Interested in Working for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights? Applications Open Now for 2015 Fellowship!

National Immigration Forum Seeking Policy and Advocacy Intern in Washington DC

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We are hiring interns to assist us with research, analysis, drafting of written materials, and monitoring activities of the executive and legislative branches of government on immigration issues. The National Immigration Forum advocates for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation.  For over 30 years, the Forum has worked to advance sound federal immigration solutions through its policy expertise, communications outreach and coalition building work, which forges powerful alliances of diverse constituencies across the country to build consensus on the important role of immigrants in America.

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

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Offering 2015 Romulo Gallegos Fellowship, Due 10/29

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is pleased to inform about the launching of a new automatized system to apply for fellowships, which as of today is the only means of presenting applications. The goal of this new digital system is to facilitate and streamline processes, to the benefit of all involved parties.

The Commission appreciates the cooperation and support of all users in the current process of modernization and digitalization of our systems.

For more information about the fellowship, click here.  Deadline 10/29.

Poverty & Race Research Action Council Seeking 2014-2015 Housing Fellow, Due 10/31

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At the present time, PRRAC’s work is focused in the areas of housing, education, environmental justice, and domestic human rights, with a particular emphasis on the continuing consequences of historical patterns of housing segregation and development.

In addition to national-level law and policy research and advocacy, we are engaged in local technical assistance work in Baltimore and Hartford, in support of regional desegregation cases filed by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the ACLU. PRRAC is also working to support the development of a regional housing mobility program in the Philadelphia area.

The incoming Fellow will focus on our housing, community development, and environmental justice portfolios. The position is based in Washington, D.C. , and the fellowship term will run through summer 2015 (beginning and end dates negotiable).

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

Environmental Law Foundation Seeking Summer 2015 Legal Intern in Oakland, CA

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ELF is looking for one or more legal interns to work on a full-time basis during the summer of 2015. We highly value interns’ contributions and we are looking for someone who is ready to produce legal work at a high level.

ELF’s legal interns will assist in all aspects of litigation on our docket. Generally, the interns will be conducting legal research and drafting memos, briefs, discovery and/or pleadings. To the extent feasible, the interns will also attend hearings and settlement meetings. The interns will work closely with a staff attorney who will supervise their work and provide feedback. Because of our small size and fast-paced environment, interns will be heavily involved in all aspects of our work, from strategy meetings to brief writing. We are proud that we can offer interns the opportunity to do real, substantive, important work.

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

Attention Rising 2Ls and 3Ls! Spitzer Internship Program Now Accepting Applications

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The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) is excited to accept applications for the Spitzer Summer Internship Program in honor of immediate past Executive Director Emily Spitzer. NHeLP seeks up to three law students to participate in the program, with the paid positions divided among offices in Washington, DC, Carrboro, NC, and Los Angeles, CA.

Potential Spitzer interns are rising 2L or 3L students, with a proven and demonstrated commitment to social justice and an interest in working toward the expansion and protection of health care access for low-income and underserved populations.

Spitzer interns will work closely with NHeLP staff attorneys, who work collaboratively across offices and engage in the primary work of the organization–providing high-quality advice and support to state-based health lawyers, administration officials, and policymakers.

For more information, click here.

Urban Justice Center Seeking Summer 2015 Legal Intern in Community Development Project, Due 1/9/15

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The Community Development Project (CDP) of the Urban Justice Center (UJC) seeks law student interns who are interested in working with us during the Summer of 2015 to protect the rights of low-income individuals and provide legal, technical and research assistance to grassroots community organizations working on various social justice issues. The main types of substantive areas in which we work include:  housing; workers’ rights; consumer justice; and transactional legal services (e.g. legal help for community organizations and worker cooperatives). By providing legal support in these substantive areas, our mission is to advance community groups’ campaigns for social and economic justice.

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

Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP Seeking Summer 2015 Law Clerk, Applications Accepted on Rolling Basis Through 1/30/15

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Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP is currently accepting applications for law clerk positions in Summer 2015.

Job duties will entail researching and drafting legal memoranda and briefs, participating in meetings with clients and attorneys, developing prospective cases, and attending depositions, hearings, and mediations.

The ideal candidate will possess a demonstrated commitment to work in public interest law, have strong research and writing skills, and will be in their second year of law school.

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

 

Breaking News! BIA Recognizes Domestic Violence as Basis for Asylum

Northwest Justice Project’s New Text Campaign Connects People to Legal Information

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The Northwest Justice Project is pleased to announce that we have recently launched a text campaign connecting individuals with legal information via their cell phone. Individuals who need a driver’s license for work and have a suspended driver’s license because of unpaid traffic fines, suspension due to a car accident while uninsured, or had one or more convictions for driving with a suspended license and still have unpaid fines even though the suspension period is over can text the keyword DRIVE to 877877. 

Click here to view the short video describing the campaign.

Breaking News! Highest U.S. Immigration Tribunal Recognizes Domestic Violence as a Basis for Asylum

By: Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

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The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) today issued a landmark ruling, Matter of A-R-C-G-, with the potential to affect immigrant women across the country. As CGRS has done with so many asylum cases based on domestic violence, we assisted the attorney in this case (Roy Petty) with briefing and strategy, and we filed an amicus brief in support of the client.

CGRS has pioneered this area of the law in two internationally known cases – starting with the case of Rody Alvarado, Matter of R-A-, and then in Matter of L-R-. CGRS Director Karen Musalo, working with her colleagues at CGRS, represented both women. In 2004, and again in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) set forth its position that women fleeing intimate partner violence can qualify for asylum and agreed to grants of asylum in R-A- and L-R-, respectively. These were important victories, signaling that these cases are viable, but they did not set precedent. Now, for the first time, we have binding precedent to support domestic violence survivors who seek protection in the United States.

Continue reading here.

CERD Issues Its Concluding Observations on the United States

By: Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC)

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The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has issued its Concluding Observations on U.S. compliance with the CERD treaty, reflecting many of the concerns raised by the delegation of U.S. civil and human rights groups that came to Geneva to testify.  We were especially pleased to see the strong recommendations (pp. 6-7) on U.S. housing and education policy (issues where PRRAC had submitted coalition comments).  Stay tuned for Megan Haberle’s report on the CERD review in the next Poverty & Race, and thanks to the U.S. Human Rights Network for coordinating a successful advocacy effort.

Click here for the full report.

Moldovan Legal Professionals Trained on Fighting High-Level Corruption

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By: American Bar Association

From May 4–10, six Moldovan legal professionals attended the Central and Eastern European Law Initiative Institute’s second regional anti-corruption training with support from the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). ABA ROLI also selected the Moldovan participants, including two prosecutors, a judge and a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) trainer, who were accompanied by an ABA ROLI staff attorney. A total of 24 lawyers, including from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, attended the Prague workshop.

The interactive course addressed several aspects of investigating high-level corruption, including tracking money, interviewing witnesses, and gathering and presenting evidence. The training employed a case study, allowing participants to work in smaller groups to accomplish various tasks, such as identifying potential corrupt practices, developing an investigation plan, identifying and interviewing witnesses and defendants, analyzing financial data and presenting evidence in court.

Continue reading here.  Photo credit: American Bar Association

Evictions Soar in Hot Market; Renters Suffer

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By: Shaila Dewan, New York Times

Just after 7 a.m., sheriff’s deputies knocked on the door of the duplex apartment, holding a fluorescent orange eviction notice. The process was quick and efficient. A moving crew began to carry out the family’s possessions and stack them neatly at the curb. Celeste Wilson, the tenant, appeared on the front step in pajama pants.

Ms. Wilson, 36, explained that the family had missed a month of rent when her husband fell ill, so the landlady filed for eviction. Knowing they would be thrown out, the Wilsons had already found a new home, paying a double security deposit and an extra $300 because of the open eviction case.

“It’s the stability I worry about,” Ms. Wilson said, watching her five children trickle out into the yard that had been their playground for five years. “They’ve got to start off fresh, get new friends, new neighbors. It might not show now, but maybe later on in life.”

Continue reading herePhoto credit: Ben Brewer of the New York Times

Opportunity for Service! Northwest Justice Project Accepting Letters of Interest for Its Board of Directors

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By: WSBA Board of Governors

The WSBA Board of Governors (BOG) is accepting letters of interest and résumés from members interested in serving on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Justice Project (NJP). There are three attorney positions open for three-year terms commencing January 2015 and ending in December 2017. Notice of BOG action will follow its November 2014 meeting.

The Northwest Justice Project is a 125-attorney statewide not-for-profit law firm providing free legal services to low-income people from 17 offices throughout Washington. NJP is funded primarily by the State of Washington and the federal Legal Services Corporation, with additional support from the Legal Foundation of Washington. NJP’s 2014 budget is $22 million.

Board members play an active role in setting program policy, assuring adequate oversight of program operations, and must have a demonstrated interest in, and knowledge of, the delivery of high-quality civil legal services to low-income people.

NJP’s Board is a working board. Board members are expected to attend quarterly meetings in Seattle normally on the last Saturday of January, April, July, and October. Board members also serve actively on one or more standing committees. The Board typically holds a one-day annual Board retreat, which may be held in conjunction with an appropriate equal justice conference. Attorney Board members are expected to participate and support NJP efforts in legal community activities and limited resource development efforts. Travel and lodging expenses are reimbursed, as appropriate.

Please submit letters of interest and résumés on or before Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, to WSBA Communications Department, 1325 Fourth Avenue #600, Seattle, WA 98101-2539; or email barleaders@wsba.org.

Looking for a Career in Public Service or Simply More Direct Client Work? Check Out These Announcements

Are You Primarily Interested in a Career in Public Service Law? Has it Been a While Since you Last Met with Your Public Service Career Coach?

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Whether you’ve got summer plans lined up or not, now’s a great time to reconnect with your public service career coach. We can help you strategize and discuss internships, externships, fellowships, pro bono, clinics, post grad planning and beyond, not to mention interview and networking tips. Not sure who you should be meeting with? 1Ls and 2Ls should contact Assistant Director Aline Carton-Listfjeld or schedule directly in Symplicity. 3Ls should contact Assistant Dean Michele Storms.

Youth Opportunities Act Opens Doors to Thousands of Young Adults across Washington State

By Columbia Legal Services

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Photo courtesy of Abdullah üsame Deniz and StockVault.

OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee plans to sign the Youth Opportunities Act (HB 1651) into law tomorrow, after years of negotiations resulted in overwhelming, bipartisan support for the bill from the Washington State Legislature. The Act will result in the sealing of 6,000-10,000 young adults’ juvenile offense records each year, allowing them to receive greater opportunities in housing, education, and employment. Championed by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32), and negotiated by Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-27) and Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-32), the bill received near unanimous support in the Legislature.

“The Youth Opportunities Act eliminates a major barrier for many rehabilitated youth who can now contribute fully to their communities,” said Casey Trupin, Attorney with the Children & Youth project at Columbia Legal Services (CLS). “By supporting one of the biggest juvenile justice reforms in decades, the Legislature has offered a path for young adults to pursue education, employment, and housing.” For four years, CLS has worked closely with partners such as Friends of YouthFaith Action NetworkMockingbird SocietyChildren’s Alliance, and many other strong advocates to ensure this bill passed.

Continue reading here.

Looking for a Chance to Work with Clients?  The Moderate Means Program is Recruiting Interns for Spring and Summer Quarters, Applications Due 4/11

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Photo courtesy of StockVault.

The Statewide Moderate Means Program (MMP) is a joint venture between the Washington State Bar Association and the Washington State law schools. The goal of the program is to increase access to civil legal services by people of moderate means who cannot afford an attorney but make too much money to qualify for traditional legal aid services. The program is focused on the areas of Family, Housing and Consumer law.

Law students serving as MMP volunteer interns will interview potential clients by telephone to collect information and evaluate their cases. Qualifying cases will be referred by the MMP interns to participating attorneys who have agreed to represent Moderate Means Program clients for a reduced fee. MMP interns will be expected to commit to a minimum of five hours a week for the duration of spring quarter and this summer (one hour is a weekly staff meeting).

Click here for more information.

America’s Growing Inequality: The Impact of Poverty and Race Publication Explores Poverty & Race

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America’s Growing Inequality: The Impact of Poverty and Race, edited by Chester Hartman is now available in hardcover – includes the best articles and essays from Poverty & Race; with a foreword by Congressman Luis Gutierrez. The book is a compilation of the best and still-most-relevant articles published in Poverty & Race, the bimonthly of The Poverty & Race Research Action Council from 2006 to the present. Authors are some of the leading figures in a range of activities around these themes. It is the fourth such book PRRAC has published over the years, each with a high-visibility foreword writer: Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Bill Bradley, Julian Bond in previous books, Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago for this book. The
chapters are organized into four sections: Race & Poverty: The Structural Underpinnings; Deconstructing Poverty and Racial Inequities; Re(emerging) Issues; Civil Rights History.

Order here at the PRRAC discounted rate; see the Table of Contents here.

Missed the Recent SJT on Public Interest Post Grad Fellowships? Don’t Fret. We’ve got all of the info right here!

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Download our presentation slides here and watch the podcast here. You’ll find all of the essentials on the nuts and bolts of organizational and project based public interest post grad fellowships, how to find them and some strategies for successful applications.

Kirwan Institute Releases Second State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2014

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With the results in the Zimmerman and Dunn trials, introducing people to Implicit Bias research seems more important than ever. The Kirwan Institute is excited to be able to continue to support the field with this new edition of State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review. Chapter 1 serves as a primer to introduce the topic, capturing some of the key ideas that were discussed at length in the 2013 edition. The next two chapters focus on the newest scholarly literature from 2013 (Chapter 2 reviews many of these recent publications, and Chapter 3 takes a step back to reflect on some of the larger trends occurring in the field). Chapters 4 and 5 delve into the concept of implicit racial bias as it operates within particular domains, specifically employment and housing (building on the sectors discussed in last year’s edition: Education, Health and Criminal Justice). The publication closes with materials in the appendices that we thought might be useful to those who are seeking to educate others regarding implicit racial bias, including “A Conversation with an Implicit Bias Skeptic.”

Click here to download the report.

Hunger Strikers Released from Solitary Confinement at the Northwest Detention Center

Activists rally outside the ICE Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington on March 11, 2014

Photo of activists rallying outside the ICE Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington on March 11, 2014, courtesy of Reuters and Jason Redmond.

By Columbia Legal Services & American Civil Liberties Union

Federal immigration authorities have released hunger strikers from solitary confinement at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. The action came after the ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) and Columbia Legal Services (CLS) filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to prohibit U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) from retaliating against detainees who engage in First Amendment-protected activities by placing them in solitary confinement.

“Our clients are very grateful to be out of solitary confinement after 6 days in it. This is a victory for free speech and fair treatment,” said Melissa Lee, Attorney and Institutions Project Coordinator with CLS.

“We’re very pleased that ICE has stopped retaliating against detainees engaged in peaceful protest. Punishing hunger strikers by putting them in isolation cells was an unlawful attempt to chill free speech rights” said ACLU-WA Legal Director Sarah Dunne.

Continue reading here.

Mediation Training from a Social Justice Perspective Conducted by the Social Justice Mediation Institute, May 19-23

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Hosted by the City of Seattle Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.

$450 if registration completed before April 15.  $500 after April 15.  Some fee reductions available.

35.0 CLEs (5.0 ethics) approved.  (There will be a charge of $25 for members of the Washington State Bar Association asking for CLEs.)

For application and more information, please send an e-mail to Vivien.sharples@seattle.gov

This institute prepares trainees to mediate while applying a social justice lens to their own techniques.  We explore how mediation can routinely replicate inequalities despite our intensions to the contrary.  Trainees gain strategies to address these challenges while still facilitating a process with self-determination about the outcome for the disputing parties.   Concepts from narrative theory are applied to equip mediators with additional tools for effectively understanding the dispute and building agreements.

For more information about the training, click here.

Racial Justice Training Institute, ATJ Essay Contest & Using the Human Rights Framework in the U.S.

The Shriver Center Announces New Racial Justice Training Institute

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Fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement and the launch of the War on Poverty, the inextricable links between race and poverty continue. Marking these two anniversaries and recognizing the critical role that lawyers and advocates can play in advancing racial equity, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law announces the first Racial Justice Training Institute. By placing tools of race conscious advocacy in the hands of front line advocates, the Institute will ensure that race is front and center in our efforts to eradicate poverty in the communities we serve. 

The Institute will cover a wide range of equity best practices ranging from traditional litigation and policy advocacy to media and messaging to the latest debiasing strategies. Working in race-equity teams, and with support from skilled faculty and facilitators, participants will use new racial justice knowledge and skills in their daily work and in the race-equity initiatives that teams will pursue throughout the Institute.

Taking place over seven months (late May-November 2014), the Institute includes three parts:

PART 1: Online (May 26 – June 13, 2014)

PART 2: Onsite in Chicago (June 17-20, 2014)

PART 3: Online (July – November 2014)

Up to 35 advocates will be selected for the first Institute cohort based on a variety of factors, including experience, interest, goals, capacity, and racial and geographic diversity.

Learn more about the Racial Justice Training Institute

Application Deadline: February 14, 2014

A Different Lens: Applying a Human Rights Framework to Disparities in the United States

PRRACbanner1by Salimah Hankins & Balthazar Becker in the current issue of Poverty
& Race
of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council.

Despite its complicated history in American politics and activism, human rights discourse is emerging once more as a powerful alternative framework to scrutinize issues related to poverty and race in the United States. This article offers a brief introduction of the U.S. Human Rights Network’s (USHRN) 2013 report, “Advancing Human Rights: A Status Report on Human Rights in the United States,” which outlines the implications of human rights as they relate, among other things, to housing, education and the criminal justice system. The article highlights pivotal policies reviewed in the report and examines the ways in which a human rights lens can provide a public forum for resolving civil rights abuses on a national level.

While the language of civil rights, revolving around the U.S. Constitution, usually dominates much of mainstream discourse in this nation, for at least 65 years there has existed an alternative ethical and legal horizon. African-American organizations and individuals instantly recognized the rhetorical power and political potential of the emerging human rights discourse at its onset in response to the ravages of World War II and the Holocaust. Fully aware of the inherent contradiction of the United States’ ascension to moral world leadership— while the nation was holding on to a system of segregation in the South and practicing unequal access in a variety of areas, including housing and education— the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and others had, in Carol Anderson’s words, “already decided that only human rights could repair the damage that more than three centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism had done to the African American community.” Continue reading here.

$5000 Access to Justice Essay Contest Sponsored by Public Justice 

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