Event Details

2012 Annual Conference

Dec 05, 2012 05:30pm - Apr 05, 2013 02:00pm
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Event Type: Conference
Category: Educational Seminar

Description

Click here to view the Annual Conference Brochure

Click here to download the Annual Conference Program Book

NLADA’s Annual Conference is the leading national training event of the year for the civil legal aid, indigent defense, and public interest law communities. The conference offers advocates the latest substantive information and professional skills they need to creatively and effectively meet the legal needs of low-income people, and provides unparalleled opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues from across the country while fulfilling continuing legal education requirements. This year’s conference theme is: “Building on our Legacy: The Next 100 Years” which continues build upon the framework created during our Centennial Conference –“Blueprint for Justice.”

Conference Information

Session Themes


Who Should Attend?


  • Executive directors, managers, new and experienced staff attorneys and other civil legal aid advocates
  • Chief defenders, managers, new and experienced trial attorneys and other staff of federal, state and local defender offices
  • Pro bono program managers and staff
  • Executive directors, managers, staff of civil rights and other public interest legal organizations
  • Private attorneys who receive indigent defense appointments or provide pro bono services in civil cases
  • Client board members of civil legal aid organizations
  • Community advocates and leaders
  • Bar association leaders and staff
  • Corporate counsel
  • Judges and other court representatives
  • Federal, state and local government officials and attorneys
  • Law school faculty and students
  • Advocates who provide legal assistance to low-income members of the military
  • Sentencing advocates and mitigation specialists


Why Should You Attend?


  • Gain exposure to the latest information and trends, and acquire new skills in your field
  • Learn from leading national experts and trainers Network with colleagues from across the country
  • Fulfill continuing legal education requirements
  • Get inspired to make justice for all a reality!


Tentative Agenda

Tuesday, December 4
Registration 7:30 – 6:00 pm
Pre-conferences 8:30 – 5:00 pm 
Wednesday, December 5
Registration 7:30 – 6:00 pm
Pre-conferences 8:30 – 5:00 pm
Exhibits 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Opening Ceremony 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Host Committee Reception 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Thursday, December 6
Registration 7:30 – 6:00 pm
Sessions 8:30 – 12:00 pm
Lunch on your own 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Sessions 1:00 – 5:30 pm


Client Reception 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Friday, December 7
Registration 7:30 – 6:00 pm
Sessions 8:30 – 12:00 pm
Annual Awards Luncheon 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Sessions 2:15 – 5:30 pm
Saturday, December 8
Continental Breakfast 7:30 – 8:30 am
Registration 7:30 – 1:00 pm
Session 8:30 – 12:00 pm


Civil Theme

Building on our Legacy: The Next Five Years

For the last 100 years, NLADA's civil members have faced enormous challenges in the pursuit of justice for people living in poverty. Incredible victories have been won over that century of change. These gains have always been followed by further challenges. Never have those challenges been greater than they are today. Communities across the nation remain in the depths of a deep and enduring recession. We continue to see record numbers of home foreclosures, enormously high rates of unemployment and incidents of domestic violence stemming from the troubled economy. These issues require a national response. Recently, states have begun to address the lack of a national policy on immigration by considering harsh enforcement policies that have led to racial profiling and other civil rights violations that signal a return to some of the worst practices of the nation's past.

The confluence of these issues demands that the civil legal aid community look creatively to fashion the most effective strategies possible during a time of shrinking resources to meet the incredible growth in demand for services. We invite our communities to come together to strategize about where we can, and want to be, in five years. By creating together a shared vision for our future, we can all work in concert to achieve that goal.

This year’s civil them will provide a forum for legal aid leaders to: share what is working; brainstorm how to garner more resources locally and nationally; plan strategic advocacy efforts for lasting and substantial impact; engage client and other communities in creative ways to help us communicate our values; and learn more about data collection and analysis, evidence-based practices and research as a strategic tool.

This year's civil theme will also explore what legal aid providers can do to mitigate the financial challenges they face while at the same time retooling their advocacy efforts to achieve maximum impact.

    Among the areas we intend to address are:
  • The Changing Demographics of Poverty in the United States/Likely Trends Over 5 Years
  • Key Substantive Issues Related to the Economic Crisis Affecting Poor People and Communities of Color
  • Representing Immigrants in an Uncertain World
  • Scenario Planning for Political Change
  • Strategic Advocacy for Lasting Results
  • Increasing Funding in a Time of Economic Crisis
  • Developing and Using Research and Data Effectively


Defender Theme

Justice Under Construction: Building Blocks for the Effective Assistance of Counsel

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “In criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right… to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” In Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that a poor person accused of a serious crime was entitled to the appointment of defense counsel at state expense. In Re Gault built upon the Supreme Court’s decision by extending to children the same rights as adults by providing counsel to the indigent child charged in juvenile delinquency proceedings. Likewise the right was extended to all state misdemeanor proceedings where there is a potential loss of liberty in Argersinger v. Hamlin.

Almost 50 years after the decision in Gideon, the realization, implementation and enforcement of the constitutional right to counsel has been slow to develop and seems to have regressed in recent years.

Many defense programs are compromised by a lack of independence and inadequate funding, resulting in excessive caseloads, high turnover, and a lack of technology, training and other resources necessary to provide quality representation for clients.

Even after the 2010 Department of justice Indigent Defense Symposium, where the Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder observed that “…we have a very serious problem on our hands,” consistent and meaningful change has been difficult.

We in the defender community must commit ourselves to a methodical, factual and consistent construction of the household of justice. Despite the apparent empathy of the Attorney General and the optimism that flowed from his speeches and comments, the defense community, for many reasons, has been unable to make significant progress in fulfilling the promise of Gideon, weakening the foundation for that house.

The objective of this year’s Defender Track is to provide a defender construction plan or blueprint, if you will, by considering the many challenges facing defense systems and providing building blocks for planning, collecting, analyzing and reporting of data necessary to reinforce the foundation upon which justice is built. Through the National Defender Leadership Institute (NDLI), the Defender Track will offer sessions that will develop and enhance the capacity for leadership of both new and experienced defenders that will make the promise of Gideon a reality.


Client Theme

Cultivating the Next Generation of Client and Community Advocates

Client and community advocates share a strong legacy of activism and service. Building on that legacy requires renewed outreach and engagement to the next generation of client and community advocates.

This year’s client track will focus on building the skills necessary to engage and enlist new client and community leaders. Learn strategies and tools for more effective communication and conflict management. Discover how the next generation uses social media, webinars and other technology to communicate and learn. Share your experiences as social justice advocates in your local communities. Learn what strategies your peers are using to get connected, stay connected and enlist the next generation of client and community leaders.


Board Theme

Taking it to the Next Level in Difficult Economic Times

In today’s challenging economic times, legal services programs need the leadership and engagement of every board member. With cuts to federal and state budgets, legal services programs and the communities they serve must achieve more with less. Every board member brings unique and important skills, connections and knowledge to the table. This year’s board track will focus on equipping boards to maximize the time and talents of their members. Join us as we explore how board members can play the roles that are needed in today’s challenging times. Equip yourself and your board with the skills to connect more broadly and deeply in your communities. Ensure that each board member knows how he or she can contribute to the organization’s success. Increase financial literacy beyond the finance committee. Engage in succession planning to bring in the next generation of legal services board leaders.


Joint Theme

Evidenced-Based Practices: The New Frontier

The Civil and Defender communities’ development, integration and use of evidence-based practices in the delivery of legal services and indigent defense is the “next frontier” in serving our clients’ needs. Expertise coupled with planning and developing outcomes for data and research ensures its effective use. We seek sessions to explore this theme including:

  • Use of data and research; implementing evidence-based practices
  • Measuring and communicating our success and value
  • Overcoming obstacles to implementing new practices
  • Best practices, tools and lessons learned
  • Civil and defender – similarities and differences


Communications - New Sessions Added

More and more organizations are using social media to deliver messages externally quickly and succinctly. And, more and more organizations are using Facebook and LinkedIn to create and foster communication among members. But are we forgetting the basics? Are we too quickly sacrificing an op-ed in the paper for a 140 character tweet? Are we relying on digital chat rooms and forgetting the value of face to face interaction? We’d love to hear from you. Design a session that addresses the value of integrating both traditional media and new media tools and vehicles into your organization’s communications strategy.


Fundraising - New Sessions Added

Fundraising can seem Sisyphean in uncertain economic times. Individual and corporate donors are more likely to reduce or withhold funding until their own economic outlook has improved – and even then, some donors are seeing the downturn in the economy as prime time to reassess their charitable giving patterns. Add in declining membership and changing member demographics, and fundraising gets even trickier. So what’s the answer? Share your stories and fundraising skills with the equal justice community and consider submitting a session proposal that focuses on using social media and new and creative ways of reaching donors.


Tentative Session List:

As of 8/10/12


Civil Track


  • Finding Federal Grants: Potential New Funding Streams for Legal Services
  • Strategic Advocacy for the Homeless
  • Expanding the Toolbox: Using Human Rights in Legal Aid
  • Expanding Private Foundation Support: Translating Legal Aid Into the Language of Philanthropy
  • Strategic Partnerships In and Outside Your Organization for Lasting Client Results
  • Financial Leadership
  • How Courts, Legal Services, Law Firms & The Bar Can Help Guide Law Schools to Increase Access to Justice
  • Addressing Salaries and Benefits at a Time of Declining Revenue
  • Building Staff Morale in Times of Adversity: Hope, Compassion and Passion vs. the Recession and its Politics
  • Medical Deportation: Avoiding and Defending Hospital Efforts to Improperly Remove People from the U.S.
  • Update on the National Foreclosure Settlement
  • The Future of Hospital Charity Care: The Remaining Uninsured in the Post-Affordable Care Act Landscape
  • Models for Meeting the Legal Needs of Children and Adolescents
  • Evolving Home Equity Scams
  • The Changing Tide: Working with Vulnerable Client Populations in the Immigration Context
  • Oh, How the Times are Changing: How to Create and Maintain High Quality Intake Service Delivery Systems with Reduced Resources and Staff
  • Access to Justice Commissions: A New Key
  • Cultivating Pro Bono Leaders
  • The Evolving World of Medical-Legal Partnership
  • To Require or Not to Require? The Direction of Compulsory Pro Bono in the Wake of the NY Admission Rule
  • State Funding Roundtable

Communications Sessions


  • Smart Phones, iPads, and Justice
  • Crisis Communications 101

Defender Track


  • Supreme Court Review
  • Pre-Trial Justice
  • Defender Caucus – Gideon 50th Anniversary
  • It Starts with a Single Step: One Organization's Efforts to Address Racial Disparity
  • Strategic Advocacy for Muslim and Immigrant Communities with Law Enforcement
  • The Cornerstones of Comprehensive Criminal Defense: Models and Methods of Client Centered Representation
  • Stakeholders Consortium on Indigent Defense II
  • Crane Games, Commercial Clamming, and other Civil Consequences of Criminal Convictions 
  • Sentencing Advocacy:  Understanding the Effects of Long Term Implications of Criminal Cases

Evidence Based Practices: The New Frontier


  • Calculating the Consequences: What is Legal Aid Worth To A State?
  • The 2012 Pennsylvania Telephone Helpline Study: The Findings and Their Implications for Expanding Access to High Quality Civil Legal Assistance

Joint Track


  • “Domestic Violence Court Project: Developing Systems to Meet Community Needs"
  • Two Sides of a Coin: the Relationship of Civil Right to Counsel to Indigent Defense
  • Sentencing Advocacy: Understanding the Effects of Long Term Implications of Criminal Cases
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Beyond: The Changing Landscape of Educational Debt Reform
  • A Groundswell for Justice: Clients as Co-Producers of Justice
  • Community Legal Education: Tools and Best Practices for Community Lawyers
  • Using Data to Measure Outcomes and Track Performance
  • Criminal Justice Debt
  • NLAAN: Language Access in the Courts: Advocacy and Collaboration
  • Women in focus: Setting Your Own Goals and Meeting them in Challenging Work Environments
  • Integrating Community Lawyering tools into Legal Services Advocacy

Technology Track


  • Electronic Filing -- The Legal Aid Role in Ensuring Access Friendly Practices
  • ProBono Technology Training for Grantee Agencies? It's Happening in Texas!
  • TIG 2012 Showcase


Annual Awards Nominations


    Submit nominations for the following NLADA Annual Conference Awards by September 7, 2012:
  • Reginald Heber Smith Award
  • Denison Ray Award
  • Emery A. Brownell Award
  • Arthur von Briesen Award, and
  • Mary Ellen Hamilton Award

Click here to access the Awards criteria and Nominations Packet.


Early registration ends on Oct 14, 2012.
Regular registration starts on Oct 15, 2012 and ends on Apr 04, 2013.
Late registration starts on Apr 05, 2013.
All times are 12:00am (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).