New Study Finds Prosecutors Exclude Blacks Because All-White Juries More Likely to Convict

Jury of Your Peers? Study Finds Prosecutors Exclude Blacks Because All-White Juries Are More Likely to Convict, Support Death Penalty

All White Jury Photo

By Manny Otiko | Atlanta Blackstar (Photo credit: Atlanta Blackstar)

According to The New York Times, a study of the Caddo Parish, Louisiana, court system has revealed prosecutors often exclude Blacks from jury trials so they can tip the scales of justice in their favor. The article, written by Adam Liptak, also said prosecutors preferred to have all-white juries because Black jurors reduced their conviction rate.

“No defendants were acquitted when two or fewer of the dozen jurors were black. When there were at least three black jurors, the acquittal rate was 12 percent,” Liptak said. “With five or more, the rate rose to 19 percent. Defendants in all three groups were overwhelmingly black.”

Continue reading here.

Inmates With Mental Illness Tell Their Stories Through the AVID Jail Project

By Kim Mosolf | Rooted in Rights (Video credit: AVID Jail Project)

The AVID Jail Project of Disability Rights Washington works on behalf of inmates with mental illness in several local jails. As Washington’s protection and advocacy agency, Disability Rights Washington is in a unique position to bring recording equipment into jails to capture and share the experiences of people with disabilities. Most members of the public will never enter a jail or have firsthand knowledge of how inmates with mental illness fare inside our jails. This video is a result of our ongoing efforts to give jail inmates with mental illness an opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words.

You’re Invited to Join NCSD’s Third National Conference in DC!

September 24-25: National Coalition on School Diversity Third National Conference


Opening Reception – September 24th, 2015
Mayflower Hotel (our conference hotel)
Washington, DC

Main Conference – September 25, 2015
Howard Law School
Washington, DC

Join us for NCSD’s Third National Conference!
21st Century School Integration: Building the Movement for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Register today! (information about hotel accommodations is available on the registration page)

Who Attends and Why…?
NCSD’s conferences consistently engage a diverse group of 250-300 key stakeholders—advocates, researchers/scholars, educators, integration program directors, parents, students, and activists—in dialogue with policymakers and one another. For practitioners seeking support and training to be more effective in their integration efforts, NCSD’s conferences are one of few spaces where integration-specific professional development is available.

For more information, click here.

New Study Raises Questions on Fairness in Harsh Prison Sentences

2016 Equal Justice Works Fellowship Applications Open!

EJW Logo

The application for the 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellowship is open until 5 p.m. EDT on September 18, 2015. Learn more about our fellowships and the application by:

Don’t forget to talk with Aline Carton-Listfjeld at the Center for Public Service Law before applying for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship.

Harsh Prison Sentences Swell Ranks of Lifers and Raise Questions About Fairness, Study Finds

By Deborah Bach | UW Today

Prison in Washington

Stricter state sentencing laws in Washington have swelled the ranks of inmates serving life sentences to nearly one in five.

And some lifers who opted to go to trial are serving much longer sentences than others who committed the same crimes and plea-bargained — raising questions about equitable treatment of prisoners.

Those are among the findings in a new analysis by undergraduate honors students in the University of Washington’s Law, Societies & Justice program, who sought to determine the number of lifers in Washington prisons, the legal processes that lead to life sentences and the cost of housing those inmates, many of whom will die behind bars.

Continue reading here.

Photo courtesy of David McSpadden / Flickr

Immediate Deadlines! Fellowship Opportunity With Public Advocates Due Today!

Public Advocates Inc. Seeking Fellow for 2016-2018, Due Today!

Public Advocates Logo

Public Advocates Inc. seeks dynamic and dedicated advocates to apply for project funding with us through the Equal Justice Works and Skadden post-graduate fellowship programs. Fellows would work out of our offices in San Francisco or Sacramento.

We are a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices in public policy and achieving tangible legal victories advancing education, housing, and transit equity. We spur change through collaboration with grassroots groups representing low-income communities, people of color and immigrants, combined with strategic policy reform, media advocacy, and litigation, “making rights real” across California since 1971. We currently focus on education equity, affordable housing, transportation justice, climate justice, and regional equity.

For more information, click here.

Council Central Staff Seeking Strategic Analyst, Due Tomorrow at 4:00 PM PST!

City of Seattle Logo

The Seattle City Council’s Central Staff Division is seeking a dynamic individual who enjoys working with a forward thinking team, is able to adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and is able to get things done on behalf of the City’s full-time, nine-member Council. The Strategic Analyst will perform high level, independent policy and fiscal analysis, including conducting research, evaluating policy initiatives, drafting legislation, and presenting recommendations on a wide range of issues, such as parks and recreation, transportation, human services, housing, utilities, public safety, and municipal finance.

For more information, click here.

Attention 2Ls & 3Ls! Upcoming Government Honors Deadlines

Fall Quarter

Spring Quarter

Public Policy Deadlines

Fall Quarter

Reprieve U.S. Seeking US Caseworker on Abuses in Counter-Terrorism, Due 7/17

Reprieve Logo

Located in New York, Reprieve US is the new sister non-profit to Reprieve UK, an NGO founded in 1999 by a dual US-UK citizen and lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith. We work closely with Reprieve UK and its network of Fellows operating around the world. We use investigation, litigation, press and diplomacy to challenge the death penalty and abuses committed in the name of the ‘War on Terror’. While the court of law is often our starting point, we also fight and win in the court of public opinion. Just one of Reprieve’s dozens of clients released from Guantánamo was freed by judicial order. Public advocacy is not just litigation window-dressing – it is central to what we do.

We’re looking for a keen strategic thinker, concise writer, and confident public speaker to help us develop our counter-terrorism work in the US. Working for us combines the excitement of a startup with the caseload of a larger and more established NGO (because of the link to Reprieve UK).  The US Caseworker will assist Reprieve US’ growing US strategy. S/he will help generate new projects and cases, while joining our existing ones, and will further Reprieve US’s mission through political and public engagement.

For more information, click here.

Metropolitan King County Council Seeking Director of Government Relations, Due 7/20

King County Logo

The Metropolitan King County Council is seeking a visionary leader who will direct and accomplish the Council and County’s political and legislative objectives at the state and federal level. This is an exciting opportunity to join the King County Council and play a role in providing quality regional services to county residents and foster an effective partnership with the state and federal governments.

The Director of Government Relations is an appointed, managerial position and requires considerable skill and extensive experience at mobilizing and managing County efforts to support and advocate specific legislation. This position plays a key leadership role and is integral in coordinating with legislative and executive branch staff and elected officials to develop, implement and monitor work plans to achieve the Council and County’s legislative objectives.

United States Environmental Protection Agency Seeking Applicants for Fall 2015 Region 5 Honors Attorney Fellowship, Due 7/21

EPA Logo

The Office of Regional Counsel seeks applications for the Fall 2015 Region 5 Honors Attorney Fellowship. This is a temporary two-year position in the Chicago, Illinois office. The Honors Attorney Fellow is expected to commit to the full two-year term that will begin in the fall of 2015. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2015 Fellowship is July 21, 2015.

The EPA Region 5 Honors Attorney Fellowship is designed for a recent law school graduate with excellent academic credentials and a strong interest in an environmental law career and the public sector. It provides an opportunity for entry-level attorneys to practice law in a leading governmental environmental organization, and to receive extensive training in and exposure to environmental law and policy work in the public sector. Region 5 offers new attorneys significant responsibility, the opportunity to handle a varied caseload that includes enforcement and counseling work, and extensive training and mentoring from dedicated colleagues with recognized expertise. The Region offers a diverse and supportive work environment.

For more information, click here.

You’re Invited to Join Law for Black Lives in New York City

July 31: Invitation for Lawyers to Join Law for Black Lives, NYC

Law for Black Lives

#Law4BlackLives is a national gathering of lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers who are committed to building a world where #BlackLivesMatter. More than a meeting or a conference, this gathering is a call to action for legal advocates from diverse parts of the country to join together and spend a day dreaming about how we can support the growing Movement For Black Lives.

This space will prioritize the voices and leadership of people of color, most importantly Black lawyers and legal advocates.

REGISTER TODAY at Space is limited. Limited travel and registration scholarships will be available.

For more information visit or email

October 16 & 17: 17th Annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference

Peggy Browning Fund

We are pleased to announce our 17th annual conference, scheduled for October 16 & 17, 2015.

Much More: With multiple interactive workshops, panel discussions and keynote address, the conference will give each participant additional insight into becoming an advocate for workers and their families. Students will:

  • gain a greater understanding of, appreciation for and interest in the issues facing American workers;
  • supplement their labor and workers’ rights courses; and
  • network with fellow law students, top labor attorneys, professors, nonprofit practitioners and government officials.

Registration will open in mid July, 2015. For more information, click here.

Welcome spring with these new, awesome job opportunities for students and alumni!

Due 3/27 – Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Tribal Senior Policy Advisor 

This position is located in the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). OJJDP is focused on juveniles in crisis from serious, violent, and chronic offenders to victims of abuse and neglect. Charged by Congress to meet this challenge, OJJDP collaborates with professionals from diverse disciplines to improve juvenile justice policies and practices. OJJDP accomplishes its mission by supporting states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective programs for juveniles. The Office strives to strengthen the juvenile justice system’s efforts to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide services that address the needs of youth and their families. The incumbent provides advice and guidance to resolve, implement, or manage program or policy issues that involve major areas of complexity in approach or methodology; prepares short- and long-range planning guidance in accordance with broad program policies and objectives; prepares guidance based on analyses of interrelated issues of effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of substantive mission-oriented programs in one or more of the OJJDP specific policy areas that have a direct impact on the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native youth (e.g. adapting a developmental approach to juvenile justice reform nationwide; responding to the key recommendations from the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence; family/youth engagement; child protection; juvenile justice system improvement; and delinquency prevention).

Northwest Justice Project – Summer 2015 Law Clerk

Under the supervision of highly experienced staff attorneys, law clerks will serve as part of a statewide team of legal services advocates who work cooperatively, with other providers, in bringing high quality representation to the State’s indigent population. Dependent on the office, substantive priorities may include family law, housing, consumer, employment, public benefits and education. Law clerks will experience the realities of a legal services office as they aid the attorneys with legal research, interview and advise clients, and assist in case planning. Law clerks may also help develop self-help materials for pro-se litigants, training materials for staff and clients and work on other special projects depending on the needs of the office. Externships for credit during the school year are also available in the Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma offices.

Positions for summer 2015 may include: Please indicate your locations of interest.

  • Combination Farm worker unit and general positions located in Wenatchee, Omak, Bellingham and Vancouver, WA (Spanish fluency may be required or preferred)
  • General legal services in Bremerton, Pt. Angeles, Pasco, Tacoma, Everett, Longview, Spokane, Olympia and Seattle

All law clerks will be expected to bring the maturity and commitment to their work necessary to participate as members of a comprehensive, statewide equal justice delivery system.

Email: Resume & Writing Sample to:

  • Karen Holland, Director of Human Resources (please state location of interest)
  •  Northwest Justice Project

Eastside Legal Assistance Program – DVLP Managing Attorney

Come make equal access to justice in our community a reality by managing our Domestic Violence Legal Project. You can help Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) provide legal services to survivors of domestic violence. This is a full-time employment opportunity. Materials must be submitted no later than 5 PM Friday, April 10, 2015 to be considered.

Please send résumé, cover letter, writing sample (family law based and your independent work product), and list of two references to: Stan Kehl, Executive Director, Applications will be reviewed upon receipt.

National Legal Aid and Defender Association – Senior Program Associate, Civil

Qualified candidates will possess a Bachelor’s degree in economics, social sciences, public administration or related field, with a minimum of two to five years of experience in the non-profit sector, legal field or public policy sector. Experience collecting, analyzing, and organizing data, and producing reports is required. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated strong qualitative and analytic skills with a keen attention to detail and data accuracy and the ability to translate information into reports. Excellent research skills using both web-based and published materials required. Significant knowledge of civil legal aid programs is preferred. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of survey and research design methods and the ability to verify the accuracy of data sets and computer generated reports. The ability to work independently and in teams is required. The position requires excellent skills in written and oral communication. Computer proficiency utilizing Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), internet and E-mail; database proficiency and desktop publishing skills along with a willingness to learn HTML required. Candidates must have a strong commitment to the mission and goals of NLADA and a thorough understanding of its work.

NLADA has a collegial, highly collaborative, professional office environment where employees take pride in effectively leveraging resources and fully engaging to deliver excellent results. We value service, creativity, and thought-leadership. We are conveniently located near D.C.’s Metro Rail (Red, Blue, and Orange lines).

To apply for this position send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to with the subject line “NLADA JOBS: Senior Program Associate, Civil.”

NLADA is an equal opportunity employer. Position open until filled.

CJA seeks Senior Staff Attorney!

The Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA) seeks a Senior Staff Attorney or a Staff Attorney. CJA is an international human rights organization dedicated to deterring torture and other severe human rights abuses around the world and advancing the rights of survivors to seek truth, justice and redress.  CJA uses litigation to hold perpetrators individually accountable for human rights abuses, develop human rights law, and advance the rule of law in countries transitioning from periods of abuse.

Applications welcome immediately; position open until filled. Applications must include: 1) a letter that addresses your goals and your interest in this position; 2) resume; 3) writing sample; and 4) names of three references. Submit electronic application to with the words “Staff Attorney” or “Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line.


Black Women’s Blueprint, is a civil and human rights organization. Our purpose is to take action to secure social, political and economic equality in American society now. We work to develop a culture where women of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased. We engage in progressive research, historical documentation, policy advocacy and organize on social justice issues steeped in the struggles of Black women within their communities and within dominant culture.

Our flagship initiative is a Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Sexual Assault in the U.S. (BWTRC). A core component of this ground-breaking initiative is to map the official and unofficial ways in which the rights of sexual assault survivors to personal and economic security have been violated. This participatory study will explore Human Rights Articles 2, 3, and 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which ensure non-discrimination, personal security and economic security and will implement related policy advocacy.

Submit resume and cover letter to, with the subject DIRECTOR BWTRC in the subject line.


Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) seeks dynamic law students with a strong commitment to public interest and social justice advocacy to help provide comprehensive legal services to the poor. BayLegal is the largest staff based non?profit law firm providing free civil legal services to low?income individuals and families in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We provide services on a regional basis through local offices and clinics located in the following 7 Bay Area counties: Alameda (Oakland); Contra Costa (Richmond); Marin (San Rafael); Napa; San Francisco; San Mateo (Redwood City); and Santa Clara (San Jose) counties. Additionally, BayLegal has a regional Legal Advice Line which conducts intake and provides advice and counsel. With six regional offices, and 100+ staff members, BayLegal is uniquely positioned to help people across county lines.

BayLegal assist clients in four main priority areas: (1) Domestic Violence Prevention; (2) Housing Preservation; (3) Economic Security; (4) Health Access; and (5) Consumer Protection.

Internships are available throughout the year and applications are accepted on an ongoing basis year-round until all positions are filled (for summer candidates, we recommend submitting your application before March 1st).

Please submit a completed BayLegal Law Clerk Application indicating your office(s) and project(s) preference along with a copy of your resume,  cover letter, a list of at least three references and writing sample to:

Email: or
Mail: Bay Area Legal Aid – Law Clerk Program
1735 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

More Questions? Contact Staci Lambright, Director of Pro Bono Activities


AARP Foundation Litigation is seeking to hire a summer law clerk to work with the Consumer Protection and Housing teams. The position supports senior attorneys working on a wide range of legal reform and impact litigation cases in courts nationwide.Law clerks will conduct legal research and write memoranda for amicus curiae briefs and litigation documents for cases in these different areas.

Remote work is a possibility. 

If interested, send a cover letter, resume and writing sample (5-7 pages) to Michelle Poncetta at Please put “Summer Law Clerk Application” in the subject line of your email. The position is for 30-40 hours per week. This is an unpaid position.Funding can be provided through your school program.


The Alaska Labor Relations Agency is a quasi-judicial agency that handles collective bargaining issues for public employers and public employees for the state, university, railroad, school districts, and political subdivisions within our jurisdiction.  The mission of the Alaska Labor Relations Agency is to facilitate cooperative relations between Alaska’s public employers and the labor organizations that represent public employees.  The agency is recruiting for a Hearing Officer to help with this mission.

Responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to:

The incumbent independently serves as hearing officer for the Alaska Labor Relations Agency, investigating, mediating, and adjudicating public labor relations disputes.  As the Agency’s sole hearing officer and investigator for a lay board, the incumbent exercises substantial independent discretion. The incumbent investigates petitions and charges and mediates between parties. The incumbent conducts adversarial hearings and proposes decisions for adoption by the board. The incumbent evaluates settlement agreements, responds to inquiries from the public, and performs other duties as assigned, such as drafting or editing proposed regulations or statutes, conducting public board meetings, holding pre-hearings and pre-election conferences, issuing rulings on motions and matters before and during hearings, issuing subpoenas and conducting elections.

The incumbent must be able to comprehend applicable statutes and regulations and to communicate effectively to explain agency services and requirements. 

The potentially heavy workload demands ability to establish priorities, meet deadlines, and work under stress. The incumbent must have good oral and written communication skills. Writing skills must include the ability to draft logically organized legal decisions that clearly evaluate evidence, summarize facts, apply legal principals, and evaluate arguments. In addition the incumbent must be able to independently conduct impartial investigations, hearing, and mediations. This position requires tact, discretion, confidentiality, and the ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment.

Apply online at

Take a trip to California or find a new way to use that J.D. with these exciting opportunities!

AmeriCorps JD is now accepting applicants! 

We will accept applications through April 15, 2015 from students, who not only work in the priority areas defined below, but who provide service to low-income communities in other areas of law. The 300 service hours required to earn the education award can be completed anytime from when the application is accepted and the background check has been initiated through August 31, 2015.

PRIORITY AREAS: Priority will be given to applications from students who are serving veterans, military families or victims of disasters, or focusing on removing barriers to employment or housing. However, we also have many spots available for students working with other populations and in other areas of law.

Some more examples of the type of work students can do within these priority areas include:

  • Direct legal services: intake, legal form preparation, performing client and witness interviews, advocating for clients by telephone and in person, attending hearings, assisting attorneys in legal representation, carrying out legal research and writing
  • Outreach and education: developing and distributing fact sheets, developing and delivering training on legal topics or on how to access legal services, ensuring potential clients are aware of their rights and available services
  • Capacity building: activities which build the capacity of your host organization or other organizations to provide services in the previously specified priority areas, such as an organizational assessment, compiling best practices, organizing focus groups, leading planning committees

You can also learn more about organizations and the legal services being provided for veterans, disaster, and employment issues by viewing our Fellow profiles on our website.

The AmeriCorps program, under the Corporation for National and Community Service, has a list of prohibited activities that cannot be included in the hours of service completed to earn the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. A list of these activities can be found here.

Students serving in the priority areas or other issue areas may apply now through Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Visit our website for more information about the application process. Questions may be directed to

UW Law Students: Re-ignite your Social Justice Heart and Vision at the Annual Trina Grillo Retreat in Sunny Santa Clara, CA!

The Trina Grillo Retreat at Santa Clara Law (March 20-21, 2015) provides a unique opportunity for public interest and social-justice oriented law students, faculty, and practitioners to forge an alliance by exchanging viewpoints, exploring career opportunities, and formulating strategies for social justice.

Join with law students from several west coast law schools to re-imagine the next generation of social justice lawyering.  Funding up to $250 in reimbursement is available for UW Law students interested in attending.  Send a letter of interest and resume to by Feb 20 noon  if you would like to attend.

Attention Recent Grads! You Can Help Preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Please don’t forget to fill out and pass on Equal Justice Works’ quick survey about the effect of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) on your career. While they hear anecdotally how critical PSLF is to making long term public interest careers possible, there is little hard data on the program’s impact. If Congress does propose capping the amount of forgiveness borrowers can earn, this data will be invaluable in helping Equal Justice Works and a coalition of interested groups advocate for it. The deadline for completing the survey is March 2, but please complete it as soon as possible in case Congress acts sooner. Thank you for your help on this urgent issue!

Keep Up To Date on Student Debt Issues!

Make sure to follow Equal Justice Work’s new blog on the Huffington Post to keep up to date on student debt issues. They’ve been writing recently about “Affording College in a Time of Income Inequality,” “3 Student Loan Repayment Plans You Need to Know About,” and “8 Lessons We Learned About Student Debt From the Class of 2013.”