National Employment Lawyers Association/New York - Event Information

Event Name:NELA Nite: Cultural Competency in Client Interactions
Description:NELA Nite: Cultural Competency in Client Interactions 
1.5 CLE Credit Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias
6 – 7:30 PM EST
Zoom Webinar
Lawyers must understand the many systemic barriers our clients face in accessing legal services in order to correctly attribute meaning to their behavior, to translate their story into our professional language, and to ensure that our legal assistance does not cause them further harm. The failure to demonstrate cultural competence not only harms our clients but can also negatively impact their case where it inhibits our clients’ ability to trust us, to be honest with us, or to follow our advice. How we understand our clients impacts every step of the relationship and litigation, indeed whether we even chose to enter the relationship, how we gather information, shape claims, assess credibility, generate solutions, devise strategy, and honor and achieve our clients’ objectives. Brenda Star Adams, Senior Counsel for Education Equity and Litigation at Equal Rights Advocates, and Ari M.K. Jones, Residency and Naturalization Program Manager at Oasis Legal Services will advance our skills in client interaction by addressing the following topics:
Myths and misconceptions about clients who are low-income, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQI+;
Barriers faced in accessing legal services;
Tips on how to work with clients from various backgrounds, including how to create an inclusive environment with careful choice of language and terminology and by explaining legal concepts;
How to provide culturally sensitive services, including the definition of cultural competency and cultural awareness; and
Working with limited English proficient clients, including tips on working with interpreters.
Brenda Star Adams (she/her) has committed her 14+ years of practice to representing the most marginalized communities of our society, with an emphasis on providing access to justice for immigrants, members of the LGBTQI+ community, and low-income communities of color. Brenda has spent her career at nonprofit organizations, including Bay Area Legal Aid, where she directed a team of attorneys, fellows, pro bono counsel, and law students in representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in family law and immigration cases, and at the Eviction Defense Center, where she defended tenants facing eviction and organized tenants in bringing impact litigation. Brenda is now Senior Counsel at Equal Rights Advocates, a national nonprofit organization fighting gender discrimination at work and school, where she leads ERA’s impact litigation and education equity work, and oversees its direct legal services programs.
Ari M.K. Jones (they/them) is a LGBTQI+ and immigrant rights advocate representing individuals living at the intersection of these marginalized identities. Ari is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law and was awarded the Tom Steel Fellowship from the Pride Law Fund in 2018. Ari has interned with Catholic Charities of the East Bay, California Rural Legal Assistance, and the USCIS Ombudsman’s Office. As the Residency and Naturalization Program Manager at Oasis Legal Services, Ari represents clients in their lawful permanent residency, VAWA, and citizenship applications, while collaborating with state and local groups on immigration and public benefits policies. Ari serves on the steering committee of the East Bay Refugee and Immigrant Forum and most recently served as Vice Chair of the State Advisory Council on Refugee Assistance and Services.

Event Date:1/13/2022
Event Time:6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Eastern
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