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

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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.

Drowning in Debt? Learn More about Your Repayment Options at EJW’s Free Webinar!

November 16: Advocating for Criminal Defense – A Students Organizing For Advocacy (SOFA) Presentation

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Date: Monday, Nov. 16, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 133

Moderated presentation and Q&A with representatives of the Department of Public Defense, Washington Defenders Association, and the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. They will discuss their legislative agenda for 2016, internships within the organizations, and their own personal experience as lobbyists and members of the criminal defense community.

November 17: Social Justice Tuesday – Mental Illness: Civil Liberties vs. Public Safety

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127

Post Talk Discussion: 1:30 – 2:20 PM in RM 115 (Perkins Coie Room)

Moderator:
Judge Robert Lasnik, US District Court, Seattle
Panelists:

  • Erin Ehlert, Asst. Chief, Criminal Division, King Co. Prosecutor
  • Eric Pisconski, Crisis Response Unit, Seattle Police Department
  • Abe Bergman, MD, UW Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics (parent)
  • Robert Boruchowitz, Professor, SU Law School; former director, Defender Association.

Format: Panelists will make 5-7 minute introductory statements on how they view the present status of individuals with mental illness in relationship to the criminal justice system. The moderator will then pose questions to the panelists from himself and the audience.

Questions:
Is safety of the public, and of individuals with mental illness jeopardized by current civil liberties protections?

Currently treatment for individuals with serious mental illness can only be compelled if they are committed to mental hospitals. Should treatment be compelled in less restrictive settings, i.e. outpatient and/or supportive housing?

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu RSVP by 12:00 pm Monday, November 16

November 17: Center for Constitutional Rights Event at the UW Law School

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 115

Alexis Agathocleous, Deputy Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, is visiting the law school on Tuesday, November 17, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in room 115, courtesy of the National Lawyers Guild. This is an informal opportunity to chat with Alexis and get the inside scoop about CCR’s work, including a few recent major wins for the organization:

  • A landmark settlement that effectively ends indeterminate long-term solitary confinement in California prisons, a policy that is tantamount to torture;
  • An historic decision stating that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held accountable for post-9/11 torture and abuse; and
  • The reinstatement of a case challenging the NYPD’s unlawful surveillance of Muslim communities in New Jersey.

November 17: Equal Justice Works Presents Free Webinar on Student Debt

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Location: Online

New REPAYE Plan to Launch in December for All Federal Borrowers

In December, REPAYE – or Revised Pay As You Earn – will become available as another repayment option for your federal student loans.

Like the other income-driven repayment plans, REPAYE ties your monthly payments to your earnings. Payments are capped at 10 percent of your discretionary income.

The big deal about the REPAYE plan is that it will be available to all undergraduate and graduate federal student loan borrowers regardless of when the money was borrowed, and there is no partial financial hardship required to qualify.

There are other key differences between this new plan and other income-driven repayment plans. If you want more information about REPAYE and the other debt relief options available, keep reading!

Want to Learn More about Your Debt Relief Options?

Equal Justice Works is here to help you understand the growing labryinth of student loans! We will be hosting our free webinar, “Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT.

For more information, click here.

November 17: Washington State Association for Justice Speed Networking Event

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 133

Not sure what kind of law you want to practice? Interested in helping the little guy? Come to this speed-networking event to get one on one time with civil litigators. At the event you will have 5-7 minutes with each attorney to ask any questions you have about school, the Bar, getting jobs, different areas of practice, etc. So come join us!

Room 133 – 6:00-Panel Presentation
Speed Networking Follows

Pizza and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP in Symplicity.

November 18: Legal Voice Washington: Women’s Rights, Nothing Less

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Date: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 118

Janet Chung, legal and legislative counsel for Legal Voice Washington, will highlight issues facing women and girls in the northwest, and present her legislative agenda for 2016. She will also discuss her experience as an advocate for women’s rights, and ways for students to get involved.