PILA Corner: Where Clients and Compassion Come First

Where Clients and Compassion Come First

By Andrea Lee, UW Law, JD Class of 2017

Interning at Open Door Legal Services (ODLS) is an experience I will never forget. Going into my 1L summer, I was unsure of many things, including the type of work that is done at legal aid clinics. Within the first couple of days, however, I knew I would enjoy every moment. A small clinic, there is one supervising attorney and two staff attorneys who do majority of the work, each attorney in charge of over 100 cases. The clients are mostly homeless, though some are low-income. They bring various legal issues, but the most prevalent include family law, court fines, and outstanding warrants.

Public Interest Lawyering Means Compassionate Lawyering

working_together_in_wilderness_therapyODLS has clinics three times a week at their office in Pioneer Square, once a week in Bellevue and once bi-weekly in Everett. Because ODLS is so small, they rely on the numerous volunteers who come throughout the week, most working with clients during these clinics. An attorney will meet with the client and listen to his or her story, essentially issue-spotting. The patience of these attorneys was most inspiring. I sat with the attorney and asked the client questions to give us a better understanding of their legal issues, hoping to prompt them in the right direction. I quickly realized that many of the clients simply wanted someone to talk to. Thus, instead of answering our questions or giving us facts, clients often “beat around the bush” or offered us their various conspiracy theories. Instead of stopping the clients from continuing, the attorneys patiently listened, smiling and nodding. Some of the clients were very difficult to work with but the attorneys never talked over them or made them feel inferior. It was evident that they were there because they genuinely cared for the clients and wanted to provide as much assistance as possible. Working with the volunteers encouraged me, knowing that I will be able to volunteer at places like ODLS, regardless of the type of work I pursue after law school.

Addressing Diverse Legal Issues

As stated earlier, typical legal matters include family law (child support in particular), outstanding warrants, court fines, and some immigration. Though immigration work is not as common as some of the other legal issues, I was fortunate to be able to work on a few cases during my short time at ODLS. One of the cases involved someone whom ODLS obtained a T Visa prior to my internship. I worked with the client and the client’s children to renew their work authorization. Being able to meet with them after reading their story gave me even more motivation and enthusiasm as I worked, even though I was simply filling out forms. I also worked on an asylum application, for which I was able to significantly contribute to the cover letter and research particular issues.

Coming Full Circle

It was a privilege to meet these clients and working for them was heartbreaking, yet rejuvenating. I was reminded why I came to law school and found joy in working directly with the clients. They keep me motivated during the toughest days in law school, and it’s promising to know that I will be able to do similar work with my law degree.

Photo credit:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Working_Together_in_Wilderness_Therapy.jpg

Join the ABA’s new Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Law Student Committee!

Coming Soon – Law Clinics Information Fair April 5,6 & 7

williamgateslaw-750x498First and Second Year Students are invited to attend UW LAW CLINICS INFORMATION FAIR, taking place April 5th through 7th. During the second week of Spring Quarter, the Clinics are hosting three days of interesting and informative events you won’t want to miss!

Information Tables will be in the Galleria, Tuesday, April 5th, and Wednesday, April 6th from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PMm, with Clinic faculty and Clinic students on hand to answer questions and offer assistance in deciding what clinic might be best for YOU! Please feel free to stop by in this casual and informal setting.

The Clinics Information Fair culminates with an Information Session on Thursday, April 7th, From 12:30 pm-1:20 pm in Room 133. This session takes you step by step through the registration process, and provides you with additional information on important topics like the planning packet process, pre-requisites, and enrollment stats. So stop by to learn about what could be the best decision of your law school career! Light refreshments will be served. Also, please visit our website for additional information about the Clinical Law Program at http://www.law.washington.edu/Clinics/.

Toolkit on the Inter-American human rights system for indigenous women

About this Toolkit

fppIn order for the Inter-American human rights system to adequately recognise, protect and fulfil the human rights of indigenous women, it is necessary for indigenous women to engage with the system, to make their voices heard and to tell their stories with all their complexities. This toolkit, which contains a series of information notes explaining different aspects of the Inter-American system, is designed to help indigenous women and their advocates to use the system effectively.

It is the result of a collective effort by indigenous women from Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay, among other countries. They have worked together for many years to raise awareness about the opportunities offered by the Inter-American human rights system with regard to the rights of indigenous women.


Mayor signs Executive Order to protect transgender rights

socrlogoOn Thursday, March 10, Mayor Ed Murray signed an Executive Order instructing the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to guide and train front-line City staff on how best to continue providing safe and inclusive spaces for residents, including transgender and gender-diverse people. The order also instructs the City to continue notifying businesses with places of public accommodation of Seattle’s all-gender restroom signage law. (See article below.)

The new Executive Order mandates culturally responsive training for all relevant front-line staff at City departments, such as Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Seattle Center, and the Seattle Public Library, to be developed with community partners. The order also directs OCR to work with the Seattle Department of Human Resources to develop transgender employment policies that are in-line with best practices, ensuring the City is providing a safe and inclusive workplace for its employees.

“City facilities must be safe and welcoming places for all residents, including transgender and gender non-conforming people,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Front-line City staff will have the training they need to understand our ordinances and state laws that protect the rights of transgender people and protect them from harassment and violence. The law requires that we provide access to the facilities that correspond to a person’s gender identity, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect.”

In August of 2015, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed Mayor Murray’s proposal requiring all City-controlled and privately operated places of public accommodation to designate existing and future single-stall restrooms as all-gender facilities. Seattle’s Public Accommodations Ordinance (SMC14.06) now also clarifies existing law allowing individuals to use the restroom of their chosen gender identity or expression. The legislation was a recommendation from the Mayor’s LGBTQ Task Force and the City of Seattle’s LGBTQ Commission.

“The Mayor’s Executive Order affirms our City’s commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of all people,” said Patricia Lally, Director of the Office for Civil Rights. “My staff and I are eager to develop training for City staff on the rights of transgender and gender-diverse people that can serve as a model for how to create an inclusive environment.”

Join the ABA’s new Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Law Student Committee!

americanbarassociationThe ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice is enthused to announce the inaugural Civil Rights and Social Justice Law Student Committee. We are seeking law students who are passionate about civil rights and would like to get substantive experience in the field, even if civil rights is not going to be your career path after graduation.

Why You Should Join?

Being on the Law Student Committee will allow you to work with some of the top legal minds around the country on issues concerning civil rights and social justice that effect people in our society. You will work on projects that will have a substantial impact on society, which you will not be able to obtain in the classroom. There are a number of other opportunities for you to gain in this position, such as bringing attention to issues the Section should address and contributing to the Section’s magazines if desired. Upon graduation, students will have the opportunity to continue working with the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.

How Many Positions?

The Law Student Committee will consist of 20 law students from around the country and each student will be placed on one of the Civil Rights and Social Justice Committees listed below.

  • Bullyproof
  • Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity
  • Criminal Justice
  • Death Penalty
  • Disability Rights
  • Education
  • Elder Rights
  • Economic Justice
  • Environmental Justice
  • Fair and Impartial Courts
  • First Amendment Rights
  • Health Rights and Bioethics
  • International Human Rights
  • National Security and Civil Liberties
  • Native American Concerns
  • Privacy and Information Protection
  • Religious Freedom
  • Rights of Immigrants
  • Rights of Women

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
For more information on the committees visit: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/committees.html

How To Apply:

  1. )Select and rank the top 3 committees from the list above that you are passionate about and would like to be on.
  2. ) Submit a statement on the following (Max. of 500 words):
    1. Why you are interested in Civil Rights and Social Justice?
    2. Why you want to join the Law Student Committee?
    3. How you can contribute to the Section of Civil Rights & Social Justice
  3. ) Attach your current resume.
  4. Please send all information to the following email and include in the subject “CRSJ Law Student Committee”: AndrewRhodenABA@gmail.com
    1L’s, 2L’s, 3L’s, and 4L’s are encouraged to apply.

    We look forward to hearing from you!!!

WSBA seeking members of the public to serve on boards

washington-state-bar-association-logoThe Washington State Bar Association seeks members of the public to serve on six boards for terms beginning October 1, 2016. Board service provides an excellent opportunity to get an insider’s view on how the practice of law is regulated in Washington State. Applicants from outside the legal community are especially welcome; former or non-practicing attorneys are asked not to apply. Appointments are for three year terms, with the exception of the Council on Public Defense. Applications are being accepted through April 1.

This year the WSBA will appoint (or, in some cases, recommend to the state Supreme Court) public members to the following boards:
Character and Fitness Board: This board deals with matters of character and fitness related to the practice of law in Washington. It conducts hearings on the admission of applicants, considers petitions for reinstatement after disbarment, and makes recommendations to the WSBA and Supreme Court. Hearings generally are held every month.

  • Council on Public Defense: The Council on Public Defense addresses concerns about the quality of indigent defense services in Washington State. Appointment is for a two year term.
  • Disciplinary Board: The Disciplinary Board reviews recommendations for suspension or disbarment of attorneys. The full board meets three to six times a year, and each member serves on a review committee. Considerable reading and meeting preparation are required.
  • Limited License Legal Technician Board: The Limited License Legal Technician Board authorizes non-attorneys who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients on specific areas of law.
  • Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board: The MCLE Board oversees the administration of and compliance with rules established by the state Supreme Court regarding continuing education for attorneys.
  • Practice of Law Board: This board educates the public about how to receive competent legal assistance and considers new ways for non-lawyers to provide legal and law-related services.

If you would like to be considered for any of these openings, please complete the application by following the instructions posted here: http://tinyurl.com/WSBACommMem. Previous applicants should re-apply as applications expire after one year.

For further information about each board, contact the staff liaison listed on the web page linked to above. If you have questions about the application process, email barleaders@wsba.org or call Pam Inglesby at 206-727-8226.

Welcome back! Check out these exciting job opportunities as you prep for your Spring classes!

City of Bellevue is looking for a Legal Planner!

coblogoThe Legal Planner/Consulting Attorney position in the Development Services Department supports the code development, permit review, inspection and enforcement functions of the City.  Specifically, this position is responsible for providing legal and policy advice and counsel for Development Services (DS), working under moderate to general supervision of the Land Use Director.

Development Services is a multi-department line of business that offers one-stop shopping for general information and the permits needed for development activity, and for enforcement of codes in the City of Bellevue. Staff supporting the DS function include code compliance officers, current planners, engineers, finance analysts, inspectors, plans examiners, permit technicians, and support staff from the Development Services, Fire, Transportation, and Utilities departments. DS staff also work closely with staff from other departments, like Planning & Community Development, to develop codes necessary to implement policy direction adopted by the City Council.

For more information, click here.

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) – 2017-2018 LEGAL HONORS PROGRAM

hudseal_teal_1The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of General Counsel (OGC) is accepting applications for its 2017-2018 Legal Honors Program.

HUD’s Legal Honors Program is designed for law students graduating from J.D. and LLM programs, and recent law school graduates completing a judicial clerkship. The Legal Honors Program is HUD’s only hiring program for entry-level attorneys. Subject to appropriations, approximately 10-20 legal honor positions are available annually in headquarters and field offices. Successful candidates begin work in August or September and participate in a 14-month appointment that may lead to a permanent position, pending bar admission. During the program, Legal Honors are assigned mentors, are given the opportunity to rotate to other offices within OGC, and participate in additional training and monthly discussions to enhance their program experience and develop their legal abilities.

The program is highly competitive and candidates are selected on the basis of merit. Selection considerations include many factors such as: academic achievement; law review and other publication work; extracurricular activities such as moot court competitions and legal clinics; employment history;and participation in activities related to HUD’s mission.

Visit the OGC website at www.hud.gov/offices/ogc to access the brochure and a fillable version of the application form. Please note electronic application opens on Friday, July 1, 2016, and closes on Friday,September 9, 2016.

HELLER HURON CHERTKOF & SALZMAN – Litigation Associate (Washington, D.C.)

U.S. Capitol at DuskHeller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman, a boutique public interest-oriented civil rights/employment discrimination law firm representing individuals located in Washington, D.C., is currently accepting applications for a junior litigation associate position. The associate will work initially under the supervision of more senior attorneys in the office, but is expected to be involved in all phases of federal and state litigation, including investigating potential cases, drafting pleadings, conducting discovery, arguing motions and fully participating in trials.

Applicants should have an interest in litigation and civil rights work; strong academic credentials; superior research, writing and verbal skills; and the ability to multi-task on a variety of cases. A clerkship and/or one year of employment litigation experience is preferred, as is membership in the District of Columbia and Virginia or Maryland bars.

Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and law school transcript, no later than April 29, 2016, to Cassandra Lenning, Esq., Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman PLLC, 1730 M Street, N.W., Ste. 412, Washington, D.C. 20036. Applications may also be submitted by email to Lenning@HellerHuron.com, subject line: “2016 Litigation Associate.”

Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. To find out more about our practice, please visit our website at www.hellerhuron.com.


loyola_chicago_law_school_logoLoyola University Chicago School of Law invites applications for the post-graduate Child Law Legislation and Policy Clinical Teaching Fellowship. This two-year Fellowship, a non-tenure track faculty position,will commence July 1, 2016.

Under the direction of the director of the Child Law Policy Institute, housed in the Civitas Child Law Center at Loyola’s School of Law, the Fellowship provides an opportunity for a recent law school graduate to gain experience in the area of clinical law teaching specific to policy and legislative reform.The Clinical Fellow will work closely with the Policy Institute’s director, participating in the Institute’s policy initiatives. The Policy Institute works on a broad range of projects related to children, including child protection, juvenile justice, domestic violence and children’s health through policy reform,legislative advocacy, research and training. The Fellow also will participate in the development of course curriculum for the Child Law Legislation and Policy Clinic and may have the opportunity to participate in teaching and supervision of students involved in other child law classes. The Fellow will been couraged to develop independent areas of interest, consistent with the mission of the Child Law Policy Institute.

Criteria for Selection: Preference will be given to recent law school graduates with experience in legislative and policy research and analysis on the state and/or federal level and familiarity with the legislative process; a demonstrated interest in the field of child law; and an interest in pursuing a career in clinical law teaching. Candidates with at least two years of relevant experience are preferred.Must possess excellent communication and writing skills.

Selection Process: Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. The position will begin July 1, 2016. Applicants are asked to submit (1) a letter of interest describing the candidate’s reasons for applying for the fellowship, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) samples of scholarly or other written work, (4) a law school transcript, (5) two letters of recommendation, and (5)the names and contact information of up to three additional individuals prepared to provide professional references.

Applications may be submitted through Loyola University Chicago’s Careers website at: www.careers.luc.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=58764.

Inquiries should be directed to:Professor Anita Weinberg, Director, ChildLaw Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago, 25 E. Pearson,11th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60611, aweinbe@luc.edu.

ROSEN, BIEN & GALVAN, LLP – Associate Position (San Francisco, CA)

logo-rbggRosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, a San Francisco law firm specializing in complex trial and appellate litigation in both federal and state courts, seeks an attorney with two to five years of litigation or clerkship experience. We have a broad practice, including both public interest and private sector litigation. Key practice areas include business and commercial litigation, employment counseling and litigation, civil rights, white collar and government investigation, and First Amendment. More information about the firm can be found at our website, http://www.rbgg.com/.

 Excellent research and writing skills are essential. Applicants must be admitted to the California Bar, and ideally be available to start as soon as possible.

 Application due May 19, 2016. Please apply via e-mail to kvanzetti@rbgg.com, and include all of the following:  a cover letter addressed to the Managing Partner, Michael W. Bien, a resume, two writing samples, two or more references (including mailing address, email, and telephone number), and law school transcript. In your email, please also identify where or from whom you heard about this position. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. No phone calls please; our website will be updated when the position is filled.


wwh_tvSurging violence against transgender and gender nonconforming communities worldwide continue to force a record number of individuals to seek protection at U.S. borders and points of entry. Many of these people qualify for asylum based on past persecution, but encounter difficulties navigating the complex U.S. immigration system. The Benach Collopy Fellowship offers the opportunity for an outstanding law student to work side by side with transgender asylum seekers to vindicate their rights and access the legal process in a way that is supportive and affirming.

Under the supervision of expert asylum attorneys at the respected law firm of Benach Collopy and the Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services Program, the Fellow will represent transgender asylum seekers fleeing persecution based on gender identity. The fellow will work closely with clients at Benach Collopy LLP and Whitman-Walker Health, both located in Northwest DC. Whitman-Walker Health is a medical-legal partnership dedicated to providing appropriate trans-affirming services.

The Fellow will work directly with clients, carrying active caseloads for filing to USCIS and the Immigration Court under the supervision of experienced attorneys.

Submit all applications via email only to Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services Program Attn: Cori Alonso-Yoder, calonso-yoder@whitman-walker.org, with the subject line “Benach Collopy Fellowship Application.” Applications must include a cover letter, resume, and list of three professional references.Please describe your interest in the issues addressed by the Fellowship and specify your desired start and end dates.

Deadlines: Applications must be received by April 15, 2016.

Transgender, gender queer, and gender nonconforming individuals are encouraged to apply.

Save the date for Gov. Inslee’s Race & Equity Summit!

March 18: Workshop: Courageous Conversations About Race

liezl-and-kristine-300x200Being a leader in today’s world requires courage, the skill to build and sustain a range of relationships, and an ability to remain balanced and present to oneself. This workshop is intended for those who want to build their leadership capacity by engaging in some self-reflection and dialogue about race.

Specifically, this workshop will help you:

  • Develop clarity on how your socialization, internalized messages, and assumptions have shaped your views about race.
  • Practice the art of having courageous conversations about race.
  • Create the environment for everyone to be able to listen and be heard.
  • Gain awareness of our triggered responses during conversations about race.
  • Practice self-care techniques when feeling triggered to maintain strength and balance.

This workshop will be facilitated by two women of color and two white women. Because we are seeking a balance of participants, you will be asked your racial identity on the registration. Workshop size is limited to 30 people.

Date: Friday, March 18, 2016

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Centerstone, 722 – 18th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

Cost: $80. If you are from a grassroots organization and need a scholarship, please email LeAnne Moss at leanne@leadingfromheart.org(Space is limited to 30 participants, so sign up soon!)


Click here to register for the workshop. After you register you will be directed to PayPal. However, we are having some glitches with PayPal, so other payment options include:

  1. Mailing a check made out to Western States Center (our fiscal sponsor) to: Steve Mayes, WSC, P.O. Box 40305, Portland, OR  97240
  2. Emailing LeAnne Moss (leanne@leadingfromheart.org) to schedule a time to call and relay your credit card information.

April 4: Frank Pommersheim – 25 Years as a Tribal Appellate Justice

pommersheim2The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe invites you to join us for a talk entitled: Tribal Justice: 25 Years as a Tribal Appellate Justice.

Author & professor, Pommersheim, is the second annual Walter R. Echo-Hawk Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, a program which the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is proud to support. Professor Pommersheim writes extensively in the field of Indian Law and serves on a number of appellate courts throughout Indian country.

Pommersheim’s most recent publications include Tribal Justice: 25 years as a Tribal Appellate Justice and a poetry chapbook entitled Local Memory & Karma.

For more information click here. Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom at 7pm. Event is free and open to the public.

April 15: Gov. Inslee’s Race & Equity Summit

aboutjayOn April 15, Gov. Inslee will host his Race and Equity summit, bringing together groups and activists to discuss collaborative efforts on ensuring every Washingtonian has an equal and fair opportunity for success in our state.

For more information, please review the event’s schedule or registration page. 

WA Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Farmworkers Who Challenged Gun-toting Foreman’s Intimidating Practices

Washington Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Farmworkers Who Challenged Gun-toting Foreman’s Intimidating Practices

columbia20legal20servicesThe Washington Supreme Court today announced a unanimous decision in favor of Farmworkers who were threatened by a gun-toting foreman and fired after reporting his practice to law enforcement. The Court was tasked with answering two legal questions involving the definition of a “farm labor contractor” under Washington’s Farm Labor Contractor Act (FLCA) and whether the agribusiness defendants “knowingly” used the contractor. The Court answered both questions in the affirmative, supporting the Farmworkers.

 The class action lawsuit was filed in 2012, after a group of ten farmworkers alleged they were fired by their employer, NW Management and Realty Services, Inc. (NW Management), in retaliation for contacting authorities because their foreman was routinely displaying and shooting his gun in the orchards to intimidate the workers and cheat them of their wages. Several of the fired farmworkers had worked at the same orchards for more than a decade.

 In 2013, a federal judge awarded the class of 722 farmworkers $1,004,000 in damages against NW Management and the orchard owners, affiliates of the John Hancock Insurance company, for violations of state law protecting farm workers. Additional worker claims, including the retaliatory firing claims, were settled by the parties at the time. As a result of today’s decision, the case will return to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and, based on the Washington Supreme Court’s definitive ruling, the 2013 judgment is likely to be upheld and each worker will receive between $1,000 – $3,000 depending on how many seasons she or he worked.

Continue reading here

Application deadlines for scholarships extended!

Charles Z. Smith Scholarship – Application Deadline extended to April 1

mainThe Charles Z. Smith Scholarship honors Washington State Supreme Court Justice Charles Z. Smith for his commitment to promoting diversity for all people of color in the legal profession. Establishment of this scholarship recognizes that people of color, particularly African-Americans, are underrepresented in the legal profession and recognizes the pivotal role that effective legal advocacy plays in protecting the rights of minorities both individually and collectively. The recipient(s) will receive $500 to be applied towards their next quarter’s tuition and fees. 

To apply, applicants: (1) must be a student of color in the 1L class; (2) must submit 2 letters of recommendation reflecting the applicant’s demonstrated involvement with and commitment to servicing one or more of the ethnic specific communities. The letters of recommendation must disclose the applicant’s relationship to the recommending party and include an appraisal of the applicant’s commitment to the goal of the scholarship; (3) must have financial need (as determined by OSA); and (4) must submit a personal statement (not to exceed 500 words) describing the applicant’s demonstrated commitment and ties to the minority community. All application materials must be submitted to William H. Gates Hall Room 231 (Office of Admissions & Financial Aid) or via email to:lawadm@uw.edu by 5:00PM PST on April 1, 2016.

 Ralph W. Johnson American Indian Law Scholarship – Application Deadline extended  April 1

The Law School’s Native American Law Center was founded to carry on and expand the work of Professor Ralph W. Johnson. For forty-four years, Professor Johnson taught thousands of students at the UW Law School and provided direct assistance to the tribes in Washington State and across the nation. Professor Johnson’s scholarly work in the field of Indian Law is nationally known, his writings have been cited more than 300 times by the United States Supreme Court as well as by lower federal and state court judges. He was the first professor in the United States to teach a class in federal Indian law. It was in honor for Professor Johnson that his wife, Anne Johnson, established this scholarship for students with a demonstrated interest in studying and practicing American Indian law. 

This scholarship is open to all students and the recipient will be awarded $2,500. 

To apply, applicants must submit the following: (1) documentation of your tribal affiliation and/or descent; (2) a personal statement (not to exceed 500 words) describing your commitment and ties to the Native American community; and (3) one letter of recommendation (the recommender may send their recommendation directly via email to lawadm@uw.edu) describing and appraising your involvement in the Native American community and dedication to principles that further the interests of the community. All application materials (including the letter of recommendation) must be submitted to William H. Gates Hall, Room 231 (Office of Admissions & Financial Aid) by 5:00PM PST on April 1, 2016.

Right to sexual and reproductive health indivisible from other human rights – UN experts

25-08-2011humanrightsGENEVA (8 March 2016) – The right to sexual and reproductive health is not only an integral part of the general right to health but fundamentally linked to the enjoyment of many other human rights, including the rights to education, work and equality, as well as the rights to life, privacy and freedom from torture, and individual autonomy, UN experts have said in an authoritative new legal commentary*.

Yet, the experts from the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) note, “the full enjoyment of the right to sexual and reproductive health remains a distant goal for millions of people, especially for women and girls, throughout the world.”

The commentary, adopted by CESCR’s 18 independent members, highlights the numerous legal, procedural, practical and social barriers people face in accessing sexual and reproductive health care and information, and the resulting human rights violations.

“For example, lack of emergency obstetric care services or denial of abortion often lead to maternal mortality and morbidity, which in turn constitutes a violation of the right to life or security, and in certain circumstances, can amount to torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” the experts say in their commentary.

The experts’ guidelines, known as a General Comment, concern Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which refers to the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

“As a Committee we have spoken before about the right to health, but we thought that given, for example, high maternal mortality rates around the world or harmful practices that women and girls especially go through, like female genital mutilation and early child marriage, it was important to specifically address the issue of sexual and reproductive health,” said Committee member Heisoo Shin.

Continue reading here

New job opportunities…including some paid ones!


logoThe Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights (CLIHHR) is a leading global center for the study, teaching, and promotion of human rights.  Specifically, CLIHHR strengthens laws, norms and institutions to prevent mass atrocities, protect human rights and rebuild communities globally.

The summer internship program is ten (10) weeks long, and will begin on or around June 1, 2016.  Student interns are expected to attend training sessions on relevant skills to conduct the necessary legal and other research in furtherance of the project. It is based at the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights (CLIHHR) in New York, N.Y.  CLIHHR has stipends for two positions. The stipend for the summer is $5000.

 Applicants are expected to have strong legal research and writing skills. Students with prior knowledge of and/or a demonstrated interest in international human rights law or atrocity prevention are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information, click here


logo1The Department of Justice seeks attorney applicants for an Assistant Attorney General position in the Natural Resources Section of the General Counsel Division. This Portland – based position is represented by the Oregon Association of Justice Attorneys. This position offers a challenging and stimulating practice, and the opportunity to be involved in natural resource matters of great importance to Oregon. The successful applicant will be assigned to work with Oregon agencies on matters relating to the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, but may also have opportunities to work on other environmental and natural resources issues, depending on interest and experience. We seek applicants with demonstrated knowledge and practice experience working on federal and state environmental and natural resources legal matters. Applicants must be committed to working on matters involving federal and state cleanup laws, including CERCLA.

We seek an attorney with a strong work ethic, a commitment to public service, excellent academic credentials, strong advocacy and analytical ability, effective communication skills (both written and verbal), client counseling skills, the ability to work on a team that include both lawyers and non-lawyers, and the ability to work collaboratively with policy makers and stakeholders. Practice experience on environmental cleanup matters is preferred and a litigation background is desirable.

This position will be filled at either the Assistant Attorney General or Senior Assistant Attorney General level depending on experience and other factors. Questions regarding this position may be directed to Paul Garrahan, Attorney-in-Charge, Natural Resources Section, at 503-947-4520, or to Steven Wolf, Chief Counsel, General Counsel Division, at 503-947-4342.

A complete job description and application instructions are available at:


If you have questions about the application process or need assistance with the on-line process, please contact Jill Woods, 503-947-4329, jill.l.woods@doj.state.or.us.


2000px-seal_of_the_united_states_department_of_justice-svgThe Office of Immigration Litigation, District Court Section (OIL?DCS) is a highly active litigation section in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. OIL?DCS handles immigration matters at the district court level in any of the 94 federal district courts nationwide and provides centralized expertise on district court?related immigration matters. The section’s work spans complex are?as of federal law. OIL?DCS work frequently addresses questions of federal jurisdiction, statutory interpretation, administrative law, and constitutional law – all in the context of federal immigration law, regulations, and policy. Some DCS attorneys possess specialized expertise in specific subject areas, such as detention, employment?based immigration, denaturalization, and/or terrorism? related immigration issues. In addition to district court cases, OIL?DCS handles matters in the courts of appeals that arise from its district court cases. The District Court Section is one of the few sections within the Department of Justice in which an attorney can handle cases at both the trial and appellate levels.

Most of the OIL?DCS’s litigation responsibilities are defensive in nature. Immigration litigation defense consists of a wide range of individual and class action cases, including petitions for writs of habeas corpus, Administrative Procedure Act challenges to denials of immigration benefits, actions for declaratory or injunctive relief, mandamus actions, and constitutional claims. OIL?DCS also affirmatively files and prosecutes denaturalization cases.

For more information, click here


logo2This volunteer position is located in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Employment Complaints and Adjudication Division (ECAD).  DOI’s mission is to protect and manage the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage; provide scientific and other information about those resources; and honor its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities.  OCR is responsible for the development and enforcement of all civil rights and equal opportunity programs within DOI.  ECAD’s duties include: (1) adjudicating employment discrimination complaints filed against DOI by federal employees and applicants; (2) providing technical assistance and policy guidance to DOI Bureaus on all legal, administrative, and procedural matters concerning employment discrimination complaints; and (3) providing training to DOI employees, managers, and supervisors on their rights and responsibilities under applicable federal sector equal employment opportunity laws and statutes.  

The incumbent will perform the following duties under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney:  

  • Independently review and edit procedural dismissals and draft merit?based adjudications of employment discrimination complaints.  This entails analyzing evidence in a complaint file and report of investigation, conducting legal research, and writing a legal decision.   
  • Attend ECAD staff meetings, OCR staff meetings, and meetings with DOI Bureau EEO representatives.
  • Identify, monitor, and present significant developments in employment discrimination law.
  • Draft internal legal memoranda.

The incumbent must demonstrate not only superb analytical and legal writing skills, but also a familiarity with the Federal Rules of Evidence and EEO laws/policies/regulations.  

The position is located at DOI’s Headquarters, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20240, and requires a security clearance.  During the Fall and Spring semesters a minimum commitment of 15 hours per week is preferred, and during the Summer a commitment of 40 hours per week is preferred.

For more information, click here.


2000px-seal_of_the_united_states_department_of_justice-svgThe Office of International Affairs (OIA) solicits applications from energetic, organized, and detail-oriented first year (second semester), second? and third?year law students (L), undergraduate students (UG), and graduate students (G) to fill intern/extern openings. Unpaid positions are available during academic semesters and summers. Many interns/externs receive academic credit for their experience. OIA works with criminal prosecutors in the United States to secure the return of fugitives from abroad and to obtain from foreign countries evidence and other assistance (e.g. freezing of accounts and forfeiture of funds) needed in criminal investigations and prosecutions. OIA assists federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement agents pursuant to a network of bilateral and multilateral treaties and law enforcement agreements.

In turn, OIA assures that the United States meets its reciprocal obligations to foreign countries by responding to their requests for the extradition of fugitives and the production of evidence located in the United States. In addition to handling the thousands of international extradition and evidence gathering (mutual assistance) cases opened each year, OIA, with the Department of State, is responsible for the negotiation of law enforcement treaties, both bilateral and multilateral, needed to effect extradition and facilitate evidence gathering. When treaties come into force, OIA is responsible for working with treaty partners on an ongoing basis to assure the effective implementation of these important agreements.

For more information, click here


ueUnited Educators (UE) is seeking a rising 2L or 3L as a Legal Intern in its Claims Department for summer 2016.  This is a full-time, paid, 12-week internship.

UE is the pre-eminent provider of liability insurance and risk management services to educational institutions.  Founded in 1987 as a risk retention group, UE is owned and governed by the nearly 1,300 educational institutions (public and private universities, colleges, independent and public K-12 schools, and community colleges) it insures.  

The intern will assist in all aspects of claims handling.  The Claims Department is made up of claims attorneys and claims analysts who manage the defense strategy and resolution of lawsuits and other claims brought against the educational institutions insured under UE’s policies.  Our cases involve higher education legal issues, traditional employment and general liability matters, and insurance coverage analysis.  Please see our website (www.ue.org) for more information on our organization and the services we provide.

For more information, click here

KIND Seattle Seeking AmeriCorps JD Member Law Student Intern

zuno-client-kindKIND’s Seattle office is seeking a Law Student AmeriCorps JD Member for KIND’s Seattle office. The AmeriCorps JD Member will assist the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow with providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in immigration proceedings. KIND’s strong preference is for the intern to begin the internship during Summer 2016.

AmeriCorps JD students will serve 450 hours supporting attorneys and paralegals engaged in this effort. Students will conduct legal screenings, country conditions research, and legal analysis to support the claims of unaccompanied children placed in removal proceedings. They will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced staff and gain in-depth understanding of this complex and cutting-edge area of law.

Spanish fluency is required.

The internship will provide students with an opportunity to practice their client interviewing and counseling skills, and gain familiarity with the substance and procedure of immigration law.

For more information, click here (jAC Student Announcement_FINAL[2])

Join UW Law alum Nikkita Oliver and WA State Supreme Court Justice González for a conversation about race, justice, & democracy

March 22: Race, Justice & Democracy: Where Do We Stand? A Town Hall Event

town-hall-seattle-logoTuesday, March 22, 7:30pm, Town Hall Seattle (1119 Eighth Avenue)

Free but Registration Required

Seattle has a reputation as a progressive city, but when it comes to matters of race and justice how progressive is it? How do we view the activist voices of Black Lives Matter? As the Seattle Police Department operates under a Justice Department Consent Decree, is there progress being made in building trust with communities of color? What kind of leadership do we need to break down the barriers of institutional racism? This discussion will tackle these and other questions with a prominent panel of local speakers and the audience. Confirmed panel members include: Nikkita Oliver, lawyer, poet, and Seattle Black Lives Matter activist; Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven González; and Marcus Green, executive director of the South Seattle Emerald. KCTS 9’s Enrique Cerna will moderate the conversation. It will be live streamed and taped for broadcast.

March 17: Are You Drowning in Education Debt? Don’t miss your chance to access a free interactive webinar hosted by Equal Justice Works.

equal_justice_works_logo Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PST: Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness

 Whether you’re a student, have already graduated, work as an advisor or are a public interest employer, there’s a lot to know about borrowing, entering repayment and earning forgiveness. EJW free webinars provide you with the in-depth information you need about programs like income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness to help you manage your student debt and control your career and financial future.

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4214606562194398465

April 13: Right to Unity documentary showing!

rtu20bannerNow is an important time for the Supreme Court. Earlier this year, the Court heard oral arguments in Friedrichs v. CTA, which threatens workers’ rights to organize in effective unions. Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing means the Court will decide Friedrichs with only eight justices. The fight over filling the Supreme Court vacancy comes at a critical time in the history of the Court, the law, and our nation. Join us for a special screening of The Right to Unite, our short film highlighting the importance of unions through the stories of two home healthcare workers. Following the film will be a discussion about Friedrichs and the future of the Supreme Court.

Refreshments will be provided

Wednesday, April 13 (Reception 6:00pm | Program 6:30pm)

RSVP Today!
SEIU 775, 215 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104

Did You Miss the February 23 Social Justice Tuesday on Overcoming Implicit Bias? Attended but Would Love Access to Resources and Slides?

Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Launch of the Indian Affairsc2016 Student Leadership Summer Institute for Native Students

idc1-032877WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen-I”)initiative to remove barriers to success for Native Youth,Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced the launch of the 2016 Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, a paid 10-week summer internship program with the agency that begins in early June.  The Institute will provide American Indian and Alaska Native post-secondary students with a unique opportunity to learn about federal policymaking and develop management and leadership skills within high-profile offices throughout the Indian Affairs organization.  Roberts made the announcement at the National Congress of American Indians’ “Tribal Nations Legislative Summit 114th Congress Executive Council” meeting.

“Indian Affairs is excited to offer the Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, which will provide opportunities for Native students to gain experience and leadership skills to help serve Indian Country,” Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts said.  “Under the President’s Gen-I initiative we are privileged to provide learning opportunities for the next generation of Native leaders, and believe that this program is a chance to help our young people gain valuable experience that will serve them well throughout the rest of their careers.”

Continue reading here

Did You Miss the February 23 Social Justice Tuesday on Overcoming Implicit Bias? Attended but Would Love Access to Resources and Slides?

Joy WilliamsOnce we recognize that society repeatedly exposes us to unconsciously absorbable stereotypes, what can we do to counteract these biases? Check out the overview of strategies for groups and individuals seeking to move beyond the hidden assumptions, judgments and uncomfortable behaviors that flow from implicit bias. Presented by Joy Williams, Diversity Program Manager and Interim Co-Associate Director of the Washington State Bar Association Advancement Department.

Continue reading here (Joy Williams Overcoming Implicit Bias[1])


equal_justice_works_logoThis year, Equal Justice Works’ National Advisory Committee is presenting awards to law students at Equal Justice Works member schools in eight regions who have a demonstrated commitment to public interest law and pro bono work.

The Equal Justice Works Public Interest Awards seek to identify and honor law students who have provided extraordinary service through law school clinics, volunteer work, internships, and/or extracurricular projects. Recipients will be honored during an Award Ceremony with a commemorative plaque and $250.

Applications are currently open through March 31, 2016. Please find the application here as well as a list of our member schools divided into eight regions. If you have any questions, please email us at students@equaljusticeworks.org.

Toolkit on the Inter-American human rights system for indigenous women

pages20from20interamerican20women20toolkit-insetAbout this Toolkit

In order for the Inter-American human rights system to adequately recognise, protect and fulfil the human rights of indigenous women, it is necessary for indigenous women to engage with the system, to make their voices heard and to tell their stories with all their complexities. This toolkit, which contains a series of information notes explaining different aspects of the Inter-American system, is designed to help indigenous women and their advocates to use the system effectively.

It is the result of a collective effort by indigenous women from Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay, among other countries. They have worked together for many years to raise awareness about the opportunities offered by the Inter-American human rights system with regard to the rights of indigenous women.

Continue reading here (http://www.forestpeoples.org/topics/inter-american-human-rights-system/publication/2015/toolkit-inter-american-human-rights-syste)