May 2018
LAAC in Action
Welcome Lauren Lofton, LAAC's new Program Attorney!

LAAC is excited to introduce our new Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton. Before joining LAAC, Lauren served as the Senior Subsidized Housing Policy Analyst at the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. During that time, Lauren also provided pro bono services for San Francisco tenants facing eviction with the Justice & Diversity Center and Eviction Defense Collaborative

Lauren also provided anti-bias and non-violent communication training for universities, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies throughout the Bay Area. Lauren presently provides volunteer community resolution services as a mediator.
LAAC Advocacy Update -  Good News on the Pro Bono Bill!

As you likely know, Assemblymember Gray proposed a bill   that would have made 25 hours of pro bono mandatory for most attorneys (with the ability to "buy out" with a $500 annual contribution to legal aid). Most in our community supported the goal of the bill to increase pro bono hours and increase financial contributions to legal aid organizations, but most of you were more  concerned about how the requirement would be implemented - including concerns about what counts as pro bono, the difference between this 25 hours and the ABA's recommendation of 50 hours, how programs would incorporate additional new volunteers, logistics around malpractice coverage, and the client experience. 

Assemblymember Gray heard the concerns and his staff talked with legal aid pro bono experts in our community, and ultimately agreed with our community's recommendation to change the plan. Gray pulled his bill and instead proposed an amendment to the State Bar dues bill   to allow attorneys to count some of their pro bono work toward some of their required MCLE hours. This is a fantastic  solution for our community, as  a recent ABA report  showed that attorneys gave MCLE credit as their number three option for something that would encourage them to do more pro bono. The State Bar dues bill is still live, and OneJustice, Public Counsel, and LAAC all support this new provision.
Register for the Directors of Litigation and Advocacy & Support Center meeting on Wednesday, June 13 in Berkeley!

LAAC will be hosting our annual DoLA/ SC meeting on Wednesday, June 13 at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA. Those who cannot attend in-person can attend by phone at a reduced rate.

Who should attend? 
* Anyone holding the position of a Director of Litigation or Advocacy, or anyone in a similar role (leading litigation efforts and strategy) at a field program or a support center.
* Support center leadership or staff (one person per organization is sufficient).

Register for the meeting here!

For more information please contact Lorin Kline at 
Do you have summer law clerks?

LAAC  would love to train them on as part of your orientation process.  can help them understand how their work at your organization fits into the broader legal aid community - and they can understand what other organizations do. There are also great legal aid resources available on the site that may be helpful for students when they have legal issues in their own lives.

LAAC is hosting a training webinar for law students and volunteers working at legal aid nonprofits this summer on  Thursday, June 7, 2018, from  1 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

Register for the webinar here!  Please contact David Latt at DL for any questions or concerns.

Save the Date for the 2018 Self-Help & Family Law Conference!

Federal Cy Pres Developments

You've probably seen the  legal media coverage of the Google case,  Frank v. Gaos, and, like us, may be worried about this case being the camel's nose under the tent in a potential attack on the cy pres doctrine. That is clearly Ted Frank's goal.

LAAC is working in collaboration with other groups on a "legal aid" amicus brief, filed by our pro bono counsel at McDermott Will & Emery. Our counsel is working directly with plaintiffs' counsel on the case, and we know some of our members are also working with plaintiffs' counsel to make sure all necessary points are made by the right briefs. Counsel doesn't want too many duplicative briefs, so they're asking that we work together on a smaller number of briefs. 

If you're interested in joining the brief with LAAC, NLADA, Chicago Bar Foundation, and others, please reach out to Lorin at, and we'll add you to our communication list. 

Also - in case you missed it, we filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in the Provide case, which was argued last week. In that case, the class of several million was offered "credits" to be used for things like online flower purchases, and the argument last week focused on whether those were more like coupons or cash for the purpose of calculating reasonable attorney's fees. In the case, several million dollars were distributed as cy pres awards to the law schools of some of the counsel involved, and Ted Frank challenged the settlement agreement, arguing that more should have been distributed to the class and that attorneys' fees were unreasonably large. We'll let you know when we see the opinion!

Looking for a better way to connect with legal aid community?
Looking for advice or helpful info?

Join us on!

We have launched a slack workspace for the California Legal Aid Community. 

Come here to:
  • Find information  
  • Ask legal aid advocates across the state for advice or input
  • Connect with others on substantive legal issues, practical challenges, social gatherings, and more 
  • Make announcements 
  • Ask LAAC questions 
Signing up is easy -   join today! If you work at a LAAC member program,  you can sign up with your organizational email address here!  

Otherwise (or if you have questions), email Lorin at

Springtime Self-Care Corner

Our self-care tip of the month comes from our new program attorney, Lauren Lofton!


As the weather begins to warm up try having outside meetings! If it's accessible for your office, you might even try walking meetings. This could be a great way for employees to get more sunlight, fresh air, and a change of pace from the everyday office setting.

Here are some things to consider having on hand if your office starts doing outdoor meetings.

  • Keep a scent-free sunscreen in the office
  • Make sure everyone brings a water bottle
  • Have a large blanket to put down for all to sit on
  • Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your office (this is also important to have in case of earthquakes!)
  • Bring snacks!
Don't wait until next year to fulfill your required CLE:
Check out our FREE upcoming webinars! 

Thursday, May 31  from noon to 1 p.m.
Peggy Stevenson , Record Clearance Project
Brittany Stonesifer , Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Eva DeLair , Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and Prisoner Advocacy Network
1 hour of Ethics CLE credit.  Register here!

Consumer Series Part 3: Beating Medical Debt
Wednesday, June 6 from noon to 1 p.m.
Alysson Snow, Legal Aid Society of San Diego 
1 hour of general CLE credit.  Register here!

Dog Days of August: Legal Rights to Animals That Help People with Disabilities
Friday, August 10  from noon to 1 p.m.
Linda Kilb,  Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Pamela Cohen,  Disability Rights California
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