May 2021
Announcing 2021 Kutak-Dodds Prize Winners!
This year's Kutak-Dodds Prizes winners are Teresa Enriquez, Executive Chief Assistant for Recruitment and Litigation for the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office and Ishmael Jaffree, Pro Bono Attorney with Legal Services Alabama. Learn more about the winners here.

Ms. Enriquez and Mr. Jaffree will be recognized for their achievements at the annual Exemplar Awards Gala on June 9, 2021.

The Kutak-Dodds Prizes, jointly sponsored by the Robert J. Kutak Foundation and NLADA honor the accomplishments of civil legal aid attorneys, public defenders, assigned counsel or public interest lawyers who- through the practice of law- are contributing significantly to the enhancement of human dignity and quality of life for those individuals who are unable to afford legal representation. Learn more about the award here.
Thank You for a Successful
Equal Justice Conference!

Thank you to everyone who joined NLADA and the American Bar Association online from May 3- 7 for the virtual 2021 Equal Justice Conference. Your enthusiasm and dedication to learning made this virtual conference a success!

Thank you to Douglas Emhoff, Second Gentleman of the United States; Mark Cuban, Owner of Dallas Mavericks; the Opening Plenary Keynote Speaker, Damon Hewitt, Acting President and Executive Director/Executive Vice President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Closing Plenary Keynote Speaker, Vu Le, Former Executive Director of RVC and author of

Although we were not able to be in-person in Texas, we would like to extend a hearty thank you to Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth; Eric Johnson, Mayor of Dallas; Steve Alder, Mayor of Austin and Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston for joining us to bring a piece of Texas to us virtually.

We also would like to congratulate Betty Balli Torres, Executive Director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, for winning the Innovations in Equal Justice Award. And last, but not least, a hearty thank you to all of the attendees, presenters, exhibitors and sponsors for helping make this conference another great one for the books!

If you did not get a chance to view any of our plenaries live, you may view them at your leisure on our Facebook page.
Leadership for Lasting Change

NLADA will launch a brand new digital portal: Leadership for Lasting Change, a resource for defender leaders and criminal legal system stakeholders to promote transformational leadership. This new portal will be regularly updated with news, publications and policy briefs, learning modules and toolkits, videos and podcasts.

This new innovative digital resource will provide the training and materials needed to equip public defenders with the tools and knowledge to lead in advocating pretrial and racial equity reforms in their jurisdictions.

Join us on May 20 for the digital launch event. Click here to learn more and register.
"White, white, white. Then there’s me." A Black lawyer shares her experiences - The Boston Globe

In an article by the Boston Globe, Greater Boston Legal Services staff attorney Danielle Johnson tells her story of being an African American attorney in the courthouse. She describes the visual dichotomy of race in the courtroom, and the implicit biases she faces from others – clients and colleagues alike – and how she attempts to subvert this prejudice while succeeding in her profession. Click here to read the full story.
Upcoming Virtual Events

  • Reckon & Rise with us this year at the 2021 Holistic Defense & Leadership Conferences (HDLC), which will occur from June 14-18. 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. Join us this June, and learn how you can take action.

  • July 27-July 29 | 2021 Litigation & Advocacy Leaders Conference: See the tentative schedule here.
Resource Center

As the United States turns the corner on COVID-19, NLADA is continuing to monitor the ramifications from this pandemic including the increased legal challenges faced by low-income and vulnerable people in the United States. Stay up-to-date with the latest policy and practice information on our COVID-19 Updates and Resources page.
Beacon of Justice Award Winners Announced

NLADA is proud to announce our 2021 Beacon of Justice awardees. This year's awardees were chosen because of their work to address systemic racial disparities in 2020.
Join us in congratulating: Akin Gump, Arent Fox, Baker McKenzie, Crowell & Moring, Debevoise & Plimpton, Dechert, DLA Piper, Epstein Baker Green, Gibson Dunn, Goodwin Procter, Kirkland & Ellis, Kramer Levin, Latham & Watkins, Lowenstein Sandler, Mintz, Morrison & Foerster, O'Melveny & Myers, Sheppard Mullin, Steptoe & Johnson, Stinson, WilmerHale, Wilson Sonsini and Zuckerman Spaeder.

We thank all of our winners for their commitment to justice! Learn more here.
Member's Corner

On behalf of our partner, Mutual of America, NLADA is pleased to share their 2020 Annual Report which features our very own, President & CEO, Jo-Ann Wallace.

NLADA has a very productive professional relationship with Mutual of America that integrates into the benefits package for staff as well as NLADA members also work with Mutual of America and receive discounts as a result of this partnership.

To view Mutual of America's 2020 Annual Report click the link below.

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