Decem ber  2018
LAAC in Action
Remembering some in our community we've lost this year...

Sharon Ngim (1957-2018) 
Sharon Ngim would have likely shied away from a celebration of her life. Rather than focus on herself, she turned her attention towards others. This is evident from her long career in Pro Bono work. Her community career was launched at Cameron House, protecting victims of domestic violence. After this, she transitioned to the State Bar of California as a Program Developer in 1985. One of their publications reads: "Pro bono legal work by attorneys is at the heard of the bar's Legal Services activities - and Sharon Ngim is the person who, year after year, pulls is all together." Over the course of three decades, Sharon was integral to supporting legal aid through the Office of Legal Services. She relished work that "respected the power of the law and harnessed ways in which it could be used to protect and defend the most vulnerable, the poorest, and the least powerful."

Jim Preis (1952-2018) 
Jim Preis was a Los Angeles lawyer and activist who fought for the rights of the the mentally ill and disabled for decades.  Preis was driven by his belief that everyone "should be fighting for people who need advocates," said his daughter, Annie Preis. He served as the head of the L.A.-based legal nonprofit Mental Health Advocacy Services for four decades, defended the rights of the mentally ill in court, lectured on mental health law and co-wrote the textbook "The Essentials of California Mental Health Law."

Stephen Ronfeldt  (1942-2018) 
On December 1, 2018, Stephen Ronfeldt passed away at his home in Berkeley after a long battle with cancer. In September, Steve was awarded the 2018 Loren Miller Legal Services Award for his fifty years on the front lines fighting for low income people across the country and for his mentoring of many passionate advocates like himself. He graduated from Boalt Hall in 1967 and was immediately part of LBJ's war on poverty being trained as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow. In 1996, after years in Legal Services, he co-founded the Public Interest Law Project in Oakland.

Anthony White (1949-2018) 
A dedicated legal services attorney, Tony helped social justice organizations throughout California use technology to advance the causes of their clients and movements. Following an extensive career with California Rural Legal Assistance, Tony served as Bay Area Legal Aid's Director of Law and Technology for over 15 years and always played a critical role supporting the causes of their clients.

Legal Aid When Disaster Strikes

I f you've been seeking more resources to support  your clients in the aftermath of a disaster, LAAC highly recommends watching this on-demand PLI training, " Providing Legal Assistance in the Aftermath of Disaster."

Be sure to also checkout the Disaster Relief section of!
LAAC Advocacy Update

As you are probably aware by now, a stakeholder input and evaluation effort is under way at the State Bar of California. Every piece of the State Bar's work is being internally evaluated. That includes the State Bar's work related to legal aid and access to justice. 

Status of the process:

-Working Group meetings have concluded.
-Recommendation will be to transition the Access Commission away from the State Bar

-Three Working Group meetings have taken place, and there will be two more.
-The legal aid community has come out in force, making public comment and heading off many of the outcomes we feared.

Rest assured that LAAC has got your back through this process. We are on top of everything that is going on, we are posting everything you need to know on our website, and we are speaking up to protect legal aid at every turn. You can always reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

Staying True to Your Roots
LAAC is excited to be a co-sponsor of the "Staying True to Your Roots" National Lawyers Guild event, once again. Remember, if you're staff at a LAAC member organization, you are eligible for the member discount!

Enjoy nearly 4 hours of CLE credit, including Ethics and Competency, with other progressive lawyers!

January 25th, 2019 8:30 AM    through    5:00 PM
Practising Law Institute -  685 Market Street, Suite 100,  San Francisco CA   94103

LAAC's Year-End & Holiday  Self-Care Corner

In an effort to make our workspaces as inclusive and diverse as the communities we serve, consider de-Christmas-ing your office year-end parties. We recommend this article on  Holiday Party Planning in the Diverse Workplace!

We hope that you all take the long, relaxing breaks that you NEED after this tiring year. Check out these articles on  navigating the winter break and returning to work with minimal stress:

Happy Holidays...we hope! It's supposedly a time for good cheer, but December and January in the legal aid world can be rough. Plus, if you're in the current CLE compliance period, you might be scrambling for credits.

Here's some good news. Mindfulness was recently named by the ABA as a foundational practice for resilience and wellbeing. And for a few months,  Warrior One is offering legal aid lawyers and support staff deep discounts on two online mindfulness programs to increase effectiveness and wellbeing.

Essential Mindfulness for Lawyers® Beginning Inquiry  is a 6-course program that offers a deep dive into classical mindfulness as it relates to the issues lawyers and other advocates face daily. Offered in a series of short videos, the program includes written materials and over a dozen, downloadable, guided meditations. The corporate price for Beginning Inquiry is $225, but through March 31st, 2019, legal aid attorneys and staff can take the program for just $55, through the LAAC website!

Essential Mindfulness for Lawyers® Basic Training  is also a 6-course program, but you can get six California MCLE credits in this program, including one in elimination of bias, one in competence, and FOUR IN ETHICS! The program offers solid mindfulness instruction, guided meditations, and written materials, and ties mindfulness to the specifics of lawyering. Instead of $295, you can take this training and get all six MCLE credits for just $75 through January 31, 2019.
MCLE + mindfulness = happier, more resilient, more effective lawyering. Spread the word to your colleagues. Give yourself the gift of mindfulness this season - you deserve it.
Go to  to sign up (please ONLY share other legal aid workers).

Don't wait until next year to fulfill your required CLE:
Check out our FREE upcoming webinars! 

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

Best Practices for Working With Volunteer/Pro Bono Attorneys
Monday, January 14 from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Katrina Logan,  Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Scott L. Cummings,  UCLA School of Law
1 hour of general CLE credit.  Register here!

Privacy in DVROs and CHROs: New Law to Protect Information of Minors
Wednesday, January 16 from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Frances Ho, Judicial Council of California
Kristi Morioka, Judicial Council of California
1 hour of general CLE credit.  Register here!

Preparing, Settling and Conducting Public Benefits Fraud and Overpayment Hearings
Thursday, January 24 from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Christina Vazquez,  Bay Area Legal Aid
Stephen Goldberg,  Legal Services of Northern California
1 hour of general CLE credit.  Register here!

Sexual Discrimination, Harassment and Assault: A Primer on Federal and State Law Claims
Wednesday, January 30 from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Jenna Gerry, Legal Aid at Work
Amy Poyer, California Women's Law Center
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 ."