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March 2021
Congress Passes Coronavirus Response

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate both have approved versions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The plan allocates $1.9 trillion to healthcare and income support and includes funding to local and state governments. Provisions in the legislation include $5 billion for Homelessness Assistance and Supportive Services and funds for COVID-19 vaccination, testing and expanded healthcare services. The House will vote on the Senate version soon.
NLADA will continue to keep you updated on this and other relevant executive and legislative activities.
Strands of Justice: The Story of Civil Legal Aid
in America

Thanks to the generosity of Board Member, Jack Londen, NLADA is making the documentary Strands of Justice available at no cost to the NLADA community. The film reviews the development of civil legal aid in the United States. Click here to experience the film.
Navigating Byrne JAG and Other Federal Resources

NLADA recently published a new report, Navigating Byrne JAG and Other Federal Resources: Defender Programs Benefit from Proactive Engagement with (SAAs), The BJA-administered Byrne JAG program is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. It provides states, tribes and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas. This paper briefly discusses the resources distributed through the Byrne JAG mechanism, including a special appropriation authorized in response to the rising needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as resources distributed annually through the regular Byrne JAG program. Click here to access the report.
Ensuring Equity in Efficiency

Earlier this year, NLADA published a report: Ensuring Equity in Efficiency: The Civil Legal Aid Community’s Views of Online Dispute Resolution. This in-depth report presents findings on the views and experiences of the civil legal aid community as they relate to Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), conducted by NLADA to help inform the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Civil Legal System Modernization Project. As courts increase their use of technology, NLADA is ensuring that the civil legal aid community will have a seat at the table, and that innovations increase equity and justice, not just efficiency. To do that, we must listen to and take heed of the interests and expertise across the civil legal aid community, inclusive of providers and clients. Click here to read the report and learn more about ODR
VISTA Host Site Learning Sessions

Are you searching for ways to expand your holistic defense practice? Starting this Friday, join NLADA staff member, Anna Ladd, in a series of virtual sessions to learn more about how AmeriCorps VISTA can improve your office's capacity and build stronger data systems and partnerships. These sessions will take place over this month. Each session will occur from 1- 3 p.m. ET on March 12, March 16 and March 26. Register to attend one, two or all three sessions by clicking the desired dates.
Reckon & Rise: Join us Online at HDLC This Summer and Learn to Take Action Where it Matters

The Holistic Defense & Leadership Conferences (HDLC) will occur virtually from June 14-18. This year's theme is Reckon & Rise. The virtual platform presents us with a unique opportunity to come together to understand how we reckoned with the injustices we saw throughout the past year. Did we rise to the occasion? How do we come out stronger as a community in advancing racial equity and justice? It’s time to take a reckoning of where we are and rise together as a community to defend justice. Join us this June, and learn how you can take action.
Join us at the 2021 EJC

Registration is open for this year's Equal Justice Conference. EJC is honored to feature keynote speakers Damon Hewitt, of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Vu Le, of Nonprofit AF. Click here to learn more and register for EJC.
Resource Center

The coronavirus pandemic continues to exacerbate existing legal challenges faced by low-income and vulnerable people in the United States. Despite an eviction moratorium, many individuals are still being forced out of their homes. NLADA is continuing to monitor this and many other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects you and those you serve. Stay up-to-date with the latest information on our COVID-19 Updates and Resources page.
Honoring Tenacious Legal Heroes,
NLADA’s Exemplar Awards Virtual Gala and Social Justice Art Auction
Wednesday, June 9, 2021

NLADA and the Robert J. Kutak Foundation grant the Kutak-Dodds Prizes annually at the Exemplar Awards Gala. These awards honor the accomplishments of one civil legal aid attorney and one public defender who, through the practice of law, are significantly contributing to the enhancement of human dignity and quality of life to those individuals who are unable to afford legal representation.

Beacon of Justice Awards will honor the pro bono work of law firms that have devoted considerable resources in pursuit of access to justice in 2020. Details and nomination forms for Kutak-Dodds and Beacon of Justice awards will be posted on the NLADA website.
Member's Corner

NLADA is pleased to share the following grant opportunity from our partners at Mutual of America. Inquiries should be directed to the foundation as outlined in the link below.
The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award annually honors the outstanding contributions that nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private and other social sector organizations, make to society. Each year, the Mutual of America Foundation sponsors a national competition in which hundreds of organizations demonstrate the value of their partnership to the communities they serve, their ability to be replicated by others and their capacity to stimulate new approaches to addressing significant social issues. Click here to apply.
The deadline for applications is 4/1/2021
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