Protecting At-Risk Children, KCBA Pro Bono Program, State Funding for Legal Aid Increased by $4.8M

Columbia Legal Services: Governor Signs Two Bills Protecting At-risk Children

“On July 6, 2017, Governor Jay Inslee signed two bills to better protect at-risk children in Washington. The first creates a pilot program allowing for abused and neglected children to better navigate the court system. The other creates a cabinet level agency to better coordinate services for children and families in the state.

Senate Bill (SB) 5890 improves the state’s foster system for both foster children and foster parents and funds a research project targeted at providing legal representation for children and youth in foster care.

“For children and youth in foster care, having an attorney means a greater chance to stay with family members, to spend less time in foster care, and to avoid homelessness,” said Hillary Madsen, staff attorney at Columbia Legal Services. “This study will provide critical information for lawmakers about the importance of attorneys.”

Read more here.

New Leadership for King County Bar Association’s pro bono programKCBA Logo

Anne Daly will be taking over leadership of the King County Bar Association’s pro bono programs. Anne has served as a past KCBA president (2013–14) who for the past 25 years has been with the Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons, leading that public defense nonprofit since 1999. While her focus there has been on criminal defense for the indigent, her overall lifelong commitment to social justice and service to the marginalized in our community is inspiring.

A copy of a Bar Bulletin profile about Anne from 2013 is online here.

Legal Foundation of Washington: State Funding for Legal Aid Increased by $4.8MLogo for the Legal Foundation of Washington

“After a long six-month legislative session, the House and Senate finally agreed on a Fiscal Year 2017-2019 operating budget on Friday, June 30th. Late that night, Governor Inslee signed the budget to narrowly avoid a partial government shutdown. In a budget year when legislators struggled with issues such as education, mental health, and transportation, to receive a $4.8 million increase for legal aid (roughly a 20% increase in funding) is a gratifying result.

During FY 2017-2019, the new funding for legal aid will:

  • Create 15 new staffed civil legal aid attorneys;
  • Increase the capacity of pro bono programs across the state;
  • Invest in research and training for legal aid and pro bono attorneys; and,
  • Provide Northwest Justice Project attorneys with long overdue cost of living and salary adjustments.”

Read more here.

Former bank robber helped by Gates fund now professor at Georgetown Law School

“University of Washington law-school grad Shon Hopwood once served time in federal prison for robbing banks. Now he’s accepted a law professorship at Georgetown University.

Eighteen years ago, Nebraska native Shon Hopwood went to prison for breaking the law. This year, the University of Washington law-school graduate has been hired to teach it.

Hopwood has accepted a position as professor at Georgetown University School of Law. The 2014 graduate of the UW law school had gone to federal prison for 10 years in the late 1990s for robbing five banks in the Midwest.”

Read the full article here.

 

 

Are you a Strategic Thinker Looking for a Service Opportunity? Washington’s Access to Justice Board Could Use Your Help!

Opportunity for Service: Washington State Access to Justice Board

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The Access to Justice Board is seeking a strategic thinker with a demonstrated commitment to equitable justice to fill a seat on the Access to Justice Board.  Established by the Washington Supreme Court in 1994, the Board seeks to achieve equal access to the civil justice system for those facing economic and other significant barriers.  The three-year term begins in May 2015 and the position may be filled by an attorney or other community member.  The Board is especially interested in individuals who can help continue to build collaborative relationships with community-based organizations and the Alliance for Equal Justice.

To apply and/or learn more about the work of the Access to Justice Board, please visit www.wsba.org/ATJApplications are due January 9, 2015 at 5PM PST.

Request for Workshop Proposals: Access to Justice Conference

ATJ Workshop

Wenatchee Conference Center, June 12-14

The Access to Justice Board’s Conference Planning Committee is now accepting proposals for 2015 Access to Justice Conference workshops.  This year’s conference will focus on solutions to address structural impediments to equitable justice and meet the needs of our growing client community.  We encourage and invite you to submit a 90 minute workshop proposal for consideration by the committee.  Proposals should be consistent with the criteria outlined in the attached document.  All workshops will take place on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

Proposals must be received by 5 p.m., Friday, January 23, 2015. Submit proposals using the attached form to Terra Nevitt, terran@wsba.org. Electronic submissions only please. The conference planning committee will select the workshops and plenary sessions. You will be notified as soon as the final decisions have been made whether or not your proposal was selected. If your proposal is selected you will receive more detailed information about the conference planning process, procedures, policies and deadlines.  If you have questions, please call Terra at (206) 727-8282.

Washington State Association for Justice Offering Bar Preparation Scholarship for Diversity and Women, Apply Now for Exam Dates in July 2015/February 2016

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The Mission of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) is to stand up in the courtroom and the halls of government for real people. We defend your Constitutional rights, including the right to have your day in court. We hold corporate and other powerful interests accountable. We are a community creating and sharing resources for our members to secure justice.

WSAJ is committed to implementing strategies that will result in significant and measurable progress towards increasing diversity in the plaintiff’s bar. To help achieve this endeavor, WSAJ has pledged scholarship monies to assist diverse individuals in covering the tuition cost of a bar preparation course. Diversity refers to individuals who self-identify with those groups historically discriminated against and or those groups that are historically under-represented in the legal profession based on disability, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on several criteria, including (but not limited to) demonstrated interest and intent to practice in the plaintiff’s bar, financial need, academic achievements, extracurricular and community activities, and life experiences. No single criteria is determinative.

Applications are due by Monday, January 12, 2015. 

For more information on the diversity scholarship, click here.
For more information on the scholarship for women, click here.

Lawyers Fostering Independence Offering Free CLE This Friday

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Lawyers Fostering Independence (LFI) provides free civil legal services to young people who have been in foster, group, or kinship care at some point while growing up. With the help of volunteer attorneys, our mission is to improve outcomes for former foster youth by providing them with access to legal services – services that can mitigate the specific adversities experienced by these youth who have been raised in our care.

Our all-day training is on December 5th from 9:00am-3:30pm at Garvey Schubert Barer.

The morning will consist of an introduction to LFI, hearing from former foster youth about their experiences and needs, and our Trauma-Informed Legal Representation CLE (1.5 ethics credits pending). The afternoon will include two training sessions: one on credit and debt issues and the other on sealing juvenile records and vacating adult records. 1.25 CLE credits pending for each of these sessions.

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Contact Serena Holthe to register.  Click here for more information.

The Innocence Project NW  Freedom Fridays

IPNW

Friday, December 5, 2014
12:00 – 4:00 PM 
Dorsey Whitney, 701 5th Avenue, Suite 6100, Seattle, WA

Speakers:

  • Jacqueline McMurtrie is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Law and the founder and Director of the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW). The only resource of its kind in Washington State, IPNW’s mission is to exonerate the innocent, remedy causes of wrongful conviction and offer law students an outstanding education. Since 1997, IPNW has obtained exonerations of thirteen men and women who collectively served over 90 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.
  • Fernanda Torres is a Staff Attorney and Volunteer Coordinator at the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW). She helps oversee the screening and review of applications for assistance and leads the litigation of non-DNA cases. She recruits and supervises IPNW volunteers. Prior to joining IPNW, Ms. Torres practiced criminal defense as a public defender and in private practice.

For more information, click here.

Pro Bono Opportunity with the King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project and Family Law Program

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The Housing Justice Project is a walk-in legal clinic providing counsel and advice, negotiations with landlords or opposing counsel, and limited representation for low income residential tenants facing eviction in King county. HJP clinics operate at the King County Courthouse in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Apply to volunteer as an intern by January 25, 2015. For more information about the Housing Justice Project, click here.

Pro Bono Services family law programs 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 or other factors. Programs include the Family Law Mentor Program, Kinship Care Solutions Project and Self Help Plus Program.

Position is open until filled.  For more information about the Family Law Program, click here.

Pro Bono Opportunity Working with Domestic Violence Survivors

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Your role as a Family Law Legal Support volunteer will be to assist staff attorneys in their representation of the client.

Note that this position is based out of the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN) offices in Tukwila, WA to support the ELAP DV Staff Attorney placed on-site at DAWN.

This is a volunteer opportunity provided by VolunteerMatch, in partnership with LinkedIn for Good.

For more information, click here.

Equity and Social Justice Work is Hard. Seriously Hard Work. No, Really it is.

Pushing Stone Graphic

By: Cultures Connecting Blog

Significant change, whether individual or within an organization can be challenging. Even when we want to change, it doesn’t happen easily. I recently heard implicit bias compared to a habit, albeit a bad one. Think about how hard it is to change a habit…

A couple of months ago, my brother in law was coming over to my house to pick up his dog after work. We’d talked earlier and he reminded me to leave the front door open for him. Then he sent me a text about 15 minutes before I was leaving as a second reminder. “Leave the door unlocked, leave the door unlocked,” I chanted in my head as I gathered my things to go. Then I went through my mental list of what I needed to bring with me, made sure I had it all, walked out, locked the door and left. His poor dog was locked inside.

Even though I wanted to change that habit and was focusing a lot of mental energy on doing something different, the moment I got distracted, I forgot and went back to what I do every day.

Now imagine there are a bunch of individuals trying to change an organization. But they’ve all learned and practiced habits of stereotypes, biases, and institutional oppression for years. Some have even gotten rewarded for this behavior by being told they’re a “good fit” at the company and getting promoted. Some are the founders of the organization or have worked there so long they see any mention of needed change as a personal affront. Others have been going along to get along, trying not to make waves by bringing up experiences of marginalization. They may even be telling themselves they imagined it or making excuses for oppressive behavior such as, “I know he didn’t mean it that way.”

Continue reading here.

Don’t Know What Legal Services Organizations are Available in Washington that Serve Youth? Take a Look at CYP’s Resource Guide

Columbia Legal Services Releases Resource on “Homeless Youth and Young Adults: Legal Services Organizations in Washington”

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Don’t know what legal services organizations are available in Washington that serve youth? Take a look at our resource “Homeless Youth and Young Adults: Legal Services Organizations in Washington.”

Click here to access the resource.

Attention Recent Grads!  Pro Bono Training Opportunity with Washington Medical Legal Partnership

(c) University of Kansas - Medical Legal Partnership

Want to help families of children with disabilities? Come learn about pro bono guardianship opportunities with the Washington Medical Legal Partnership.

The Washington Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) is an innovative collaboration between medical providers, social workers and attorneys to address the unmet legal needs and improve the health of vulnerable patients and families by integrating legal care into comprehensive healthcare. MLP’s partnership includes Northwest Justice Project, Harborview Medical Center, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, Sea Mar Community Health Centers and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

MLP is currently in need of attorneys to advise and counsel families of children with disabilities about preparing for the transition to adulthood, including offering pro bono legal assistance for guardianships. A guardian, usually the parent, is a person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of a person who is incapacitated, often used to ensure continuity of care for a young adults suffering severe mental or physical disability. Once MLP has completed an initial assessment, the family is referred to our pro bono partner.

The pro bono attorney will meet with the family to help them to navigate the judicial process. Guardianships involve filings and a court appearance, but attorneys who do not regularly litigate should find this pro bono opportunity manageable, especially with the support of more experienced attorneys who have already completed guardianship proceedings. The time commitment for a guardianship case can vary depending on the experience of the attorney, case complexity and other factors, but should generally require about 15-20 hours over a 4-6 month period.

This process will be discussed in more detail at the Q&A, where you will hear from MLP and some of the pro bono attorneys about guardianship cases they have handled. Please join us!

PLEASE RSVP by sending a brief email to Amy Dahl.

Cultural Spanish Classes Offered at El Centro de La Raza

Spanish Classes

Free Educational Debt EBook for Students by Equal Justice Works

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Our free e-book, Take Control of Your Future: A Guide to Managing Your Student Debt, is a comprehensive guide to making monthly student loan payments affordable and earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness in ten years.

Download your copy here.

Interested in Children & Youth Advocacy? Multiple Openings Available Now!

California Governor’s Office of Planning & Research Seeking Summer Law Clerk, Due TODAY

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The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has an open position for one law clerk this summer, and multiple open positions in the fall. The law clerk will work with closely with OPR staff on a variety of projects related to water law, drought, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), land use and the environment. Law clerk will have a hands-on opportunity to learn more about State government and policy development. The law clerk will gain skills and experience in policy research, local government outreach, interagency coordination, land use planning, and more.

OPR is a part of the Governor’s Office. State planning law establishes OPR as the comprehensive state planning agency. OPR is responsible for formulating long-range goals and policies for land use, population growth and distribution, urban expansion, development and resource protection. OPR is also responsible for writing and updating the CEQA and the General Plan Guidelines.

For a complete description and application information, click here.

Attention Recent Grads! TeamChild Seeking Staff Attorney in Yakima Office, Open Until Filled

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TeamChild is a nonprofit civil legal services organization in Washington State with offices in King, Snohomish, Spokane, and Yakima Counties.  Valuing the potential in all young people, TeamChild is a voice for those facing tremendous obstacles due to poverty, racism, homelessness, neglect, abuse and other difficult circumstances.  TeamChild’s work focuses on helping youth involved in the juvenile justice system assert their right to education, mental and medical treatment, and safe living situations.  The program has been recognized nationally for its innovation and effective engagement of young people who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

TeamChild is seeking a full-time staff attorney in our Yakima office.  Primary job duties include providing holistic civil legal representation to youth who are at risk of or already involved in the juvenile system.  Advocacy involves breaking down legal barriers to a wide array of community based services and supports, including but not limited to education, housing, health care services, and other civil rights issues.  The staff attorney is also responsible for other advocacy activities including partnering with local public defenders on behalf of common clients, community training, outreach, and policy work on behalf of our client base.

For more information and application details, click here.

Attention Post Grads!  Equality Now Seeking Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund Program Manager in New York, Due 4/5

Equality Now Logo

Equality Now is seeking an experienced program manager to manage the work of the Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund (AGLDF). This is an exciting opportunity for a motivated and experienced individual to deliver a flagship global program for girls. Equality Now invites applications from exceptional candidates who have demonstrated an ability to manage international program networks and funds, deliver multi-country programs, and support an international team to drive innovative solutions and effect change for adolescent girls.

This is full-time position based in New York. The AGLDF Program Manager will work closely with, and report to, the Global Director (and in the future, the Program Director). The position requires close collaboration with program officers, communications and development staff across all offices. The Manager will provide both leadership and support to advance the goals and implement the strategic vision of AGLDF.

For complete information and application details, click here.

Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Seeking Attorney-Advisor (Civil Rights), Due 4/9

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The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for ensuring that recipients of federal financial assistance from OJP, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) comply with civil rights laws that prohibit unlawful discrimination in the delivery of services or benefits, or in their employment practices.

For a complete description of the position and application details, click here.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Seeking Attorney Advisor, Priority Consideration Due 4/10

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The Office of the General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking to fill several advisory-attorney positions (GS 11/12/13/14) for its Ethics Division, which provides legal services involving federal criminal conflict of interest statutes, standards of ethical conduct regulations, financial disclosure requirements, procurement integrity provisions, lobbying rules, and Hatch Act political activity restrictions. Ethics Division attorneys work closely with the White House Counsel’s Office and the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in clearing new Presidential appointees in the Senate confirmation process and also provide, in consultation with state bar authorities, guidance on legal ethics and professional responsibility issues. Although the positions will have generalist ethics responsibilities, depending upon staffing needs, the positions may be focused on providing these services to a principal client agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The duty station for the positions may be at the HHS headquarters in Washington, DC, or at an Ethics Division satellite office in Silver Spring, MD.

For complete information and application details, click here.

Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid Seeking Children’s Representation Program Manager, Due 4/25

WA State Seal

The Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is an independent judicial branch agency that manages and oversees state appropriations for civil legal aid in Washington State. During the 2014 session, the Washington State Legislature enacted 2ESSB 6126 which provides for the appointment of attorneys to represent children in all dependency cases six months following termination of parental rights.

The Children’s Representation Program Manager will have primary responsibility to establish a program pursuant to which state funding will be made available to underwrite the appointment of attorneys to represent children in accordance with the practice, caseload and training standards outlined in 2ESSB 6126.

For complete information and application details, click here.

Attention 2Ls and 3Ls! ACLU Headquarters in New York Seeking Legal Intern for Voting Rights Project for Fall 2014, Due 5/12

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The Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seeks interns to work on active litigation and other projects in its New York office for the Fall of 2014.

The Voting Rights Project of the ACLU has been an established and recognized national leader in the field of voting rights for more than 40 years. Its docket includes litigation in more than a dozen states and encompasses issues such as minority voting rights, redistricting, registration, election reform, felon disfranchisement, voter education, and ballot access. Most recently, the Project has been engaged in groundbreaking litigation challenging voter suppression efforts in North Carolina and onerous identification and proof of citizenship requirements for voting in various states including Arizona, Kansas, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The Project also intervened on behalf of minority voters in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act; and conducted litigation to secure and protect the voting rights of Native Americans in Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Montana.

For more information and application details, click here.

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! John Hopkins Health Systems Seeking Legal Fellow in Baltimore, MD, Due 4/7

John Hopkins Medicine Logo

Johns Hopkins employs more than 20,000 people annually across our health system.  Upon joining Johns Hopkins, you become part of a diverse organization dedicated to its patients, their families, and the community we serve, as well as to our employees.  Career opportunities are available in academic and community hospital settings, home care services, physician practices, international affiliate locations and in the health insurance industry.  If you share in our vision, mission and values and also have exceptional customer service and technical skills, we invite you to join an employer that is a leader and innovator in the healthcare field.

The Legal Department of the Johns Hopkins Health System and Johns Hopkins Medicine is committed to recruiting, developing, retaining, and promoting competent and dedicated lawyers from diverse cultures and backgrounds. We believe that a diverse group of talented legal professionals is critically important to the success of our department, our clients, and the community. We define diversity broadly to encompass, without limitation, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, veteran and military status, marital and parental status, and disability. With greater diversity, we will be more creative, effective and inclusive, bringing more varied perspectives, experiences, and interests to the practice of law in a corporate setting.

In support of our commitment to provide opportunities to talented lawyers of diverse backgrounds, we offer a one-year legal fellowship. The fellowship is primarily based in the Employment and Labor Affairs practice group, but also provides opportunities to work with other practice groups within the Legal Department.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

Attention 3Ls! U.S. Department of Labor Seeking Employee Benefits Law Specialist (Pathways Intern), Due 4/9

DOL Seal

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees’ differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve.  DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.

This position is located in the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), Office of Health Plan Standards and Compliance Assistance (OHPSCA).  EBSA is responsible for administering and securing compliance with Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). OHPSCA’s mission is to plan, direct, and carry out a program to provide policy and technical guidance regarding the provisions of ERISA, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other laws affecting group health plans.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

United Nations PeaceKeeping Operations Seeking Judicial Affairs Officer in New York, Due 4/9

UN Peacekeeping Logo

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is dedicated to assisting the Member States and the Secretary-General in their efforts to maintain international peace and security.  DPKO provides political and executive direction to UN Peacekeeping operations around the world and maintains contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates. The Department works to integrate the efforts of UN, governmental and non-governmental entities in the context of peacekeeping operations.  DPKO also provides guidance and support on military, police, mine action and other relevant issues to other UN political and peacebuilding missions.

This position is located in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Criminal Law and Judicial Advisory Service (CLJAS). The incumbent reports to the Chief of Service or his/her delegate and will be responsible for the following duties:  Assist the Chief of CLJAS or his/her delegate in the administration of the Service, including the development of workplans and budgetary documents; Contribute to the development of technical guidance materials and training tools, including by collecting lessons learned and best practices from missions for inclusion in new and updating guidance materials and training tools; Work with the Department of Field Support to develop vacancy announcements; screen candidates; and support interview panels for judicial affairs officers for field missions; Liaise with partners within and outside the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including other United Nations entities engaged in the rule of law through the Global Focal Point arrangement and the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group; Draft project proposals for donor funding; Organize briefings, conferences and training events; Prepare, review and edit talking points, memoranda, meeting notes and other documents produced by CLJAS.

 

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.