2014 Litigation and Advocacy Directors’ Conference

Jul 12, 2014 08:00am -
Jul 15, 2014 12:00pm

Event Description

Conference Information
Who Should Attend? Conference GoalsTentative Sessions* by Track
Tentative Sessions Agenda*Agenda At-A-GlanceRegister


NLADA's Litigation and Advocacy Directors' Conference is a national gathering of experienced advocacy leaders designed to foster peer interaction and learning on the most important litigation and other strategic advocacy issues affecting legal aid programs and the communities they serve. The conference is scheduled for July 13 -15, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Austin.

We are excited to kick off the conference with an evening reception on Saturday, July 13. There will be an opening session with a keynote speaker on the morning of Sunday, July 13, followed by a variety of sessions through the morning of Tuesday, July 15 . The Litigation and Advocacy Directors' Conference promises a dynamic set of educational sessions specifically designed to meet the needs of advocates in the civil legal aid community and continues the redesigned format of the highly successful 2010 and 2012 events. This year's content is informed by insights gleaned from program directors, past participants, past trainers and other experts.

The schedule allows for maximum flexibility. Participants may choose to attend all of the sessions offered in one particular substantive area, or they may decide to learn about a variety of areas during the course of the conference.

Who Should Attend?

This conference is designed for those people whose primary responsibility is setting the advocacy agenda and supervising its implementation for their civil legal services or civil rights organization. This gathering provides a not-to-be-missed opportunity for experienced advocacy directors, senior litigators, policy analysts, managing attorneys and next generation advocacy directors to learn and share cutting-edge advocacy, explore trends affecting low-income people and discuss effective planning and management of litigation and advocacy.

Conference Goals

The Litigation and Advocacy Directors' Conference goals include sharing information and brainstorming about the following issues:

  • Changing clients needs, broad trends and their implications for the future;
  • Cutting edge advocacy strategies, including new models for collaboration and partnerships;
  • Aggressive multi-forum advocacy in a changing legal services delivery system; and
  • Effective leadership and management of advocacy and training.

This conference will also focus on networking and building communities at the national and regional levels, including reaching out to community-based organizations and civil rights groups. Participants will gain new perspectives, enhanced skills and renewed energy for aggressive representation of low-income clients.

Tentative Sessions* by Tracks

  1. Substantive Law
    1. Fair Housing Enforcement
    2. Affordable Housing (including, Code Enforcement, Preservation, Human Rights, Choice/Promise Neighborhoods)
    3. School to Prison Pipeline: Understanding Implicit Bias and School Discipline
    4. Elder Law Issues: Financial Abuse, Medicare and More
    5. Taking on the Government – Advocacy Tools to Use Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
    6. Bureaucratic Disentitlement: The Impact of Underfunded Benefit Bureaucracies
    7. Aggressive Fee Collection in Lieu of Taxes/Debtors’ Prisons
    8. Health Care
    9. Language Access
    10. Reentry
    11. Solidifying Executive Policies
    12. Foreclosure Consequences
    13. Veterans
    14. Consumer Protection
  2. Non-Litigation Strategies/Communications
    1. Community Land Trusts and Other Land Policies
    2. Effective Media and Messaging Tools in the Time of Twitter
    3. Strategic Use of Media to Support Advocacy
    4. Impact of Tax Policies; Advocacy Strategies
    5. Responding to the Strategic Efforts of Hate Groups
  3. Technology, Court Rules and Ethics
    1. A Movement To Reinvent The Delivery Of Legal Services: What Role Do We Play And How Do We Adapt
    2. The Use of E-Discovery: Benefits And Risks
    3. Ethics and Court Rules Related to Technology
    4. Court Rules Impacting Low Income People
    5. Tech Issues for Legal Services (and What is Gamification Anyway?)
  4. Leading and Managing Advocacy
    1. Intergenerational Session
    2. Identifying, Increasing and Encouraging Leadership Opportunities in Your Program
    3. The Mission of Your Program: Fighting Poverty or Access to Justice? How is Leadership Impacted by Mission?
    4. Litigation and Advocacy Director Positions – New Directions?
    5. New Pro Bono Advocacy Opportunities Created by Changes in the LSC Regulations
  5. Racial Justice and Community Lawyering
    1. Making Structural Changes: How To Restructure Our Organizations To Support Racial Justice And Community Lawyering Work
    2. Disparate Impact
    3. Talking About Race In An Advocacy Context
    4. Race, Space and Upward Mobility: Effectively Using Experts and Mapping
    5. Deportation and Racial Profiling
    6. Community Lawyering Case Study
  6. Emerging Leaders
    1. Career Paths for Advocacy in Legal Aid: A Sense of What’s Possible
    2. Managing Your Development as an Emerging Leader Within Your Organization
    3. Achieve Sustainability for Yourself and Your Family: Finding Financial and Work Life Balance
    4. What Does it Really Mean to be a Manager or Leader
    5. The Skill Sets Newer Advocates Need to Develop
  7. Litigation Skills/Issues and Access to Courts
    1. Show Me the Money –Tips on Collecting Attorneys’ Fees.
    2. Negotiating Consent Decrees (… and Getting Courts to Enforce Them)
    3. Deference: When Courts Create Binding Rules Absent the Rulemaking
    4. Access to Courts (§ 1983 & Preemption): Recapping How We Got Here & Considering Where We May Be Going
    5. Training Fierce Advocates and Litigators on a Limited Budget
    6. Are 23(b)(2) Class Actions in Danger After Walmart v. Dukes?

*Subject to change

Tentative Sessions Agenda*

Sunday, July 13th at 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Advocacy Strategies for Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in School Discipline

Description: In this session, panelists will discuss advocacy, litigation, and organizing strategies that have successfully challenged policies that directly influence or contribute to what some advocates refer to as the School-to-Nowhere Pipeline, or the School-To-Prison Pipeline. The School-To-Prison-Pipeline (STPP) is a phrase used to describe the exclusionary policies and systemic inequities that drive students out of school and into the streets and, immediately or eventually, into the juvenile or criminal correctional systems. Discriminatory discipline policies also affect life success generally and increase the likelihood that a student will drop out, while decreasing her chances of graduating, enrolling in higher education, and obtaining a good job. The session will focus on recent joint guidance from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education on Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline, discuss new research such as the impact of implicit bias, and [too long? not!]

E-Discovery as a Shield and Sword: Leveraging Savvy Strategies for Your Clients and Implementing Best Practices

Description: E-discovery can be a powerful tool for attorneys who work in legal aid organizations and other public interest areas. This program will feature a panel discussion on emerging e-discovery issues, including best practices and strategies for harnessing e-discovery as a tool in litigation and other advocacy. The program will outline recent legal developments in federal and state court practice with respect to discovery issues and panelists will discuss ways to use discovery strategies effectively in litigation. Topics that will be covered include ways in which organizations with limited resources can seek electronic discovery, review electronic documents, avoid common pitfalls and shenanigans, and employ technology to effectively represent clients given the implications of social media, text messages, and other forms of electronic communications. Panelists will entertain questions from the audience.

Career Paths for Advocacy in Legal Aid: A Sense of What's Possible

Description: Many staff attorneys can imagine the possibility of becoming a managing attorney, a litigation and advocacy director, or even an executive director. But what about becoming a policy wonk, a management consultant for legal aid programs, a state IOLTA funder, a lobbyist or a national training or communications expert? How does a staff attorney get a sense of what careers are possible beyond the department or the program? Come to this session and find out!

Make Sure Your Organization Knows You Have the Right Stuff!

Description: Are you a successful attorney and emerging leader in the non-profit/ public interest law field? Have you identified the opportunities and steps necessary for advancement in your career? How do you know if you are accurately judging what skills and traits are truly sought after by management? As an emerging leader your skill development and advancement should be deliberate, methodical processes that are aided but not dependent on attendance at conferences and trainings. This session will help you make sure you are developing the necessary "on the job" relationships and skills, including legal and non-profit management related components.

Negotiating Consent Decrees (… and Getting Courts to Enforce Them)

Description: Courts are increasingly hesitant to order state agencies to comply with consent decrees. States are citing federalism principles to object to entering consent decrees at all. Guided by panelists with extensive experience negotiating and enforcing consent decrees, this workshop will focus on developing and enforcing consent decrees, reviewing recent case law in this area, highlighting effective negotiation strategies, and offering tips for providing the comprehensive and specific evidence needed to prove ongoing implementation problems.

Deportation and Racial Profiling

Description: To be published.

The Mission of Your Program: Fighting Poverty or Access to Justice? How is Leadership Impacted by Mission?

Description: To be published.

Sunday, July 13th at 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Training Fierce Litigators on a Limited Budget

Description: Emerging litigators want to feel confident they have the skills to effectively advocate for their clients, and they want more learn-by-doing training to gain that confidence. Litigation directors and training coordinators working in public interest organizations face tremendous budget constraints, and figuring out how to deliver valuable and sustainable training to their attorneys is a constant challenge. Our panelists will share strategies and best practices for training litigators on a limited budget to become effective and fierce advocates. They will share their views and experiences about what type of training is most effective and how to sustain successful training efforts.

Breaking Down Barriers to Federal Court Access: Recapping How We Got Here & Considering Where We May Be Going

Description: Attendees will discuss the major cases that have affected access to the courts for vulnerable populations. The workshop will highlight emerging procedural issues affecting access to court (e.g., APA claims, deference), recap the current status of the case law regarding private enforcement of federal laws through 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Supremacy Clause, and offer practical tips for avoiding federal court barriers.

Managing Your Development as an Emerging Leader Within Your Organization

Description: This roundtable discussion will help emerging leaders understand their role in navigating their own professional development and explore strategies for managing the interpersonal and institutional interactions that can undermine confidence and/or create opportunities for advancement. Join us for a lively and important discussion.

Taking on the Government - Advocacy Tools to Use Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Description: This workshop covers affirmative advocacy tools to use on behalf of clients with disabilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, to challenge the lack of access and reasonable accommodations afforded by government public benefits and judicial systems, Recent federal class action settlement agreements in Massachusetts and Connecticut are products of systemic ADA challenges against TANF agencies. Other litigation addresses conversion of welfare agency documents into alternative formats for blind and visually impaired individuals, emergency preparedness planning for persons with disabilities, and mold removal in public housing for persons with asthma. Non-litigation advocacy options will also be discussed, including OCR administrative complaints and working collaboratively with agency officials. The session will also explore reasonable accommodations to secure access to representation before tribunals for persons with mental disabilities and other incapacitating conditions.

Making Structural Changes: How To Restructure Our Organizations To Support Racial Justice And Community Lawyering Work

Description: To be published.

Consumer Protection

Description: To be published.

Community Land Trusts and Other Land Policies

Description: To be published.

Monday, July 14th at 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Opening Doors to Employment: Expanding Expungements

Description: A recent study by Stanford University's Public Policy School found that the estimated benefits of expungements of criminal cases outweigh the costs by $5,760 in the first year and multiply thereafter. Plus, the client population studied saw an average change in yearly income by $6,190. This session will examine the case for starting, growing and funding expungement practices by legal aid and other public interest programs. Strategies to expand existing expungement practices to larger scale will also be discussed.

Translating Attorney Skills to the Skills Necessary to Successfully Supervise Attorneys and Staff

Description: Just when you're getting the hang of working as an efficient and savvy attorney is just about the time you realize that advancing up the ladder in your organization requires a different set of skills. This session identifies and provides pathways to developing these management skills for both beginning and intermediate level attorneys. This session also lays out counter measures to common pitfalls associated with supervising former colleagues and meeting the expectations of senior leadership.

The Cost of Justice

Description: A 2012 policy paper, Courts Are Not Revenue Centers, argues that courts should be substantially funded from general governmental revenue and that court fees impair access. In forma pauperis principles were codified in the Magna Carta and courts have repeatedly expounded on them. Yet, lack of adequate funding and court fees continue to bar access to justice for the poor, creating a heightened need for advocacy on this issue. This session offers the opportunity to discuss problems in your own jurisdictions, strategies to address them and why we cannot become complacent on overcoming the cost of justice.

New Pro Bono Advocacy Opportunities Created by Changes in the LSC Regulations

Description: To be published.

Community Lawyering Case Study

Description: To be published.

Voices for Justice

Description: To be published.

Elder Law Issues: Financial Abuse, Medicare and More

Description: To be published.

Monday, July 14th at 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Bureaucratic Disentitlement: Fighting Administrative System Inadequacies that Cost Clients Public Benefits

Description: Eligibility changes are not the only barrier to poor people receiving public benefits that they desperately need. Over recent years, increasingly poorly functioning public benefit bureaucracies have been de facto barriers to benefits across programs, from unemployment offices to welfare offices to Social Security offices. Primary reasons have been underfunding of these systems and technological barriers such as substandard websites. This session will examine the most common bureaucratic barriers across public benefit programs and discuss strategies to remediate them.

The Violence Against Women Act 2013: Expanded Housing Protections and Advocacy for Domestic Violence Survivors

Description: VAWA 2013 expanded housing protections for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. This workshop will discuss VAWA 2013 housing safeguards, implementation by federal agencies and local advocacy efforts to implement and litigate VAWA housing protections.

The War on Class Actions

Description: Over the past several years advocates have witnessed the courts place severe limitations on class actions as a vehicle to obtain access to justice. The presenters will discuss the various fronts on which the war on class actions is currently being fought, how plaintiffs are faring in the war, and what battles have the potential for victories.

New Ethical Standards and Emerging Uses of Technology

Description: The ABA recently issued a new Model Rule on Professional Conduct creating a heightened standard for lawyer competence. In a comment clarifying Model Rule 1.1 on Competence, lawyers must "keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology." What new technologies are becoming available and may provide benefits to lawyers? Do the new programs and devices have ethical implications, perhaps relevant to protecting client information? Perhaps a lawyer should know where to search online in case there is evidence about your clients that opposing counsel could access. On this panel, a technology expert, a legal ethics expert, and a privacy expert will give insight to help lawyers keep abreast of the changes and competent as technology issues become more important each day.

Disparate Impact

Description: To be published.

Strategic Use of Media to Support Advocacy

Description: To be published.

Beat Down Segregation: The Fair Housing Toolbox

Description: Using the affirmatively furthering fair housing choice requirement to achieve equity for legal services clients

Monday, July 14th at 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Social Media - What are the ways Twitter and other social media can be used to spread a message?

Description: Social Media has become an effective means of advocacy, and this panel aims to get legal services organizations more involved. This panel includes people who have used social media as part of a movement. They will be sharing on-boarding advice, ideas on effective messaging, and neat stories of success. As mobile technologies become more widely used, social media has an increasing power to reach a broad audience, including people in the populations that legal services groups serve. This panel has hope that the power of numbers has the potential to challenge financial contributions in politics in the future.

Managing From "The Middle" - An Intergenerational Session

Description: Many of us find ourselves managing attorneys and other staff who are either years older than we are or years younger. We find ourselves stuck in "the middle". This interactive and fun session addresses the unique communication issues that can arise when different generations work side-by-side in the workplace. This workshop will help you to identify the five generations in the workplace, their similarities and differences, while recognizing the value of generational interaction. You will also learn how to apply strategies for effective cross-generational communication, both within the office, and when working with our client populations.

Technology and Lawyering

Description: A movement to use technology innovations to reinvent the delivery of legal services is gaining momentum. Reduced funding for legal services, the influx of a younger generation of millennial lawyers that expect legal non-profits to be technology savvy and courts needing to find a solution to the increasingly large numbers of unrepresented litigants at their door step are just some of the factors leading funders and programs to reconsider their delivery priorities. New technologies hold tremendous promise for increasing the ability of providers to help thousands of unserved people. And LSC has adopted a mission to use technology to provide some level of service to 100% of the people in need of help. This workshop will explore the possibilities presented for advocacy leaders to improve services using technology and the challenges of maintaining high quality services and an impact advocacy mission in light of this shifting landscape.

Race, Space and (Upward) Mobility: Advocacy Strategies and Tools to Connect Clients to Opportunity

Description: Recent academic studies and research have shown that location - or the space you occupy - is a critical correlating factor with upward mobility and opportunity. In other words, location matters. Yet, in almost all of our major metropolitan areas in this country, economic and racial segregation patterns persist and reflect a troubling entrenchment of the extremely low-income minority families in the areas of lowest opportunity. How are we, as poverty law programs, responding to this research and data in our work? How are we taking into account location and spatial inequalities of client communities in defining our housing priorities and community development work? This session will: 1) Review recent research stressing the importance of looking at the connection between poverty, race, location and upward mobility; 2) Look at examples of progressive mobility advocacy that are beginning to achieve measurable, long-term results; 3) Discuss resources, data-collection and ...[too long? not!]

Hot Medicaid Issues

Description: To be published.

Language Access

Description: To be published.

Understanding the Landscape: Being Prepared for Organized Efforts to Undermine Poor People's Rights

Description: To be published.

Tuesday, July 15th at 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Identifying, Increasing and Encouraging Leadership Opportunities in Your Program

Description: This workshop presents a panel discussion of leaders in the Legal Aid Community who have worked in systemic ways to develop leadership opportunities for young staff attorneys in their programs that have enabled them to move up the management ladder. Interactive discussion of leadership principles, our vision of leadership and what makes an effective leader in Legal Aid Programs. Best practices will be discussed as it relates to creating an environment in your program that encourages advocates to stray from their comfort level, supports financial viability, helps to prevent burnout and supports wellness and training resources available.

Show Me the Money -Tips on Collecting Attorneys' Fees Description: Now that restricted and non-restricted legal aid programs are on an even footing regarding collection of attorneys' fees, all advocates can benefit from the proven strategies discussed in this workshop for documenting, negotiating, and litigating fees. Tactics and legal issues on collecting fees will be covered by national experts who have track records in obtaining significant awards in their practices.

Foreclosure Consequences

Description: To be published.

Tuesday, July 15th at 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Litigation and Advocacy Director Positions - Challenges and New Directions?

Description: This session focuses on the role of the Litigation/Advocacy Director and will include a brief panel presentation, followed by interactive, small group facilitated discussions that will explore some of the most persistent challenges for Advocacy Directors. We will cover: (1) challenges associated with achieving and maintaining high impact work; (2) passing the torch for advocacy leadership to the next generation; (3) the role of the Litigation/Advocacy Director in avoiding silos; and (4) avoiding the morass of compliance and administration.

From Colorblindness to Equity-Mindedness: Breaking Through Bias to Build Racial Justice

Description: Most racism is replicated routinely and unconsciously, without racist intent. How can we become more aware of unconscious bias in our political, professional and personal work? How do we move from critiquing institutional racism to creating institutional equity? Learn about some innovative steps and strategies for counteracting bias and preventing racism.

Work-Life Balance: Myth or Real Possibility?

Description: Attorneys just starting out or those at private firms have the perception that working in a public interest setting is less demanding and offers the benefit of work-life balance. The truth is that public interest work is just as demanding and stressful as private practice. So how are public interest attorneys coping with the competing demands of work and life and life outside of work and meeting financial obligations on public interest salaries? Panelists will discuss their experiences and the strategies they have used to better balance these competing obligations. They will engage the audience in a wider discussion of how to develop new and better strategies both within our organizations and in the legal profession.

Impact of Tax Policies; Advocacy Strategies

Description: To be published.

Legislative Advocacy Strategies

Description: To be published.

Civil Procedure Reforms in State Court Systems - Making Sure They Protect and Improve Outcomes for Low-income Litigants

Description: To be published.

*Subject to change

Agenda At-A-Glance

Saturday, July 13th 2013
3:00 - 6:00 pm Conference Registration
6:00 - 8:00 pm Opening Reception
Sunday, July 13th
7:00 am - 5:30 pm Conference Registration
7:30 - 8:30 am Breakfast
8:30 - 10:00 am Welcome & Keynote
10:00 - 10:30 am Morning Break
10:30 am -Noon Plenary Session
Noon - 1:30 pm Lunch on Your Own
1:30 - 3:00 pm Sessions
3:00 - 3:30 pm Afternoon Break
3:30 - 5:00 pm Sessions
Monday, July 14th
7:00 am - 5:30 pm Conference Registration
7:30 - 8:30 am Breakfast
8:30 - 10:00 am Sessions
10:00 - 10:30 am Morning Break
10:30 am -Noon Sessions
Noon - 1:30 pm Awards luncheon
1:30 - 3:00 pm Sessions
3:00 - 3:30 pm Afternoon Break
3:30 - 5:00 pm Build a Sessions
Tuesday, July 15th
7:00 am - 5:30 pm Conference Registration
7:30 - 8:30 am Breakfast
8:30 - 10:00 am Sessions
10:00 - 10:30 am Morning Break
10:30 am -Noon Sessions

*Subject to change

Disclaimer: There are no early registration discounts for this conference.

Event Type:Conference
Category:Educational Seminar
Early registration ends on Mar 09, 2014.
Regular registration starts on Mar 10, 2014 and ends on Jun 14, 2014.
Late registration starts on Jun 15, 2014.
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)


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