Working in DC this Summer? Consider Learning More About Law & Policy Making

Disability Rights Washington (DRW) Releases Documentary about the WSBA’s “Questions of Discrimination”

By Gillian Maguire, Disability Rights Washington

Disability Rights Washington’s video “Questions of Discrimination” criticizes the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) exam questions that single out applicants with mental health disabilities and ask for treatment records.

In Washington, as in many other states, several bar application questions and rules call into question an individual’s “character and fitness” to practice law if they have a mental health disability.

According to several law students and attorneys, applicants struggle in answering these questions because they feel forced to choose between their rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination, and their ability to practice their chosen profession.

“WSBA asks a question that’s trying to identify whether or not a lawyer is going to be a problem from a character standpoint. They take kind of a wholesale question like, ‘have you ever been treated for mental health’, that has a built-in assumption that anybody who has ever seen a therapist has a character flaw that might be a problem with them being an attorney. And that’s not borne out by science,” says Andy Imparato, Executive Director of the national Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Continue reading here.

Duke Law Offering 2014 Summer Institute on Law & Policy in Washington, DC

Duke Law DC Summer Institute

Working in Washington? Put the Duke Law D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy on your agenda: A great way to learn law applicable to your policy area of expertise — without ever leaving Washington.

Course offerings in the 2014 Duke Law D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy focus on topics important to current and aspiring practitioners in fields that require mastery of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory law and policymaking. The two sessions this summer are July 7-17, 2014, and July 21-July 31, 2014.  Each course is designed to provide an accessible introduction to the pertinent legal and policy subject matter. Those living and working in Washington who are potentially interested in attending law school, or who otherwise seek greater familiarity with the legal framework in a particular field, are especially encouraged to enroll.

In each two-week session, classes will be held Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings from either5:45-7:15 p.m. or 7:30-9:00 p.m., at the Duke in Washington office located near Metro Center at 1201 New York Ave., NW, Suite 1110, in Washington.Wednesday evenings are reserved for special programs, including events with Judge Patricia Millett on July 23, and with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg onJuly 30. Participants in either or both sessions are invited to attend all of the Wednesday night events.

To enroll, click here.

Asian Pacific American Legal Groups Urge Chicago Officials to Investigate Anti-Asian and Anti-Immigrant Video Incident

NAPABA Logo

By Tina Matsuoka, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and its Chicago-based affiliates — the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (AABA), Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (CABA), and Korean American Bar Association of Chicago (KABA) — along with the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA) and the Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago (IABA) express concern over the actions of certain Chicago police officers captured by recently-released video surveillance, which depicts officers using racist and anti-immigrant language during an arrest last summer.

“The actions shown in the video raise questions about how people of color and immigrants, particularly those who are limited English proficient, are treated by Chicago police officers,” said Bill Simonitsch, president of NAPABA. “We urge Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to fully investigate this incident and work with the local Asian Pacific American community to ensure that immigrants and all people of color feel protected by local law enforcement officials.”

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court on May 14, 2014, Chicago police officers verbally harassed and physically abused a Chinese American spa manager during a raid on a local business in July 2013. The security video shows officers entering the spa, apprehending the woman and striking her while she was kneeling and handcuffed. Police officers can be heard on the video making racist and anti-immigrant remarks during the arrest. One officer refused to believe that the woman was an American citizen and told her “You’re not f—— American! I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from.”

NAPABA, AABA, CABA, KABA, FALA, and IABA urge the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department to fully investigate the specific allegations raised by the video, determine whether any systemic problems of official misconduct exist, and take appropriate action to ensure that all visitors and residents, regardless of gender, race, national origin, immigration status, or English proficiency, feel welcome and safe in the City of Chicago.