Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Disability Rights Washington report on abuse and neglect of people with developmental disabilities, and Iowa Supreme Court “Access to Justice Commission” Report

Equal Justice Works: “How Loan Servicers are Derailing Public Service Loan Forgiveness.”

“While Congress and the Trump Administration continue to work towards a budget that may eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, many loan borrowers are facing issues with the loan servicers that are supposed to help them navigate a complex program.”

Read more here.

Disability Rights Washington-“No Excuses: Shining a light on abuse and neglect of people with developmental disabilities in Washington’s institutions.”

“No Excuses” sheds light on the pattern of unsafe conditions and lack of treatment in Washington’s Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs), as identified in the State’s own surveys. While most of this information is publicly available, it is apparent that the ongoing problems are not widely known nor discussed. This report synthesizes a single year’s worth of information to call attention to the serious harm that continues to occur. These systemic failures endanger people with developmental disabilities in all of the RHCs and cannot continue, as there are no excuses for these failures.

Read more here.

The Iowa Supreme Court’s “Access to Justice Commission” ReportScales of Justice

“The Iowa Supreme Court’s ‘Access to Justice Commission’ has released a report that outlines steps to remove barriers to civil justice for low-income and disadvantaged Iowans.” “The report identifies dozens of recommendations and goals. They include recruiting more rural lawyers, creating a veterans legal clinic and developing an app to help people navigate legal issues and resources. The report also suggests ways to encourage the corporate community in volunteering and charitable giving around access-to-justice issues.”

Read more here.

Summer funding available for students doing labor and employment work

Due April 10: KCBA Labor and Employment Section summer funding available

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Application Deadline: Monday, April 10, 2017

Do you have a summer internship with a non-profit or government agency where you’ll be doing Labor and Employment law work? Need some summer funding? Need a backup plan if PILA funding doesn’t work out? Look no further, $6,000 available.

The King County Bar Association Labor and Employment Section is dedicated to educating future lawyers about the practice of labor and employment law. This grant give students the opportunity to have a hands-on experience in the field of labor and employment law.

Read more and apply here

Worried about student debt? Learn how to manage it with Equal Justice Works webinars

How to Earn Public Service Loan ForgivenessApril 6, 2017, 4:00 – 5:00 pm 
Do you have federal loans and either work or want to work in public service? Then this webinar is for you. Join us for a discussion on Public Service Loan Forgiveness, the government program that provides tax-free loan forgiveness for those working in public service. Learn how to qualify, track progress, and apply for forgiveness under this amazing government program.  Register here 
Mastering Private Student LoansApril 13, 2017, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Private student loans prove to be the most difficult to manage. So let Equal Justice Works help! Join us for a presentation on mastering private student loans. We will discuss negotiating with lenders, choosing a consolidation company, repayment tips and strategies, dealing with collectors, discharging loans in bankruptcy and much more. Register here. 

Due May 3: Time to apply for the Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Application Deadline: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

LRAP constitutes a core component of the School of Law’s commitment to public service as a public law school by increasing the ability of its graduates to enter public service law.

Participants are required to commit to remain in public service employment for a three year period. Loans are given at the beginning of each of the three years. The first loan will be forgiven after two years of qualifying employment and the additional two loans will be forgiven after three years of qualifying employment.

The School of Law loans $5000 each to approximately three new applicants per year and will commit to awarding an additional $5000 a year for two more years for a total commitment of $15,000 per participant.

Reduce your financial burden! Scholarships available; ensure loan forgiveness eligibility

Due Jan. 13: Pride Foundation has $400,000 in scholarships available

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The Pride Foundation 2017 scholarship application for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, (LGBTQ) and ally students is officially open!

Since 1990, Pride Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships to support LGBTQ and ally students. There are more than 50 different types of scholarships with awards up to $20,000—and only one application to complete. Read the flier here.

Set yourself up for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

usnewsloansstoryOct. 12, 2016 By Betsy Mayotte, Contributor, U.S. News Education. Photo courtesy of U.S. News Education, Clerkenwell/Getty Images.

U.S. News recently published a report on the best way to ensure eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. For example, to qualify there must be proof of employment for all 10 years.

“In less than a year – in September 2017 – the first borrowers will fulfill all the requirements for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and could receive the remainder of their eligible federal student loans forgiven, tax-free, as soon as October. While these borrowers are counting down the days and the required loan payments with anticipation, other borrowers may soon realize that the loans they’ve assumed would go away after 10 years may not have qualified for PSLF.” Read the full article here.

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty Commends US DOJ for Supporting Seattle Anti-Criminalization of Homelessness Bill

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Press release originally published Oct. 14, 2016 by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

“The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is gratified that the U.S. Department of Justice issued a letter late Thursday affirming that Seattle Council Bill 118794 is ‘without question’ consistent with important constitutional principles. The Seattle Bill creates protections for unsheltered homeless people who are forced to live in public spaces, while also carving our sections of the city where encampments are not permitted. These important protections would help preserve the constitutional rights of people who experience homelessness and who are, too often, deprived of their civil, human, and constitutional rights.” Read the full press release here.

Are You a Pro Bono Project Leader? Registration for the Winter Pro Bono Leadership & Advocacy Course Now Open!

Attention 2L & 3L Pro Bono Project Leaders! Registration for Winter Pro Bono Leadership & Advocacy Course is Now Open!

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Attention leaders of student-initiated pro bono service learning projects including IFAP, IMAP, SYLAW, App Help, ELS, Ed Law and any other emerging pro bono legal assistance projects!  

Get academic credit for your pro bono legal aid leadership work AND  get concrete tools and skills to apply to your day-to-day organizational leadership and management.  You can now register for our 2 credit Pro Bono Leadership & Advocacy class taught by Dean Michele Storms and Aline Carton-Listfjeld from the Center for Public Service Law. The class will meet Tuesdays, 5:30-7:20pm.

Click here for the syllabus. Registration is by instructor permission only so please email Aline Carton-Listfjeld at acarton@uw.edu to register. Ideally we’d like at least two student leaders from each student-led pro bono service learning project.

UW Project Focuses on Fines and Fees that Create “Prisoners of Debt”

By: Deborah Bach | UW Today | Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Criminals are meant to pay their debts to society through sentencing, but a different type of court-imposed debt can tie them to the criminal justice system for life and impact their ability to move forward with their lives.

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DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Though debtors’ prisons were eliminated in the United States almost two centuries ago, a modern-day version exists in the dizzyingly complex system of fines and fees levied against people as they move through the court system.

Offenders are charged for everything from DNA samples to electronic monitoring devices, jury trials and even room and board while imprisoned. The fees can add up to thousands of dollars, and those who fail to pay are routinely jailed.

Continue reading here.

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! Interested in Working at the Office for Civil Rights (OCR)? Get Ahead by Submitting Your Resume Early in OCR’s Resume Bank!

Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) may be hiring in the near future and you may qualify under the Excepted Hiring Authority for Attorneys.

OCR is looking for the best and brightest to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. If you are a highly motivated, creative individual who would like to be involved in enforcing federal civil rights laws, prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education, OCR is the place for you!

OCR maintains a resume bank from which candidates may be selected for consideration to fill vacancies for positions in OCR as they arise. OCR accepts resumes from individuals who are eligible for consideration for noncompetitive hiring via:  Schedule A Persons with Disabilities appointments (5 CFR 213.3102(u)); Veterans’ Recruitment Appointments; former Peace Corps and Americorps appointees (22 USC 2506); and Excepted Hiring Authority for Attorneys.

If you are interested in working at OCR and are eligible for consideration under any of these hiring authorities, please send your resume to OCRJobs@ed.gov.  In your email, please indicate the type of position as well as the regional office or offices for which you would like to be considered (Enforcement Offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and/or Washington DC; the Program Legal Group in Washington DC, and/or the Resource Management Group in Washington DC). For more information about OCR and our work, please see our website and our Annual Report.

OCR will keep your resume on file for possible consideration for 365 days following the date of submission. Please note, however, that the OCRJobs@ed.gov account is not staffed to respond to questions. Should you be selected for consideration, you will be contacted by OCR to confirm your continued interest. Interested candidates are encouraged to check www.usajobs.gov for OCR positions as well.

Our Gift to You: Free Debt Relief Webinar 

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By: Equal Justice Works

It’s the holidays! For law students, ‘tis the season for intense study groups, first semester finals, and (hopefully) a much-needed chance to relax after it’s all over.

We know that the holiday season can be tough. That’s why we’re offering our free monthly webinar,  “Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” on Thursday, December 17, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm EDT to help student loan borrowers plan out their finances just in time for the new year! Whether you’re currently a law student, recent law graduate, or professional attorney, this webinar will provide you with the information you need to know about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, income-driven repayment plans, and more. Come check it out and learn how to manage your student debt!

New REPAYE Plan Almost Ready for Launch

The Department of Education recently announced the new income-driven REPAYE (Revised Pay As You Earn) plan will be available to borrowers in mid-December! This revamped option will cap your monthly payments at 10% of your discretionary income, and will be available to all undergraduate and graduate federal loan borrowers regardless of when the money was borrowed.

Sounds like a great plan, but there are some potential pitfalls that every savvy borrower should be aware of. We discuss some of these dangers in our latest Huffington Post blog article, “Love and Student Debt: How the New REPAYE Plan Could Affect Marriages,” and we’ll be talking in-depth about the REPAYE plan during our webinar.

We’ll be updating our free student debt e-book Take Control of Your Future to include all the in-depth information you need to know about REPAYE. Download it now to be notified of all updates!

Help Protect Public Service Loan Forgiveness

As always, we urge you to take action to preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness before Congress moves forward with capping or eliminating this vital program for public service workers. In addition to coming to the December 17th webinar for the latest legislative updates, you can join  the ABA’s Save #Loan4Giveness campaign today by taking action via social media!

Washington Court Recognizes Constitutional and Public Trust Duty to Protect the Atmosphere for Present and Future Generations

Photo of children

By: Our Children’s Trust

Late last night, eight Washington youth received a groundbreaking ruling from Judge Hollis Hill in their climate change lawsuit. In this landmark decision, Judge Hill declared “[the youths’] survival depends upon the will of their elders to act now, decisively and unequivocally, to stem the tide of global warming…before doing so becomes first too costly and then too late.

The court confirmed what the Washington petitioners and other young people we work with across the nation have been arguing in the courts, that “[t]he state has a constitutional obligation to protect the public’s interest in natural resources held in trust for the common benefit of the people.”

Continue reading here.

2015 UW Law Grad Nikkita Oliver Wins Human Rights Award! Come Celebrate at the Annual Human Rights Day Event!

December 8: Free Screening of Dreamer Documentary 

NWIRP

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Seattle Central Library, 1000 4th Ave., Seattle, WA

On Tuesday, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and several of our partners will be hosting a free screening of “Underwater Dreams,” a documentary about undocumented students whose inspirational victory in an underwater robotics competition helped start a tradition of DREAMer advocacy at their high school.

The free screening will take place at the Seattle Central Library at 1000 4th Avenue in Seattle, WA at 7pm, and we would love to have you join us.   The film’s director and some of the students featured in the film will be in attendance and will speak after the screening.

Again, the screening is free but we’d appreciate if you could RSVP on Facebook at this link, or by emailing Ella Youtsey at ella@nwirp.org.

For more information about the film, click here.

December 9: Statesmanship in the Statehouse

Gorton Center and Ruckelshaus Center Logos

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: K&L Gates Law Firm, LLP, 925 4th Ave., Ste. 2900, Seattle, WA 98104

You are invited to attend a lunch conversation with four State Senators selected by Slade Gorton and Bill Ruckelshaus to discuss their views on leadership and bipartisan policy development in the Washington State Senate. Panelists will share their thoughts on the current legislative climate, along with prospects for increasing collaboration in the statehouse.

Tickets for the luncheon cost $35.00. Space is limited.

To register, click here.
(Admission is complimentary for Ruckelshaus Chairman’s Circle members)

December 9: An Evening with Exoneree Nate Fields and Musician Bradford Loomis

Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Ballard Beer Company, 2050 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

The Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Witness to Innocence will be co-hosting a friendraiser/fundraiser on December 9th!There are no tickets for this event. We’ll have some light snacks to share, and you can show your love to Ballard Beer Company for donating their space to us by purchasing some of their great local beers (non-alcoholic beverages available too!). We’ll of course “pass the hat” for the fundraising part of the evening, and all donations will be equally shared between the two non-profit organizations.

We will be joined by exoneree Nate Fields, who became the country’s 129th death row exoneree after serving 20 years – 11 of those on death row – for a crime he did not commit. He will share with us the story of his journey to exoneration.

We will also be joined by the Executive Director of Witness to Innocence, Magdaleno Rose-Avila, and the WCADP President, Stefanie Anderson. More speakers will be added in the coming weeks!

Bradford Loomis, a wonderful local musician, will be there to share his music with us. There’s a rumor going around that WCADP’s Stefanie Anderson may have a musical surprise up her sleeve, so don’t miss it!

To RSVP, click here.

December 10: Kimberle Crenshaw: Annual Human Rights Day – Black Lives Matter

Date: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

2015 Human Rights Day Flyer

December 17: Webinar on “Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness”

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Date: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Location: Online

It’s the holidays! For law students, ‘tis the season for intense study groups, first semester finals, and (hopefully) a much-needed chance to relax after it’s all over.

We know that the holiday season can be tough. That’s why we’re offering our free monthly webinar,  “Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” on Thursday, December 17, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm EDT to help student loan borrowers plan out their finances just in time for the new year! Whether you’re currently a law student, recent law graduate, or professional attorney, this webinar will provide you with the information you need to know about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, income-driven repayment plans, and more. Come check it out and learn how to manage your student debt!

To register, click here.

December 22: Free CLE on Institutional Racism and Legal System Responsibilities – Race: The Power of Illusion

City of Seattle Logo

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015
Time: 8:15 AM – 4:30 PM
Location: Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle, WA

6.5 WSBA Approved Ethics Credits

This CLE will involve a facilitated viewing & discussion of the PBS documentary “Race-The Power of an Illusion”, which seeks to shift the conversation from discussing diversity and respecting cultural difference to building a more just and equitable society. You won’t want to miss it!

Optional: Bring a project or case you are working on and bring your team!

Presenters: 
Darby DuComb, Deputy City Attorney, Seattle City Attorney’s Office
Darlene Flynn RSJI Policy & Development Lead Seattle Office of Civil Rights

Space is limited! RSVP online here.

Lawyers: When you RSVP, please include your full name, Bar number, email address, and whether you will buy a paper copy of the materials.

Non-Lawyers: Please RSVP with your name, email address, and whether you will buy a paper copy of the materials at the event.

Paper copies of the materials cost $15 at the event (cash or checks made payable to the City of Seattle). You must order a paper copy if you want one.

Download the materials here.

Come Join in Celebrating Achievements in Our Local Community

May 19: Afternoon Reception & Presentation with Department of Commerce Visiting Delegation from Arabian Peninsula

World Globe Flags

Monday, May 19, 2014
3:30 PM Presentation in RM 115
4:30 PM Reception in RM 447

International Commercial Law Principles and Sharia

Muddassir Siddiqui, Senior Legal Advisor, CLDP & Haitham Osta, PhD Candidate, UW School of Law

Next week, UW Law, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program, will host a delegation of esteemed visitors from Baharain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates for week-long presentations and meetings with senior legal advisors from the Department of Commerce, several faculty members, Boeing, Microsoft, the World Justice Project, Amazon, Costco, and DLA Piper. The overall focus is on how GCC countries can harmonize and improve their business law environment to facilitate greater trade and investment.

Please join us for an afternoon reception at 4:30 in Room 447, where you will have the opportunity to chat with Dept. of Commerce senior legal advisors and our esteemed guests:

  • Mohamed Essam, Legal Director, Gulf Holding Company, Bahrain
  • Abdulla Monsour, Advisor, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Bahrain
  • Hatim Zu’bi, Partner, Zu’bi & Partners Attorneys & Legal Consultants, Bahrain/UAE
  • Tarek Hajjiri, Director Legal Policy, Dubai Economic Council, UAE
  • Mohamed Almarzouqi, Judge, Ministry of Justice, UAE
  • Hosaam Alyammahi, Judge, Ministry of Justice, UAE
  • Khaled Mohamed Matar Alkaabi, Director Legal Policies and Agreements, Department Economic Development, UAE
  • Shamlan Alsawalehi, Judge, Dubai International Financial Center Courts, UAE
  • Dr. Sherif Ghannam, Professor, Dubai Police Academy, UAE
  • Sultan Ayidh M Alqahtani, Attorney, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Saudi Arabia
  • Maher Othman A Alsaeed, Attorney, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Saudi Arabia
  • Saad Fahd Dileym, Attorney, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Saudi Arabia
  • Badr Abdulmusen Haddab, Attorney, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Saudi Arabia
  • Abdulaziz Saud Alduhaim, Attorney, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Saudi Arabia

May 22: Equal Justice Works Webinar: “Drowning in Debt?  Learn How Government and Nonprofit Workers Can Earn Public Service Loan Forgiveness”

Thursday, May 22, 2014
3:00 – 4:10 PM, EDT

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A must attend for anyone with student debt, this free webinar explains how to reduce your monthly student loan payments and qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. After the presentation (whether you are able to attend or not), you will be emailed a recording of the session that you can view at any time. Detailed information about the federal student debt relief programs covered in this webinar are available in our e-book, Take Control of Your Future, which is available in the Kindle Store.

Register online here.

May 22: Eastside Legal Assistance Project Celebrates 25 Years of Service

ELAP 25th Anniversary

Thursday, May 22, 2014
7:00 – 8:30 AM
Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th St., Bellevue, WA 98004

We are having a big party on May 22nd where we will celebrate ELAP’s 25 years of service to our community serving low-income families and individual on the Eastside and survivors of domestic violence from all of King County. It would be great if you could join us for this celebration. We will see a great video which will describe where ELAP has been, where we are now, and a little bit of what the future holds for ELAP and the clients we serve.

It’s only two weeks until the 4th Annual ELAP Breakfast for Justice, so it’s time to register now to reserve you place.

Click here to register.  Suggested minimum donation $150.

June 18: KCBA Awards Dinner

KCBA Awards Dinner

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
Reception – 5:30 PM
Dinner – 6:30 PM
Individual tickets are $100 each; $1,000 for reserved tables of ten.  Please register by June 11th.

You are cordially invited to join KCBA members, judges and community leaders of King County on Wednesday, June 18th at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel for the 2014 KCBA Annual Awards Dinner.  The evening celebrates a group of inspiring award recipients who have made a tremendous impact on the practice of law and administration of justice in our community.  The event includes a reception, gourmet dinner and the awards presentations.

Once again we are offering the opportunity for friends and colleagues of the honorees and the bar to place congratulatory greeting messages in the keepsake program book.  This provides a special way to honor the awardees and recognize the accomplishments of the bar over the last year.

Click here to register online.

June 19-22: 2014 Minidoka Pilgrimage

Minidoka Pilgrimage

Thursday-Sunday, June 19-22, 2014

In 1942, close to 13,000 people of Japanese-ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were removed from their homes in the Pacific Northwest and sent to a desolate “incarceration camp” near Twin Falls, Idaho.  This summer, the 11th pilgrimage will take place with former incarcerees, their families, and friends – from Seattle, Portland and across the nation – to the former Minidoka Camp in Idaho.  This is an opportunity to learn, share memories, and ask questions about the Minidoka experience.  Consider participating as a way to bring your family together and reconnect with friends.  Participation is limited.  Scholarships are available.  

Deadline is June 1.  Registration information online here.