Immediate Deadlines! Fellowship Opportunity With Public Advocates Due Today!

Public Advocates Inc. Seeking Fellow for 2016-2018, Due Today!

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Public Advocates Inc. seeks dynamic and dedicated advocates to apply for project funding with us through the Equal Justice Works and Skadden post-graduate fellowship programs. Fellows would work out of our offices in San Francisco or Sacramento.

We are a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices in public policy and achieving tangible legal victories advancing education, housing, and transit equity. We spur change through collaboration with grassroots groups representing low-income communities, people of color and immigrants, combined with strategic policy reform, media advocacy, and litigation, “making rights real” across California since 1971. We currently focus on education equity, affordable housing, transportation justice, climate justice, and regional equity.

For more information, click here.

Council Central Staff Seeking Strategic Analyst, Due Tomorrow at 4:00 PM PST!

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The Seattle City Council’s Central Staff Division is seeking a dynamic individual who enjoys working with a forward thinking team, is able to adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and is able to get things done on behalf of the City’s full-time, nine-member Council. The Strategic Analyst will perform high level, independent policy and fiscal analysis, including conducting research, evaluating policy initiatives, drafting legislation, and presenting recommendations on a wide range of issues, such as parks and recreation, transportation, human services, housing, utilities, public safety, and municipal finance.

For more information, click here.

Attention 2Ls & 3Ls! Upcoming Government Honors Deadlines

Fall Quarter

Spring Quarter

Public Policy Deadlines

Fall Quarter

Reprieve U.S. Seeking US Caseworker on Abuses in Counter-Terrorism, Due 7/17

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Located in New York, Reprieve US is the new sister non-profit to Reprieve UK, an NGO founded in 1999 by a dual US-UK citizen and lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith. We work closely with Reprieve UK and its network of Fellows operating around the world. We use investigation, litigation, press and diplomacy to challenge the death penalty and abuses committed in the name of the ‘War on Terror’. While the court of law is often our starting point, we also fight and win in the court of public opinion. Just one of Reprieve’s dozens of clients released from Guantánamo was freed by judicial order. Public advocacy is not just litigation window-dressing – it is central to what we do.

We’re looking for a keen strategic thinker, concise writer, and confident public speaker to help us develop our counter-terrorism work in the US. Working for us combines the excitement of a startup with the caseload of a larger and more established NGO (because of the link to Reprieve UK).  The US Caseworker will assist Reprieve US’ growing US strategy. S/he will help generate new projects and cases, while joining our existing ones, and will further Reprieve US’s mission through political and public engagement.

For more information, click here.

Metropolitan King County Council Seeking Director of Government Relations, Due 7/20

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The Metropolitan King County Council is seeking a visionary leader who will direct and accomplish the Council and County’s political and legislative objectives at the state and federal level. This is an exciting opportunity to join the King County Council and play a role in providing quality regional services to county residents and foster an effective partnership with the state and federal governments.

The Director of Government Relations is an appointed, managerial position and requires considerable skill and extensive experience at mobilizing and managing County efforts to support and advocate specific legislation. This position plays a key leadership role and is integral in coordinating with legislative and executive branch staff and elected officials to develop, implement and monitor work plans to achieve the Council and County’s legislative objectives.

United States Environmental Protection Agency Seeking Applicants for Fall 2015 Region 5 Honors Attorney Fellowship, Due 7/21

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The Office of Regional Counsel seeks applications for the Fall 2015 Region 5 Honors Attorney Fellowship. This is a temporary two-year position in the Chicago, Illinois office. The Honors Attorney Fellow is expected to commit to the full two-year term that will begin in the fall of 2015. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2015 Fellowship is July 21, 2015.

The EPA Region 5 Honors Attorney Fellowship is designed for a recent law school graduate with excellent academic credentials and a strong interest in an environmental law career and the public sector. It provides an opportunity for entry-level attorneys to practice law in a leading governmental environmental organization, and to receive extensive training in and exposure to environmental law and policy work in the public sector. Region 5 offers new attorneys significant responsibility, the opportunity to handle a varied caseload that includes enforcement and counseling work, and extensive training and mentoring from dedicated colleagues with recognized expertise. The Region offers a diverse and supportive work environment.

For more information, click here.

Columbia Law School Releases New Practice Guide Addressing Gender-Based Violence

New Resource on Human Rights Approach to Gender-Based Violence in the United States

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By: JoAnn Kamuf, Bringing Human Rights Home

A new resource developed by the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and the University of Miami International Human Rights Clinic is now available.

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault in the U.S.:  A Human Rights Based Approach & Practice Guide includes core human rights principles related to gender-based violence, as well as relevant treaties, case-law, related reports and organizational resources.   It also discusses recent developments in U.S. policy and the value added of human rights in the U.S. domestic context.  It can be accessed through this link or on our publications page.

This resource is an outgrowth of a DOJ-DOS sponsored roundtable held in April of this year and reflects the input of a number of network members and U.S. government representatives.  Building on conversations that took place at the roundtable, the Practice Guide offers concrete ideas for incorporating human rights into federal policy and practice.

What’s at Stake for Hong Kong?

Hong Kong Protests

By: Scott Neuman, National Public Radio (NRP)

Masses of pro-democracy protesters continue to pack the streets in Hong Kong, defying police who have responded with tear gas. The demonstrators are angry that Beijing has insisted on vetting all candidates for the territory’s next chief executive.

Here’s a closer look at the issue and what’s at stake:

What Was In The Handover Agreement?

Hong Kong was designated a “special administrative region” within China and promised a “high degree of autonomy,” including the eventual election of its chief executive. Hong Kong people retained their own passports, making it easier for them to travel abroad than it was for their mainland counterparts. The territory has also retained the Hong Kong dollar as its currency and issues its own postage stamps, though Queen Elizabeth’s image no longer appears on either.

“The central government will not interfere,” Lu told People’s Daily, according to The Wall Street Journal. China touted its relationship with Hong Kong as “one country, two systems.”

Although Hong Kong’s first several chief executives were selected by a committee appointed by Beijing, China promised that the election of the territory’s leader would eventually be democratic.

Continue reading here.  Photo credit Carlos Barria (Reuters/Landov).

UN Climate Summit 2014 Yields Mass Public Mobilization, Political Commitments as Participants Hope to Lay Groundwork for Global Climate Change Treaty

UN Photo Climate Summit

By: International Justice Resource Center

The much anticipated one-day Climate Summit 2014 took place this Tuesday, September 23 at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, marking the international community’s latest effort to address climate change. Hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Climate Summit 2014 aimed to engage world leaders and encourage international action to slow climate change. Governments at the Summit were expected to produce “concrete initiatives” and discuss ways to lower industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases that contribute to the heating of the planet.  The primary purpose of Climate Summit 2014 is to generate momentum for a global agreement on climate change in 2015.

Continue reading here.  Photo credit: Mark Garten/UN Photo

Update: Public & Private Solutions to Providing Legal Aid for Unaccompanied Minors

Statute - justice for all

By: ABA Access to Justice Blog

In early August “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made an impassioned plea to U.S. law firms…to free up attorneys to help deal with the surge of Central American children who have entered the country illegally by providing more pro bono representation…  Biden urged lawyers to step up and help deal with a backlog of court cases.”

Since then, government (on all levels), law firms, and other private-sector actors are reacting to the glut of unaccompanied minors who are being processed through the U.S.’s byzantine immigration system without legal counsel.  Here’s the underlying problem as reported by the Press Democrat:

Border patrol agents picked up more than 66,000 unaccompanied children, most of them from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, along the southern U.S. border between Oct. 1, 2013, and the end of last month. They were turned over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, then underwent medical checks and were given immunizations before being placed in shelters or with relatives and sponsors.

Those shelters and other living accommodations are scattered throughout the U.S. So the question has arisen about how to ensure that unaccompanied minors have access too legal services.

Continue reading here.

Upcoming Fellowships, Full-Time Attorney Positions, and Volunteer Opportunities

U.S. Dept. of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Seeking Associate RSD Officer, Due 3/14

UNHCR Refugees

UNHCR Kenya currently comprises a Branch Office in Nairobi and 2 Sub-Offices in Dadaab and Kakuma. The Sub-offices are responsible for coordinating the activities of the refugee camps under their respective jurisdictions. Dadaab hosts mostly Somali refugees while Kakuma is populated by 13 different nationalities including Somalis (53%), Sudanese (34%), and refugees from the Great lakes region.

The Nairobi-based Country Representative is the overall manager of the Kenya program. He is assisted by a Deputy Representative (in charge of operations) and an Assistant Representative for Protection. The Protection Section in Nairobi includes an eligibility and registration center, a protection delivery unit, and a resettlement unit.

Sub-Office Kakuma is managed by the Head of Sub-Office. The Protection, Resettlement, Community Services, Registration, and Eligibility Units are supervised by the Senior Protection Officer (P-4) who is also the head of Protection Section. There are a number of national staff and some international staff working under these protection-related units. In Kakuma the RSD team currently has a staffing capacity of 6 Eligibility Assistants and one RSD Clerk and is faced with an increasing backlog of pending cases due to a steady flow of new arrivals into the camp.

For complete details on the Associate RSD position and application details, click herePhoto courtesy of UNHCR.

Center for Conflict Studies Offers Peacebuilders Fellowship, Due 3/15

Peacebuilding

In keeping with the mission of the Center, the goal of the Peacebuilders Fellowship is to give a voice to the voiceless. Fellows will spend around two months in a conflict zone and collect stories of people who have experienced conflict. The hope is that the individual stories will give face to a “distant” conflict, providing empirical knowledge which in turn will empower people to act. Peacebuilder Fellows are therefore, storytellers for peace. Additionally, this supports the Center’s slogan “Knowledge as Action; Action as Change.”

For the year 2014, the Center will be focusing on water conflicts and the Peacebuilders Fellowship will emphasize the gathering of stories of individuals who are stakeholders in a water conflict.  The four regions of focus for the year 2014 are Asia, Latin America, Africa and Middle-East.

For more information and application details, click here.

Federal Trade Commission Office of International Affairs (Consumer Protection Group) Seeking Summer Intern, Due 3/16

FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tasked with the prevention of fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices that adversely affect consumers or competition.  In recent years, the Commission’s consumer protection mission has taken on increased international focus as more and more FTC cases involve offshore defendants or assets.  For example, the FTC has sued overseas telemarketers responsible for scamming consumers out of tens of millions of dollars, the FTC has pursued foreign spammers responsible for deluging consumers’ in-boxes with unwanted email, and the FTC has gone after U.S. promoters of bogus weight-loss products who concealed their ill-gotten gains in a maze of offshore bank accounts.

The FTC’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) works to further both the competition and consumer protection missions of the FTC by promoting cooperation with foreign law enforcement and by serving as an internal resource to other Commission offices.  On the consumer protection side, OIA attorneys provide investigative assistance and share information with our consumer protection counterparts around the world, and we assist FTC litigators in other offices with cross-border aspects of their litigation.  OIA attorneys also play a significant role in promoting sound consumer protection policies internationally. Our attorneys have served as consumer protection experts on U.S. delegations to international organizations and foreign agencies, and we have worked with foreign colleagues to produce international guidelines on the identification and prevention of cross-border consumer fraud, on privacy and spam enforcement cooperation, and on consumer dispute resolution and redress.   We also work on international privacy, data security, and e-commerce policy issues that arise in the borderless realm of the Internet, and we share our technical expertise with developing countries seeking to develop and implement an effective consumer protection regime.

For complete details and application information, click here.

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan Seeking Full Time Staff Attorney, Spanish Required, Due 3/31

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Farmworker Legal Services, (FLS), a statewide division of Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM), is seeking applicants for a Staff Attorney position in our Kalamazoo office.   Kalamazoo is a college town in southwestern Michigan, located 35 miles east of Lake Michigan, and two hours from Chicago and Detroit.

LSSCM is a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to very low income and senior persons in 13 counties in south central Michigan.  FLS is the division of LSSCM that provides legal advice, referrals, direct representation and systemic advocacy to Michigan’s migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, as further described at www.FarmworkerLaw.org.

The Staff Attorney will provide effective legal services to enforce farmworkers’ rights.  Advocacy tasks will include field investigation and camp outreach, legal research and writing, negotiation, community task force participation, training, document preparation, policy analysis, and direct representation in administrative hearings, as well as state and federal litigation and appeals.

For more information and application details, click here.

Attention Law Students! Tenants Union Seeking Volunteer Policy Researcher, Due 3/31

Tenants Union (TU) Logo

The City of Seattle is facing the highest rent increases in the nation which is causing low-income tenants to be displaced at alarming rates, in addition to communities of color being disproportionately impacted. The TU is developing a grassroots response to the housing crisis and is developing an anti-displacement policy platform. This position would research effective policies in other states and cities that have been contemplated or implemented to counteract the growing wave of displacement and gentrification. Hours are flexible. Technical assistance and legal guidance will be provided on an as needed basis through our legal partners Columbia Legal Services and Northwest Justice Project, however they will not be providing direct supervision over the position.

For more information and application details, click here.

Kitsap Legal Services Seeking 2014 Intern, Applications Accepted on Rolling Basis

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Under the supervision of Kitsap Legal Services’ (KLS) Executive Director and highly experienced volunteer attorneys, interns will serve as part of a countywide team of legal services advocates who work cooperatively with other providers to bring high quality representation to Kitsap County’s vulnerable and low-income population. Substantive priorities may include family law, housing, consumer, bankruptcy, Social Security disability benefits application, and immigration. Interns will experience the realities of a small nonprofit legal services office as they interview clients, direct clients to appropriate community resources or free civil legal advice clinics, or observe and aid attorney in provision of legal services. Interns may also help develop self-help materials for pro-se litigants, training materials for staff and clients and work on other special projects depending on the needs of the office.

Interns will be expected to bring the maturity and commitment to their work necessary to participate as members of a comprehensive, countywide holistic delivery system. Intern skills must include the ability to treat community partners and all clients with compassion, dignity and respect.

For more details and application information, click here.

U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights in Denver, CO Seeking Volunteer Interns, Applications Considered on a Rolling Basis

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The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces civil rights laws, including those that protect people from discrimination in educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age.  We primarily investigate civil rights complaints.  We do not litigate.  We have volunteer internship positions available every semester, especially in the summer months, for motivated students who share our dedication.  Our region handles issues arising in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

Interns participate in all aspects of complaint investigations, including local on-site investigations.  Interns make legal determinations regarding OCR’s jurisdiction over complaints; interview witnesses, collect data; analyze data; draft evaluation and resolution letters; and conduct civil rights-related legal research and analysis.  Interns also perform other duties as assigned.

For more details and application information, click here.

Attention Recent Grads and 3Ls!  WA’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Seeking Program Supervisor in Equity and Civil Rights, Open Until Filled

OSPI Logo

The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is seeking a visionary and dynamic leader to join the OSPI team as the Program Supervisor for the Department of Equity and Civil Rights. This critical and innovative full-time position is based in Olympia, Washington. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the OSPI website (www.k12.wa.us) to gain insight into the agency’s mission and strategic plan.

Under the direction of the Equity and Civil Rights Program Director, the Program Supervisor will work collaboratively with school district personnel to monitor and ensure compliance with state and federal civil rights laws. The Program Supervisor will provide technical assistance and training to school district personnel, and will respond to allegations of discrimination by students, parents, employees, and others. The position requires broad understanding of state and federal nondiscrimination laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, disability, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, and veteran or military status.

For more information and application details, click here.

Attention Post Grads Interested in Practicing in Montana!  Office of the State Public Defender of Montana Seeks to Hire Full Time Attorney, Due 6/30

MT Office of the State Public Defender Seal

Assistant Public Defenders represent indigent clients in cases including: felony and misdemeanor criminal charges; delinquent youth proceedings; involuntary mental health or developmental disability commitments; abuse and neglect proceedings; dependent/neglect matters; and guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, as described in the Montana Public Defender Act.

Assistant Public Defenders are expected to exercise their own professional judgment and provide competent indigent defense casework pursuant to the Public Defender Commission standards. Case assignments are determined by the Regional Deputy Public Defender. Assistant Public Defenders duties include but are not limited to case investigation and strategy, discovery review, motion work, plea negotiations, trial preparation and completion, and sentencing.

For a complete description and application details, click here.  Application Deadline: 6/30/2014.