Legal Aid Technology Summit

The Annual Legal Aid Technology Summit is a conference dedicated to discussing the use of technology for advancing access to justice. Whether you are a leader or decision-maker at your organization, the resident technology expert (official or unofficial), or you are just interested in how to better use technology to serve your organization or your clients, there will be something for you at the Tech Summit. This year the summit will focus on usability of legal aid websites and technology for the delivery of legal services. The 2019 Summit will be held at the State Bar of California, Los Angeles, on Friday, April 19, 2019. Please check back here for updates.

                                                                                         Register here

Are you responsible for technology upkeep or decision-making at your legal aid organization? Would you like a way to communicate with others regarding best practices, referrals, emerging issues, and more? Join LAAC’s Legal Aid Technology Google Group.

4th Annual

Legal Aid Technology Summit

April 19, 2019

State Bar of California –Los Angeles

Sponsored by

The Legal Aid Association of California & The State Bar of California

With the generous support of Fenwick & West LLP

9:00 – 9:30  Registration and Coffee

9:30 –9:45   Welcome & Introductions                    

9:45 – 10:30 Morning Plenary:  Big Data: The Path to More Accessible Legal Services

During this panel you will hear about new and upcoming projects which aim to increase access to justice through shared platforms.    

Panelists: Clotilde Vasconi, Benetech; Jorge Gabriel Jimenez and Jameson Dempsey, Stanford Legal Design Lab

10:30 – 11:00 Group Discussion: Current Challenges: A round-robin opportunity for all attendees to share their current tech challenges in their offices.

11:00 – 11:05 Break (time to change rooms)

11:05 – 12:00 Breakout Discussion/Presentation 1:

Option 1: Guide & File: Leigh Parsons of the Superior Court, County of Los Angeles will provide a workshop on the uses and functions of the Court’s free technology app.

Option 1: So you need a new website?: Francis Antonio of National Housing Law Project will lead a group discussion of how to improve or fully overhaul your website, sharing NHLP’s recent experience

12:00  – 12:45 Lunch & Networking

12:45 – 1:30  Breakout Discussion/Presentation 2:

Option 1: The Cyber Security Checklist– Randy Martinez, I.T. Pros Management, will present and discuss a checklist for legal services nonprofits     

Option 2: Legal Server 101– Charlie Gillig  and Caron Smith of  Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County  facilitates a group conversation about Legal Server, a case management system

1:30 – 2:15   Plenary:

Option 1: Incident Response for Nonprofits-

In this session, Ken Montenegro, of Asian Americans Advancing Justice will help you gain an understanding of what incident response is, and why a plan for it should be a key component of your organization’s policies & procedures.

Option 2: Preliminary Research and Design philosophy

In this session Cyd Harrel, of the Digital Self-Help Pilot Project will outline the necessary first steps for developing technology tools to improve the delivery of services.

2:15 – 2:25 Break

2:25 – 3:00 Plenary: Tech-related access in the California court system, for clients and legal services staff with disabilities– Linda Kilb, Disability Rights California

Legal services staff with disabilities – plus witnesses, court staff and judges with disabilities –need technology access, just as clients need access.  And “access” includes the broader architectural and policy landscapes in which technology is used.  Join us to talk about legal analysis and practical considerations affecting technology access in the California court system, and the legal profession.             

3:00 – 3:45  Group Discussion Where Technology Meets Data –

 In this session, Lorin Kline, LAAC, will lead a discussion of how increased technology both hinders and supports data collection and evaluation.

3:45- 4:00 LAAC Technology Inventory Results-  Safia Kartoum, LAAC

4:00 –4:30   Closing Plenary: Where do we go from here?

This will be a final opportunity for attendees to ask any outstanding questions of the day’s presenters or other attendees, pitch technology ideas, to find collaborators, and to get feedback, tell LAAC how we can assist and support you

For more information, please contact Program Associate, Safia Kartoum at or 510-893-3000, ext 102. 

Pathways to Justice (June 3rd-5th, 2019)

Registration for Pathways to Justice 2019 is now open (register here!) The schedule is available on the online scheduling platform Sched and is available hereLegal Aid Association of California Members are eligible for a discounted rate. Please contact for more information on the discount code. 

The conference will be held at the Judicial Council in San Francisco from June 3 – 5, 2019. Pre-conference day is on June 2nd. The Request for Proposals (RFP) application period is now closed. For more information, about the conference please visit The State Bar 2019 Pathways to Justice Conference webpage, or contact

The State Bar webpage includes information on discounts, grant-funded travel assistance, conference highlights, the keynote speaker, hotel & travel information, the schedule, and the registration pricing structure including early bird rates through May 13th, which increase May 14-27th, and are unavailable after May 27th. Late and day-of registrations will be offered as space permits; for registration after May 28, please contact availability. 

If you are a presenter and LAAC is coordinating your session you may contact Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton at or 510-893-3000 x 101.

The Pathways to Justice Conference is a statewide conference convened every three years by the State Bar of California, in partnership with its co-sponsors, the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) and the Judicial Council Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC). LAAC and the State Bar of California work with a network of nearly 100 legal services nonprofits funded by the State Bar. 

Pathways is California’s only statewide legal services conference that brings together legal services organizations, pro bono organizations, and court-based programs; private law firm attorneys; judges; law school faculty and pro bono administrators; law students; court interpreters and others in California an opportunity to come together for two days of substantive trainings, and an additional pre-conference day, on issues that affect the state’s low-income communities. 

Above: Jith Meganathan of Central California Legal Services, Todd Thompson of the First District Court of Appeal, and Hon. Erica Yew of the Santa Clara County Superior Court speak on a panel at the 2012 Pathways to Justice Conference in San Francisco.


National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Trainings

Beginning with the three-day training last winter at UC Hastings School of Law, LAAC again partnered with NITA to bring their high-quality, essential trainings to legal aid attorneys at a deep discount in both Northern and Southern California, coordinating trainings at Loyola Law School (March 6-8, 2019) and UC Davis School of Law (March 28-30, 2019).

Providing hands-on, immersive, and practical training on an array of trial advocacy skills, these trainings give attorneys the skills and strategies (as well as confidence) they need to thrive in representing low-income Californians. Between attendees and supervisors, we had over 150 legal aid lawyers participate over the course of the three trainings. A special thanks to the NITA faculty, supervisor volunteers from member organizations, and the three law schools and their staff.

For inquiries about future NITA trainings, please contact Program Attorney Lauren Lofton at

NITA at Loyola Law School in March 2019

The Self-Help and Family Law Conference

The 2018 Self-Help and Family Law Conference was held from August 22 – 24, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. 

The goal of this training is to meet the most pressing educational and practice needs of a wide range of lawyers, paralegals, self-help providers, facilitators, advocates and volunteers providing family law assistance to low-income people in California. The training generally covers complex and recurrent topics including the substantive law areas of real property, pensions, military, and domestic violence/custody. Participants will be able to attend sessions addressing ethical issues in self-help assistance, effective case assessment, recruitment and management of volunteers and fund development to support family law assistance. At the Family Law Conference, LAAC’s Family Law Awards are presented.

Lorrina and Ji-Lan at 2013 FLSHC
Lorrina Duffy and Ji-Lan Zang presenting on litigating batterer retaliation cases at the 2013 Family Law Conference.

Traveling Trainings

Traveling Training 2018 was held in Sacramento, CA on November 8, 2018.

Developed after participants in the 2001 Statewide Stakeholders meeting identified a need for legal services trainings outside urban centers, LAAC’s 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. Held annually, 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 in Sacramento, Fresno, Riverside, and the San Diego area.

prescott cole at 2009 traveling training in fresno
Above: Prescott Cole of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform presents at the 2009 LAAC Traveling Training in Fresno.


Civil Rights for People and Families Impacted by Incarceration

This training focused on the legal aid community’s response to issues around incarceration, detention, and re-entry. Find out more about the training here. All materials can be accessed here.

The Directors of Litigation and Advocacy and Support Center Meetings

The Directors of Litigation and Advocacy and Support Center Meetings are bi-annual meetings in San Francisco and Los Angeles. These meetings are an opportunity for Support Center staff and Directors of Litigation and Advocacy to meet separately and then 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.