August  2018
LAAC in Action
Congratulations  to Steve Ronfeldt
2018 Loren Miller Award Honoree 

The Loren Miller Award commemorates the lifetime achievement of a lawyer who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally done significant work in extending legal services to the poor.
Steve has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the development and delivery of legal services,  and has lead efforts on many impressive precedent-setting cases for the benefit of millions of lower income persons across the country.  His work is extraordinary and his dedication steadfast.
After serving for many years as Director of Litigation of the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County, Steve co-founded The Public Interest Law Project, and then, on his retirement from PILP, joined Bay Area Legal Aid to help initiate Bay Legal's now robust litigation unit.
The California Lawyers Association will present the Award during its Annual Meeting.
Friday, September 14, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Mariott Marquis San Diego
  More info & tickets
Safia Kartoum, Program Associate
Welcome Safia Kartoum, LAAC's new Program Associate!

Safia joined LAAC in 2018 as a Program Associate. In this position, she is responsible for maintaining the functionality of as well as conducting research to keep resources databases current, relevant, and useful.  She is passionate about education equity and increasing access to justice for marginalized communities.

Safia graduated from UCLA in 2018 with a degree in Political Science. During college, Safia volunteered and worked with Mentors for Academic and Peer Support as a Site Coordinator at an underserved high school in Downtown Los Angeles. She also interned at the Council on American Islamic Relations and the California Department of Education.

Thank you for attending  the Self-Help & Family Law Conference!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Self-Help & Family Law Conference last week! We hope that you all had a great time. 

We had an amazing turnout this year with over 220 attendees, 93 speakers, and 55 sessions over the three-day conference. 

We hope to see all of you at next year's conference!
LAAC Advocacy Update

Wrapping up this legislative session

Huge congratulations to everyone in our community who worked so hard to get bills passed this session. Some were amended at the last minute into bills we no longer love, some died along the way, but others, like AB 2219, were already signed by the Governor. 

If you want to see where all the bills are now, check out our  legislation tracker!

State Bar Changes

Most of you now know that the State Bar is engaging in an overhaul of its various sub-entities and staffed commissions after the Governance in the Public Task Force Report. One earlier proposal included the elimination of the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission in order to increase the oversight by the Board of Trustees. Thanks to the quick response from our community, the State Bar will likely open up the process for stakeholder input on both the  California Commission on Access to Justice  and the  Legal Services Trust Fund Commission . The Board of Trustees will decide at a board subcommittee meeting on  September 13  what that process will look like. Look for updates from LAAC. We will be convening our community throughout the state to get your input and concerns. We are also already working with leaders on our community to make sure that the outcome ultimately helps low-income Californians who need legal help. 
Funding Alert

Great news! As you know from past LAAC updates, the Equal Access Fund is now stable at a "new base" of $20 million a year in general fund support. But the even better news is that the IOLTA grants are also relatively stable at a new base amount. Due to the fantastic work of State Bar staff to ensure that banks are paying the proper amount on their IOLTA accounts (and advocacy with banks to increase their interest rates), interest on those accounts is growing. In 2008, we had topped out at over $20 million a year in interest before the crash of $4.5 million a year for several years. We're now approaching our old maximum with  projected revenue OVER $20 million in 2019 . So for everyone celebrating that 2019 award amount, I hope that it's even better news for 2020 awards. 
LAAC Staff's End of Summer  Self-Care Picks!

Here are a few of LAAC's feel-good pop culture picks for a pick-me-up as summer comes to an end.

Podcasts (Recommender)
  • 2 Dope Queens (Salena & Lauren)
  • 99% Invisible (Lorin)
  • Bon App├ętit (Zach)
  • Invisibilia (Safia)
  • Modern Love (Lauren)
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour (Jasmine)
  • RadioLab (Lorin & Salena)
TV Shows (Recommender)
  • The Backyardigans! (Salena and her kids)
  • Chef's Table (Zach & Lorin)
  • The Good Place (Lorin & Jasmine)
  • Speechless (Lorin)
  • Queer Eye (Lauren, Jasmine, & Safia)
Music (Recommender)
  • Lungs (album) by Florence and the Machine (Lorin)
  • Lovers Rock (album) by Sade (Jasmine)
  • Sing to the Moon (album) by Laura Mvula (Lauren)
  • Take Care (album) by Drake (Zach)
Don't wait until next year to fulfill your required CLE:
Check out our FREE upcoming webinars! 

Creating A Level Playing Field for Girls: Title IX Athletics in Schools and Beyond
Thursday, October 25 from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Amy Poyer, California Women's Law Center
Kim Turner, Legal Aid at Work's Fair Play for Girls in Sports Project
1 hour of general CLE credit.  Register here!

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 are interested in putting on a webinar training through LAAC or have any trainings questions, please contact Jasmine at