2020 Annual Conference: Pre-Conferences

NLADA & the National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists (NASAMS) present:

The Fundamentals of Mitigation Certificate Program

Monday, November 9, 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m., and Tuesday, November 10, 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m.

(All times Eastern Time)

This is an intensive training offered to beginners and experienced professional who want to refresh their mitigation skills. Over the course of two afternoons, we will provide a best practices framework for mitigation and sentencing advocacy work during COVID and in more "normal" times as well. We will cover the history and development of the profession and highlight standards of practice and ethics. Specific skill sets will be addressed, including investigation, records collection, interviewing, writing, and story-telling. An exploration of race, ethnicity, and cultural issues will provide a wider lens for understanding and sharing the client's unique story.

This program provides training for participants from nationally recognized experts in the field. The small class size will ensure quality instruction, coaching, and hands-on learning. Participants will receive sample materials, organizational tools, sample reports, scholarly articles, and e-tools to assist their practices.

Members: $125

Non-Members: $225

Click here to register



NLADA & the National Alliance of Indigent Defense Educators (NAIDE) present:

Train the Trainers: Creating Training Programs and Culture in Defender and Civil Organizations

Monday, November 9, 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m., and Tuesday, November 10, 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m.

(All times Eastern Time)

During this time of civil unrest and a global pandemic, defender and legal services agencies are exploring ways to help their staff be innovative and effective in serving their clients. Trainers are tapped to develop and teach virtual communication and advocacy, while still being responsible for teaching the advocacy basics. NLADA and NAIDE are offering Train the Trainer to provide tools, tips, and guidance to meet both old and new demands of training.

This program is specifically designed for new and experienced trainers as well as managers and upcoming leaders responsible for planning and providing training in their organizations. The training will be conducted by a diverse team of training professionals from a variety of perspectives and jurisdictions. The format of the program will include both plenary sessions and facilitated small groups for more in-depth discussion and focus on individual challenges.

Topics include:

  • Planning short- and long-term curricula around client-centered values.
  • Applying adult learning principles and learning objectives.
  • Facilitating large and small groups.
  • Evaluating programs, events, and individual presentations.
  • Exploring how training can deliver and shape the agency culture.

When we meet, this training will divide into two tracks. If you are primarily a program planner, choose the Training Director track. If you want to improve your training skills, choose the Trainer track. Both tracks will focus on planning and training, but the emphasis of the Training Director track will be on planning curricula, while the Trainer track will focus on ways to improve your presentation skills.

Attendance at this pre-conference is limited and all participants must commit to the entire program.

Members: $125

Non-Members: $225

Click here to register

NLADA & Farmworker Justice present:

New Advocates Training (Beginner & Advanced Tracks)

Monday, November 9, through Wednesday, November 11, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each day

(All times Eastern Time)

New Advocates Training (Beginner Track) - Track 1 will involve traditional, lecture-style presentations by experienced farmworker advocates and will provide new advocates with a thorough grounding in the legal protections governing farmworkers, with useful annotated outlines.

Presenters: Lakshmi Ramakrishnan, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid; Caitlin Ryland, Legal Aid of North Carolina

New Advocates Training (Advanced Track) - Track 2 will help advocates who have mastered basic farmworker law principles develop strategies for using them to meaningfully represent farmworkers whose rights have been violated. Participants will devise strategies for addressing common problems faced by both domestic and H-2A farmworkers, both through litigation and alternative means. Advocates will consider the benefits and limitations of various litigation approaches and examine important strategic issues arising in farmworker cases. Because there are rarely single right answers for most real-life situations, Track 2 will be conducted in a discussion style format.

Presenters: Michael Dale, Northwest Workers' Justice Project; Greg Schell, Southern Migrant Legal Services

Members: $39

Non-Members: $49

Click here to register

The Management Information Exchange (MIE) presents:

Thriving as a Newer Legal Aid Executive Director in Challenging TImes

Friday, November 6, 2020, through Friday, January 29, 2021 (see times, below)

This MIE Executive Director Training will help you thrive as a newer Legal Aid executive director. The multiple challenges of this moment – pandemic, racism, and recession – require us to evaluate and change up the ways we advance our mission and develop new leadership approaches. At the same time, the ongoing demands of funding and running a complex program require skills and attention. In this training, you will engage with peers, hear from experienced leaders, and gain diverse perspectives from colleagues who also face these challenges. Given all the demands on your time right now, this training is a worthwhile investment, providing assistance with specific issues you will be dealing with for the short-term and relationship building with other newer executive directors who can form a support base for the long-term.

New directors typically learn on-the-job and inherit organizations with established systems and cultures. This training stresses both (1) knowing what should be done to lead an effective program, and (2) actually implementing what needs to be done. Convening over three months, it will include five structured interactive discussion groups working on real life issues and small-team case study collaborative work in between, all in a confidential setting. All sessions will include discussions of board management.

Schedule & Topics:

(All times Eastern Time)

#1 November 6, 2020, 1:00-5:00 p.m. – Leadership and communication in legal aid in a virtual world.
#2 November 20, 2020, 2:00-4:00 p.m. – Financial planning.
#3 December 8, 2020, 2:00-4:00 p.m. – Approaches to managing staff, including unions.
#4 January 8, 2021, 2:00-4:00 p.m. – Racial justice in our organizations, advocacy and communities.
#5 January 29, 2021, 2:00-4:00 p.m. – Ongoing learning, peer support and group-problem solving.

MIE’s training “Thriving as a Newer Legal Aid Executive Director in Challenging Times” is designed for the challenges facing the legal aid executive director today. Join us if you are a newer director of an LSC-funded, IOLTA-funded, elder law, pro bono, or protection and advocacy program.

Registration will be limited for this training to ensure productive small group discussion. Plan to attend all sessions.

Training leaders will include MIE Board Members Jacquelynne Bowman, Executive Director, Greater Boston Legal Services; Yvonne Mariajimenez, President and CEO, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County; Jan May, recently retired Executive Director, AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly; and Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange.


Early bird (by October 23)
MIE subscribers: $325
Non-subscribers: $425

Regular (after October 23)
MIE subscribers: $365
Non-subscribers: $465

Click here for more information and to register.


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