NLADA hosted both virtual and in-person programming for client advocates at this year’s annual conference. Both events were handsomely attended by the client community! Highlights from the week together include a listening session with our new President and CEO, April Frazier Camara. April discussed her vision for client engagement and emphasized the need to rely on people with lived experience to inform and to lead reform work ahead.

Albert Einstein once said, “the only source of knowledge is experience”, and thanks to the client community, practitioners in civil legal aid and public defense are learning every day how critical it is to listen to and rely on the insights of clients who have the front row expertise. Client advocates work in many roles within civil legal aid and defense organizations, and they provided rich and engaging insights during the conference, spanning across LSC, community engagement, effective communications, advocacy in storytelling and more. Additionally, client advocates came together for an inspirational presentation, caring for them while they are caring for others.

The lines between the client, defender, and civil practitioners were blurred at this year’s conference and we celebrate this movement toward integration. The subject matter of almost every presentation was valuable to all practitioners, regardless of their role. NLADA is excited about the year ahead and looks forward to robust client advocate engagement!