Meetings and Events

VSB Pro Bono Conference (virtual)

Tue, October 20, 2020 - Fri, October 23, 2020
Additional Info REGISTER HERE

The 2020 VSB Pro Bono Conference will be held virtually in conjunction with the 40th Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference that takes place October 20-23. 

This year’s Statewide event theme is Breaking down systematic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty.

CLE sessions for attorneys and other legal aid professionals cover the most pressing changes and issues affecting the fight against poverty, as well as non-CLE sessions for professionals in management, administrative staff, community advocates, and others. 

The VSB programming is FREE and will feature two CLE sessions, including Ethics, and a panel discussion on Bias in the Legal Profession. Look for the 8:45 am sessions labeled as Virginia State Bar!

Session One: Domestic Violence – Nuts and Bolts – Pro Bono Protective Orders – CLE pending (90 minutes)

October 20 at 8:45 AM (to 10:15 am)

  • Description: Presenters will provide substantive legal training on the basics of Virginia protective orders. Session will highlight the impact COVID-19 has had on the domestic violence landscape. Trainers will explain the importance of engaging in trauma-informed representation and empathetic listening, and provide tips for bringing these tools into your advocacy for DV survivors.
  • Trainers:
    • Susheela Varky, Director, Center for Family Advocacy; Staff Attorney for Domestic and Sexual Violence, VPLC 
    • Nora Mahoney, Family Law Practice Group Chair, LSNV 

Session Two: VA Free Legal Answers Best Practices – CLE Ethics pending (90 minutes)

October 21 at 8:45 AM (to 10:15 am)

  • Description: Presenters will train on various ethics topics associated with providing online and limited scope pro bono legal representation (competency, diligence, confidentiality, conflict of interest, unbundling legal services/limited-scope representation, etc.). Session will also highlight the importance of effective and compassionate communication strategies.
  • Trainers:
    • Cris Gantz, Director, Access to Legal Services, Virginia State Bar
    • Jim McCauley, Ethics Counsel, Virginia State Bar

Session Three: Bias in the Legal Profession: Understanding the science, accounting for the impact, and training lawyers to combat it.

October 22 at 8:45 AM

Panel presentation

Description: Bias and prejudice is a subject that is at the top of everyone’s minds right now. It is inextricably intertwined with our responsibility to achieve equal justice under law – an American promise that is the top priority of pro bono and legal aid stakeholders. There is a lot of buzz around elimination of bias/implicit bias training, but how we effectively respond as a profession is an interesting, challenging, and still evolving topic. This session will explore the science behind bias and prejudice, how we acknowledge and account for it as a profession, and ways to effectively train lawyers to eliminate prejudice and combat implicit bias.

Updated: Oct 20, 2020