National Conference

Christian Legal Aid Summit


Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

The Christian Legal Aid Summit provides Christian legal aid staff and volunteers from around the country the opportunity to learn, support, and be a blessing to each other as we grow in our ability to serve those in need. We also welcome anyone exploring and new to legal aid to come and see what we're all about.  Join us for a great time of fellowship and networking! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

9:45 - 10:30pm Christian Legal Aid Greeting Reception. Grab dessert at the main Welcome Reception then come and meet fellow Christian legal aid staff, volunteers, and friends. 

Friday, October 2, 2015 

12:00 – 1:30pm  Lunch Discussion:  What does it mean to be a Christian legal aid program?  (Pre-registration required)

Join fellow CLA staff and volunteers for a discussion on topics such as: How should your volunteers engage clients in prayer, evangelism, spiritual counseling? How overt should your clinic be about your faith-based nature to donors, partners, and the public? How should your clinic minister to its volunteers? How does your clinic’s faith-based nature affect fundraising?

1:30 – 3:00pm Seminar:  Do’s and Dont’s of Interviewing Low-Income clientsBest practices for communicating with clients across race, culture, and socio-economic lines, including handling of sensitive issues such as domestic violence, criminal backgrounds, and mental illness.  We will discuss working with clients who are different from us and how we may struggle to understand them and/or gain their trust and partnership. Although geared toward legal aid clients, the workshop will benefit any attorneys working with low-income clients.

Jaimee L. Moore - Legal Director, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia
        Andrya Soprych - Manager of Client Support Services, Cabrini Green Legal Aid

3:30 – 5:00pm  Seminars:

Fundraising 201.  Advanced nonprofit fundraising issues, including development of a comprehensive fundraising strategy for Christian legal aid clinics.

Courtney Herron – Director of Development, Christian Legal Society
               Gretchen Slusser – Executive Director, Cabrini Green Legal Aid


Christian Legal Aid: Nuts & Bolts of Serving In and Starting a Clinic. With only 20% of the legal needs of America’s poor being met, we need more attorneys willing to share their legal skills and heed God’s call to speak up for those who have no voice.  Come hear from two leaders who helped start CLA programs discuss what Christian legal aid is all about, provide guidance for serving in a legal aid clinic, and share practical steps for starting a program in your area.  This workshop is for both attorneys who no experience in legal aid as well as those with some experience who are exploring how to start a Christian legal aid ministry.

Ken Liu – Director of Legal Aid Ministries, Christian Legal Society
               Paul Baertschi – Co-founder, Twin Cities Christian Legal Aid and Partner, Tallen & Baertschi

6:00 – 8:00pm Dinner: Informal cajun dinner out on the town with fellow Christian legal aid staff and volunteers. Everyone welcome! (Cost not included in conference fee.)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

10:15 – 11:45am Seminar: Immigration Law Updates.  Updates on the latest immigration legal issues, especially regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

Courtney Tudi -  Managing Attorney of Capacity Building, World Relief

1:45 – 3:15pm Seminar:  Second Chances: Relief from Collateral Consequences of a Criminal History.  After a criminal sentence is served, it is far from over. Once the sentence is complete, people begin to experience the additional legal and social penalties, barriers, and disabilities that result from a conviction. These “collateral consequences” are often more onerous than the sentence itself. People with a criminal record face over 45,000 laws that significantly restrict their access to employment and other basic rights. We will discuss identifying collateral consequences for clients and different possibilities of relief such as criminal records expungement. As Christian practitioners, we will also examine the retributive nature of these consequences and discuss how we can infuse the forgiveness we experience into the experience of our clients.

Heather Garretson -  Scholar in Residence at City University of New York Law School
               Beth Johnson – Director of Legal Programs, Cabrini Green Legal Aid

3:45 - 5:15pm  Legal Aid Summit Closing Session. Join Christian legal aid leaders and volunteers for a wrap-up discussion of issues facing CLA clinics around the country, such as: What is the status of Christian legal aid nationally? What are our biggest challenges?  What can we do to spur one another on? What can we do to grow public understanding of Christian legal aid?

8001 Braddock Road Suite 302
Springfield, Virginia 22151
Phone:  703.642.1070

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