UW Law Launches Videos for ABA Celebrate Pro Bono Week, Victory for DV Survivors, Plus More

UW Law Launches Videos for Celebrate Pro Bono Week

At UW Law, we believe that members of the legal community have an obligation to help reduce barriers to access to justice. Providing high quality pro bono legal services to low-income clients and other under-represented groups is paramount. To this end, the UW Law School’s Pro Bono Honors Program encourages our law school community (students, faculty and staff) to provide pro bono legal assistance. We particularly encourage JD law students to pledge to provide at least 70 hours of law-related pro bono assistance by graduation. By providing training, support, resources, opportunities and leadership development to our students, the program ensures that future lawyers are prepared and ready to fulfill the promise of equal justice.

Thank you to all the students, faculty and staff who took time out of their very busy schedules to participate in the production of these videos. A special thank you goes out to Damien Koemans who put many hours into producing the videos and to Tiffany Sevareid who helped us with web content in a pinch. Another special thank you goes out to Danny Hyatt who transformed the Pro Bono Honors web pages this past summer making it more inviting and user friendly.

See both videos on the Pro Bono Honors Program main page here.

Important Victory for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Washington

Legal Voice
Latest News from LegalVoice–Last week, the Washington Supreme Court issued a powerful decision that holds police accountable for women’s safety.
In 2008, Baerbel Roznowski of Federal Way was stabbed to death by her partner, Paul Kim. Ms. Roznowski was killed shortly after Federal Way police served Mr. Kim with a protection order she had obtained against him. The order required Mr. Kim to stay 500 feet away from her home.
When she obtained the protection order, Ms. Roznowski filled out paperwork that clearly informed the police about the threat she faced from Mr. Kim. She specifically stated that he was likely to react violently when served with the order, and that he did not know she had obtained the order. She also indicated that Mr. Kim would need an interpreter to understand the order.
But the police officer who served the protection order did not even read the information Ms. Roznowski provided. Instead, the officer knocked on the door to her house, handed the order to Mr. Kim, and walked away – leaving Ms. Roznowski alone in her home with Mr. Kim, who murdered her just three hours later.
On October 17, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a jury verdict holding the City of Federal Way liable for negligence in connection with Ms. Roznowski’s death. The Court held that the police officer failed to act with reasonable care in serving the protection order and had a duty to guard Ms. Roznowski against Mr. Kim’s violence when serving the order.
Legal Voice filed an amicus brief arguing that law enforcement officials must act with reasonable care in serving protection orders – especially when an order separates intimate partners. We emphasized that women are at a particularly high risk of violence when they try to leave an abusive partner, and that police must take reasonable steps to guard against the risk that an abuser will react violently when served with a protection order.
Legal Voice’s amicus brief was joined by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Northwest Justice Project, and Washington Women Lawyers. Laura Clinton, Erica Franklin, and Tia Sargent of K&L Gates served as Legal Voice’s cooperating counsel in the case.
The ruling recognizes that Ms. Roznowski’s murder could have been prevented if the police had taken the threat she faced seriously. While nothing can compensate Ms. Roznowski and her family for her needless death, we hope this decision will mean that what happened to Ms. Roznowski will never happen to another woman in Washington.

The Cognitive Burden of Poverty

By Evan Nesterak, The Psych Report, Photo courtesy: Eric Pouhier

Nobody is perfect. At times we have difficulty managing our finances, we don’t always take our medications as planned, and sometimes we don’t perform up to par at work. However, research shows that people experience these problems to different degrees. Across financial strata, research reveals that the financially less well-off engage in these behaviors more often than those who are financially stable (1). These behaviors are particularly concerning, because, for those with limited financial resources, they can lead to poverty as well as perpetuate it.

In their article, “Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function,” which appears in the latest issue of Science, University of Warwick Professor Anandi Mani and several other social scientists (2) suggest poverty, and the ever-present concerns that come with it, places an undue burden on an individual’s limited mental resources. Compared with those who are free from poverty, this burden leaves those in poverty with fewer cognitive resources with which to make choices and take action. Mani et al. write, the poor “are less capable not because of inherent traits, but because the very context of poverty imposes load and impedes cognitive capacity.”

However, it is important to note that their explanation is not limited to the traditional populations of poverty, defined by a specific income level or ability to access basic human needs. The authors define poverty “broadly as the gap between one’s needs and the resources available to fulfill them.” That is, people in poverty are those who feel “poor,” who feel they have less than they need.

In the present work, Mani et al. demonstrated the impact of poverty on cognitive resources in two very different populations, New Jersey shopping mall-goers and Indian sugar cane farmers. The research showed that although the financial wealth differs considerably between these two populations, the “poor” in each population experienced diminished cognitive ability as a result of the cognitive burden imposed by their respective levels of poverty.

Continue reading here.

UW Announces the Launch of the New Green Seed Fund

UW stewardship

The University of Washington is delighted to announce the formation of the Green Seed Fund, a grant opportunity for sustainability-focused research projects. Newly-established by President Young and Provost Cauce, the Fund seeks to engage the UW community in research that advances sustainability on campus and beyond. Successful grant proposals will use the campus as a living, learning laboratory and help the UW find solutions to the most pressing environmental issues.

Seed Fund Facts:

  • Proposals for 2013-2014 grants may be submitted immediately.
  • All proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
  • Grants are open to UW Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma and affiliated field stations, as well as UW Medical Center, and Harborview.
  • Research teams are required to include at minimum a faculty, student and staff member.
  • Approximately $250,000 of funding is available for Fiscal Year 2013-2014.
  • The average award will be $25,000-75,000.
  • Projects should be approximately one year in duration and should not exceed two years.
  • Applicants will also be required to provide letters of support from any campus unit potentially impacted by the proposed scope.
  • For more info please click here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact