June 2018
LAAC in Action
Governor Brown signs state budget, which includes an increase in legal aid funding!

n Wednesday , Governor Jerry Brown signed the California State Budget. California lawmakers passed the state's budget on June 14th following months of hearings and negotiations. That budget, now carrying the Governor's final approval, contains $20 million dollars in funding for civil legal aid through the state's Equal Access Fund. The budget provides a continuation of last year's one-time allocation, providing legal aid with much needed stability and ongoing support. The budget also includes a $19.1 million increase in funding for court self-help centers, often the first stop for low-income people who don't qualify for legal aid.

"I think it's clear that our legislature and our Governor recognize how important attorneys are right now. This is the first ongoing increase of general fund support for legal aid, and it doesn't seem to be a coincidence that it happened this year. The legislature and Governor are investing more in legal aid attorneys and in immigration attorneys." said Salena Copeland, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC).

Registration now open for the 2018 Self-Help & Family Law Conference!

We are excited to invite you to our annual Self-Help & Family Law Conference from Wednesday, August 22 to Friday, August 24, 2018 @ the Judicial Council of California in SF!

This year we will be having an extended conference with a pre-day on Wednesday, 8/22. You can view a rough draft schedule here

Early Bird Pricing for LAAC members and court staff: 
Pre-day registration: $75
Two-day registration (Aug 23 + 24): $150

Regular registration: 
Pre-day registration: $125
Two-day (August 23 and 24): $225
*Ask about law student pricing for your summer law clerks!

LAAC Advocacy Update

Following the approval of the budget policy work is heating up in Sacramento!  Check out LAAC's legislation tracker to see where bills are right now!

Highlights of this Session's Pro Bono Bills 
  • What started as a bill that would make pro bono mandatory for most attorneys (AB 3204) became a provision in the State Bar dues bill (AB 3249) that  would allow California attorneys to count pro bono hours toward their MCLE requirements as an incentive to provide more pro bono hours. Thank you to OneJustice, Public Counsel, and others for working with the author's office to find a good alternative to the proposed mandatory pro bono!  

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee, unfortunately, removed that provision from the bill. In the meantime, LAAC will continue to work with the legislature and with member programs on solutions to encourage more pro bono service. 
  • One such solution is Senator Wieckowski's bill, SB 316, which would require California attorneys to report their pro bono hours. SB 316 was introduced last year and is now with Assembly Appropriations. 
Opportunity to protect the Transcript Reimbursement Fund through public comment (Deadline  July 2 at 5pm!)

The Transcript Reimbursement Fund is financed by licensing fees to the Court Reporters Board. Because of budget shortfalls, no funds have been added since July 2017. In order to protect the fund and make sure the funding is secure in the long-term, the CRB must be able to increase their own modest fees. 

For more information on the proposed fee increase and how to comment, check out the  Initial Statement of Reasons 

You can submit comments by email! (links to contacts in the above link)

Self-Care Corner

It has been a long, difficult, and frustrating week for a lot of us in the legal aid world. 

While we all try to work round the clock to ensure fair and equal access to justice (and basic human rights) for our clients, it is so important to avoid burnout. 

We highly recommend you read " Self-Care Strategies for Survival: Sustaining Oneself in Social Justice Movements" from the CompassPoint blog, written by LAAC's new Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton

A highlight:  "Even as the popularity of the word self-care has risen, I have observed that many people around me have stopped believing in the value of the practice."
Don't wait until next year to fulfill your required CLE:
Check out our FREE upcoming webinars! 

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 JSchwabDoyle@laaconline.org.