August 2019
LAAC in Action
LAAC Advocacy Update

LAAC has been working closely with the California Commission on Access to Justice's Rural Task Force in producing policy briefs regarding access to justice issues in rural California. The Commission just released policy briefs on California's Attorney Deserts: Access to Justice Implications of the Rural Lawyer Shortage and Disasters in Rural California: The Impact on Access to Justice on  The State Bar of California's website .   

The California State Bar Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services ( ATILS ) has opened  public comment  on their  recommendations including recommendations to allow non-lawyer advocates to give legal advice . There will be oral public comment at a hearing on Saturday, August 10 from 2:00 - 5:00 PM at the State Bar ( agenda ).

While LAAC will not be attending on August 10, we will be submitting written public comment, and would like to create a letter that reflects the breadth and depth of opinions from the legal aid community regarding the recommendations. To contribute, please get in touch with Zach Newman, LAAC Research Attorney, at , who is tracking issues and concerns from our community. The due date for written public comment is September 23, but we are looking to submit our comment by late August.

Breaking news: 
The $331 million, originally part of a $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement, will go, at least in part, to legal services for foreclosure prevention! For more info read this article
Resources for Law Students: 

Summer is coming to a close as law students prepare to head back to school. We've compiled helpful tips and resources for law students, please forward this email to them!

In July, LAAC convened 9 focus groups with almost 50 law students working at legal aid organizations during the summer. While we focused on recruitment and retention issues, we also asked about their summer experiences and what's going well. While we are still analyzing the results, we noticed a few key things that law students said supported their career development.
  • Talk with your supervisor and hear about their path! While they cannot speak to everyone's experience, it can be helpful to hear one attorney's journey at a legal aid organization. Share your long-term career goals and see what they have to say, too.
  • Think of your supervisor or other attorneys as your "network." Part of the summer experience is the fact that you're connecting with attorneys, and they can help you tap into their network (e.g., other legal aid orgs that are hiring).
  • Writing sample. While this is something that hopefully came up toward the beginning of your experience, make sure to communicate with your supervisor that you'd like to use one of your written work products from the summer as a writing sample for future applications. It's good to get their sign-off before you use it as well.
  • Reference. Talk to attorneys you worked with and see if they'd serve as a reference (they probably will!). 
Law school and Bar study can sometimes feel overwhelming, so remember to take breaks. For break ideas check out BALIF's upcoming events and the California ChangeLawyers Leaders Summit (open to  current and future lawyers)!
Attn: Law Students!

We are presently recruiting our cohort of Fall volunteers for LiveChat. Students gain public interest experience by providing direct person-to-person help, for members of the public, seeking assistance as they navigate self-help resources and information, and finding organizations that may be able to assist with their legal issue. Earn pro bono hours while working remotely after one in office training! Click here to apply!
Summer Fun! 

Thank you to the Oakland A's for hosting LAAC as their nonprofit partner this month! The team gifted tickets to our Bay Area members and set up a table for us to share about our work.  It was a great day and a fun game, and LAAC was able to spread the word about some of our programs, including to other fans.  Thanks to everyone who came out to watch the game and to our volunteers for their outreach! 

If you'd like to support our work, please consider donating this month . Your donation funds our advocacy work in Sacramento, provides law students with summer fellowships, and keeps the lights on here in Oakland. Thank you for your generosity! 
Gerson Soto, LAAC Board Member
Member Spotlight! 

Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients: The Connection to Legal Aid

Amidst the fear and apprehension that accompanies a new cancer diagnosis, patients often do not realize that the chemotherapy or radiation they need may increase their risk of iatrogenic infertility, infertility caused by medically necessary treatment. While fertility preservation options exist, most health insurance coverage erroneously denies these services regardless of medical necessity. Even when patients are informed of these risks and seek fertility preservation treatment, those who cannot afford the upfront costs are kept from care.
Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, through its Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Project (AYA@USC) Medical Legal Community Partnership,  helps patients between the ages of 15 and 39 overcome legal barriers distracting them from care.  NLSLA represents patients seeking fertility preservation treatment authorizations and advocates for systemic changes to bring this essential benefit to all. 
While proposed legislation may increase access to fertility preservation services, currently patients from all insurance programs and incomes statewide are affected.  Please contact Gerson Sorto ( if you're interested in supporting these ongoing efforts. 
NITA x LAAC 2019

Thank you NITA for another successful program at the University of San Diego School of law! We trained 48 attorneys from LAAC member organizations in trial and depositions skills.

Check out the photos on Facebook here! More details to come about the next NITA Training. Feel free to email with any questions. 
Check out our FREE upcoming webinars! 

Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Direct Legal Services: 
Etiquette, Media, and Document Accessibility

A ugust 19, 2019,  12-1pm
Presented by: 
Carly Myers, DREDF
Ingrid Tischer, DREDF

Register  here!
MCLE Credit: 1 Hour General

Tribal Reentry Advocacy: 
Best Practices for Reentry Legal Advocacy in Rural Tribal Communities

August 28, 2019,  12-1pm
Presented by: 
Abby Abinanti, Yurok Tribal Court
 Katherine Katcher,  Root & Rebound
Faride Perez-Aucar, Root & Rebound
Laura Woods,  Yurok Tribal Court

Register here !
MCLE Credit: 1 Hour General

We regularly update our website with more trainings, so  please be sure to check out our " Upcoming Trainings " page, or find a past webinar under " Archived Trainings ." If you'd like to submit a webinar proposal please fill out this form, or email