Welcome Lauren Lofton, LAAC's new Program Attorney!
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
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
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
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 LKline@laaconline.org.
Do you have summer law clerks?
would love to train them on LawHelpCA.org 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 LawHelpCA.org 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.
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?
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
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.
, Record Clearance Project
, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and Prisoner Advocacy Network
1 hour of Ethics CLE credit.
We regularly update our website with more trainings, so
please be sure to check out our "
" page, or find a past webinar under "
." If you are interested in putting on a webinar training through LAAC or have any trainings questions, please contact Jasmine at JSchwabDoyle@laaconline.org.