Neighborhood Legal Clinics Need Intake Volunteers, 50th Anniversary of Gideon Decision, Puget Sound Fair Housing Survey & Attorney Needed for Certified Professional Guardian Board

Neighborhood Legal Clinics Intake and Referral Volunteers Needed

nlcdoorThe Neighborhood Legal Clinics (“NLC”) are looking for volunteers who are passionate about helping people in our community.

Each year in Washington, 87% of low-income households experience a civil legal problem; over 88% of those households will attempt to face their legal problem without an attorney. NLC offers free limited legal advice to King County residents, with a focus on providing service to low-income clients. We serve over 8,000 clients annually and have 34 legal clinincs throughout King County, most operating on a weekly basis. As an intake and referral line volunteer, you are a lifeline for people in need. You will be connecting clients to vital legal services which help them stay in their homes, keep their families together, get protection from domestic violence, manage their debt, and keep their heads above water within a complex legal system.

Phone line volunteers provide a valuable service to the community by connecting clients with resources and information; this volunteer position plays an invaluable role in empowering clients to create solutions to their most urgent problems. Volunteers will become experts on the community resources available in King County. Volunteers are provided extensive training regarding a variety of civil legal issues and dealing with people in crisis is provided, as well as access to substantive legal continuing education courses.

Shifts are available Tuesday-Thursdays from 8:30am-12:30pm. Minimum commitment is 4-8 hours a week for 4-6 months.

For complete description and contact info click here.

50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright: WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LET OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM FAIL

NLADAThe National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Gideonat50 website, a collaborative venture generously supported by the Ford Foundation.

As you know, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark Supreme Court decision in which the court unanimously agreed that all individuals must have a qualified defense attorney, regardless of income.

Thanks to the tireless work and dedication of public defenders, many individuals unable to afford counsel are zealously represented against immeasurable odds.  Unfortunately, such representation is not always possible everywhere in the nation due to significant resource imbalances and systemic inequities.  Chronic under-funding and overwhelming caseloads for public defenders are stretching the justice system to the breaking point.

As a result, 50 years after the decision, the promise of Gideon goes largely unfulfilled. 

Gideonat50 is an interactive and informative place for visitors to:

  • Learn about America’s justice system crisis.
  • See a new interactive map prepared by NLADA that for the first time provides a detailed overview of the national  landscape of public defense and state specific descriptions.
  • Sign up to get involved in the Gideonat50 campaign.

The site also features information about three powerful works of literature and film:

  • Gideon’s Army, a Sundance award-winning documentary by director Dawn Porter that follows three young public defenders challenging a broken justice system.
  • Chasing Gideon,  a book by veteran reporter Karen Houppert that movingly chronicles the stories of people in all parts of the country who have relied on Gideon’s promise.
  • Defending Gideon, a short film produced by The Constitution Project and narrated by actor Martin
    Sheen that features interviews with the key players in the Gideon v. Wainwright
    case.

We encourage you to visit the site and sign up to be a part of this exciting campaign to fix the justice system crisis and ensure the constitutional right to counsel is protected. Help raise awareness of this critical issue in your community by scheduling a screening of “Gideon’s Army” or a discussion of “Chasing Gideon” or “Defending Gideon.”

Learn what you can do here.

Fair Housing and Equity in the Puget Sound Region: The Puget Sound Regional Council and the Fair Housing Center of Washington Need Your Help

FHCWThe Puget Sound Regional Council, in tandem with the Fair Housing Center of Washington, is gathering information on barriers to equal housing opportunities with a special focus on the major transportation corridors in Snohomish, King, and Pierce Counties.  This Fair Housing Equity Assessment is part of the Growing Transit Communities three year project to ensure equity along transit lines.  They need your help in three ways!

Please complete the short survey here. This survey can be translated into languages for groups of significant size. For more info on translations contact  Lauren Walker to discuss this possibility.

Deadline for surveys is June 30th.

Hard copy surveys can be returned to the following address: Fair Housing Center of Washington, 1517 South Fawcett, Suite 250, Tacoma, WA  98402.

The Certified Professional Guardian Board Seeks WSBA Representative for Three-Year Term

WSBA.jpegThe Certified Professional Guardian Board has an opening for a WSBA representative for a three-year term starting Oct. 1, 2013. The WSBA Board of Governors will nominate an individual who will be appointed by the Supreme Court.

The Board was created by the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of Certified Professional Guardians and Agencies and help assure that qualified professional guardians are available to assist incapacitated individuals. Learn more about the Board on its web page.

Interested in serving on the Board? Email a letter of interest and résumé to barleaders@wsba.org by June 14, 2013, or mail to Communications Department, WSBA, 1325 4th Avenue, Seattle WA 98101-2539.