National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITANext Upcoming (Trial Program) Training December 16-18!

Group photo of 60 people including LAAC Faculty, NITA Faculty, and participants in front of USD's Warren Hall building
 The August 2019 Cohort alongside NITA and LAAC Faculty in front of the University of San Diego School of Law’s Warren Hall.

 We are excited to announce that LAAC has confirmed space and dates for the December 2019 Trial NITA Training! The training will take place December 16-18, 2019 at John F. Kennedy College of Law in Pleasant Hill. Registration is currently full, but you can add your name to the wait list here. 

LAAC has worked this past year to make this training completely free to staff from our member organizations. The training has a value of $2,900 per person and we are proud to announce this NITA pro bono training will be free of charge! The December training will focus on trial preparation (opening/closing arguments and direct/cross examinations).

The training will include elimination of bias MCLE through LAAC, and approximately 20 hours of general MCLE credit through NITA. For inquiries about future NITA trainings, please contact LAAC Trainings Associate Jenna Mowat at, or 510-893-3000, ext. 101. Please contact LAAC staff directly and not NITA for registration, and wait list inquires. If you need further assistance please contact Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton at 

In 2018-2019, LAAC partnered with NITA to bring their high-quality, essential trainings to legal aid attorneys at a deep discount in both Northern and Southern California. NITA provides 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. LAAC and NITA coordinated four trainings one at UC Davis King Hall School of Law, UC Hastings School of Law, Loyola Law School, and University of San Diego School of Law. Between attendees and supervisors, we had over close to 200 legal aid lawyers participate over the course in these trainings. A special thanks to the NITA faculty, supervisor volunteers from member organizations, and the three law schools and their staff!


SRLN will be in Nashville, TN March 5-6, 2020! 

Check out the conference page for more information. We hope to see you there!

Photo of Nashville skyline with text overlaying the image that says: Save the Date SRLN 2020! Nashville, TN March 5-6.

The Directors of Litigation and Advocacy (DOLA) and Support Center Meetings

The next DOLA meeting will take place in 2020. For more information about this meeting please contact LAAC Directing Attorney, Lorin Kline, at, or at 510-893-3000 ext. 105.

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.

Pathways to Justice 2019

Over 400 legal aid and court staff attended Pathways to Justice 2019 making it a record breaking success. Thank you for joining us at Pathways!  The State Bar of California , in partnership with its co-sponsors, The Judicial Council Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC), and Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) coordinated this conference. LAAC and the State Bar of California worked with a network of nearly 100 legal services nonprofits funded by the State Bar. The 2019 conference was held at the Judicial Council in San Francisco, June 3rd-5th, 2019.

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.

When is the next Pathways to Justice? The Pathways to Justice Conference is a statewide conference, convened every three years, and is not an annual conference. We will announce the next Pathways to Justice dates when available.

Interested in Reviewing the 2019 Programming? View the Schedule, from this past 2019 Conference, on the online scheduling platform Sched  here! View photos and highlights from the event on LAAC’s Facebook and Twitter pages and in our monthly newsletter LAAC in Action. 

Legal Aid Association of California Members received a discounted rate for this conference as a member benefit. Interested in becoming a LAAC member? Membership is open to IOLTA-funded nonprofit organizations with an office in California whose primary purpose it is to provide free, direct civil legal services to those who are indigent. This includes the provision of support services to programs that deliver direct civil legal services. Read more about membership hereIf you’d like to know how to join as a member, please email LAAC Development Associate Harmony King at

Forget your hotel exemption form?

The hotel tax exemption form is available here: Tax Exemption Form San Francisco City and County (PDF)

For more information, about the conference please visit The State Bar 2019 Pathways to Justice Conference webpage, or contact 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 please contact to reach State Bar staff.

Help! I was a presenter and need assistance with a post-conference task. Thank you for serving as a presenter! Please contact Trainings Associate Jenna Mowat at, or 510-893-3000, ext. 101, for assistance. If you need further assistance please contact Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton at 

LAAC Executive Director, Salena Copeland, speaking in front of a podium and screen that says "Pathways to Justice Conference" at the opening plenary session.
LAAC Executive Director, Salena Copeland, speaking at the Pathways to Justice opening plenary.

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.

The 2019 Summit was held at the State Bar of California, Los Angeles, on Friday, April 19, 2019. The 2019 summit focused on usability of legal aid websites and technology for the delivery of legal services. Please check back here for updates for the 2020 Technology Summit! The 2020 Technology Summit will take place in San Francisco.

For more information, please contact Program Associate, Safia Kartoum at or 510-893-3000, ext 102. If you need further assistance please contact Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton at 

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.

For more information, or attendee information for reporting purposes, please contact LAAC Trainings Associate Jenna Mowat, at, or 510-893-3000, ext. 101. If you need further assistance please contact Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton at 

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.

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 attended sessions addressing ethical issues in self-help assistance, effective case assessment, recruitment and management of volunteers and funding development to support family law assistance. LAAC presents Family Law Awards at the Family Law Conference.

For more information, please contact LAAC Trainings Associate Jenna Mowat, at, or 510-893-3000, ext. 101. If you need further assistance please contact Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton at 

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.

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.