Student Loan News, Student Funding for EJW Career Fair, WLI Applications Now Open, Global Justice Series and the Local Take on the ‘War on Drugs’

EJW Debt Relief News: The Future Looks Grim for Student Loans

EJW Ed Debt Relief

Here’s the latest on Education Debt Relief News from Equal Justice Works.

In case you hadn’t heard, Congress did retroactively fix the doubling of subsidized Direct Loan interest rates that took effect July 1. The deal reached in the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act creates fixed rates each academic year that are based on the 10-year Treasury rate plus a set amount that varies depending on the type of loan. For example, the interest rate for loans to undergraduates will be the Treasury note rate plus an additional 2.05 percentage points. For graduate and professional students, interest rates will be calculated by adding 3.6 percentage points to their Direct Unsubsidized Loans and 4.6 percentage points to their PLUS Loans.

The legislation also raises the interest rate caps on all those loans. Undergraduates could find themselves paying up to 8.25 percent (compared to a current maximum of 6.8 percent). Graduate and professional students could be even harder hit: the interest rate cap for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 9.5 percent (versus the current 6.8 percent max) and the cap for PLUS Loans is now a whopping 10.5 percent (far above the current 7.9 percent max).

The bottom line? While this legislation is good for current students who will benefit from today’s low interest rates, future students will pay far, far higher rates. In fact, if CBO estimates are correct, students will start paying higher rates by 2017.

Our recommendation? Set yourself up for success in managing your student debt by purchasing (and reading!) our comprehensive student debt e-book, viewing our weekly Student Loan Ranger blog, and attending one of our free webinars.

Skoll World Forum Launches Special Global Justice Series 

WJPThe World Justice Project is pleased to announce that the Skoll World Forum, in partnership with Thompson Reuters Foundation, has launched a special series on global justice featuring participants of our World Justice Forum IV (convened last month in The Hague, Netherlands). Speakers were asked to reflect on a wide range of issues including land rights, access to water, criminal justice, and more. Articles will be published every day throughout the week, and can be found here: Skoll World Forum: A Special Series on Global Justice. The pieces will also be syndicated through www.trust.org, the Thompson Reuters Foundation website. Featured writers so far have included Sakena Yacoobi (Afghan Institute of Learning), Faustina Pereira (BRAC), John Oldfield (WASH Advocates), and William H. Neukom (World Justice Project), with more to come in the following days.

Washington Leadership Institute (WLI) Now Accepting Applications: Deadline September 20, 2013

WLI logo UWLAW WSBAThe WLI is a collaborative leadership training program administered by the WSBA and the University of Washington School of Law.  The mission of the WLI is to recruit and train diverse and underrepresented lawyers for future leadership within the legal and bar community.  Download the application packet for more information and to apply.

Need funding to Attend the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair?

EJW conferenceOnce again this fall UW Law through the Center for Public Service Law will be able to provide travel support for a limited number of UW Law students to attend the EJW Conference and Career Fair in October.

The time frame to apply for travel reimbursement is between September 23 and October 4 (at noon).  You may request travel reimbursement (stipends will range from $400-$450 for reimbursement only) by sending your statement of interest and need along with your updated résumé to Assistant Dean Michele Storms at mestorms@uw.edu by noon Friday October 4.  Priority will be given to students who have been granted interviews at the career fair (students will be notified by October 3) but if you are serious about attending and do not have an interview you should still apply.  Please note that the deadline to apply for interviews at the career fair is September 12.  Please do not apply for travel reimbursement until September 23.  Reimbursement award decisions will be made by noon October 8.

For students attending the fair, regardless of interview status we’re having a lunch time session on how to make the best use of the conference and career fair.  That session will take place Friday October 21 at 12:30 location TBA.

Reminder of EJW Important Dates:

August 13- September 12: Student and recent graduate registration and application

September 13- October 11: Student and recent graduate registration (for those not applying or seeking an interview)

September 19- October 3: Employer application review and interview selection

September 19- October 8: Student and recent graduate accept/decline interview invitations

Federal “De-Escalation” of War on Drugs Follows King County’s Five Year Plan

KCPA Dan Satterberg

THE PROSECUTOR’S POST, Vol. 6, Issue 4 August 14, 2013

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new “Smart on Crime” policy shift for federal law enforcement this week in the approach to illegal drug markets.  The AG said that his new approach is aimed at undoing laws that maintain “a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration” that “traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities.”

Federal prosecutors generally have not handled low level drug cases, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for our area accounts for only about 5% of all local prosecutions.  Nevertheless, Attorney General Holder should be commended for recognizing something that King County has acknowledged for years —  we cannot arrest and prosecute our way out of the social and criminal problems associated with low level drug markets.

The shift in King County began as leaders came to see more clearly that drug crimes are different than other crimes.  People addicted to cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and/or prescription drugs present complex issues that are not solved through incarceration.  The costs of incarceration have been borne by all of us, the public, the addict, and many families and community members who watched a loved one spiral out of control through the grip of addiction and then lost that family member to prison.

Here in King County we began the journey envisioned by Attorney General Holder almost 20 years ago, when we started the nation’s 12th Drug Diversion Court – a court centered on treatment and a clean and sober life – not on jail and prison. There are now over 2,000 drug courts nationwide.  The State of Washington followed suit over ten years ago, when the State Legislature reduced sentences for drug crimes, reversing the trend started in 1989 of very long prison sentences for drug sales, regardless of the amount.  Continue reading here.