Looking to Fund Your Summer Internship in Civil Legal Aid? Check Out Funding Opportunities with the Curtin Justice Fund

Will You be Working with Low-Income Communities this Summer Providing Civil Legal Aid Assistance? Looking for Some Summer Funding?

ABA Logo

PILA is not the only game in town! The Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program is seeking motivated law student interns to apply for stipends available for summer 2016. The Program will pay a $2,500 stipend to three law school students who spend the summer months working for a bar association or legal services program designed to prevent homelessness or assist homeless or indigent clients or their advocates. The ideal intern will have a demonstrated interest in public interest law and experience working with poor people or on issues affecting them. All law students are eligible, and first year law students are encouraged to apply. The application deadline for Summer 2016 is Monday, March 28, 2016.

For more information and the application package, click here. 

Updated Inter-American Commission Report Reviews Gender Equality, Women’s Rights Standards

IJRC Logo

By: International Justice Resource Center

Containing references to relevant IACHR’s merits decisions and thematic and country reports, judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), and provisions of regional instruments such as the American Convention on Human Rights, American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and Convention of Belém do Pará, the report is a comprehensive examination of the standards of the Inter-American human rights system. SeeIACHR, Legal Standards: Gender Equality and Women’s Rights(2015), para. 10.

The Commission welcomed reforms concerning gender equality and women’s rights in Member States and called on them to continue their efforts to improve the situation. However, it also stressed that in spite of these efforts, there are still numerous human rights problems women experience in the Americas, including various forms of violence against women, and discrimination across a wide range of rights and spheres. See id. at paras. 2-15.

Continue reading here.

Department of Justice Issues New Guidance on Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement

DOJ Logo

By: American Civil Liberties Union

The guidance was announced today, Dec. 15, 2015, by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and was a joint effort by the following offices in the Department of Justice: the Office on Violence Against Women, the Civil Rights Division, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

Purpose of the Guidance: In partnership with law enforcement leaders and advocates for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, DOJ issued the guidance to explain how gender bias can undermine police response to sexual assault and domestic violence and provide a set of principles that, when integrated into police policies, trainings, and practices, will help ensure that police efforts to keep victims safe and perpetrators accountable are not undermined by gender bias.

Today, DOJ issued ground-breaking guidance to law enforcement, aimed at combating gender discrimination in how police address domestic violence and sexual assault. The guidance explains how gender-biased policing is a significant civil rights issue. By issuing the guidance, DOJ is broadening the discussion about policing practices to include a focus on how women and LGBT individuals, particularly survivors of domestic and sexual violence, can be impacted by discriminatory policing.

For the DOJ press release, click here.

For the Guidance, click here.

Attention 1Ls and 2Ls! UW-Exclusive Paid Internship Opportunity! Check Out the Environmental Law Institute in Washington DC!

US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children) Seeking Immigrant Children’s Legal Program Intern, Monthly Stipend Available, Due 1/5/2016

USCRI Logo

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), a non-governmental, not-for-profit national organization dedicated to addressing the needs and rights of refugees and immigrants, seeks interns to provide support to USCRI’s Immigrant Children’s Legal Program (formerly the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children). Our office is located in Crystal City, part of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

The Immigrant Children’s Legal Program (ICLP) assists undocumented immigrant children ages 0-18 who are in removal proceedings. ICLP screens children for eligibility for legal relief from deportation; recruits and trains volunteer attorneys; and matches children with attorneys.

For more information, click here.

UW Exclusive – Paid Summer Position with the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC, Due 1/11/2016

ELI Logo

With the generous sponsorship of Marten Law, UW Law is pleased to once again announce an exclusive clerkship position with the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C. for the summer of 2016.  The position description and application procedure are explained in the attached flyer.

Founded in 1969, the Environmental Law Institute is one of the nation’s leading environmental law and policy organizations.  ELI may be the most widely respected national voice dedicated exclusively to environmental law: they are non-partisan, do not lobby, and do not litigate.  Their work spans the globe.  Located in D.C., ELI hosts a rich variety of summer programs that are magnificent opportunities for learning and national networking.

This extraordinary position is open only to 2Ls and exceptional 1Ls currently enrolled at UW Law.  Please send application materials to toddw2@uw.edu by January 11, 2016 for joint review by UW environmental law faculty and ELI.

For more information, click here.

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! Pride Law Fund Tom Steel Post-Graduate Fellowship – Fellowship Sponsor 2016, Due 1/15/2016

Pride Law Fund Logo

The Tom Steel Post-Graduate Fellowship provides funding for a new lawyer to work in the United States on an innovative, public interest law project that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The Fellowship will help ensure that unmet legal needs are recognized and prioritized on an on-going basis, and that the next generation of legal advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community develops the critical skills necessary to secure civil rights into the future. The Steel Fellowship is the first fellowship of its kind anywhere in the country.

Pride Law Fund seeks to fund “cutting edge” projects with the potential to make a lasting impact. Persons are eligible to apply if they are law students eligible to graduate in the Spring semester, or are lawyers within three years of their graduation from law school.

For more information, click here.

Paid Summer Internship! American Bar Section of Antitrust Law Seeking Applications for 2016 Steiger Fellowship Project, Due 1/15/2016

ABA Logo

The Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project provides law students the extraordinary opportunity to work in the consumer protection departments of state and territorial Offices of Attorneys General throughout the United States. The eight?ten week paid Fellowships were initiated in 2004 by the ABA Section of Antitrust Law, in cooperation with the National Association of Attorneys General, as a consumer protection outreach initiative to introduce law students to the rewards of legal careers in public service.

The first and second year law students who have served as Steiger Fellows have characterized their experiences as truly rewarding, often well beyond their expectations. A number of students have said that for the first time they are considering law careers in public service, and several have already entered public service upon graduation.

Each of the highly motivated Steiger Fellows provides tangible, meaningful assistance to states and territories that are in substantial need of additional resources to fulfill their consumer protection mission. Offices that have hosted Steiger Fellows in the past have characterized the Fellows’ work as exemplary, and have often described the students as some of the most talented interns the offices have ever attracted.

For more information, click here.

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, Immigration Litigation Seeks Summer 2016 Volunteer Legal Intern/Extern, Due 1/15/2016

DOJ Logo

The Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL) – Appellate Section coordinates Federal immigration litigation nationwide, and has both an appellate and a district court section. OIL Appellate defends the administrative decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals,involving removal orders and denials of applications for relief before the Federal Courts of Appeals.

Must be a rising 2L by the start date of the internships. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Be a United States citizen and is required to have a background investigation. Be able to commit a minimum of 30-40 hours per week for 10-12 continuous weeks. Demonstrate interest in immigration or appellate law. Show strong research and writing skills.

Students will be assigned to one of OIL’s litigation teams where they will: draft appellate briefs in asylum and cancellation of removal cases and dispositive motions; write case summaries for weekly litigation reports; attend “First Cuts” meetings; and conduct legal research and prepare memoranda.For the summer semester, we require that interns work full?time, 35?40 hours, for a minimum period of 10-12 weeks.

For more information, click here.

American Bar Association of Litigation Now Accepting Summer 2016 Judicial Intern Opportunity Program Applications, Due 1/4/2016

ABA Logo

The American Bar Association Section of Litigation will begin accepting applications for its Summer 2016 Judicial Intern Opportunity Program on November 9. Applications for first-year law students will be accepted December 1, 2015, in accordance with NALP guidelines. The program is a full-time (32 hours per week), six-week minimum, summer internship program open to all first- or second-year diverse law students.

The mission of the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program is to provide opportunities to students who are members of racial and ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the profession. The program also provides opportunities to students with disabilities, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students who identify themselves as LGBT.

Participating judges are from Phoenix, AZ; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA (including Camden, NJ); New York, NY; and Seattle, WA. Internships are also available in several cities in California, Illinois and Texas.

Students may indicate geographic location preferences on their applications, but may not request particular judges or courts. Interns will receive an award of $2,000.

Internships for students with an Intellectual Property Law focus will be offered in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Students can indicate their interest on their applications. These specialized spots are limited and any student applying to the program with a request for specialization will also be considered for general litigation internships.

Please review detailed program information or frequently asked questions prior to applying to the program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until January 4, 2016. Early applications are encouraged.

Attention 3Ls! 2016 Honors Fellowship Opportunity with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of General Counsel, Due 2/1/2016

EPA Logo

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is the chief legal advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal agency with primary responsibility for implementing the nation’s environmental laws.

This is a highly competitive two-year fellowship to start in September 2016. The key objectives are to provide recent law school graduates with the opportunity to practice public sector general or environmental law and to provide OGC with highly motivated, talented, and diverse entry-level lawyers who are interested in a variety of legal work on cutting-edge administrative and environmental law issues. The effectiveness of EPA’s legal responsibilities depends upon the recruitment and hiring of excellent and diverse legal talent. We recognize the need for attorneys and legal interns of varied backgrounds and skills and offer an inclusive environment that relies on those diverse perspectives to ensure that we effectively serve the American people. Students who participate in our programs will experience a new era of outreach and protection for communities historically underrepresented in EPA decision-making. The Agency is building strong working relationships with tribes, communities of color, economically distressed cities and towns, young people and others, but this is just a start. Therefore, we want to make sure we are recruiting the best, the brightest and most diverse EPA ever and ensure EPA is a place for people who are talented, smart, and passionate about protecting the environment.

For more information, click here.

Center for Democracy & Technology Seeking Tech Law & Policy Intern, Due 3/15/2016

CDT Logo

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is currently accepting applications for unpaid internships in Summer 2016.

Summer interns work closely with CDT policy experts, technologists, and attorneys on an array of civil liberties and international human rights issues related to technology and the Internet, including online free expression, electronic surveillance, digital copyright, cybersecurity, Internet governance, and consumer privacy.

Law students and recent J.D. and LL.M. graduates can contribute to CDT’s work by conducting legal and policy research, drafting reports and legal analyses, assisting in the preparation of testimony, presentations, legislative proposals and briefs, and creating online educational resources.

For more information, click here.

Advances in Transgender Rights in Vietnam! Parliament Adopts New Legislation

Vietnam: Positive Step for Trangsender Rights – Vietnamese Parliament Adopts New Transgender Legislation

HRW

By: Human Rights Watch

On November 24, 2015, the Vietnamese National Assembly approved a bill to legalize sex reassignment surgery and to introduce the right to legal gender recognition for transgender people who have undergone such surgery.

The law allows people who wish to undergo gender affirming surgeries to do so in Vietnamrather than abroad, and to subsequently change the gender marker on their official documents. This constitutes a small, but significant step toward recognition of transgender people’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today.

Continue reading here.

Thousands Mourn Kurdish Human Rights Lawyer Killed in Turkey

Photo of Thousands Mourning at Tahir Elci Funeral

By: Ayla Albayarak | Wall Street Journal | Photo credit: Reuters

Tens of thousands of mourners gathered on Sunday to bid farewell to a prominent human rights lawyer whose shooting death delivered a setback to hopes of bringing an end to months of political violence that has swept through Turkey’s Kurdish region.

Tahir Elci, one of Turkey’s leading advocates for Kurdish rights, was killed Saturday after making an appeal for an end to clashes between Kurdish militants and state security forces.

Mr. Elci was shot during a clash on a narrow street in Diyarbakir, the Kurdish majority city in southeastern Turkey that has been one of the central battlegrounds for renewed clashes since a two-year-old cease-fire collapsed in July.

Continue reading here.

Employers and Workers Grapple with Laws Allowing Marijuana Use

ABA Logo

By: G.M. Filisko | ABA Journal

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court was the ultimate buzzkill.

When the state’s residents passed a referendum in 2012 legalizing recreational marijuana use—long after the state sanctioned medical use in 2000—few had any idea that Coloradans who partook in the bud would end up jeopardizing their livelihood.

That’s exactly what the court permitted inCoats v. Dish Network. The case pitted a quadriplegic licensed to use medical marijuana against his employer. The court held the state’s “lawful activities statute,” which generally prohibits employers from firing employees for engaging in lawful activities off the job, applied only to activities lawful under Colorado and federal law. Because marijuana is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, its use isn’t lawful—and can remain a valid basis for termination in the state.

Continue reading here.

Supreme Court Ruling Could Spark More Unintentional-Discrimination Cases

Eva Paterson

By: Stephanie Francis Ward | ABA Journal | Photo of Eva Paterson; Photo credit: Eva Paterson

A recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion that addressed unconscious discrimination in a low-income housing case could have far-reaching effects on future civil rights and criminal cases involving implicit bias.

The June 2015 opinion (PDF) dealt with a claim against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. It alleged that the department disproportionately gave tax credits to developers of low-income housing in minority inner-city Dallas neighborhoods, while denying the credits in suburbs with large white populations. The Inclusive Communities Project brought the case, alleging that the state agency’s actions led to segregated housing, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Continue reading here.

 

Attention 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls! Paid Internships Available with NHeLP and Center for Food Safety!

Attention Rising 3Ls! National Health Law Program Seeking Spitzer Summer Intern, Paid Position

NHELP Logo

The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) is pleased to announce the Spitzer Summer Internship Program in honor of immediate past Executive Director Emily Spitzer.

NHeLP seeks rising 3L students who have a proven and demonstrated commitment to social justice and an interest in working toward the expansion and protection of health care access for low-income and underserved populations.

Spitzer Interns will work closely with NHeLP staff attorneys who are among the most experienced, knowledgeable, and respected health law advocates in the nation. NHeLP attorneys work collaboratively across offices and all engage in the primary work of the organization – providing high quality advice and support to state-based health lawyers, administration officials, and policy makers. All of our offices engage in federal administrative advocacy, litigation, and state-based advocacy, however opportunities to participate in litigation may be greater in our Carrboro, NC office, opportunities to work on California state policy may be greater in Los Angeles and opportunities to work on national policy may be greater in Washington, DC.

For more information, click here.

Attention 2Ls and 3Ls! The Consumer Protection Branch of the United States Department of Justice Seeks Legal Interns, Applications Reviewed on a Rolling Basis

DOJ

The Consumer Protection Branch is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and economic security of the American consumer. Based in Washington, D.C., the Consumer Protection Branch leads the Justice Department’s efforts to enforce federal consumer protection statutes throughout the United States.

Legal interns works closely with trial attorneys on substantive assignments, including draft pleadings and motions; legal research projects and memos; trial preparation; and attend hearings and case meetings. Interns are assigned an Attorney Mentor in the office and have the opportunity to attend presentations by CPB attorneys about recent cases, in addition to Justice Departmentwide training programs and special intern events.

To apply, 2L and 3L students should submit a cover letter, resume, transcript and writing sample to: CPB.lawintern@USDOJ.gov.

Include in the subject line of your message: “Law Intern Application – [Last Name]”

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications for future terms welcome. Selected candidates must undergo a background investigation.

National Employment Law Project Seeking 2016 Summer Legal Intern, Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis

NELP Logo

The National Employment Law Project (www.nelp.org) is a non‐profit research and advocacy organization that partners with national, state and local allies – including community groups, immigrant advocacy organizations, worker centers, unions, faith-based organizations, policy makers and think tanks – to develop and promote policies and programs that create good jobs and enforce hard-won worker rights. NELP is one of the country’s leading workers’ rights organizations, developing innovative policy models, conducting research and education, supporting worker organizing, and engaging in strategic communications.

With a staff of lawyers, social scientists, and policy experts, NELP’s approach is to work in close partnership with grassroots organizing groups and reformers to test new models in the states and cities and translate them to the federal level, in order to respond to the key problems of the U.S. labor market in the twenty‐first century.

For more information, click here.

Attention Recent Grads! Neighborhood Legal Services Programs Seeking Staff Attorney for Housing and Community Redevelopment

Neighborhood Legal Services Program

Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP), a private, non-profit law firm that provides high quality civil legal services to low-income residents of the District of Columbia, seeks a Staff Attorney who will focus on implementing a project to prevent loss of home ownership in DC’s Deanwood neighborhood. The Staff Attorney should have at least two years of housing law experience (law school clinical experience may count), be passionate about achieving justice and overcoming barriers facing low-income people, a creative and zealous lawyer and a team-player, committed to achieving lasting results for clients and low-income communities. This is a grant-funded project that currently is funded for one year.

For more information, click here.

Center for Food Safety Seeking Summer 2016 Law Clerk, Paid Position

Center for Food Safety Logo

Center for Food Safety (CFS) is a nonprofit public interest and environmental advocacy organization that works to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.

CFS is seeking motivated law clerks interested in doing meaningful litigation and policy work on behalf of the public and the environment. Specific issues include, for example, genetic engineering, pesticides, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs, or factory farms), aquaculture, organics, and food labeling. Clerks’ responsibilities vary each year but typically include performing legal research, drafting pleadings, attending hearings, drafting comments and petitions to submit to administrative agencies, and supporting attorneys in litigation. Clerks are also expected to do minor administrative tasks as needed. Law clerks work closely with attorneys and staff, and are able to gain practical litigation and policy experience in a small nonprofit setting.

For more information, click here.

Attention 1Ls and 2Ls! Center for Children’s Law and Policy in DC Seeking Academic Year Intern/Extern and 2016 Summer Legal Intern

CCLP Logo

The Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) seeks first- and second-year law student applicants for its summer internship program and academic year internships and externships. CCLP is a public interest law and policy organization focused on reform of juvenile justice and other systems that affect troubled and at-risk children, and protection of the rights of children in those systems.  The Center’s work covers a range of activities including research, writing, public education, media advocacy, training, technical assistance, administrative and legislative advocacy, and litigation. Based in Washington, DC, the Center’s staff work with federal, state, and local officials throughout the country on a range of issues that include reducing the unnecessary incarceration of youth, promoting racial and ethnic justice, and eliminating dangerous and inhumane conditions in facilities that house children.

For more information about the academic internship/externship, click here.

For more information about the summer internship, click here.

HomeBase – Center for Common Concerns Seeking Legal Intern

HomeBase Logo

HomeBase is California’s public policy law firm on homelessness. Our purpose is to end homelessness, prevent its recurrence and decrease its effect on communities. Our approach is two-fold:identifying and analyzing the causes of homelessness and developing and implementing long-term solutions that remove thesecauses. We work with service providers, local communities and public and non-profit sectors to implement these solutions. HomeBase has an available internship opportunity for a law studentinterested in homelessness, housing, and health care in a publicpolicy, non-profit and/or administrative law setting. This unpaid internship is a great opportunity for a law student interested in homelessness and housing in a public policy and/or administrative law framework. We work with local, state, and federal governmentsto impact regulations, funding, and programming related to the myriad of issues faced by persons experiencing homelessness. We provide technical assistance to local non-profit service providersactively addressing the needs of the most vulnerable members of the communities we serve. Our method is to collaborate with policymakers to create local strategic plans, develop appropriate implementation mechanisms, monitor progress and outcomes, andseek out best practices for replication.

For more information, click here.

American Bar Association Section of Litigation Now Accepting Summer 2016 Judicial Intern Applications

ABA Logo

The American Bar Association Section of Litigation will begin accepting applications for its Summer 2016 Judicial Intern Opportunity Program on November 9. Applications for first-year law students will be accepted December 1, 2015, in accordance with NALP guidelines. The program is a full-time (32 hours per week), six-week minimum, summer internship program open to all first- or second-year diverse law students.

The mission of the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program is to provide opportunities to students who are members of racial and ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the profession. The program also provides opportunities to students with disabilities, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students who identify themselves as LGBT.

 

For more information, click here.

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! 2016-2017 Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program Applications Now Available, Due 12/1

RFJP Logo

Fired up about social justice issues like immigration, LGBTQ rights, and racial justice, and how they intersect with reproductive rights and justice?  Want to get hands on training in federal or state law and policy and rub elbows with and learn from leading advocates in the field?

Then consider submitting an application for the 2016-17 Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program (RJFP). The program runs from the end of August 2016 through August 2017.

RJ Federal Fellows will be placed at nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. to help advance reproductive justice through law and policy. Fellows in our pilot RJ State Program will be matched with one of two joint placements: New Voices For Reproductive Justice & Women’s Law Project, in Pittsburgh, PA, or Legal Voice & Surge NW, in Seattle, WA.

For more information, click here.

Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard Invites Applications for One-Year Postdoctoral Fellowship, Due 12/1

Mahindra Humanities Center

The Mahindra Humanities Center invites applications for one-year postdoctoral fellowships in connection with the Center’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation seminar on the topic of violence and non-violence. The call to arms and the politics of non-violent resistance are often represented as polarities. There are, however, many gray areas that define the dialectical relationship between violence and non-violence. The Mellon seminar, in which the postdoctoral fellows play a central role, explores a different dimension of the interrelationship between violence and non-violence—as disciplinary formation, historical event, ideological or ethical discourse—each year.

Following on the themes of war (2014-15) and everyday violence (2015-16), the seminar will focus on slow violence in 2016-17.

We intend to focus on practices and processes of violence involved in large-scale historical and political transformations. The ongoing, incremental processes of slow violence may be manifested in the degradation of social and economic structures, the violation of cultural forms and practices, and the fraying of ethical and political systems. Slow violence endangers the security and sustainability of the quality of life.

For more information, click here.

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Seeks Fellowship Lawyer, Due 12/1

AFL-CIO Logo

The Legal Department of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (“AFL CIO”) is offering a one year fellowship beginning in September 2016. The fellowship offers an excellent opportunity for recent law school graduates to work with experienced union-side lawyers on a wide variety of issues.

The Legal Department works on a wide range of litigation, policy, regulatory and legislative matters, and assists with organizing campaigns, corporate governance issues, and other AFL CIO initiatives. The Legal Department also administers the Lawyers Coordinating Committee, a national organization of union side attorneys, which issues various publications and holds educational conferences on a regular basis.

For more information, click here.

The Average Number of Legal Problems Per Low-Income Household Has Tripled Over the Last Decade

New Report: 2015 Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study Update Reveals Troubling Justice Gap

Equal Justice Coalition Logo

By: Equal Justice Coalition 

SEATTLE — Oct. 29, 2015 — A Washington Supreme Court commissioned statewide survey of more than 1,600 low-income Washingtonians discovered that seven of ten low-income individuals and families in Washington State face at least one significant civil legal problem each year, and the average number of problems per low-income household has tripled over the last decade.

Despite the growing number of civil legal problems that often implicate their most basic needs, the vast majority of low-income Washingtonians do not receive the legal help they need to solve these problems. More than three-quarters of those with civil legal problems struggle without a lawyer or any type of legal help.

Continue reading here.

Free CLE for ABA Members: From Montgomery to Ferguson and Baltimore, Lawyers as Agents of Change: The Role of the Law in the Long Arc of Justice

ABA Logo

Monday, November 16, 2015
1:00 PM – 2:35 PM ET

1.5 General CLE Credits

Webinar
List price $195
ABA Member Price FREE

In this month’s ABA Free CLE Series, join us as we:

  • Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Explore the role of lawyers and the judiciary as a participant in resolving social conflicts

Speakers
Nicole Austin-Hillery | Director and Counsel | The Brennan Center For Justice | Washington, DC
Sheila Y. Thomas | Attorney at Law | Law Offices of Sheila Thomas | Oakland, CA
Stephen F. Hanlon | Adjunct Professor | Saint Louis University School of Law | St. Louis, MO

Moderator
Paulette Brown
President | American Bar Association

Register online here.

Seminar Promotes Access to Justice for the Deaf

Deaf Seminar - Photo credit David Keane

By: Sean O’Riodan | Irish Examiner | Photo credit David Keane

“We can learn a lot from the experiences shared by the members of the Irish deaf community who participated in this research,” said Ms Harold.

“One of the most significant findings is the need to improve communication awareness amongst those who assist and support Deaf victims of crime, in order to make their services more accessible.”

Ms Harold, who has been funded by Irish Research Council to explore deaf people’s experiences as victims of crime and their interaction with the criminal justice process, said the event was very worthwhile.

Continue reading here.

For Non-U.S. Citizens, Early Release from Prison Means Swift Deportation

By: Pamela Constable | Washington Post | Photo credit: Washington Post

prisoner family photo

Nearly one in three of the inmates being released from U.S. prisons this month as part of an effort to roll back harsh drug sentences will not be returning to the states and cities where they were arrested.

Instead, they are being deported.

They are non-U.S. citizens, who in many cases were in this country legally when they were caught selling drugs and given long sentences under the “mandatory minimum” laws that grew out of the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic.

Like the rest of the 6,000 prisoners selected for the U.S. Prison Bureau’s largest-ever mass release, each has been found by a judge not to be a threat to society. But every one of the non-citizens in the group had either received final deportation orders from immigration judges or was being reviewed for deportation before the mass release was planned, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

Continue reading here.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules that Smoking Pot is a Fundamental Human Right

Demonstraters Protest

By: Christopher Ingraham | Washington Post | Photo Credit: Alex Cruz/European Press Photo Agency

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled 4-to-1 Wednesday that outlawing the possession and use of the marijuana plant represents a violation of fundamental human rights. While the ruling does not mean that marijuana is now legal in the country — it only applies to the four plaintiffs in this specific case — it gives a tremendous amount of political space for lawmakers to introduce marijuana reform bills at the state and federal level in Mexico.

“It’s really a monumental case,” said Hannah Hetzer of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug reform advocacy group, in an interview. “It was argued on human rights grounds, which is unusual, and it’s taking place in Mexico, the epicenter of some of the worst effects of the war on drugs.”

Continue reading here.

Attentions Law Students! Limited Funding Available for Equal Justice Works Career Fair! Apply Now!

Equal Justice Works Career Fair Limited Funding Support for UW Law Students

EJW Logo

As noted in the CommonGoodUW.org blog, UW Law students can request up to $450 in reimbursement for the cost of attending the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair October 23-24, 2015 in Arlington, VA.  Priority in selection will be given to students who have secured interviews and to 3Ls.

Application Procedure & Deadlines for UW Law:

To apply for funding please email Dean Storms at mestorms@uw.edu and provide a resume and a brief written statement describing why EJW career fair attendance will be useful for you. If you have applied for or secured an interview during the career fair please include this information.

Monday, October 5, 5:00 p.m.: deadline to apply for travel funding

Friday, October 9, noon: students to be notified of funding awards

Please note: the stipend will reimburse up to $450 of documented travel expenses.  Receipts are strictly required.

The Return of the Debtor’s Prison

Empty Pockets

By Anthony D. Romero | Huffington Post | Photo Credit to Huffington Post

The debtors’ prison was supposed to be a thing of the past–a relic of the colonial era that was outlawed by the United States government nearly two centuries ago. More recently, the Supreme Court ruled that jailing people who lack the means to pay criminal justice fines or fees–a modern-day form of debtors’ prison–is unconstitutional. Ultimately, debtors’ prisons are not only illegal, they are counterproductive: incarceration strains limited public resources and can have devastating consequences on the lives of the poor.

Nonetheless, in the wake of the recent economic recession, cash-strapped state and local governments have aggressively targeted poor individuals who have already served their criminal sentences. The March 2015 U.S. Justice Department’s report on Ferguson, Missouri, provides a horrifying glimpse of what can happen when governments treat the poor as mere revenue sources.

Continue reading here.

Establishing the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable

UN Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

By Director Lisa Foster of the Office for Access to Justice

“Providing meaningful access to justice is a national responsibility and a moral charge.  I am delighted by President Obama’s action to expand legal aid resources for Americans in need, and excited for all that the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable will achieve as it works to advance opportunity, promote equality, and ensure justice for all.” – Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch

What do 20 federal agencies, the United Nations, and civil legal aid have in common?  Plenty, according to President Obama who recently issued a presidential memorandum formally establishing the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (LAIR).  The presidential memorandum was announced by Roy Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity as well as Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations at an event held on the eve of the UN’s Sustainable Development Summit in New York.  The event highlighted the inclusion of Goal 16 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Goal 16 calls for the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, for access to justice for all and for the building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.  With Goal 16, the international community has recognized that access to justice is essential to sustainable development and necessary to end poverty.

Continue reading here.

Pro Bono Gives Solos Experience and Satisfaction

Jill Metz

By Kevin Davis | ABA Journal | Photo of Jill Metz; Photo by Wayne Slezak

When Chicago attorney Jill Metz started practicing as a solo attorney in the early 1980s, she decided she would always make time to do pro bono work.

Though she needed to get her practice off the ground and earn a living, Metz volunteered five to 10 hours a week for the People’s Law Office in the Uptown neighborhood, doing criminal defense work and housing law for the mostly poor clientele.

Recent news stories have exposed that major law firms donate only 0.1 percent of their proceeds to legal aid for low-income people, making the contributions by lawyers like Metz even more crucial for impoverished clients.

Continue reading here.

Attention Spanish-Speaking 2Ls and 3Ls!  International Human Rights Pro Bono Opportunity! EarthRights International Seeks 2L or 3L for Remote Litigation Support

ERI Logo

EarthRights International seeks a 2L or 3L for remote litigation support.  The time commitment is 9-10 hours per week.  No prerequisites, but experience with U.S. litigation is a plus.  The position requires proficiency in Spanish.  The volunteer will work closely with one of the attorney’s at EarthRights International with regular weekly check ins.

The volunteer will be conducting factual and U.S. legal research to assist ERI in developing a transnational injunctive strategy against a mega development project in the Amazon that poses a high risk of environmental and human rights abuses.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Maryum Jordan, maryum@earthrights.org.  The application deadline is rolling until the position is filled.

Want Direct Client Experience and Make a Difference? Applications Now Being Accepted for Bridging the Gap/Moderate Means Program- Due 10/19

Bridging the Gap Logo

Bridging the Gap provides legal referrals for low and moderate income individuals as a part of the WSBA Moderate Means Program.

Bridging the Gap is a UW Law in-house pro bono program. The goal of the program is to increase access to civil legal services for people of moderate means who cannot afford an attorney but make too much money to qualify for traditional free legal aid services. The program is focused in the areas of Family, Housing and Consumer law.

Law students serving as Bridging the Gap volunteer interns interview potential clients by telephone to collect information and evaluate their cases. Qualifying cases will be referred by interns to participating attorneys who have agreed to represent clients for a reduced fee. After completing training, Bridging the Gap interns will be expected to commit to a minimum of five hours a week for the duration of fall and winter quarters (one hour is a weekly staff meeting).

Benefits to students:

  • Hands-on experience interviewing clients;
  • Training in substantive legal issues, issue-spotting, interviewing skills and ethics;
  • Instruction on how to use the Legal Server database, which is used by most of the civil legal aid organizations in Washington State, and many other states;
  • Supervision and mentoring by experienced attorneys;
  • The satisfaction of helping low and moderate income individuals who otherwise might not receive any legal help at all;
  • Time spent volunteering for Bridging the Gap counts for recognition with the Pro Bono Honors Society.

Upper level students (2L, 3L and LLM) may participate in training for the program now (fall quarter) and begin interviewing clients in November. 1Ls can train now and begin interviewing clients in January.

To apply for the program, submit a letter of interest and resume to Ann Spangler at spangler@uw.edu by October 19, 2015.

Wayfind Microenterprise Clinic and Nonprofit Law Clinic – UW Law Student Volunteers Needed- Application Due 10/20

wayfind logo

Assist pro bono transactional lawyers at either microenterprise clinics or nonprofit legal clinics by taking client interview notes and drafting the client “work plan” which summarizes the legal advice given by the attorney. 

Wayfind provides free business legal services for nonprofit organizations and low-income microentrepreneurs.  Wayfind pro bono attorneys assist non-profit organizations with a range of legal matters including real estate, tax, non-profit governance, and intellectual property.  Wayfind pro bono attorneys also help low-income microentrepreneurs at legal clinics on legal matters including review of contracts, operating agreements and leases, business entity selection, intellectual property matters including publishing and trade name, and adding people to a partnership.

Wayfind hosts different types of legal clinics for its two client populations: non-profit organizations and microentrepreneurs.

For more information, click here.

Attention Spanish Speakers Interested in Family Law & Equal Justice! Pro Bono Opportunity with the King County Bar Association Family Law Program

KCBA Logo

The Family Law Programs of the King County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Services promote family safety and equal access to the legal system by assisting domestic violence survivors, children at risk of abuse or neglect, and clients facing barriers to accessing the courts due to language, disability, and other factors. The Kinship Care Solutions program provides pro bono representation in nonparental custody actions, and the Self-Help Plus program provides pro se assistance in uncontested dissolutions and parenting plan actions. The programs have expanded to help unaccompanied children from Central America who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by a parent and who may be eligible for protective immigration relief called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Volunteer attorneys assist caregivers and family law members with family law actions in order to obtain court findings that may be used in the SIJS process.

This position will provide experience in practical legal skills such as client interviewing, legal issue spotting, case development, and working with immigrant clients. In addition, the intern will learn substantive and procedural aspects to family law practice and exposure to immigration law. This position is unpaid but can be sponsored for academic credit if available through the student’s school.

For more information, click here.

Attention 1Ls and 2Ls! International Human Rights Pro Bono Opportunity!

Liberty scales

An international corporate accountability and human rights NGO seeks a first- or second-year law student for a short-term unpaid legal internship to begin immediately.  Working closely with the NGO’s attorneys, the intern will conduct legal research and analysis to support litigation in U.S. federal court regarding environmental and human rights violations committed abroad.  The work will be completed remotely and on the intern’s own schedule as long as agreed-upon deadlines are met.  We estimate an initial commitment of 10-20 hours of work in the next month, with the possibility of additional assignments depending on how the matter proceeds.  Please submit a writing sample and a CV to Chris Benoit at chris@coylefirm.com. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

Attention 3Ls, Recent Grads and Project Based Fellowship Applicants!

UW Law

Did you just submit an EJW or other project based fellowship application? Here’s another opportunity to get your innovative project up and running. Apply for the Berkeley Law Foundation Fellowship! Application due January 15. UW Law students have been past recipients!

For complete info, click here.

Looking for Pro Bono Opportunities? Volunteer with the WA Vets Wills Clinic on October 24th!

Pro Bono Opportunity Eligible for Pro Bono Honors: Washington Vets Wills Clinic on Saturday, October 24

WA Vets Wills Clinic Logo

The Washington Vets Wills Clinic (“Clinic”) has been providing pro bono legal advice and free estate planning documents to eligible Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserve members, and their spouses for three years.  Founded in 2012, the Clinic is a coalition of philanthropic, educational, civic, and veterans’ service organizations dedicated to giving back to former members of the military. The Clinic assists Veterans while providing pro bono opportunities to the legal community and experiential learning through service to law students.

The second annual North Sound Clinic will be hosted in Seattle on 24 October 2015, at the University of Washington School of Law.  The Clinic’s goal is to ensure that every attending Veteran and spouse meets with a lawyer and leaves the Clinic with an executed and notarized will, power of attorney, and health care directive.

To participate in the Clinic, Veterans apply online and the information requested in the application is used to create unique estate planning documents for each Veteran client. Not all that apply are accepted, and the Clinic reserves the right to determine rules of use and participation.  Once the Veteran and spouse are accepted, Clinic staff assigns them an appointment time.  On the day of the Clinic, Veterans check in, enjoy refreshments, and visit with the clinic partners and other veterans until their appointment time.

At their appointment time, the assigned law clerk greets the Veteran and their spouse, and accompanies them to a room where they meet in confidence with an assigned lawyer.  The lawyer interviews, counsels, and advises the clients while the law clerks draft any changes to the packet of pre-filled estate planning documents.  The lawyer reviews these with the clients and, once final copies are printed, guides them through execution of the documents.  Volunteer notaries public assist with formally executing the documents.  Finally, the law clerk escorts the clients back to the lobby.

A free Continuing Legal Education training class precedes each Clinic event, to teach lawyers and supporting volunteers the estate planning process, and to acquaint them with the basic documents used at the Clinic.

As one second-year law student volunteer observed, “As I saw the Vets leave after their sessions, they left holding hands with their spouses, smiling and thanking volunteers.  It was apparent that the services we provided had both legal and emotional benefits for the clients.”  Those legal and emotional benefits extend to the students, who find it very gratifying to serve the Veterans population, while learning about estate planning from practicing attorneys.

Law students can volunteer in two ways. The first is to volunteer for the day of the clinic, for a morning shift, afternoon shift, or all day (both) shift. The day of shifts will involve a combination of observing attorneys advising veteran clients, as well as general all-around and administrative tasks. The Clinic will work diligently to provide a combination of exposure to legal work as well as general purpose work. The second way to volunteer is for making confirmation calls to the veteran clients of their appointments, which will occur on Sat Oct 17th. This option allows for an hour or two of service, though the confirmations are more administrative than legal work. Please volunteer through the online form at www.wavetswillclinic.com/volunteer and use the comments box to indicate what volunteer opportunity you are interested in.

ABA Announces Mini-Grants for Projects Expanding Pro Bono Attorneys Representation of Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants

ABA Logo

ABA Working Group on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants is pleased to announce the availability of mini-grants to legal assistance providers engaging pro bono attorneys to represent unaccompanied minor immigrants. The mini-grants are intended to provide initial financial support for innovative and sustainable pro bono models of legal representation of unaccompanied minor immigrants.

Applications are due no later than September 30, 2015. Please click here to view and download the Request for Proposals and Grant Application.

Questions regarding the mini-grants should be directed to Juliet Gilbert.

Equal Justice Works Career Fair & Conference – Last week for interview applications!

EJW Logo

The Equal Justice Works annual Conference and Career Fair is the largest national public interest legal career fair in the country.  More than 1,200 students from 165 law schools attend for two days of interviews, workshops, networking and other career opportunities.  More than 140 public interest employers conduct interviews for internship and full-time positions and meet with students in informal “table talk” settings to discuss public interest legal opportunities.  The Conference and Career Fair also features workshops on various public interest careers and job search advice, resume and cover letter review, mock interviews, and more. Students and recent graduates can apply for interviews through September 14 and may register to attend informal table talk networking and workshop sessions through October 9. UW Law students who’ve secured interviews may be eligible for limited funding associated with travel costs to DC. Please email Aline Carton-Listfjeld at acarton@uw.edu for more details.

For more information, visit the Equal Justice Works website.

King County’s First Equity & Social Justice Strategic Plan: We Want to Hear from Local Organizations!

King County Equity & Social Justice

King County is in the early stages of developing an actionable, countywide strategic plan to advance Equity and Social Justice in our region.  We need your input to ensure the plan is informed and grounded in the true needs and opportunities within communities, as well as how the county can act as a responsive and effective partner. 

We are asking organizations in all sectors to please go to our survey to share your ideas on how to increase equity in King County.  Let us know what issues we should collectively tackle, what’s working to increase equity, and what are emerging opportunities. We also want your ideas about how we can collectively partner to advance equity in our region.

We will continue to stay in touch about this process as we collectively shape priorities and strategies.