April 2017
LAAC in Action
LAAC welcomes our newest Board members!

LAAC is excited to introduce our newest Board members for 2017: Denny Chan from Justice in Aging, Creighton Mendivil, Executive Director of Senior Citizens Legal Services, and Deborah Thrope from National Housing Law Project. We couldn't have a more qualified set of folks to serve on our board; between the three of them, they have over 24 years of legal aid experience! 

" I'm thrilled to join the LAAC board during this time when the marginalized and poor's access to legal aid is under threat, and I look forward to working with my fellow board members to promote access to quality legal services for all low income Californians." - Denny

" I have always been in a speechless awe of accomplishments of LAAC in recent years.  I expect to learn, grow, and improve with LAAC moving forward." - Creighton

LAAC plays an integral role in providing access to justice for low-income families in California and I am excited to support the work of its committed and passionate staff." - Deborah
Advocacy Updates
Legal Aid Funding Advocacy

We all heard that a  federal budget deal was worked out in the wee hours of the weekend. We've heard many rumors that funding for legal aid through the Legal Services Corporation was not significantly cut, but, like you, we are also digging through the news for confirmation. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page  for alerts, and check out LSC's  press release page, too! 

Meanwhile, in California, LAAC continues to  fight for more state funding for legal aid through the budget process. We are waiting for the Governor's May Revise, set to be released on  May 12. The following week, we'll be making the rounds in Sacramento, urging budget committee members to increase legal aid funding by $30 million. Let us know if you want to get involved! 

Legislative Efforts

LAAC has been very busy in Sacramento, not only on budget advocacy, but also on bills that affect your organizations and your clients.  SB 316 (Wieckowski) will make it mandatory for attorneys to report their pro bono hours. LAAC has worked on language of this bill that clarifies the definition of pro bono, makes sure that attorneys can opt out of making the information public, and exempts legal aid attorneys from reporting. The bill is currently in Senate Appropriations.  SB 36 (Jackson) will separate the sections and CYLA from the State Bar. We are offering amendments to ensure that the State Bar can continue to co-sponsor Pathways to Justice, the legal aid tri-annual conference, as the bill as currently written prohibits that. We are also hoping to leverage the State Bar annual dues bill as an opportunity to increase individual attorney giving to legal aid - more news on that in the future. 

LAAC has also been following and supporting many of the bills sponsored by our members (click on  member bills to see most of them, and you'll see all the bills we support on the LAAC supports tab). 

SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Family Law & Self-Help Conference

WHEN: Monday, July 24, 2017
WHERE: The California Endowment
1000 Alameda St,
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Registration for the 2017 Family Law and Self-Help Conference will be opening soon.
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.
Nominations  are now open for the 2017  Family   Law  Awards!

Each year the  Family  Law Awards recognizes 
three  family  law advocates for their outstanding dedication and commitment to legal services for low-income Californians. The celebration will take place as part of the 2017 Family Law and Self-Help Conference in Los Angeles on  July 24th.

Awards will be given to those who have demonstrated exemplary service to low-income clients in each of the following categories:
  •  Direct Representation (legal services family attorney)
  •  Pro Bono Work (private attorney)
  • Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center Service Provider
The deadline to submit a nomination is  Friday, May 26th. To submit a nomination for consideration, please use this form. Please contact Harmony King (HKing@laaconline.org) if you have any questions.
Check out these upcoming webinars! 

  A Level Playing Field: Title IX and Gender Equity in K-12 Athletics
Wednesday, May 10  from noon to 1 p.m.
Amy Poyer,  California Women's Law Center
Kim Turner,  Legal Aid at Work
1 hour of general CLE credit.  Register here !

Wednesday, May 17 from noon to 1 p.m.
Meredith Ponder Whitmire, Matz, Blancato and Associates
Bob Blancato, Matz, Blancato and Associates
1.5 hours of general CLE credit. Register here!

800 Restraining Orders: Leveraging Collaboration to Serve Domestic Violence Victims in Court
Thursday, May 18 from noon to 1 p.m.
Adam Dodge, Laura's House
Leticia Ambriz, Community Service Programs, Inc.
1 hour of general CLE credit. Register here!