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NLADA Announces the 2015 Beacon of Justice Award Winners

Outstanding law firms to be honored at the Exemplar Award Dinner in June

Washington, D.C., April 24, 2015 - The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) is honored to announce the 2015 Beacon of Justice Award winners. Through their work, these law firms have expanded the opportunities, reach, and quality of legal aid delivery systems on the ground to NLADA's members. The exceptional law firms listed below devoted more than a combined 700,000 hours to pro bono work last year and also provided considerable resources to expanding opportunities for underserved populations throughout the nation. Two of the winners have one hundred percent pro bono participation.

NLADA applauds the pro bono accomplishments of the 2015 Beacon of Justice winners who have met the high expectations and criteria for selection by expanding opportunities for the underserved in areas such as education, health care, housing, and legal services. In addition to demonstrating an embedded commitment to pro bono, these exceptional law firms have also created models for other organizations that can be easily replicated. A small sample of these successes includes: bringing legal services directly to homeless individuals in shelters in more than 20 cities nationwide;

NDLI Nuts and Bolts of Leadership and Management

Outstanding trial skills don’t automatically translate into outstanding managerial skills. A good trial lawyer can, however, learn skills to use in supervising colleagues and managing staff. The Nuts & Bolts training seminar, one part of the National Defender Leadership Institute, offers a unique opportunity for defender leaders to step away from their offices, learn these skills and apply them to their individual management challenges in a supportive learning environment. This June in South Carolina, our expert faculty will help each participant translate advocacy skills into effective management techniques. The early registration deadline has been extended to April 27.

Basic Data Every Defender Program Needs to Track: A Toolkit for Defender Leaders

The Basic Data toolkit, released late in 2014, highlights the importance of data collection for defender offices.  It identifies key information for defender leaders to collect, tips on how to compile that material, and guidance on using it for self-evaluation and advocacy. Ultimately, better use of data can make defender programs stronger advocates for their clients.

The toolkit is targeted to managers of all types of indigent defense programs, including public defender offices, assigned counsel programs, and contract counsel programs. It recognizes that, because of the wide variety in size, resources and administrative capacity among defender organizations, there is no “one size fits all” strategy. Instead, the toolkit provides a range of strategies and options that offices can match to their situations.

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