Resources for New Executive Directors
New executive directors of legal aid organizations often face a mountain of issues as they get settled into their role. LAAC tries to make it easier!
*Salena, LAAC’s ED, is always available by phone and email for questions! Feel free to call her at 510-893-3000.
And we’ve collected some helpful resources below:
The State Bar of California, Office of Legal Services, the Judicial Council of California, and the Legal Aid Association of California have partnered for this short video explaining much of what a new executive director at an IOLTA-funded nonprofit will need to know.
Look here for a full page of links about discounts that may help you save some time, money, and other resources. These include potential discounts on insurance, retirements plans, case management systems, and more.
LAAC operates several listservs and google groups for our members to communicate and collaborate on a variety of topics and for a variety of purposes. Check out this full list of our listservs and groups, as well as a list of relevant and popular listservs run by other organizations
As part of our ongoing support of increasing diversity in the profession, we have gathered some resources regarding increasing diversity in legal aid.
We keep an archived video of all of our webinar trainings, and they are available for your and your staff for on-demand viewing. You can search and filter the archive to topic, trainer, type of CLE credit, etc.
Check out this list of California statewide and National conferences and events that are particularly relevant to legal aid and/or that many people from our community attend.
Here you can find an up to date list of bills on which LAAC has taken a position, as well as any bills that are sponsored by our member organizations. We also include the status of the bill, available materials, and template letters.
LAAC sometimes becomes involved in litigation as amicus curiae to represent the interests of the legal aid community as a whole. We post updates about these here on our site. LAAC is always open to hearing from its member programs and interested community members regarding the potential for new amicus advocacy efforts!
Are you curious about all that you get as part of your LAAC membership? Check here, and make sure you are taking advantage of all of the many benefits we provide.
LAAC distributed a survey to examine organizations’ choices on technological needs, including everything from document management software, to document management systems, to email tools, and more. We also asked porgrams about their level of satisfaction with different products and vendors. We prepared a report of the results that compares responses, grouped by organization and budget size. Check it out here.
We keep an up to date calendar of all upcoming trainings that may be of interest to legal aid staff. This includes trainings put on by LAAC, as well as any others that might be relevant. It is a Google calendar, so it’s easy to subscribe and keep yourself in the loop. There’s also a link there to submit your own events and trainings for the calendar.
Wondering who the other LAAC member organizations are? Here we have a complete list of all of our members, which you can filter by geography, types of services, and more. And you’ll find links to every organization’s own site as well.
Here we post any news items featuring or relevant to California legal aid. This is a fantastic tool to see what journalists in your region may be interested in covering your clients’ issues. You can search and filter these, as well as find links to journalists’ contact information.
Voices for Civil Justice is a national communications initiative that taps the awareness-raising power of the media to spotlight the critical role of civil legal aid in assuring fairness for all in the justice system. This organization, who is a great friend to LAAC and to the whole legal aid community, works to connect reporters with legal aid sources, as well as pitching stories themselves, so that legal aid get increased visibility in the media. We recommend their archive of press clips (you can see we copied their format!), as well as their great resources and trainings for getting your work in the news.
Follow us to stay up to date!
We regularly post updates both about all of LAAC’s programming and resources, and about any news or information pertinent to legal aid, on our Facebook and Twitter pages. This includes updates on our advocacy to secure more legal aid funding and announcements about upcoming trainings, so be sure to follow us and check back for updates!
*Let us know if we’ve missed any trainings or resources!
Important Trainings and Conferences
This is California legal aid’s statewide conference and is hosted every 3 years by the State Bar Office of Legal Services and the Legal Aid Association of California. It is a two day conference designed to help advocates identify & learn best practices & innovative, practical approaches to using the legal system to advance justice for low-income clients. It includes trainings on a wide variety of topics, various affinity group meetings and gatherings, and the presentation of awards.
Organized by LAAC and the State Bar.
We hold these meetings twice per year, once each in Northern and Sothern California. These meetings are an opportunity for Support Center staff and Directors of Litigation and Advocacy to meet both separately and together to network, hear policy updates, share best practices, and learn substantive material. The Support Center meeting is open to all staff at Support Centers, whereas the DoLA meeting is open to any Directors of Litigation, Advocacy, and Training, as well as Directing/Managing Attorneys at programs that do not have a position with the title of Director of Litigation, Advocacy or Training.
Organized by LAAC.
This is an annual conference and is well attended by members of the legal aid community, but attendees also include private lawyers, paralegals, self-help providers, court facilitators, volunteers and others providing family law assistance to low-income people in California. The training generally covers complex and recurrent topics related to family law or domestic violence, including custody, protective orders, real property, pensions, and immigration, among others. 2018 conference: August 22 – 24, 2018.
Organized by LAAC and the Judicial Council.
For those engaged in complex impact litigation, every year the Impact Fund holds an annual Class Action Conference (February) bringing together leading plaintiffs’ class action practitioners to discuss important new developments, share knowledge and ideas, and develop strategies for the future, and a Class Action Training Institute (September), designed for attorneys who have limited experience in class action litigation and/or some exposure to general litigation and are looking to expand their plaintiff-side class action capacity. 2019 conference: February 21st & 22nd, San Francisco.
Organized by Impact Fund.
The Annual Technology Summit is a conference dedicated to discussing the use of technology for advancing access to justice. It is geared toward a broad audience including leaders or decision-makers at their organization, resident technology expert (official or unofficial), and anyone interested in how to better use technology to serve their organization or clients.
Organized by LAAC.
OneJustice offers 10-month management training program aimed at training current executives and the next generation of nonprofit leaders. Many leaders in the California legal aid community participate in the Fellowship. It is open to executive directors and senior management at IOLTA funded and public interest nonprofit organizations.
Organized by OneJustice.
These conferences and regional meetings are hosted regularly by through the year. At each gathering, participants from all legal aid organizations, law schools, law firms, and in-house legal departments come together to share trainings, resources, and discussions on topics specific to pro bono in California — including best practices, unmet needs, and replicable projects.
Organized by OneJustice.
Every year we hold this training event in a different rural or rural-adjacent part of the state (usual held in Sacramento, Fresno, Riverside, or San Diego). It grew from the fact that most training for legal aid lawyers is offered the state’s main urban centers which may be hard for rural advocates to access. Traveling Trainings serve the dual objective of providing affordable and accessible training to advocates in rural areas, and helping advocates build connections to California’s Support Center resources. Traveling Trainings features a myriad of workshops facilitated by advocates from a diverse range of legal aid support centers. Trainers present comprehensive MCLE sessions on diverse substantive issues.
Organized by LAAC.
Each year, this conference brings together leaders in a broad range of professions, to focus on the latest tools and updates in elder abuse. This statewide conference covers a broad range of interconnected issues including: capacity and undue influence, litigation techniques in financial elder abuse cases, an overview of Adult Protective Services and the forensics of bruising. 2018 conference: May 22, 2018 at UC Hastings College of the Law.
Organized by Legal Assistance for Seniors.
Conference participants will be able to choose from thirteen different sessions on a variety of elder law issues, including overview of the new Medi-Cal recovery laws, Ask the Experts with DHCS eligibility and recovery staff, home and community based services, SNFs, RCFE & ADA litigation issues, Estate Planning and elder abuse litigation updates, and an intensive on Special Needs & Alternatives.
Organized by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.
This is a national conference hosted by the American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. It brings together people from across the county to discuss equal justice issues as they relate to the delivery of legal services to the poor and low-income individuals in need of legal assistance. Unlike the NLADA Annual conference which focuses on trainings in many substantive specific areas, the emphasis of this Conference is on strengthening partnerships among the key players in the civil justice system.
The Legal Services Corporation hosts this conference every years as part of their Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program. It is attended by a broad community of people interested in exploring innovative ways of using technology to promote access to justice and legal aid (not just LSC-funded orgs). The Conference brings together technologists, legal aid advocates, court personnel, academics and other professionals to showcase technology projects and tools being implemented across the country and internationally.
Organized by LSC.
NLADA’s Annual Conference is the leading national training event of the year for the civil legal aid, indigent defense, and public interest law communities. The conference offers advocates the substantive information and professional skills they need to respond to the legal needs of low-income people, along with the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues from across the country. 2018 conference: October 31 – November 3 in Houston, TX.
Organized by the NLADA.
This conference hosted by the Self-Represented Litigation Network, previously held in conjunction with other state and national conferences but more recently offered as a standalone event, occurs annually. It is a two-day national conference for lawyers, judges, clerks of court, self-help services professionals, librarians, technologists, funders and other allied professionals to explore and develop successful strategies and new thinking for providing 100% access to justice. It is well-attended by legal aid leaders and staff and covers many substantive issues of relevance to legal aid.
Organized by SRLN and the Judicial Council of California’s Center for Families, Children & the Courts, with help from LAAC.
Each year, this conference is designed to advance NHeLP’s mission – securing health rights for our nation’s most vulnerable individuals – by educating national and state-based health advocates on the most pressing legal and advocacy challenges and opportunities facing our country. Over three days, guests, NHeLP experts and prominent health leaders will participate in workshops on Medicaid, state health insurance Exchanges, and health reform implementation; develop strategy and opportunities for health advocacy; and parse the issues and assess the legislative and administrative landscapes going forward.
Organized by National Health Law Program.
Approximately every eighteen months, HJN convenes a two-day national meeting to discuss current and emerging issues, hear from national policymakers, and develop a policy advocacy agenda.
Organized by National Housing Law Project
2018 training: May 8th to May 9th in San Diego, CA.
2018 conference: July 25 to July 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA.
Organized by Management, Innovation, and Excellence for Legal Aid