations?
The Law Firm Antiracism Alliance: A Call to Action
Brenna DeVaney, Skadden, Chicago, IL
Paul Lee, Steptoe, Washington, DC
Ben Weinberg, Dentons, Chicago, IL
We will give an overview and update on the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance's first year and describe ways that legal services organizations and pro bono volunteers can join these efforts
The Myth of Perfection and the Fine Art of Making Mistakes: Helping Staff Grow
Developing our next generation of leaders can be tough. This session examines challenges in supervising and helping staff grow by examining our own expectations and theirs and how to move from these mindsets toward coaching and allowing appropriate space for making mistakes while being mindful of cultural and historical impacts.
The New York Pro Bono Scholars Program, Not Just for New Yorkers!
Kate Devlin Joyce, Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA
Marcia Levy, UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, Concord, NH
Join us to learn about the opportunity to bring additional resources to your organization by hosting a NY Pro Bono Scholar (NYPBS). We will provide information about becoming a host organization, working with the NYPBS, and collaborating with law school partners to provide an enriching experience for all. Presenters, a legal services director and law school faculty will facilitate discussion through presentation and interactive activities.
The Path to 100% Representation in Eviction Defense
Alisha Bowen, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Minneapolis, MN
Mary Kaczorek, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Minneapolis, MN
Securing the right to counsel in eviction cases is more than just hiring lawyers. In this session, you will learn how Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid has worked to expand and streamline our work to maximize the number of renters we are able to represent. Presenters will talk about key partnerships, technology innovations, and the integral role of support staff in creating a robust, modern, and sustainable eviction defense practice.
The Struggle is Real: Adapting to Virtual Volunteering and Supervising
Samantha Howell, Southern Legal Counsel, Inc., Gainesville, FL
Claud Nelson, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, n/a, FL
This session will examine all we've learned over the last 18 months of remote service delivery and volunteer management. We will examine the emotional toll of remote v. in-person supervision and delivery, the need and processes for recalibrations, and best practice policies.
Thinking Outside the Lawyer: Maximizing Pro Bono Impact through Multidisciplinary Legal Teams
Dana Montalto, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, Boston, MA
John O'Neil, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA
Millie VandenBroek, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, West Haven, CT
This session will explore lessons learned from an innovative collaboration between Harvard Law School’s Veterans Legal Clinic, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) to expand legal services to veterans in rural communities. Panelists will highlight strategies for corporate engagement and multidisciplinary pro bono teams and provide takeaways for replicable strategies that attendees can employ for subject matter areas beyond assisting veterans.
TRANSformational: Adding Transgender Name Changes to Your Civil Legal Services Portfolio
Adam Heintz, Legal Services NYC, New York, NY
Imagine if your IDs showed someone else's name and gender marker, how hard it would be to get a job, housing, healthcare, or benefits. This is reality for 9/10 transgender people â-- but you can help! We’ll show you how to handle trans name changes respectfully, effectively, affordably, and sustainably today.
Turnover, recruitment and retention?
Silvia Argueta, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Jonathan Asher, Colorado Legal Services, Denver, CO
Lillian Moy, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Albany, NY
Turnover, recruitment and retention issues have only deepened during the pandemic. When will this end? What are the strategies for addressing these issues and retaining a diverse workforce? What are you doing/using/considering? Stay interviews? Exit interviews? Signing/retention bonus? Negotiating between contracts? We will have options, not answers. We want to discuss and prioritize - Join us.
Volunteers and Court Observation: Impacting Access to Justice
Amy Lange, The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, MN
Michele Garnett McKenzie, The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, MN
Elizabeth Montgomery, The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, MN
Court observation is an internationally recognized best practice to ensure the right to fair trials and proper administration of justice. Hear how The Advocates monitors immigration and state courts to identify concerns related to due process and access to justice. Presenters will also discuss ways in which court watching can be used to effect changes to practices that deny justice for all.
Water Justice: Legal Strategies to Address Racial Disparities in Water Access
Jason Bailey, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., New York, NY
Martha Davis, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
Wenona Singel, Michigan State University School of Law, East Lansing, MI
Using interactive techniques such as participant polling, panelists will (1) share tools for identifying policies that perpetuate racial disparities in water access, (2) discuss legal strategies for addressing those impacts, ranging from Fair Housing litigation to human rights advocacy, and (3) explore alternative policy approaches that promote greater water justice.
What Can You Do to Increase Race Equity and Cultural Humility in our Community?
Rhodia Thomas, MidPenn Legal Services, Harrisburg, PA
Regardless of your role - provider, Board member, funder - you have a responsibility to help our community advance race equity and cultural awareness. How will you do it? We will look at 10 action steps drafted about 25 years ago. We will work in small groups to change language, action steps, responsible roles. We will share possibilities, challenges, and hopes. Please join us! Co-sponsored by the African-American Project Directors.
What Do We Know About Access to Justice? Actionable Insights from Current Research
Victor Quintanilla, IU Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, IN
Rebecca Sandefur, Arizona State University & Faculty Fellow, American Bar Foundation, Tempe, AZ
Michele Statz, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth & Affiliate Faculty, University of Minnesota Law School, Duluth, MN
James Teufel, Utah Office of Legal Services Innovation, Salt Lake City, UT
As empirical research into access to justice proliferates in the US and beyond, a new body of work presents opportunities for integration and synthesis. In this session, access to justice researchers will highlight current research, emerging trends, and actionable insights to inform policy and practice.
What’s New in Bankruptcy Pro Bono, and Why It Matters - Now!
Megan Adeyemo, Gordan & Rees Scully Mansukhani, Denver, CO
James Baillie, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Minneapolis, MN
William Kransdorf, Legal Services NYC, New York, NY
Patricia Redmond, Stearns Weaver Miller, Miami, FL
Tom Walsh, Volunteer Lawyers Network, Minneapolis, MN
People need help to get a fresh start in a bankruptcy case. Legal services programs have a surprising variety of ways to help, often by partnering with pro bono counsel. This interactive workshop brings together lawyers who provide this service and those who are considering doing so.
What’s On the Menu? Legal Ethics, Limited Scope Representation, and Legal Aid Providers
Jenny Mittelman, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
Ellyn Rosen, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, Chicago, IL
Due to the nature of their practices, legal aid lawyers, perhaps more than other practitioners, provide limited scope representation to qualifying clients as an alternative to traditional "head-to-tail" representation. Limited scope representation, often referred to as unbundled legal services, happens when a lawyer handles only certain parts of a matter and the client remains responsible for others. Ethical challenges exist in providing unbundled services generally, but there are some unique additional challenges for legal aid providers. Using hypothetical scenarios, ethics experts and legal aid practitioners engage with attendees to help them address these challenges and better understand their ethical duties. Among the Model Rule to be addressed are Model Rule 1.1 (Competence), Model Rule 1.2 (Scope of Representation), Model Rule 1.4 (Communication), Model Rule 1.6 (Confidentiality), Model Rules 4.2 and 4.3 (Communication with Represented and Unrepresented Person), and Model Rule 5.1 (Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisory Lawyers).