Strengthen the Advocate Community
State Support strengthens the advocate community in two ways: through skills-based & legal education, and through system-wide support.
I. Skills-Based & Legal Education
Providing advocates with continuing legal education and skills-based trainings enables them to better serve clients. Our activities in this area include 15-25 poverty law continuing legal education (CLE) trainings per year and a biennial statewide conference, coordinating listservs and practice groups, and managing a library of practice resources on our advocate website, ProJusticeMN.org.
Most of our trainings are available by webinar. Some of these are in-person with a webinar broadcast, and our in-person trainings are often followed by a practice group meetup. You can see our upcoming trainings at www.mnlegalservices.org/upcoming-trainings. We also offer on-demand trainings, available at www.mnlegalservices.org/on-demand. Our statewide conference is usually held in Alexandria, Minnesota, and is open to all legal services programs. State conference is a great way to connect with your colleagues across the state and get CLE credits in various areas of poverty law.
There are over 2,000 members of ProJusticeMN.org, including legal aid staff, pro bono attorneys, law students, and other advocates. The ProJusticeMN.org library has training materials, practice guides, trial manuals, sample pleadings, interview guides and settlement checklists, and other resources to help advocates representing low-income clients.
We run 11 active e-mail listservs through ProJusticeMN.org to foster knowledge- and information-sharing among statewide colleagues in similar practice areas:
-Minnesota Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
II. System-Wide Support
Increasing coordination and preventing duplication across the system maximizes program resources. Our activities in this area include housing statewide volunteer resources on ProJusticeMN.org, coordinating bimonthly meetings of the legal aid provider network, publishing a blog and monthly e-newsletter with legal aid news, maintaining a staff directory of all legal aid providers across the state, and posting available legal aid positions. Our program website, www.MNLegalServices.org, highlights our work in this area and serves as an umbrella site for the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition.