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National Legal Aid Directors Discussion

 Registration is closed for this event




Leading to Our Future: A National Legal Aid Directors Discussion


Sponsored by MIE

Thursday, July 29, 2021, 2 to 5 pm EDT


Legal Aid Directors are in the midst of a significant leadership moment of change, including envisioning our future workplace, re-opening offices to clients and staff, communicating expectations to staff and community, and working toward racial equity.
MIE will offer directors a virtual roundtable experience to exchange ideas on these challenges.

 


View the agenda here.


This is intended to be an executive leadership conversation on managing a legal aid organization. Unfortunately we will need to limit registrants to executive directors or deputies of legal aid service delivery organizations, one per organization. The conversation will focus on what the current situation is in your organization (remote, hybrid, in person) and why, and what aspect of this you would most like to talk about. Small discussion groups will be facilitated and include 9 or 10 people each.

Setting the Stage for Our Discussion:

Welcome and Overview Alexis Smith, Executive Director, New Haven Legal Assistance Association
The COVID-19 health pandemic has impacted so many within our legal services community. As leaders, we must recognize each employee carries the weight of the health crisis in different ways. Meeting our staff where they are bending (not breaking) the rules to be flexible in identifying the needs of each employee can foster a more productive work environment. Our colleagues will address the following questions: Is there a way to set and manage expectations for all employees regardless of position and title? How can you be mindful of the implicit and explicit inequities that may exist within your organization? How do you address such inequities? Their remarks will set the stage for our discussion to follow.

Yvonne Mariajimenez, President and CEO, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
Our shared mission is to change lives and transform communities using the power of the law.  We employ different delivery models to achieve our purpose.  The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pivot to remote operations.  We leveraged technology and increased phone access, but discovered the digital divide left many elderly, limited English speakers and people with disabilities without access to our services and the "courthouse doors." Serving clients effectively should be our goal, how do we do this while balancing staff desire to work remotely?

Jon Laramore, Executive Director, Indiana Legal Services
To quote Churchill and probably others before him, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” When you’re planning your program’s return to the office, focus not only on the immediate issues of the return, but on what kind of program you want in the future. What issues were on the table before COVID, and what have you learned during COVID, that should shape your plans on issues like client needs, racial justice, case mix, outreach methods, staffing, technology, fundraising, and partnerships? As you come back from COVID, what can you do to advance your vision on these issues? 

Cesar Torres, Executive Director, Northwest Justice Project
NJP leadership faces myriad challenges as we undertake the transition back to our offices from pandemic imposed remote physical work spaces and the associated mental and emotional responses of staff.  As a large/statewide program encompassing regions with divergent vaccination rates and political orientations, our transition efforts must address staff resistance rooted in pandemic related health concerns; ambiguity around vaccines and variants; losing the personal comforts of extended remote work; genuine beliefs that work need never be the same; integration of remote staff (some of who have never been to offices); and space and technology needs.    

Finding Alright: Creating Organizational Support for Employee Well-Being and Fostering Wellness Culture 
Returning to the office is an opportunity to focus on the wellness of your workforce. During the Covid-19 pandemic, staff at Indiana Legal Services developed wellness initiatives that changed the culture and enhanced morale. This segment will discuss the importance of wellness and approaches to developing a culture of care and wellness. A wellness activity will be offered.
 
Presented by Emily Hickman, MSW; Aimee Patras, MSW; and Lisa McLaren, MSW, Indiana Legal Services

 



Facilitated Confidential Small Group Roundtable Discussion



What would you like to share, what challenges have come up for you in this significant leadership moment of change?

Discuss with your colleagues your vision for our future workplace, re-opening offices to clients and staff, communicating expectations to staff and community, working toward racial equity, and other challenges that may resonate from our opening presentations.


 



Closing Comments: 

Mary Asbury, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
How can we use what we know about leadership – and particularly the fundamentals for leading organizational change - to develop consensus and a renewed commitment to our vision through our strategic planning process? How can we rebuild our teamwork and our leadership in ways not possible during COVID? This will be a work in progress.

Jacquelynne Bowman, Executive Director, Greater Boston Legal Services
Once we have identified our direction, how do we get there?  What are the factors we should consider as we make the move toward organizational change?  Keeping in mind the balance on our mission to serve clients, create a comfortable working environment- how should we move forward?  As executive directors, we know that our job is to assure that we are fulfilling our mission.  We also know that we can’t do as a good a job if our staff is resistant.  Understanding that this is a work in progress, what should we consider as we lead this change effort?

Alexis Smith, Executive Director, New Haven Legal Assistance Association
Wrap up.

 

View Presenter Biographies Here.
 

This is intended to be an executive leadership conversation on managing a legal aid organization. Unfortunately we will need to limit registrants to executive directors or deputies of legal aid service delivery organizations, one per organization. The conversation will focus on what the current situation is in your organization (remote, hybrid, in person) and why, and what aspect of this you would most like to talk about. Small discussion groups will be facilitated and include 9 or 10 people each.
 


Registration
Registration Deadline: July 23

MIE subscribers: $100
Non-MIE subscribers: $125

 

Click the button at top right to register online now.

 

 

When
July 29th, 2021 2:00 PM through  5:00 PM
Location
Virtual,
United States
Event Fee(s)
MIE subscribers $ 100.00
Non-MIE subscribers $ 125.00

Please contact MIE with questions about this event:

Event Contact Person
Contact Person Patricia Pap, Executive Director, MIE, ppap@mielegalaid.org