SAVE THE DATE!
Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference
October 17-20, 2023 | Richmond Marriott| Richmond, VA
In 2023, our 43rd annual statewide legal aid conference (ASC) will be located in lively downtown Richmond! As always, the 2023 ASC will be full of informational sessions on a variety of legal topics, networking, fancy dinners, the LASSY (legal aid) Awards, and much more. Check back in summer 2023 for more information and how to register.
ASC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I’m new to the Virginia legal aid community! What is ASC?
First and foremost, welcome to the community! ASC - the acronym we use for our Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference - is a multi-day event hosted by the Virginia Poverty Law Center that provides comprehensive training on poverty law issues to the legal community. ASC also gives attendees the opportunity to discuss the most recent case developments and collaborate on creative ways to address the civil legal needs of low-income Virginians.
Below is a quick breakdown of timing on the four days of ASC 2022:
- Tuesday: This is an all virtual, non-CLE conference day designed to help attendees to become familiar with Whova (our conference platform) and prepare for our conference. It will include video tutorials and open office hours with conference planners to ask any last-minute questions you may have.
- Wednesday: First "official" day of the conference, occurring virtually and in-person. Registration begins at 8:30am, and the first conference sessions - including CLE-eligible sessions - begin at 10:00am and end at 4:30pm.
- Thursday: Sessions begin at 8:30am and end at 4:00pm.
- Friday: Sessions begin at 8:30am and end at 12:00pm, marking the end of the conference. Our Ethics CLE session will be 10:00am-12:00pm this day.
Is there a theme or particular focus for this year’s conference?
TBD for 2023, but yes! Each year, we have an all-encompassing theme both for the conference and for VPLC’s work as a whole. For 2022, the theme was, “Creating a Just Commonwealth Together.” The past few years have separated and siloed people in a variety of ways. It’s time for us to regain our footing and learn how to connect and create change with one another again, no matter where we are.
Why should I attend ASC?
There are many reasons we believe you should attend! In a nutshell, attendees will gain access to over 40 high-quality sessions on a wide range of legal issues, both continuing legal education (CLE) and non-CLE. Nearly all sessions will be recorded and available on-demand, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything! Another big reason to attend is for the invaluable networking. Attendees include both legal aid and private attorneys and paralegals, management professionals, community advocates, government employees, military personnel, and clients. The connections are endless!
Is the conference happening in person? What about COVID-19 concerns?
TBD for 2023, but I am including the answer to this question for ASC 2022 for reference below:
Yes, the conference will be happening in-person at the Sheraton Oceanfront hotel in Virginia Beach, along with being livestreamed and recorded for virtual attendees. Below you will find our COVID-19 policy (last updated 9/13/22):
- Mandatory testing or proof of vaccination: Only one of these is required. If choosing mandatory testing, your test results must be within 48 hours of the start of the conference (or the first day you plan to attend in-person).
- Masking is required for those who are unvaccinated. It is still strongly recommended for vaccinated individuals, though not required. Unvaccinated attendees, faculty, and staff shall always wear properly fitting masks, covering the mouth and nose, while indoors except while in the actual act of presenting, eating, and drinking. We will consider requests for accommodation to the masking requirements due to an attendee’s disability. If you would like to request an accommodation to these requirements due to a disability, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your request.
- Illness: Any attendee, presenter, or staff member exhibiting symptoms including but not limited to apparent cold or flu-like symptoms, feverish, digestive discomfort, or any other symptom that might be linked to typical COVID-19 symptoms - anytime between 24 hours before the start of the conference through the final day - shall not attend any portion of ASC in-person.
- By attending the conference in-person, you acknowledge the health risks associated with COVID-19 and that you MUST follow all ASC COVID-19 policies. You may NOT attend ASC in-person if you have tested positive for COVID-19 48 hours before the start of the conference, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are under any self-quarantine orders per CDC guidelines.
Please revisit this FAQ routinely for updates, as we are monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. THIS GUIDANCE MAY CHANGE AT ANY TIME AND BE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. All updates to this policy will be emailed to registrants in a timely manner. Any questions or concerns regarding ASC’s COVID-19 policy may be directed to [email protected].
How does a person’s ASC experience differ between attending in-person versus virtually?
We have yet to determine the format for our 2023 conference, but below you can see how we structured our first ever hybrid conference in 2022.
|Activity||In-Person Attendee||Virtual Attendee|
|Connect directly with legal aid experts||X|
|In-person only exclusive sessions (e.g., Improv for Attorneys)||X|
|Ability to participate key networking events such as the joint reception between ASC and VSB’s Pro Bono Conference||X|
|Chance encounters and camaraderie with peers||X||X*|
|Registration fee for legal aid community members||$0||$200**|
|Be able to interact with presenters and ask questions||X||X*|
|On-demand session recordings (available for 3 months)||X||X|
|# Of live sessions available per session time slot||4-5 sessions||3 sessions|
*Not available virtually and/or not as comprehensive as will be for in-person attendees.
**See next FAQ for more information.
What is the registration fee, and what does it cover?
TBD for 2023, but below is a breakdown of ASC 2022's fees:
The registration fee depends on what attendee category you fall under. Please see the following table for different categories and rates:
|Attendee Category||In-Person Registration Fee||Virtual Registration Fee|
|Legal Aid-sponsored Attendees (Employees, Board Members, and Client-eligible Community Members)||$0*||$200*|
|Non-legal Aid (private attorneys and their staff)||$300||$300|
|ASC 2022 Presenters and Sponsors||$0||$0|
|VPLC Board and Staff||$0||$0|
|All other attendees (General Admission)||$300||$300|
*As in previous years, legal aid organization covers hotel and food and beverage fees for their employees to attend. If attending virtually, legal aid organization covers registration fee.
The registration fee covers virtual access to all ASC content, conversations, and networking opportunities. The educational content itself, along with all supplemental materials and CLE credits, are free to all attendees thanks to our generous sponsors (check them out below the FAQ!).
For additional information on this new fee, read a more in-depth response here.
What is Whova, and why do I need to use it?
For our hybrid/virtual conferences in the past, Whova is an event management website and app that we have used to hold all conference information, including the schedule, access to handouts from the presenters, livestreaming and recording access, and much, much more. Attendees were able to directly chat and network with other attendees, share resources with your colleagues, and organize in-person or virtual social events, no matter how attendees choose to attend. Even if someone attended the conference in-person, they had to have a Whova account to fully participate and gain access to all conference material. We recommend you review some of Whova’s user guides and FAQ on their website here: https://whova.com/faq/
Can I see the full conference schedule before registering?
It depends on when the 2023 agenda is finalized. Check back a few months before the conference to see if there's an update!
I need CLEs by the October 31st deadline. Are all sessions CLE-eligible?
While not every session is CLE-eligible, most are and will be marked as such. The CLE forms will be made available to all registrants via email.
What if I need accessibility accommodations?
We are committed to making ASC as accessible as possible for all those interested and eligible to attend, whether that is in-person or virtually. Please let us know your accessibility needs on the registration page when it is released so that we can make sure you have a great experience.
I registered as an in-person attendee but now need to cancel (or, I registered as a virtual attendee but now need to cancel). What do I do?
All cancellation or attendance location change requests received by 11:59pm on Saturday, September 30th will be honored for a full refund if applicable, minus a $20 administrative fee. After this date, a $500 administrative fee will be assessed for all requests, unless you are able to provide official documentation of the reason you are cancelling (e.g., a doctor’s note indicating an active COVID-19 diagnosis). You can submit this documentation and any other supplemental information to [email protected].
Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
Send an email to Ezra Halstead, Director of Outreach and Training and primary conference organizer, at [email protected].
THANK YOU TO THE 2023 ASC SPONSORS
2023 Leader Sponsor
2023 Partner Sponsor
2023 Advocate Sponsor
2023 Collaborator Sponsor
- Carolyn Huxford
2023 Supporter Sponsor
- Toni Maxey
- Garriott Maurer, PLLC
Our 2022 Sponsors