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COVID-19: Impact on the Need for and Delivery of Legal Services

Thursday, March 19, 2020 -
3:00pm to 4:30pm PDT
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This webinar will address the ways in which COVID-19 is impacting the populations served by legal services organizations, the legal aid organizations themselves, legislation being considered to help highly impacted communities and funder opportunities.

Key topics we will explore include:

  • Legal Services Operations: How providers are changing day to day activities and delivery models
  • How the use of pro bono is being impacted and adapted
  • Major issues areas: housing, employment, benefits, healthcare and immigration and more
  • How the legal services disaster relief response is similar and different from what has been experienced when dealing with prior disasters, such as the immigration ban and wildfires
  • Legislative actions that can mitigate the impact of COVID-19, such as moratoriums on evictions, stays on wage garnishment, alternatives to in person appearance for activities such as court appearances, welfare-to-work meetings and benefits approval
  • How funders can respond and support the legal services community


Tiela Chalmers, Chief Executive Officer, Alameda County Bar Association & Legal Access Alameda, CEO & General Counsel Oakland, CA

Tiela is the Chief Executive Officer of the Alameda County Bar Association & Legal Access Alameda, CEO & General Counsel Oakland, CA. Tiela founded and leads theDisaster Legal Assistance Collaborative, a group of representatives from Alameda County Bar Association and Legal Access Alameda, the Bar Association of San Francisco’s SF-Marin Lawyer Referral and Information Service and the Justice & Diversity Center, Bay Area Legal Aid, Legal Aid Association of California, Pro Bono Net and the State Bar of California. She has been a leader in the fields of free legal services for low income communities for 20 years.

Liz Keith, Program Director, Pro Bono Net

Liz 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 Director, Liz now manages strategic initiatives and programs at Pro Bono Net that equip individuals and communities with new tools to tackle civil justice problems. Previously, Liz managed outreach and education efforts at the Maine Women’s Policy Center on legislation impacting women’s health, civil rights, economic security and freedom from violence, and worked to increase the number of women running for office. She holds a master's degree in community informatics from the University of Michigan, and has served as a consultant to digital inclusion initiatives in Haiti and Chile. In 2015, she was selected to participate in the inaugural Legal Empowerment Leadership program at Central European University’s School of Public Policy. Liz hails from South Jersey originally and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

James J. Sandman, President Emeritus, Legal Services Corporation

James J. Sandman was president of the Legal Services Corporation from 2011 to 2020, before serving as president emeritus. He practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm’s managing partner for a decade. He is also a past president of the 100,000-member District of Columbia Bar and a former general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Sandman is chairman of the board of the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and a member of the boards of Washington Performing Arts, the College of Saint Rose, Albany Law School, and the Tahirih Justice Center. He is a member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, the District of Columbia Bar Pro Bono Committee, the American Law Institute, the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation, the Board of Advisors of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center on the Future, and the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee.

Target Audience

This program is open to NCG members, LSFN members, and non-member funders. 

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