“Road Ahead for Social Justice,” Washington Appleseed Breakfast, Seattle Citywide Pro Bono Fair, Columbia Legal Services event

WSBA “Road Ahead for Social Justice” WebinarWSBA Logo

 Date:  Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Time:  10:00 am to noon.

Location: Webinar

Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 13th at 2pm EST, when we continue our Road Ahead for Social Justice series with a conversation about the portrayals of immigrants in popular television shows, and the potential that popular culture presents for transformative change.

In this webinar, we will discuss the need for more diverse stories and representation based on findings from our latest research, Power of POP. Guest speakers Bassem Kawar from Take on Hate and Carl Lipscombe from Black Alliance for Just Immigration will provide best practices and recommendations for engaging popular culture based on their own advocacy work.

Please join us for this important conversation!

Register here.

Campaign for Equal Justice- Beer & Justice, an event Campaign for Equal Justice Logosupporting legal aid for low-income families in King County. Proceeds support the Campaign for Equal Justice

Date:  Thursday, September 14, 2017

Time: 5:00-7:00 pm

Place: Alstadt BierHalle 209 First Avenue S. Seattle, WA

Special Guest Lucy Lee Helm, Exec VP & Chief Partner Officer, StarbucksProceeds support the Campaign for Equal Justice

RSVP here.

Washington Appleseed Breakfast with the BestWA Appleseed Logo

Date:  Thursday, September 28, 2017

Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Location: The Hilton, 1301 6th Ave. Seattle

Please join Washington Appleseed for our annual Breakfast with the Best. This year’s Breakfast will celebrate the launch of the Washington Reentry Guide.

Further information and RSVP here.

Seattle Citywide Pro Bono FairPerkins Coie Logo

Date:  October 11, 2017

Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: Perkins Coie, 1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, Washington 98101-3099

Interested in pro bono volunteerism and don’t know where to start? Come to the Pro Bono Fair to meet with representatives from local legal service organizations to find the opportunity right for you.

More info and RSVP here.

Imagine Justice – Columbia Legal Services

Date:  Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Time:  5:00 pm

Where: Impact Hub Seattle 220 Second Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104

An evening of hope and inspiration celebrating 50 years of advocacy Every day, it seems, we must respond to yet another outrageous statement or proposal attacking our communities coming from Washington D.C.  It can wear you down. But we’re up for the challenge – and have been for half a century. Columbia Legal Services-past, present and future-fights alongside our client community and allies to strengthen the justice and equity movement across Washington State. Join us in celebrating fifty years of working for justice in Washington and imagining a future together in which all communities thrive.

Purchase tickets here.

Seattle Community Law Center Comedy Fundraiser; Language Access Conference; Peggy Browning Fund National Law Student Workers’ Rights Conference

Women’s Rights Day: Celebrate 50 years of Revolutionary Feminism

Date: Saturday, August 26, 2017

Time: Dinner at 6:00 pm for $10.00

Location: New Freeway Hall-5018 Rainier Ave. S. Seattle, WA

Join community activists at a working-class gala to commemorate Radical Women’s 50 years of organizing and to inspire for the battles ahead.

More info here.

Campaign for Equal Justice – Beer and JusticeCampaign for Equal Justice Logo

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017

Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Location: Alstadt BierHalle 209 1st Ave. S. Seattle, WA

Join us for Beer & Justice, an event supporting civil legal aid for low-income families in King County. Proceeds support the Campaign for Equal Justice. Drinks and appetizers provided. There will be a chance to donate at the event.

More info here.

Seattle Community Law Center –LOL! A Comedy Event for Economic JusticeSCLC

Date: September 30, 2017

Time: Doors Open 5:00 pm, Silent Auction Closes at 6:15 pm

Location: Renaissance Seattle Hotel

Join us at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel on September 30th, 2017 for LOL for SCLC, our annual comedy event for economic justice, hosted and auctioneered by Sasha Summer Cousineau. The evening features comedy by Monica Nevi, a plated dinner, and silent and live auctions.

Proceeds go toward legal advocacy for people living with disabilities who are homeless or low-income. Your donations bring security and hope to thousands of people across King County.

This event is for people ages 21 and over. Tickets are $100 until September 15th, after which they will be $125. Ticket sales end on Thursday, September 28th. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door on September 30th.

Purchase tickets here.

2017 WASCLA Summit, Taking Action: Making Inclusion a Reality

Date: Friday and Saturday, October 13-14, 2017

Time:  9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: Wenatchee Conference Center

Please join us for our two-day multidisciplinary language access conference. The Summit offers a unique opportunity to focus on critical issues impacting the ability of Washington’s residents to live and thrive in communities across the state.

More information here.

Peggy Browning Fund National Law Student Workers’ Rights ConferencePeggy Browning Fund

Date: Friday and Saturday, October 13-14, 2017

Location: Maritime Conference Center, Linthicum Heights, Maryland

Exciting opportunity for students interested in workers’ rights and social justice!

In memory of Margaret A. (Peggy) Browning, a prominent labor attorney and a vigorous supporter of workers’ rights who served as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board from 1994 until her death in February, 1997.

The mission of the Peggy Browning Fund is to educate and inspire the next generation of advocates for workplace justice. Through fellowships, workers’ rights conferences, regional workshops, networking and other programs, PBF provides unique opportunities for law students to work for economic and social justice.

More info here.

Free Webinar on PTSD; Beer and Justice; Register for the NW Minority Job Fair by August 1

Free Webinar: A Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for Advocates: How to Effectively Address PTSD in Matters Involving Veterans and Others Affected by Trauma

Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Time:  9:00 a.m.
Location: Webinar
Cost: Free

Although PTSD can cause symptoms that significantly affect cognition and behavior, the people who assist or make critical decisions affecting those who experience PTSD may not recognize or understand these symptoms well. This training provides advocates with an understanding of PTSD.

Led by a faculty that includes a VA psychologist with extensive clinical expertise in PTSD and lawyers specializing in mental health-related advocacy, this training will provide:

  • An understanding of how trauma and PTSD affect the brain;
  • A description of PTSD symptoms and how they affect people in their day-to-day lives;
  • Discussion of how PTSD symptoms can be relevant in legal proceedings;
  • Guidance for developing relevant information and evidence about PTSD;
  • Insight into mental health reports, evaluations, and other clinical evidence; and
  • Strategies for working effectively with mental health professionals to develop and present information about PTSD that supports advocacy for those affected by trauma

Register here.

Campaign for Equal Justice: Beer and Justice

Date:  Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time:  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen in Bellingham, Washington

Date:  Thursday, July 27, 2017
Time:  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Harmon Tap Room Beer Garden in Tacoma, Washington

Campaign for Equal Justice LogoJoin us for a happy hour event in your city to raise awareness and funds for legal aid! Through the Campaign for Equal Justice, your donations support nonprofit legal aid providers in Washington state. In partnership with the Legal Foundation of Washington, there is a strong return on your investment. For every $1 donated to the Campaign, anywhere from $3 – $9 goes to 23 non-profit legal aid providers in their annual grants from the Legal Foundation.

More information here.

Due August 1:  31st Annual Northwest Minority Job Fair on August 19
Registration Due:  Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Date: Saturday, August 19th, 2017
Location: Pacifica Law Group, 1191 Second Avenue, Suite 2000 Seattle, WA

Pacifica Law Group is honored to host the 31st Annual Northwest Minority Job Fair. We are committed to the Fair’s mission of fostering access to employment opportunities for historically underrepresented persons in the practice of law and to provide a networking forum for legal employers and minority law students.

The Northwest Minority Job Fair, sponsored and funded by a consortium of legal sector employers, has brought together private and public law firms committed to promoting diversity for over 30 years. It provides a unique opportunity for employers, law students, and lawyers to connect and match legal talent with law firm opportunities. Last year’s Northwest Minority Job Fair brought together approximately 150 students and 30 law firms/agencies.

This year’s Fair will be held Saturday, August 19, 2017, at Pacifica Law Group, 1191 Second Avenue, Suite 2000, in Seattle. Registration is free for students. Part of the registration fee provides scholarships for minority students.

Learn more and register here.

 

Attention 1Ls! 5 Public Service Career Planning Tips for the Holidays

Attention 1Ls!  Five Public Service Career Planning Tips for the Holidays

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By Aline Carton-Listfjeld, Center for Public Service Law

Did you miss our recent public service career strategies presentation? Fret not. Here’s the cliff notes version. You can also watch the video podcast here. 

The holidays are a time to rest, spend time with loved ones, practice gratitude and engage in a thoughtful practice of reflection, research and action planning for your career in public service and/or social justice. Here are some career strategizing tips to make the best of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and winter break right around the corner.

  1. Get back to basics. Why law school? Why public service? What issues do you care about? Think about why you came to law school and why specifically you’re interested in public service and/or working for social justice. What personal, volunteer or professional experiences or events have shaped your world view? What causes are you passionate about or get you worked up? What areas of law are you interested in? Why?
    • Write these anecdotes down; this will help you with your cover letter writing.
    • Practice telling these stories at the Thanksgiving dinner table; this will help you when you’re networking and interviewing.
    • Learn more about why stories matter by Marshall Ganz.
  2. Identify lawyering skills. Think about what kinds of advocacy and other lawyering skills you’re drawn towards.
    • Direct Services. Providing direct services to individual clients including advice/counsel, brief services and/or representation in court or administrative proceedings.
    • Systemic Change through Litigation. Engaging in impact litigation/systemic advocacy such as class action law suits which may not involve quite as much direct client work.
    • Community Lawyering. Using the principles of community organizing, combining direct services, impact litigation, and transactional legal services to support community economic development and/or other community-driven social justice initiatives.
    • Public Policy & Politics. Engaging in policy and/or legislative advocacy or reform work either within our outside of a legislative body.
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution. Engaging in alternative means of achieving justice outside of the traditional adversarial system such as alternative dispute resolution, mediation, collaborative law, and restorative justice.
    • Leadership & Social Entrepreneurship. Exploring alternative public service law careers including non-profit leadership/management and social entrepreneurship
  3. Do your research. We want you to make informed, evidence-based decisions to help you carve your career path. Research organizations and agencies that work on the causes and substantive areas that you are passionate about, interested in and/or open to. Where do you start? Go out to coffee with your mentor or perhaps the growing list of contacts with whom you’ve been advised to connect. Check out all of the great resources on our public service career reference guide, the Gallagher Law Library research guide and PSJD. Also, learn about the employers participating in the upcoming NW Public Service Career Fair. Keep in mind that employers are registering on a rolling basis so be sure to check back regularly.
  4. Create a list of preferred employers. Get ready to start applying to summer opportunities. Many public service internships application deadlines are in January and February. Whether or not a non-profit organization or government agency has a posted internship announcement, plan on sending your application materials. This usually includes a resume, cover letter, sometimes a list of references, and maybe a writing sample (yes you can use that 1L memo!). If an employer asks for grades be sure to mention when you expect to receive your grades in your cover letter and send them your transcript when it becomes available.
  5. Get cover letter feedback from your career coach. Take a break from outlining! December is a great time to send cover letters to your career coach for feedback. Once you’ve created a list of employers, draft a cover letter using the tips found here.

Interested in Learning More About Immigration? Register for the New Immigration Policy Seminar for the Winter Quarter

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B512 Legislation and the Formulation of Public Policy
By: Professor Angelica Chazaro

This course will examine immigration laws and policies related to how removal (deportation) laws and policies are established and implemented, and including the emergence and role of social change movements. Topics will include the intersection of immigration and criminal law, border security, state and local enforcement, the root causes of unauthorized migration, and the challenges of immigration law reform. The course will cover both legal doctrine and legislative issues concerning immigration detention and enforcement.

This course is mandatory for the immigration-related externships with the Washington Defender’s Association and NWIRP.  Externship applications are due Monday, November 24.  See Symplicity for more details.

Attention Attorneys! Free CLE on Domestic Violence Legal Team Training

Perkins Coie Logo

Thursday, December 4, 2014
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Perkins Coie (1201 Third Ave #4900, Seattle)
FREE (attendees must pledge to volunteer either for DVAP or DVIP)
Lunch Provided
CLE Credits: Pending (includes ethics credits)
RSVP to April Campbell by Monday, November 24, 2014

This is a FREE training and ideal for both litigators and transactional lawyers.
There are two volunteer options covered in this training: (1) going into court to litigate motions and (2) volunteering for the in-shelter legal clinic.

Litigators: Volunteer for the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP). Learn how you can be an effective advocate for domestic violence survivors by litigating motions for revision and reconsideration, and increasing your chances of success at return hearings. Build your courtroom advocacy skills while making a meaningful difference in the life of a survivor and her children. Cases are for a short time frame with a discrete time commitment.

Transactional Lawyers: Volunteer at the Domestic Violence Impact Project’s (DVIP) monthly in-shelter legal clinic. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with a survivor and empower her through education and helping her draft a declaration that will be attached to her petition. No court required. Discrete time commitment.

If you have any questions about this CLE please email April Campbell.

Attorney General sends Notice of Endangerment and Intent to Sue to U.S. Dept. of Energy and its contractors to protect workers from hazardous Hanford tank vapors

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By: Bob Ferguson, Washington State Office of the Attorney General

After 20 years and many reports and studies, federal government still not adequately protecting Hanford workers

Attorney General Bob Ferguson is sending the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), a Notice of Endangerment and Intent to Sue. Ferguson seeks to protect workers at the federal Hanford Nuclear Reservation from hazardous chemical vapors that continue to jeopardize worker health and safety.

On Oct. 30, 2014, an independent panel of experts issued the federally-funded Hanford Tank Vapor Assessment Report which determined that “ongoing emission of tank vapors, which contain a mixture of toxic chemicals, is inconsistent with the provisions of a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards.”  They further found that the data “strongly suggests a causal link between chemical vapor release and subsequent adverse health effects experienced by tank farm workers.”

The report was the latest in a series of reports assessing the problem of tank workers falling sick after exposure to chemical vapors from on-site waste holding tanks.

Continue reading here.

Campaign for Equal Justice: Support Legal Aid on Giving Tuesday, December 2nd

Campaign for Equal Justice Logo

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday just around the corner, we are all looking forward to getting great deals on Christmas gifts and holiday treats. But don’t forget to set a little aside for people in need on Giving Tuesday!

As our November newsletter noted, the Campaign is still about $600,000 away from raising the funds clients like Zahul need to receive legal aid. Your generosity this holiday season will make the difference.

Plan a gift to help out low-income people in legal crisis on Giving Tuesday, December 2nd.

All you have to do is visit our secure online donation page on December 2nd to make your gift.  Thanks for remembering people in need!

Social Security Overpayments Creates Serious Hardships, Volunteering is Good for You, Updates from Local Civil Legal Aid Orgs, Plus more

‘I was Overpaid by Social Security’

overpaid-social-security-620xaRebecca Rivetto had received disability payments for four years for her autistic son. Now the Social Security Administration is asking for it all back.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)- photo courtesy Rebecca Revetto

Americans dealing with injuries, mental illnesses and other impairments are being notified out of the blue that they’ve been overpaid by the Social Security Administration and now owe thousands of dollars.

One 33-year-old veteran began receiving Social Security disability payments after his left foot was amputated following an explosion in Iraq in 2007. After going through rehab for his prosthetic leg, he began working full-time for a defense contractor in 2009. As soon as he started collecting a paycheck, the veteran, who asked to remain anonymous, reported his roughly $100,000 annual salary to the Social Security Administration.

When recipients of disability benefits reenter the workforce, they have a nine-month trial period in which they continue to receive benefits. Once the trial period ends and their earnings exceed a certain level — currently $1,040 a month — the payments are supposed to stop. And that’s exactly what happened in his case.

But then, last July, he noticed a $75,000 deposit in his checking account. Three days later, a letter arrived from the Social Security Administration saying it had reinstated his benefits because he had not been “gainfully employed” during the past three years. Continue reading here.

Thanks to the folks at Seattle Community Law Center for sharing this article!

A New Frontline/ProPublica Report Sheds Lights on Assisted Living and Elder Law Issues

Elderly, At Risk and Haphazardly Protected _ Life and Death in Assisted LiviDid you know that in Minnesota and 13 other states, the administrators of assisted living facilities don’t need to have high school diplomas? Or that in California, assisted living facilities housing as many as 200 seniors need no more than two workers on the overnight shift? The workers are not required to have any medical training, and one is allowed to be asleep.

A special report from ProPublica and FRONTLINE finds that even though increasing numbers of assisted living residents are seriously ill and require complex care, regulations for assisted living lag far behind the reality in many states — and assisted living operators face few consequences for even the most serious lapses.

Why?  Our special report is here. It’s the latest installment in our investigation of assisted living in America — and it’s something you won’t want to miss.

Report Concludes that Volunteering is Good for Your Health

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A national survey of 3,351 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of UnitedHealth Group demonstrates that volunteering is good for your health. 

It’s no secret within the nonprofit sector that volunteers are often the difference between “make” and “break,” the special sauce that keeps an organization moving forward, delivering against its mission, serving its constituents. From hands-on volunteers to skills-based volunteers to the volunteer leaders who serve on boards, it’s almost impossible to calculate the value that those who give back add to the sector. So it’s nice to know that those who volunteer benefit from the experience as well.

A national survey of 3,351 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of UnitedHealth Group demonstrates that volunteering is good for your health. Here are some of the takeaways from this research:

  • Volunteers say they feel better—physically, mentally and emotionally—than non-volunteers
  • Volunteering helps people manage and lower stress levels
  • Volunteers feel a deeper connection to communities and others
  • Volunteers are more informed healthcare consumers and are more engaged and involved in taking care of their own health

If you work with volunteers—or if you are one yourself—those first three points are probably not very surprising. The fourth is perhaps a bit unexpected, but the report includes some interesting data around this topic, including people who report that volunteering helps them cope with a chronic illness and/or helps them take their minds off their own problems. Survey respondents who volunteer scored better than those that don’t on nine well-established measures of emotional well-being. Read more here.

Columbia Legal Services and Pro Bono Partners File Suit Against Yakima Hospital Over Charity Care

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Together with Sirianni Youtz Spoonemore Hamburger, Columbia Legal Services has filed a lawsuit seeking access to healthcare for low-income Yakima area residents.

By Molly Rosbach, Yakima Herald-Republic.

In violation of state laws, Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center and Toppenish Community Hospital have been deterring patients from seeking charity care, shifting the burden onto other area hospitals, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the hospitals’ parent corporation.

The lawsuit in Yakima County Superior Court alleges a “severe imbalance” when it comes to charity care in Yakima County, using state figures that show Regional’s total charity care cases numbering 385 for 2011 compared to 28,503 for Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Toppenish Community and Regional are owned by Health Management Associates (HMA) of Naples, Fla., which is the sole named defendant.

Charity care is for patients who cannot pay all or part of their hospital bill, and is typically a tax write-off for the hospital. Read the full story here.

News from Eastside Legal Assistance Program

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By Stan Kehl, Executive Director

As the King County Budget process unfolds, I’ve been looking at the need for legal services for DV survivors. I’ve always known that we only scratch the surface in meeting this need, but the numbers I have recently received drove the point home. Domestic Abuse Women’s Network would refer 75 to 100 more survivors a month who would benefit from assistance on their family law cases. The King County Protection Order Advocates would refer an additional 100 to 120 survivors a month to ELAP, if we had the capacity to serve them. Lifewire, formerly Eastside Domestic Violence Program, would refer 15 more clients with critical health and safety needs to our ELAP DV Staff Attorneys each month, if we had the capacity. 

We are working on an innovative proposal to address this critical need by substantially expanding ELAP’s capacity to serve DV survivors by up to 120 to 130 DV survivors a year. We are designing a program to use what we see as unused resources, i.e. new attorneys who practice in the area of family law but have not fully established their practice yet, and non-practicing attorneys who would like to volunteer on a regular basis to keep their skill sharp. 

We will recruit new attorneys to the program and provide them with full support, including computers, phones, paralegal assistance, mentoring and training for one year while they build their solo practice. In return they will provide ELAP’s DV clients with 20 hours of legal services a week for one year. This will involve between five and eight of these attorneys each year. We will also recruit three to five experienced non-practicing family law attorneys who are temporarily staying at home, but who would like to give ten hours of their week.

In addition to providing legal services to more of the DV survivors who desperately need legal assistance, we want to train new family law attorneys in an environment which would acquaint them with working with DV survivors. We would also be forging connections with them, which we believe will lead to ongoing pro bono work on behalf of DV survivors.

If you would like to be a part of this effort, or have suggestions and ideas for this program, please contact me at stan@elap.org.

Equal Justice Coalition Funding Update

logoDuring the months of September and October, six legal aid Alliance organizations and the Equal Justice Coalition testified at all four scheduled public hearings on King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget. The public hearings were held in Kent, North Bend, Bellevue, and Seattle.

Legal aid organizations that provided testimony, and that are supported through Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed budget are Seattle Community Law Center, Unemployment Law Project, TeamChild, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Eastside Legal Assistance Program, and the Family Assistance Program at Solid Ground.

While we are thankful to be included in the Executive’s proposed budget, we’ve continued to meet with Councilmembers to highlight the importance of investing in our services, which collectively ensures our most vulnerable people are protected.

The County’s investment has enabled legal aid organizations to leverage support through unique partnerships that have resulted in a coordinated multiple entry point system for low-income people to gain access to the legal services they need.

Last year, the County’s investment of half a million dollars to these six legal aid programs allowed them to leverage support from volunteer attorneys, yielding over 25,000 hours of pro bono help – a sizable return on investment of about $4 million to the county.

At a time when we’ve seen a decline in federal support, and state funding has remained stagnant, King County has stepped up its support for legal services.

The King County Council’s Budget Leadership Team is currently in the process of budget deliberations. We expect the Council to announce their final proposal within two weeks.