This year’s conference includes a special focus on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion Programming. Workshops that will address this overarching theme include [RJ] after the session title.

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Civil [clear filter]
Thursday, November 1

2:15pm CDT

Another Brick in the Wall: Education Rights of Immigrant and Refugee Students in Times of Uncertainty [RJ]
In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Plyler v. Doe that students could not be constitutionally denied a free public education on account of their immigration status. In addition to Plyler, civil rights laws—Title VI, EEOA, IDEA—guarantee meaningful access to educational opportunities for all children regardless of national origin and to all parents by requiring schools to communicate with them in a language they understand. Amid the atmosphere of increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement, some localities have stepped up protection and support for immigrant students and their families, while others blatantly violate long-standing policies. With a federal Department of Education that seems inclined to weaken the efforts of the Office of Civil Rights and indications that Trump Administration support for Plyler and language access may disappear, the need to support immigrant students and their families takes on new urgency. This panel will review the educational rights of immigrant families, connecting those policies to state and local implementation. We will also discuss legal strategies and current litigation.


Michelle Lapointe

Acting Deputy Legal Director of the Immigrant Justice Project, Southern Poverty Law Center
Michelle Lapointe is a senior attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project. Michelle began her legal career at SPLC in 2008. Over the past decade, she has represented thousands of immigrants in federal civil rights and employment litigation in the Deep... Read More →

Tere Ramos

Education and Language Access Attorney, Ramos Law LLC
Tere Ramos is an education, disability, and civil rights attorney at Ramos Law LLC. She represents children with disabilities as well as students who have faced bullying, harassment, or civil rights violations in school. Before Ramos Law, Tere was the language access attorney at the... Read More →
avatar for Julie Sugarman

Julie Sugarman

Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
Julie Sugarman is senior policy analyst for PreK-12 Education at the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, where she focuses on issues related to immigrant and English learner students in elementary and secondary schools. Her areas of focus... Read More →

Thursday November 1, 2018 2:15pm - 3:45pm CDT
Woodway I

4:15pm CDT

Job Placement Centers and Attorneys: A Partnership that Works [RJ]
In 2015, as a response to the unrest in Baltimore City after the death of Freddie Gray, Maryland Legal Aid established the Community Lawyering Initiative. Initially, the program provided legal services in a library in Mr. Gray’s neighborhood. In 2016, through a grant, Maryland Legal Aid was able to place an attorney in each of four workforce development centers in Baltimore City to assist participants in clearing any legal hurdles to obtaining full-time work. In 2017, Maryland Legal Aid hired three additional attorneys to practice in workforce development centers in Baltimore City, suburban Maryland, and the rural western counties. Because this wraparound service approach was so successful in workforce development centers, the Community Lawyering Initiative began offering legal services to other holistic service providers, including drug treatment centers, homeless shelters, community colleges, and state agencies. This session will describe methods for bundling legal assistance with other services and provide a “one-stop shop” to meet the needs of low-income individuals.


Walter Morris

Director, Prince Georges County Workforce Development Center

Amy Petkovsek

Maryland Legal Aid, Director of Advocacy, Training and Pro Bono
Amy Petkovsek is the director of advocacy for training and pro bono at Maryland Legal Aid. Amy oversees the growth and development of the Community Lawyering Initiative, Pro Bono, Lawyer in the Library, and Lawyer in the Schools programs across Maryland. Before serving in this position... Read More →

Thursday November 1, 2018 4:15pm - 5:45pm CDT
West Alabama Westin Galleria, 3rd Level
Friday, November 2

8:30am CDT

New Age of Immigration: Impact on Communities of Color [RJ]
The landscape of immigration is in flux. Immigrant communities of color are disproportionately affected by changes to immigration. Experts will provide an overview on how immigrants come to and can remain in the United States and will discuss the administration’s current enforcement efforts, including the abolition of DACA and TPS, the presence of ICE in courthouses, arrests of immigrants at ICE check-ins, and the travel ban. Advocates will learn how the current policies affect immigrants of color.


Tanya Douglas

Disability Director, Manhattan Legal Services
Tanya Douglas is the director of the Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) and Veterans Justice Project coordinator at Manhattan Legal Services (MLS), a program of Legal Services NYC (LSNYC). Tanya is a graduate of Cornell University and Cornell Law School and is admitted to the Southern... Read More →

Nana Gyamfi

Black Alliance for Justice, Board Member
Nana Gyamfi is a human rights and criminal defense attorney, an adjunct professor in the Pan African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles, the host of the radio show and podcast “Conversations On the Way: The Asafo Edition," and an organizer and activist... Read More →
avatar for Joann Lee

Joann Lee

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Special Counsel on Language Justice
Joann Lee is a special counsel at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA). Bilingual in Korean and English, Joann has provided direct legal services to the growing Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant population in the Los Angeles area since 2000. She has practiced family... Read More →

Friday November 2, 2018 8:30am - 10:00am CDT
Woodway II

10:30am CDT

Domestic Violence Education & Outreach through Community Empowerment [RJ]
This panel discussion will help organizations develop culturally competent domestic violence education and outreach programs through community empowerment. Panelists will share their own challenges in expanding outreach and services to Native American and immigrant populations. We often "speak at" people to define domestic violence and how to resolve intimate partner violence in families and communities. This panel will challenge the traditional mode of outreach and suggest a methodology based instead on listening to communities, identifying cultural resilience, and uplifting cultural practices that address violence against women.


Tatjana Anne Johnson

Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
Tatjana Anne Johnson is the managing attorney of the Hawai‘i Immigrant Justice Center at the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i. Ms. Johnson’s practice focuses on providing legal advocacy to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Ms. Johnson has been... Read More →

Joanne Loeak

Outreach Specialist, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
Joanne Loeak was born and raised in Majuro, which is the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Joanne migrated to Hawaii in 1996 for schooling and to seek better opportunities for her family. She joined the Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center at the Legal Aid Society in 2014... Read More →

Kace Rodwell

Attorney, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services

Mary Beth Williams

Attorney, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services

Friday November 2, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm CDT
Westchester Westin Galleria, 3rd Level

10:30am CDT

Preparing Your Community for a Larger Undocumented Population [RJ]
In about a year, the undocumented population in the U.S. is expected to increase significantly due to changes in federal immigration policies, including termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). The end of these programs affects approximately 1.2 million people who have lived legally in the U.S. for years as well as their families. When their current protections expire, many of these individuals will lose access to critical benefits such as government-issued identification, driving privileges, and access to higher education. Speakers will address potential challenges a new group of undocumented individuals could face in obtaining employment and critical services they once had access to, such as banking services, housing, health care, and applying for public benefits for their qualifying dependents. Participants will learn what strategies they can develop to work with local allies to prepare for such a significant change and support their communities.


Victoria Giambra

Managing Attorney, Catholic Charities-Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance
Victoria (Vickie) Giambra has been practicing immigration law since 2009. Previously in private practice working on a variety of matters, including business and family related immigration cases, Vickie joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in January 2017... Read More →

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Advocacy Attorney, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC)
Grounded in Catholic social teaching, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., is the largest network of community-based nonprofit immigration legal programs, with 330 affiliates in 47 states and the District of Columbia. CLINIC’s principal services include legal and management... Read More →

Friday November 2, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm CDT
Monarch Westin Galleria, 24th Level

10:30am CDT

Thinking Outside the "Legal" Box: Using Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Assist Vulnerable Clients [RJ]
Many, if not most, legal services providers work with clients who are in vulnerable situations. Clients often present in crisis when they are socially or economically insecure. They may be in danger of losing housing, unable to buy food or medication, or be in an abusive situation. The issues of poverty, racism, ageism, ableism, and more have far-reaching effects, including the ability to effectively represent a client who is facing these challenges. Addressing the many needs of a client who is in a vulnerable situation can be overwhelming. This session will discuss an inner office framework where social workers and attorneys work collaboratively to provide holistic services to clients based on the nature of their vulnerable situations. We will also discuss how to build community partnerships and engage with other providers to start coalitions and harness the available resources so your clients may live with dignity.


Sarah Duval

Supervising Attorney, Center for Elder Law and Justice
Sarah Duval is a supervising attorney in the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit at the Center for Elder Law and Justice. She handles cases dealing with elder exploitation and is a frequent presenter on the topic of elder abuse prevention. Sarah is a member of both the Erie and Niagara County... Read More →

Katie Earl

Social Worker, Center for Elder Law & Justice
Katie Earl, LMSW, is a social worker at Center for Elder Law and Justice in the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit. She assists clients with their social and emotional needs surrounding their experiences with abuse. This involves providing brief counseling, advocacy, and linkage with community... Read More →

Friday November 2, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm CDT
Woodway I

2:30pm CDT

Expanding Our Reach: Rural Environment Drives Innovation and Powerful Cross-Sector Interventions [RJ]
Partnering for Native Health is a multi-state collaborative project serving members of more than 100 tribal nations in some of the most isolated and rural communities in the country. Panelists will discuss their project and their vision for the future that integrates post-secondary education, health care, legal aid, and technology to build a community-based, culturally appropriate legal extender network that empowers communities and provides access to justice to people living in places as far flung as Tuba City, Navajo Nation, to the native Village of Selawick, Alaska.

avatar for Liz Keith

Liz Keith

Program Director, Pro Bono Net
Liz Keith has played a key role in Pro Bono Net’s program strategy for more than a decade. She joined Pro Bono Net as a LawHelp circuit rider, working with legal aid programs in 25 states to build online resources to increase access to legal help for low-income communities. As program... Read More →

Nikole Nelson

Alaska Legal Services Corporation, Executive Director
Nikole Nelson is the executive director of Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC), Alaska’s only statewide provider of free civil legal assistance to low-income Alaskans. Nikole oversees ALSC’s 12 offices and a 50+member staff who are scattered across the vast and remote State... Read More →

Bob Onders

Medical Director / President, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium/Alaska Pacific University
In early 2017, Dr. Robert Onders joined Alaska Pacific University as president. Previously, Dr. Onders served Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) as medical director of Community and Health Systems Improvement. Before joining ANTHC, Dr. Onders worked as clinical director... Read More →

Izzy Williamson

Partnering for Native Health Project Director, DNA Legal Services
Izzy Williamson is the Medical-Legal Partnership project director at DNA-People’s Legal Services, where she manages the MLP on the Navajo Nation (Four Corners Legal Care). In an effort to replicate the Four Corners Legal Care model, AmeriCorps awarded funding in 2016 to expand and... Read More →

Friday November 2, 2018 2:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Woodway I

2:30pm CDT

Natural Disasters: The New Gentrification [RJ]
Wealth inequality has persisted along racial lines in Eastern North Carolina for decades. Research shows that natural disasters actually increase this disparity. With the rise of gentrification in rural parts of the east, African-American communities struggle to hold onto their property and neighborhoods. For generations, these communities of landowners have passed their property through intestacy (a process known as heir property), making it more vulnerable to opportunistic developers and more difficult to access funds to maintain and restore their property after a disaster. With the challenges of “rural renewal” as a backdrop, this session will explore the intersection between the longstanding challenges heir property issues and increasingly common natural disasters. Specifically, we will explore the challenges that African-American homeowners face in trying to access disaster relief funds, which in turn prevents them from repairing their property, drives them out of family homes, and increases the wealth chasm.


Lesley Albritton

Managing Attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc.
Lesley Wiseman Albritton is the Project Coordinator/Managing Attorney for Legal Aid of North Carolina's Disaster Relief Project and the practice group manager for community economic development.

Richard Klein

Managing Attorney - Wilmington NC, Legal Aid of NC, Inc.
Richard M. Klein is senior managing attorney of the Wilmington Office of Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc. (LANC) and southeast regional manager of LANC. He is co-chair of the LANC Employment Law Practice Group and the Employment Law Taskforce. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic... Read More →

Yolanda Taylor

Managing Attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina Inc.–Wilson/Goldsboro Office
Yolanda Taylor serves as a managing attorney with Legal Aid of NC, where she oversees the delivery of legal services in six counties located in disaster stricken eastern North Carolina. Yolanda practices primarily in the areas of housing, nonprofit law, disaster relief, and community... Read More →

Friday November 2, 2018 2:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Woodway III

2:30pm CDT

Really Doing It! Assessing Community Needs and Setting Priorities [RJ]
To effectively assess the most urgent legal needs of the client communities in their service area and set priorities, every civil legal services organization should gather information from its clients, community agency colleagues, and relevant data sets. How do you do it? What has worked well? How do you go beyond written surveys to conduct a genuine assessment of legal need in your client communities? Panelists and participants will discuss strategies and methods that grantees employ to successfully identify the most critical legal needs of their client communities and establish program priorities.

avatar for Kelly Carmody

Kelly Carmody

Consultant, Carmody and Associates
Kelly Carmody, of Carmody and Associates, provides consulting services to organizations to improve their operations and impact. She assists LSC-funded organizations with the evaluations of their TIG and PBIF grants. Other services include strategic planning, management coaching/assistance... Read More →

Bristow Hardin

Senior Research Analyst, Legal Services Corporation
Bristow Hardin is a senior research analyst in the Legal Services Corporation’s Office of Data Governance and Analysis and previously was a program analyst in LSC’s Office of Program Performance and the Government Relations and Public Affairs department. Legal services organizations... Read More →

Lillian Johnson

Executive Director, Community Legal Services, Arizona
Lillian Johnson serves as the executive director of Community Legal Services, a position she has held since 1982 after relocating to Phoenix from the Chicago area. In her position as executive director, Lillian is responsible for the administration and oversight of Arizona’s largest... Read More →
avatar for Lillian Moy

Lillian Moy

Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Executive Director
Lillian M. Moy became the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Inc., in 1995. She is a 1981 graduate of Boston University School of Law. She is a former member of the board of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association and past chair of NLADA’s... Read More →
avatar for Deedee Peterson

Deedee Peterson

Executive Director, Legal Action of Wisconsin
Deedee Peterson is executive director at Legal Action of Wisconsin. She has served in many different roles to work on equal justice for low-income people since 1994, including executive director at the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund; development director at the National Housing Law... Read More →

Friday November 2, 2018 2:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Woodway II
Saturday, November 3

8:30am CDT

#FamiliesBelongTogether: How Legal Aid, Defender Organizations, and Other Legal Service Providers Are Supporting Families Separated at the Border [RJ]
After the announcement of the federal government’s immigrant family separation policy in May 2018, lawyers sprang into action, with legal aid and defender organizations among those leading the charge to advocate for family reunification and to provide direct legal services and social work support to families and communities directly affected by the policy. This panel will highlight the work of legal aid and defender organization attorneys and social workers, in conjunction with immigrant rights and immigration legal service providers, to respond to the crisis. Panelists will also offer suggestions to NLADA members about how to get involved.


Natalia Cornelio

Criminal Justice Reform Director, Texas Civil Rights Project
Natalia Cornelio is the director of Criminal Justice Reform at the Texas Civil Rights Project. Since joining the project, Natalia has settled TCRP’s debtor’s prison lawsuit against the City of El Paso, has expanded the project’s investigations against the Texas Department of... Read More →

Shalyn Fluharty

Director, Family Detention Project, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Shalyn Fluharty is the director of the Family Detention Project at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid where she heads up the Dilley Pro Bono Project, which offers legal aid to migrant parents and children detained in Dilley, Texas. Before joining TRLA, she represented unaccompanied immigrant... Read More →

Mary Harper

Staff Attorney, Immigration Practice, Brooklyn Defender Services
Mary (Van Houten) Harper is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Stanford Law School. At Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), Mary represents detained noncitizens in removal proceedings through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) – the nation’s first public... Read More →

Andrea Nieves

Senior Policy Attorney, Brooklyn Defender Services
Andrea Nieves is currently a senior attorney on the Policy and Advocacy Team at Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), a public defense office in New York City. Before joining BDS, she worked as a capital defense attorney in North Carolina and a policy advocate in Jakarta, Indonesia. Andrea... Read More →

Mr. Ben Obregon

President, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.
Ben Obregon served on the working group that formulated the merger between the Project Advisory Group (PAG) and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. He served as the vice chair for NLADA’s Civil Policy Group and as a member of the association’s board of directors and... Read More →

Saturday November 3, 2018 8:30am - 10:00am CDT
West Alabama Westin Galleria, 3rd Level