2013 Pro Bono Honorees, Victory for Low-Income Litigants, WSBA Service Opportunities & Become a Mentor

Thank You and Congrats to the 2013 Pro Bono Honors Program Honorees

Award_ribbon_blue_1stCongratulations to Pro Bono Student of the Year Johanna Gusman! Johanna volunteered for the Seattle Women’s Commission, the UN Special Rapporteur, the UW International Human Rights Shadow Letter Writing Project and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In addition to her pro bono service hours, Johanna was recognized for her leadership of a pro bono student project. For a complete list of honorees please click here.

The Pro Bono Honors Program, a program of the Center for Public Service Law, encourages law students, faculty and staff to provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income communities; connects students to pro bono resources and opportunities; promotes leadership development; trains students on vital topics such as professionalism, cultural and cross-difference competency and secondary trauma/compassion fatigue; recognizes student pro bono work beyond the 60-hour public service graduation requirement; and promotes a culture of public service in the life of the law school and in the legal profession.

For more info on the Pro Bono Honors Program please click here.

State Supreme Court News: Victory for Low-Income Litigants

SupremeCourtJustices2013The State Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that GR 34 requires that all fees and costs be waived for indigent litigants.  Congrats to our friends at Legal Voice and the Northwest Justice Project!

We hold GR 34 provides a uniform standard for determining whether an individual is indigent and further requires the court to waive all fees and costs for individuals who meet this standard. The rule was adopted to ensure that indigent litigants have equal access to justice. Any fees required of indigent litigants are invalid and must be waived under the rule.

Read the full decision here.

Community Representatives Sought for Law-Related Boards and Council

WSBA.jpegThe Washington State Bar Association seeks members of the public (including law students) to serve on four boards and one council for terms beginning October 1, 2013. Serving on a WSBA board or council is an excellent opportunity to get an insider’s view on how the practice of law is regulated in Washington State.

  • The Council on Public Defense addresses concerns about the quality of indigent defense services in Washington State.  Appointment is for a one-year term.
  • The Character and Fitness Board deals with matters of character and fitness bearing on qualifications of applicants for admission to practice law in Washington. The Board conducts hearings on the admission of any applicant referred to it for hearing, considers petitions for reinstatement after disbarment, and makes recommendations to the Board of Governors and Supreme Court regarding admission and reinstatement.  Appointment is for a three-year term. Hearings generally are held every month. Three of the 14-16 members of the Board are not lawyers.
  • The Disciplinary Board reviews lawyer discipline decisions. It is made up of four review committees; each committee has two lawyer members and one non-lawyer member. One committee meets each month to review requests for public hearing, admonitions, interim suspensions and other matters. The board meets six times a year as a full board.
  • The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Board compensates clients who have suffered a direct financial loss caused by the dishonest conduct of a lawyer in connection with the practice of law. The Fund is funded by an annual assessment of members of the WSBA by order of the Washington State Supreme Court.
  • The Limited Practice Board oversees administration of, and compliance with, the Limited Practice Rule (APR 12) authorizing certain lay persons to select, prepare, and complete legal documents pertaining to the closing of real-estate and personal property transactions. The Board is responsible for the certification and regulation of limited practice officers (LPOs).

Applications are also being accepted for other boards which may have openings during the coming year.

Applications must be received at the WSBA offices by Friday, June 14, 2013. To apply, complete the application posted at http://bit.ly/rnvXKY and return it with your resume as directed on the form. Previous applicants should re-apply as applications expire after one year. Appointment letters for current openings will be sent in late summer. If you have questions, please email barleaders@wsba.org.

2L & 3L Volunteers Needed! Help Mentor 1Ls

Wise MentorMembers of the 3L class are teaming up with CPLD to launch a mentoring program for 1L students focused on career development.  The goal of this program is to provide 1L students with mentorship as they prepare to start their post-law school job search.  Additionally, the program allows upper class students to interact with 1L students, who they would not normally get the chance to know.

All 2L and 3L students are encouraged to apply to be a mentor.  We are especially in need of students who participated in OCI, and/or submitted applications for judicial clerkships and public service positions.  The time commitment is up to you.

To take part in the program, please respond to the questions in this catalyst survey: https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/josiem/202709

Attention 1L students: Look for an upcoming announcement about how you can sign up to be paired with a 2L or 3L mentor.

Questions? Contact Jeff DeGroot, degrootj@uw.edu, or Valerie Rickman, vrickman@uw.edu.