2018 Law & Social Change Jam

2018 Law & Social Change Jam, July 25-29, 2018, Ukiah, California

Each Law and Social Change Jam brings participants together for a week of exploration, community building, and visioning. A Jam is not about “creating the newest and best coalition.” It is about nurturing community. It’s about helping you do what you already do even better. It’s about connecting the dots of diverse social change working movements. Because we don’t just need better ideas, maybe we need to understand how they are all connected. Maybe, in order to make real world we dream of, we need to create and nurture deeper relationships.

We are excited to gather legal professionals and law-related folks who are catalyst for change in their practices and communities. We are lawyers who are whole, peacemakers, healers, and agents for radical love. As lawyers, we hold a place of privilege and power to accelerate and codify change.

We are part of a growing international movement for change in the approaches to law, which include Integrative Law, Restorative Justice, Transformative Law, Collaborative Law, Sharing Economy Law, Oppositional Cultural Practice Law, Mindful Lawyering, Natural Justice and Natural Law. We are coming to experience our interconnectedness and explore how to make the collective impact the world is calling for. We will inquire into how to remain true to our core values and remain as the best advocates for our clients, while also caring for each other and ourselves as part of a profession with such high rates of burnout, stress, and anxiety.

Apply today! Application deadline is June 5, 2018.

We welcome that piece and every piece of you to the Jam. The Jam is a space for us to show not only our clarity but also the questions we are living with. Questions like: How can we use our lives, connections, opportunities, and resources to live healthy lives and work collaboratively for positive impact in the world? How can we deepen our understanding of current realities, so as to better understand what positive impact even is? How do we inspire ourselves, traditional and nontraditional lawyers, especially given the deep and somewhat terrified state of flux the profession is in, by some metrics? How can we find a healthy relationship to our gifts, skills, and resources that serves our purpose and contribution? As lawyers and changemakers, how can we forge a shared vision out of the complexities of living here in this time? How can we build bridges across divides within and among ourselves? How do we work with the aggressiveness and adversarial nature of some of our legal training, when we seek to build a world based in compassion and understanding? What kind of healing can we give, and what kind of healing do we need to receive? How do we thrive at all levels of our lives?

“Hurt people hurt people,” as the old adage goes. This insight sheds light on our legal and political institutions, how we treat each other within these institutions, and the impact this is having on individuals, communities, and broader society. It also seems more relevant than ever in our fractured and hostile world.

We also believe that “healed–or healing–people heal people.” As more and more legal professionals are called into the service of social transformation, we invite you to engage in the soul-making and healing work of personal reflection, deep listening, and community-building as a way to strengthen our collective capacity for the work we are doing now, and the road ahead.

We invite you to come seeking common ground, while acknowledging the importance of difference; to arrive with openness and curiosity, while acknowledging that this can be hard; and to be ready to tune in more to the wisdom of the heart, body, and soul, and less to the analytical mind. We invite you to bring all of who you are, to see the whole in everyone else, and as a collective, to explore how we are walking similar, parallel, and diverging paths towards a better future.

Throughout our time together, we’ll share where we are at in our lives and work, and reflect on whether that place still serves us, the people we work with and care about, and the world. We’ll also explore how to care for ourselves and each other in a profession infused by burnout, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

And we’ll engage, create, tangle & untangle, challenge & be challenged, struggle, and dream, in ways we can’t even predict.

Come join a growing community of law jammers who are building a more just, loving, inclusive, mindful, and healing legal system and world, at the fourth annual Law and Social Change Jam.

Apply today! Application deadline is June 5, 2018.

Estela Lopez Gilliam Selected as Coalitions Manager for Good Ally Collaborative, CCRC

The Equal Justice Society is delighted to announce that Estela Lopez Gilliam will serve as Coalitions Manager for the Good Ally Collaborative and the California Civil Rights Coalition.

As Coalitions Manager, Ms. Lopez Gilliam will be responsible for facilitating the 600-member Good Ally Collaborative and developing the Collaborative’s leadership and coalition planning. The position will also assist EJS in realigning and reactivating the California Civil Rights Coalition.

The Good Ally Collaborative is a network of attorneys and activists that grew out of the January 2017 “How to Be a Good Ally Strategic Engagement Conference” organized by Kelly Dermody, Yolanda Jackson, and others in San Francisco. The conference brought together more than 1,000 participants in response to the climate of rising hate, intimidation, and discrimination.

Founded in 1985, the California Civil Rights Coalition is a statewide community of civil rights organizations, activists, educators, lawyers, and advocates representing a wide range of issues and working as one to create a just and healthy society.

Estela has worked with civil rights organizations serving low-income communities, immigrants and refugees and marginalized communities for over twenty years. Most recently she has been working as a Staff Attorney with the Unified Family Court at the San Francisco Superior Court.

She has also served as the Associate Director of California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, as a Staff Attorney with the San Francisco Superior Court Family Law Self-Help Center, where she assisted self-represented individuals access the court and supervised the Self-Help Center’s volunteer program and with the Public Defenders’ Office in Santa Clara County.

Estela received double degrees in Chicano Studies and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. After graduating from law school, Estela was named the Earl Johnson Community Lawyer Fellow, an honor given to one graduating law student in the state of California pursuing a career in public law. During her fellowship, she worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area representing immigrant clients impacted by the 1996 Welfare Reform Law.

EJS expresses our deep appreciation to the Rosenberg Foundation (rosenbergfound.org) for providing us with a grant to support the coalition management of the Good Ally Collaborative.

We would also like to thank the following Good Ally Collaborative members for serving on an ad hoc advisory committee that provided feedback on the consultant selection: Angelica Jongco, Jody Nunez, Kelly Dermody, and Leslie Cunningham.


Rosenberg Foundation Provides Grant to Support Good Ally Collaborative

The Rosenberg Foundation (rosenbergfound.org) has awarded the Equal Justice Society with a discretionary grant of $15,000 to support EJS’s “Grand Alliance” efforts, specifically the coalition management of the Good Ally Collaborative.

The Good Ally Collaborative (goodally.us) is a network of attorneys and activists that grew out of the “How to Be a Good Ally Strategic Engagement Conference” held on January 6, 2017, in San Francisco.

The conference brought together more than 1,000 participants in response to the post-election climate of rising hate, intimidation, and discrimination. The conference was organized by a team led by Kelly Dermody and Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and Yolanda Jackson and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

The team at EJS is serving as coordinators of the Good Ally Collaborative, transitioning the Good Ally conference attendees into a 600-member coalition designed to connect skills and resources with needs, intersect with existing movements, and develop solutions to unmet challenges.

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How Lawyers Can Be Good Allies: A Strategic Engagement Conference

This post is by Kelly Dermody, Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office and chair of the firm’s employment practice group.

Around 4:00 a.m. on November 9, I knew something fundamentally had changed. Our civic institutions, impartial judiciary, fair elections, and rule of law had been openly mocked and undermined.

Entire communities – Muslims, Latino Americans and Mexicans, African Americans, LGBTQ people, Americans with disabilities, and women – had been targets of demeaning slurs during national political discourse, and this had not been repudiated.

Over the course of the first week after the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded nearly 500 incidents of intimidation targeting people of color, Muslims, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and women.

But I knew that we were not powerless. Disenfranchised communities have always faced threats and backlash. We couldn’t curl up and hide now, especially those of us with the power and access of the legal system, education, documentation, and/or economic advantage. Something had to be done for more vulnerable people and communities.

Continue reading “How Lawyers Can Be Good Allies: A Strategic Engagement Conference”