Human Rights, Justice, and Public Interest Related Announcements

Hunger Strike at Tacoma’s Immigration Detention Center Enters Day Four

Associated Press Detention Center Holding Cell

By Alexis Krell, The News Tribune

Tacoma’s federal immigration detention center was working Monday to determine how many of its 1,300 detainees were on a hunger strike, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

The agency said 130 detainees at the Northwest Detention Center on the Tideflats declined meals as of lunchtime and indicated they were striking, compared to 330 Sunday. Supporters said about 1,200 detainees started the strike Friday in protest of deportations, and in demand of better food, treatment by guards and working conditions at the center.

Continue reading herePhoto courtesy of the Associated Press and Ted S. Warren.

Washington State Ranks High on Justice Index

By: Cardozo Law School, The Justice Index

The Justice Index is a snapshot of the degree to which best practices for ensuring access to the civil and criminal justice systems have been adopted across the country. This aggregate map gives a summary view of the national and state-by-state commitment to providing access to the civil and criminal courts for some of our most vulnerable populations.

For complete information and details on the Justice Index’s findings, click here.

Justice Index Composite Map

Leitner Center at Fordham Law School Offers New Summer Human Rights Program, July 28 – Aug. 8

Leitner Center Logo

The Leitner Center is organizing a new program this year — the 2014 Summer Human Rights Institute at Fordham Law School. The Institute is a two-week certificate program that will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the theory and application of human rights law. The course, this year held from July 28 to August 8, will include practice-based examples for lawyers and other professionals working in a range of fields. The course will be taught by professors from Fordham Law School, and will be a rigorous program with daily lectures and workshops. The program will provide an overview of international law as well as focused subject lectures and workshops. It will also include fieldwork and discussions with attorneys practicing international law in New York, in governments, and with non-governmental organizations.

The program is suitable both for recent graduates from undergraduate programs as well as advanced degrees, advanced professionals, as well as people working in international law, development, and business. The course is open to students from around the world. The Leitner Center will work with students to obtain necessary visas and other paperwork.

For inquiries about the program, contact the Leitner Center here.

PILA Grants Application Now Available, Due 4/3

PILA Logo

The PILA grant application is now available!  PILA provides $5,000 and $2,500 grants to fund students’ public service projects. Students may use their grant this summer or any quarter in the 2014-2015 academic year. To be eligible to apply, applicants must have already completed 5 volunteer hours for PILA.

The application can be accessed hereThere is a binder of past PILA grant applications in the Career Services Office (Room 346) that applicants may look at for guidance and inspiration.

Applications are due to Academic Services (Room 361) by 4:30PM on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

If you have any questions regarding the application or the grants process, please contact PILA Grants Coordinator Tori Ainsworth.

Attention 1Ls!  Goodwin Proctor Public Interest Fellowship for Law Students of Color Due THIS FRIDAY, 3/15

Goodwin Fellowship Image

For the past eight years, Goodwin has invested in a diverse legal community by offering fellowships to high-achieving law students of color. This year, we will again offer awards of $7,500 to students of color who work in public interest positions the summer after their first year of law school. This program allows us to connect with a wide array of talented students early in their legal careers who are committed to giving back to their communities.

In addition to the monetary fellowship award, selected fellows are guaranteed a “straight-to-callback” interview with the Goodwin Procter office of their choice in the fall interview season during their second year of law school. Fellows will also be invited to participate in some of our summer associate program events during their summer at the public interest organization.

For additional information on the Fellowships, please click here.

U.S. Justice Gap is Under International Scrutiny – Op-Ed

Alandj (iStockphoto.com) UN Geneva

By Risa E. Kaufman, The National Law Journal

The United States will be reviewed on March 13 and 14 for how it is meeting its commitments under this core human rights treaty. Concerned with the civil justice gap in the United States, the U.N. committee of human rights experts conducting the review has put squarely on the agenda the question of what steps this country has taken to improve legal representation in civil proceedings for litigants belonging to racial, ethnic and national minorities, and for victims of domestic violence.

Continue reading here.  Photo courtesy of Alandj / iStockphoto.com. UN European HQ in Geneva

Check Out These International Internships and Legislative Counsel Positions! Also, Federal Public Defender Position Due Today!

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads!  Western District of Washington Seeks Full Time Federal Public Defender, Due TODAY

Western District of WA Federal Defender U.S. Courts Logo

The Federal Public Defender Office for the Western District of Washington, operating under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. 3006A to provide defense services in federal criminal matters in the federal courts, is seeking a Research and Writing Specialist. Applicants must be law school graduates, who have been admitted to and are in good standing with their state bars. A minimum of two years of legal experience and knowledge of criminal law is required. Experience in habeas law and handling federal criminal cases is strongly preferred. This position is dependent on federal funding.

Deadline February 17, 2014.

For more information, click here.  For application details, click here.

Interested in Practicing in Illinois?  Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. Seeking Full Time Staff Attorney, Due 2/19

Prairie State Legal Services Logo

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., a 75-lawyer legal services organization, serving 36 counties in northern and central ILLINOIS outside of Cook County, is seeking applicants for a STAFF ATTORNEY position in our office in McHENRY.  This office, located approximately 60 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, is staffed by two attorneys and serves McHenry County.  The successful applicant will participate in a full range of legal activities including the preparation and conduct of administrative hearings and trials of cases for low-income persons.  The work will be concentrated exclusively in housing law, including eviction and foreclosure defense.  Staff attorneys are involved in the communities served by the office, and the successful applicant will be involved with extensive outreach and collaboration with other organizations serving low-income persons in McHenry County.  A commitment to legal aid work is essential for this position.  Applicants should be aware that this position is funded for one year, although we anticipate that continued funding is possible.

Deadline: February 19, 2014

For more details and application information, click here.

Attention Post Grad!  City of Seattle Legislative Department Seeking City Council Central Staff Director, Due 2/25

Seattle Logo

The City of Seattle is looking for an intelligent, motivated, civic-minded leader who is passionate about helping shape public policy issues in a fast-paced environment. This is an outstanding opportunity to be part of a progressive city government that values civic discourse and inclusion of the City’s many diverse communities while constantly striving to make Seattle a great city to live, learn, work, and play.

We are currently recruiting for the City Council Central Staff Director. The Director manages the 18 member policy unit, which provides policy analysis for all nine Council members and their legislative aides, develops legislative initiatives for individual Council member offices and the Council as a whole, and reviews legislative proposals from the Mayor, City Attorney, and Municipal Court. The Director also oversees the finance function for the Legislative Department, which involves managing an additional staff of two and an annual budget of more than $2.9 million.

Visit www.seattle.gov/jobs by 4:00pm on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 to complete an online application.  Job Number 2014-00127.

Interested in Working in Guatemala?  The Rabinal Legal Clinic Seeks Volunteer to Join Its Team

Breaking the Silence Logo

The Rabinal Community Legal Clinic is an organization that is working to bring to justice perpetrators of violence related to Guatemala’s internal armed conflict. This is an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding working with a team of primarily indigenous Maya Achi lawyers. They are currently looking for someone to volunteer.

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

Looking to Work in Cambodia this Summer? Vishnu Law Group Offers International Internship

Cambodia (Image courtesy of pakron/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Vishnu Law Group is the leading public interest law firm in Cambodia, well known for its public interest work and pro bono services.  Projects include high profile legal advocacy to defend human rights, defense of poor communities in land dispute cases, and legal cooperation projects to develop environmental legislation and provide tenure security for poor communities.  Vishnu also handles a range of private legal matters.

The selected students will participate and assist in all aspects of the firm’s work, including: research on legal and technical issues relevant to the firm’s work; meetings with civil society and international stakeholders; development of innovative legal strategies; assisting in the capacity development of the firm’s team, and donor relations, including drafting proposals and reports.

For a complete description and application details, click here. (Note: Malware warning on Vishnu Law Group website, approach with caution.)  Image courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Attention Recent Grads with Political Democratic Experience! Senator Hirono Seeking Legislative Counsel to Join Judiciary Committee

Portrait of Senator Hirono (c) of hirono.senate.gov

Senator Hirono’s Office is seeking Legislative Counsel to join its staff in handling Judiciary Committee work, including immigration and intellectual property. The senator has a strong interest in consumer protection issues. Other issues in the portfolio could include privacy, nominations, and more. Responsibilities include developing a proactive legislative agenda, keeping the senator up to date, staffing the Senator during committee meetings, and writing statements and speeches. Qualified candidates should have a J.D., be strong writers, and have prior Capitol Hill experience.

Senator Hirono’s office is an equal opportunity employer.  To apply, e-mail a cover letter, resume, and writing sample here. Please make sure to note which position you are applying for in the subject line of your email (Judiciary Position).

For more information about Senator Hirono, click here.

Interested in Policy Work in Olympia this Summer?  Take Advantage of the Governor’s Leadership Academy, Due 3/31

Governor Jay Inslee Logo

Take advantage of a unique internship program through the Governor’s Leadership Academy. Great opportunities to work in legislative affairs and policy for law students. Applications reviewed on a rolling basis through March 31.

The Governor’s Leadership Academy is a unique internship program for college and graduate students to gain a hands-on learning experience in the Governor’s office.  The Inslee Administration is looking for innovative, forward-thinking individuals who are committed to public service and who want to develop their leadership and public policy skills in a dynamic environment.

For more information and application details, click here.

Attention 1Ls and 2Ls! Externship Opportunity for Animal Rights Activists

Friends of Animals Magazine Cover

Friends of Animals is pleased to announce summer (2014) externship opportunities in its Wildlife Law Program (WLP), located in Denver, Colorado. Established in 2013, the WLP fills a niche between animal and environmental activism.  Animal activists often fail to fully utilize the array of local, state, federal and international environmental laws as a means to protect the rights of animals to live free from human interference.  Environmental activists often utilize these laws, but do so to achieve broad environmental objectives that may not always protect the rights of free-living animals. The mission of the WLP is to utilize the law for a singular purpose: to ensure the right of all wildlife to live in an ecosystem free from human manipulation, exploitation, or abuse.

Externs will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience by working closely with WLP attorneys to litigate matters in federal and state court, as well as engage in non-litigation advocacy projects. Typically extern projects include drafting legal documents (60-day notice letters, complaints, discovery documents, briefs, administrative comments), legal research and writing, interviewing and working directly with the client, engaging government decision-makers, and advocating at the policy level. The WLP attorneys also make an effort to expose students to a wide variety of career opportunities, including opportunities in public interest environmental law and animal rights law.

Check out Symplicity for full description and application information.

Looking for a Spring Externship? Department of Labor Seeking Spring Extern for OSHA Discrimination Case

DOL Seal

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently filed an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) discrimination case in federal court.  The DOL Office seeks an extern available in the Spring Quarter who can assist in trial preparation.  If you are interested in anti-discrimination issues, this is a rare opportunity to gain experience in discrimination law under OSHA and Title VII as such cases rarely go to trial.  Externs must be available for at least 16 hours per week, though more hours are available upon request.  If you are interested in the position, please contact Bruce Brown directly by email.  Mr. Brown is the Associate Regional Solicitor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor.

Check Out These Positions Open to Recent Grads, Post-Grads, and Current Law Students: Early February Deadlines

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads!  King County Bar Association Seeking Volunteer Legal Services Coordinator, Deadline 2/5

KCBA Logo

Work as a member of the Pro Bono Services team at the King County Bar Association, and manage the VLS program including program development, daily operations, and community outreach. This position is responsible for placing cases for ongoing representation with volunteer attorneys in priority legal subject areas, overseeing public education programs (currently Make Change!), and supporting the Bailey Boushay Wills Clinic.

For a full description of the job position, please download here.

Applications will be accepted through February 5, 2014.

Attention Recent Grads!  SCLC Seeking Development Coordinator, Position Available Immediately

SCLC Logo

The Seattle Community Law Center (SCLC) is a specialty civil legal aid organization that provides accessible legal advocacy to people living with physical and mental disabilities so that they may obtain the resources necessary to overcome barriers to financial and medical stability. We further our mission through targeted advocacy projects that help people with Social Security disability issues.

SCLC is seeking to hire a passionate Development Coordinator to stand with us as we work with people who are living with disabilities and fighting for their economic and medical security. We are seeking an inclusive team player to accelerate the organization’s fundraising success and public presence through the development and implementation of a strategic and targeted development and communication plan. The Development Coordinator will be chiefly responsible for coordinating our delivery on key fundraising strategies to achieve the short-term
and long‐term goals of the mission.

For a full description and instructions on how to apply, click here.  This position is available immediately.

Attention 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls!  World Bank Seeks Law Student Public Interest Fellow in DC, Deadline 2/7

World Bank Logo

The World Bank Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) offers qualified law students with funded summer-public-interest fellowships the opportunity to work with INT’s Investigations Unit and Special Litigation Unit.

We are interested in candidates with strong critical thinking, writing, and communication skills. Fluency in a foreign language, demonstrated interest or experience in international law and development, and past experience working in a multicultural environment are pluses, but are not required.

For a full description, click here. Application deadline is February 7, 2014.

Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice Seeking Summer Clerk, 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls Encouraged to Apply, Deadline before 2/15

Hawaii Appleseed LEJ Logo

Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice (LEJ) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) law firm created to advocate on behalf of low income individuals and families in Hawaii on civil legal issues of statewide importance and to complement the assistance provided by existing legal services providers in the state.

Each summer LEJ recruits between 6 and 8 summer clerks to help advance our work. Summer clerks are primarily attending law school but undergraduate student are also considered depending on their particular interests, skills and backgrounds. Summer clerks engage in a variety of activities including research, assistance with class action litigation, outreach and legislative advocacy. To learn more about our summer clerks program click here.  Interested applicants should contact our program before February 15th to express interest and ask about the application process.

Post-Grad Positions in Indian Child Welfare Law for Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Closes When Filled

Puyallup Tribal Indians Logo

Indian Child Welfare Attorney (2+ Years Experience)

The position is for an attorney to advise and represent the Tribal government on various issues regarding Indian child welfare and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

For a full description and information on how to apply, download here.

Assistant Prosecutor/ICW Child Welfare Prosecuting Officer (2+ Years Experience)

Responsible for planning, organizing, and directing assigned ICW/Child Welfare cases within the Prosecutor’s Office and serves as the Assistant Prosecutor/Juvenile/ICW and Child Welfare Presenting Officer for the Tribe.

For a full description and information on how to apply, download here.

Attention Post-Grads, Arctic Law and Policy Institute Seeks Legal Fellow, Deadline 3/31

Arctic Globe ALPI

The University of Washington Arctic Law and Policy Institute is committed to developing future leaders and subject matter experts in the fields of Arctic law and policy and the intersection of both with natural and social sciences and international and intergovernmental affairs. To achieve that goal, the Institute has established a research fellowship program for recent law school graduates who aspire to provide the critical leadership and analytical skills needed to address emerging Arctic opportunities and challenges.

Duties will include conducting assigned research in current Arctic law and policy issues, distributing Institute research via the Institute web site and by other methods, organizing conferences, workshops and webinars, and preparing and administering grant proposals. This is a non-teaching position; however, the Fellow will assist faculty in preparing and delivering courses and seminars (live and online) and may be asked to provide advice to the university’s law, graduate and undergraduate students in their Arctic related studies and research.

Download the full description here.  Applications due March 31, 2014.

Gender Justice in North Africa, Decriminalizing Homelessness & Combatting Source of Income Discrimination in Rental Housing

Underage Girls Are Egypt’s Summer Rentals

Underage-girls-IPS-571x472By Cam McGrath, Inter Press News Agency

El HAWAMDIA, Egypt , Aug 5 2013 (IPS) – Each summer, wealthy male tourists from Gulf Arab states flock to Egypt to escape the oppressive heat of the Arabian Peninsula, taking residence at upscale hotels and rented flats in Cairo and Alexandria. Many come with their families and housekeeping staff, spending their days by the pool, shopping, and frequenting cafes and nightclubs. Others come for a more sinister purpose.

In El Hawamdia, a poor agricultural town 20 kilometres south of Cairo, they are easy to spot. Arab men in crisp white thawbs troll the town’s pot-holed, garbage-strewn streets in their luxury cars and SUVs. As they arrive, Egyptian fixers in flip flops run alongside their vehicles, offering short-term flats and what to them is the town’s most sought-after commodity – underage girls.

Each year, in El Hawamdia and other impoverished rural communities across Egypt, thousands of girls between the ages of 11 and 18 are sold by their parents to wealthy, much older Gulf Arab men under the pretext of marriage. The sham nuptials may last from a couple of hours to years, depending on the negotiated arrangement.

“It’s a form of child prostitution in the guise of marriage,” Azza El-Ashmawy, director of the Child Anti-Trafficking Unit at the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) tells IPS. “The man pays a sum of money and will stay with the girl for a few days or the summer, or will take her back to his country for domestic work or prostitution.”

The girl is returned to her family when the marriage ends, usually to be married off again.

“Some girls have been married 60 times by the time they turn 18,” says El-Ashmawy. “Most ‘marriages’ last for just a couple of days or weeks.”

The deals are hatched in El Hawamdia’s myriad “marriage broker” offices, identifiable by the conspicuous presence of air-conditioners in a ramshackle town with intermittent power.

The brokers, usually second-rate lawyers, also offer a delivery service. Village girls as young as 11 are brought to the Arab tourists’ hotel or rented flat for selection. Arab men travelling with their wives and children often arrange a separate flat for such purposes.

The temporary marriages offer a way to circumvent Islamic restrictions on pre-marital sex. Continue reading here.

Moroccan Civil Society Organization Works to Implement Constitutional Gender-Parity Provisions

Morroccan Gender ParityIn May, Jossour Forum Des Femmes Marocaines, a Moroccan women’s rights organization and an ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) partner, held a national colloquium in Rabat on the implementation of the 2011 constitution’s women’s rights-related provisions. Attended by 140 civil society representatives, parliamentarians, journalists, human rights lawyers and citizens, the event was organized to advance the constitution’s gender-parity provisions by educating the public and by advocating for women’s rights.

Read more about the colloquium here.

News from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

National Law Center Homelessness & Poverty

Across the country, advocates, including homeless and formerly homeless people, are calling for legislation that protects the basic rights and dignity, and ensures equal access to opportunity regardless of housing status.

Last year, Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to enact an enforceable bill of rights, and the Law Center is proud to have worked with advocates there on that effort.  Since then, similar bills have become law in CT and IL, one is in the works in CA, and advocates in other states are contemplating similar initiatives. We are supporting these efforts and planning more support going forward.

These new laws aim to prevent discrimination based on housing status in the use of public space, as well as in employment, housing, voting.  These are key issues in communities across the country-and such discrimination serves as a barrier preventing their efforts to escape homelessness.  Fighting discriminatory policies with proactive, affirmative campaigns goes to the core of our mission to end and prevent homelessness.

We’re also working with the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the Department of Justice to build on the report published by the two agencies last year, Searching out Solutions, and to urge further steps by these and other federal agencies to implement its recommendations. Click here to continue reading. 

Landlord Discrimination Restricts the Use of Rental Vouchers

SOI-MAp_tm-01

Our latest report on housing discrimination found that some of the most blatant acts of discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities have declined over the last decade. However, minority renters and homeowners are still shown and told about fewer properties than similarly qualified whites. These forms of discrimination raise the costs of housing searches for minorities and restrict their choices.

Low-income minority renters face another form of discrimination when using Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) to help pay for housing. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) is the nation’s largest federal housing assistance program, providing more than 2.1 million low-income households with vouchers to subsidize their rent in the private market.  The Federal Fair Housing Act does not prohibit discrimination against renters based on vouchers or other sources of income (SOI).   Although ostensibly HCV facilitates mobility to better neighborhoods, because HCV program participants are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, landlords are free to reject their applications because of their voucher. This has the potential to limit housing choice. Continue reading here.

Spring in Events in Full Swing

Challenges Facing Diverse Attorneys

SJTlogoTuesday, April 30, 12:30-1:20pm,  Room 133, Gates Hall

The Minority Law Students Association invites you to join Chach Duarte White, Consultant for TrueBearing, and formerly Diversity Program Manager at the Washington State Bar Association. She will be discussing the WSBA Membership study which was in the spring of 2011 in order to achieve four interlocking goals:

1) Gather reliable demographic and career-related data about the WSBA membership overall;

2) Initiate an exploration of the characteristics and work experiences of diverse segments of the membership;

3) Explore patterns of professional transitions among the WSBA membership, identifying causal factors where possible, and

4) Establish a statistically reliable database that can serve as:

• a practical benchmark for understanding membership trends,

• a guide to policy and program planning, and

• a clear baseline for use in future program evaluation.

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu by 12:00 pm Monday, April 29, 2013. No RSVP for lunch accepted after 12:00 pm.

Need to Rethink Your Job Search Strategy? Recently Changed Your Career Goals? Interested in Public Service/ Public Interest? Attend the Four Job Search Essentials Workshop

Job SearchThursday, May 2, 12:30-1:20pm, Room 212

It’s never too late to take a step back and evaluate your professional development, career goals and strategies. In fact, job seekers who regularly spend some quality time examining their values, passions, skills, interests and experiences write better cover letters, perform better in interviews and feel more comfortable networking.

Join Aline Carton-Listfjeld from the Center for Public Service Law and Amy Kosterlitz, Professional Development Consultant, for an interactive small group workshop where you’ll get to take a step back and assess where you are and where you want to go in your professional development. 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls and LLM students are all welcome.

Please RSVP in Symplicity or via gatespsl@uw.edu.

burma051313Please join the Asian Law Center, on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary and the Sustainable International Development Law Graduate Program’s 20th Anniversary, for a roundtable discussion honoring Professor Roy Prosterman Founder of Landesa and the Sustainable International Development Law LL.M. Program at UW School of Law.

After more than 50 years of internal repression, civil wars and estrangement from the international community, Myanmar (Burma) has embarked on a process of reform. The country looks set once again to engage with the global economy.

What role can law play in alleviating poverty and in promoting responsible investment in Myanmar? Join a panel discussion that will discuss emerging legal challenges to inclusive development in Myanmar.

For complete program info and to RSVP please click here.