The Average Number of Legal Problems Per Low-Income Household Has Tripled Over the Last Decade

New Report: 2015 Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study Update Reveals Troubling Justice Gap

Equal Justice Coalition Logo

By: Equal Justice Coalition 

SEATTLE — Oct. 29, 2015 — A Washington Supreme Court commissioned statewide survey of more than 1,600 low-income Washingtonians discovered that seven of ten low-income individuals and families in Washington State face at least one significant civil legal problem each year, and the average number of problems per low-income household has tripled over the last decade.

Despite the growing number of civil legal problems that often implicate their most basic needs, the vast majority of low-income Washingtonians do not receive the legal help they need to solve these problems. More than three-quarters of those with civil legal problems struggle without a lawyer or any type of legal help.

Continue reading here.

Free CLE for ABA Members: From Montgomery to Ferguson and Baltimore, Lawyers as Agents of Change: The Role of the Law in the Long Arc of Justice

ABA Logo

Monday, November 16, 2015
1:00 PM – 2:35 PM ET

1.5 General CLE Credits

Webinar
List price $195
ABA Member Price FREE

In this month’s ABA Free CLE Series, join us as we:

  • Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Explore the role of lawyers and the judiciary as a participant in resolving social conflicts

Speakers
Nicole Austin-Hillery | Director and Counsel | The Brennan Center For Justice | Washington, DC
Sheila Y. Thomas | Attorney at Law | Law Offices of Sheila Thomas | Oakland, CA
Stephen F. Hanlon | Adjunct Professor | Saint Louis University School of Law | St. Louis, MO

Moderator
Paulette Brown
President | American Bar Association

Register online here.

Seminar Promotes Access to Justice for the Deaf

Deaf Seminar - Photo credit David Keane

By: Sean O’Riodan | Irish Examiner | Photo credit David Keane

“We can learn a lot from the experiences shared by the members of the Irish deaf community who participated in this research,” said Ms Harold.

“One of the most significant findings is the need to improve communication awareness amongst those who assist and support Deaf victims of crime, in order to make their services more accessible.”

Ms Harold, who has been funded by Irish Research Council to explore deaf people’s experiences as victims of crime and their interaction with the criminal justice process, said the event was very worthwhile.

Continue reading here.

For Non-U.S. Citizens, Early Release from Prison Means Swift Deportation

By: Pamela Constable | Washington Post | Photo credit: Washington Post

prisoner family photo

Nearly one in three of the inmates being released from U.S. prisons this month as part of an effort to roll back harsh drug sentences will not be returning to the states and cities where they were arrested.

Instead, they are being deported.

They are non-U.S. citizens, who in many cases were in this country legally when they were caught selling drugs and given long sentences under the “mandatory minimum” laws that grew out of the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic.

Like the rest of the 6,000 prisoners selected for the U.S. Prison Bureau’s largest-ever mass release, each has been found by a judge not to be a threat to society. But every one of the non-citizens in the group had either received final deportation orders from immigration judges or was being reviewed for deportation before the mass release was planned, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

Continue reading here.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules that Smoking Pot is a Fundamental Human Right

Demonstraters Protest

By: Christopher Ingraham | Washington Post | Photo Credit: Alex Cruz/European Press Photo Agency

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled 4-to-1 Wednesday that outlawing the possession and use of the marijuana plant represents a violation of fundamental human rights. While the ruling does not mean that marijuana is now legal in the country — it only applies to the four plaintiffs in this specific case — it gives a tremendous amount of political space for lawmakers to introduce marijuana reform bills at the state and federal level in Mexico.

“It’s really a monumental case,” said Hannah Hetzer of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug reform advocacy group, in an interview. “It was argued on human rights grounds, which is unusual, and it’s taking place in Mexico, the epicenter of some of the worst effects of the war on drugs.”

Continue reading here.

Interested in Paid Internships? Check Out the Juvenile Record-Sealing Position with TeamChild

Attention 2Ls and 3Ls! Immigration Externships in Winter and Spring 2015, Due TODAY

CPSL Logo

Washington Defender Association (WDA) Immigration Project: WDA’s Immigration Project seeks two externs for Winter and Spring Quarters 2015 to research the immigration consequences of various convictions and work preparing publications and training programs for defense attorneys, prosecutors, and the court. WDA provides constitutionally mandated advice to attorneys across Washington on whether their non-citizen clients will face immigration consequences as a result of their convictions.  Students working in this rapidly evolving area must have taken immigration law and/or be taking criminal procedure (or have equivalent experience).  Students must work at the field placement for 16 – 20 hours/week. Regardless of how many externship credits students seek, students must also enroll in the two-credit immigration seminar (Legislation and the Formulation of Public Policy) offered by Professor Angelica Chazaro in Winter Quarter 2015. Professor Chazaro will be the faculty supervisor for this externship.

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) Tacoma Office: NWIRP’s Tacoma office seeks two externs for Winter and Spring Quarters 2015 to assist in directly representing immigrant detainees in removal (deportation) proceedings. This may include appearing in immigration court hearings, preparing clients for court, preparing witnesses, drafting a number of legal briefs and making oral arguments in court. NWIRP provides legal representation to immigrants held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. Students must work at the field placement for 20 – 35 hours a week. Preference will be given to Spanish speakers and to students who are available more rather than fewer hours. Regardless of how many externship credits students seek, students must also enroll in the two-credit immigration seminar (Legislation and the Formulation of Public Policy) offered by Professor Angelica Chazaro in Winter Quarter 2015. Professor Chazaro will be the faculty supervisor for this ext! ernship.

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) Seattle Office, Asylum Unit:
NWIRP’s Seattle office’s asylum unit seeks two externs for Winter and Spring Quarters 2015 to assist in helping asylum-seekers prepare declarations, doing research on country conditions, and writing legal briefs in support of asylum applications, with the possibility of making oral arguments in court. Students will also provide legal assistance to recently arrived unaccompanied Central American migrant youth. Preference will be given to Spanish speakers and to students who are available more rather than fewer hours. Regardless of how many externship credits students seek, students must also enroll in the two-credit immigration seminar (Legislation and the Formulation of Public Policy) offered by Professor Angelica Chazaro in Winter Quarter 2015. Professor Chazaro will be the faculty supervisor for this externship.

Seminar Description:
B512 Legislation and the Formulation of Public Policy
This course will examine immigration laws and policies related to how removal (deportation) laws and policies are established and implemented, and including the emergence and role of social change movements. Topics will include the intersection of immigration and criminal law, border security, state and local enforcement, the root causes of unauthorized migration, and the challenges of immigration law reform. The course will cover both legal doctrine and legislative issues concerning immigration detention and enforcement.

Application Process
To apply for any of the above Immigration Externships, please submit an application for each placement you are interested in, including a cover letter, your resume, and your law school transcript by email to extern@uw.edu by November 24, 2014 at 5 p.m. Each application should be a single pdf file labeled with your last name and the placement. Letters may be addressed to Esther Park with the name of the placement in the Re: line. Please also include a completed Externship Application, available here: https://www.law.washington.edu/externship/default.aspx.

Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP Fellowship Applications Due TODAY

LVBH logo

Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP, a leading plaintiff’s employment boutique firm in Oakland, California, is now accepting applications for its 2015-16 fellowship, which will begin in September 2016.  This one-year fellowship offers talented recent law school graduates who are committed to workers’ rights a year of intensive litigation experience in a women-owned, private law firm.  The LVBH Fellow will work directly with attorneys in the firm on ongoing litigation in individual and class action cases and will receive training in all aspects of litigation, including legal research, writing and providing direct client services.  Applicants should have 0-3 years experience in the practice of law; experience or class room instruction in the field of employment law is a plus, but is not required.  Demonstrated commitment to public interest or civil rights work is required.  Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, transcripts, and a writing sample to sharon@levyvinick.com.

International Justice Resource Center Seeking Staff Attorney, Due 11/28

IJRC Logo

The International Justice Resource Center (IJRC) invites applications for a new Staff Attorney position. IJRC seeks a Staff Attorney to play an integral role in this growing, ambitious organization’s provision of information, guidance, and training in international human rights law and advocacy to victims and advocates around the world.

In joining IJRC, the Staff Attorney will gain unique opportunities to help build a one-of-a-kind online resource hub, contribute to the understanding and effective use of international human rights law, forge relationships with advocates around the world, and assist individuals and groups in their vital struggle for fundamental freedoms. This position, open to young attorneys, offers a chance to become an important part of an organization whose impact and reputation are rapidly expanding.

The ideal candidate will be a licensed attorney with substantial working knowledge of international human rights law and the bodies that enforce it, as well as excellent writing and editing skills.

For more information, click here.

United Nations the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Seeking MENA Project Intern for Spring 2015, Due TOMORROW

WILPF Logo

Would you like to work with women, peace and security issues? Do you want to apply your textbook Human Rights law skills to the real world setting of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region? Do you want to interact with NGOs from MENA and contribute to their work for Peace, Women and Security? Do you want to experience the exciting – and sometimes chaotic – life of working in a civil society organisation with small budgets and big ambitions?

If you have answered YES to the questions above, then we want you to be our MENA Project intern for Spring 2015.

As a member of the dedicated WILPF team, your tasks will be exciting, diverse, and challenging. You will take part in the UN human rights bodies’ sessions, you will liaise with our partners in the MENA region and learn from their work and you will report on all of that using your academic knowledge.

We encourage you to apply if you are a committed activist interested on Women’s rights and Peace issues. The internship is perfect for an energetic, motivated person who wants to discover the world of feminist organisations and activism.

For more information, click here.

TeamChild Seeking Juvenile Record Sealing Legal Intern, Paid Position, Due 12/5

Team Child Logo

The Juvenile Record Sealing Legal Intern is responsible for assisting young men and women with motions to seal their juvenile record. The Intern will be responsible for running two juvenile record sealing clinics in King County. The clinics occur one Wednesday and one Saturday a month, October-May and two or three summer clinics. The intern’s attendance at these clinics is mandatory. The Intern will be responsible for organizing outreach efforts to ensure attendance at the Clinic and coordinating the participation of attorney and student volunteers.

Following the clinics, the Intern will be responsible for the filing and processing of paperwork necessary to seal juvenile criminal history. This requires the intern to be present at the King County juvenile courthouse two Fridays a month. The Intern will also be responsible for publicizing the Juvenile Record Sealing Clinics in King County and responding to calls and emails seeking general information regarding the record sealing process. The intern will also be asked to gather information on current juvenile offenders.

A successful applicant will be a law student in good academic standing. The position requires someone who is self-motivated and has an excellent demeanor with clients and colleagues. This position is open to both work study and non work study qualified students. The time commitment is approximately 20-30 hours per month and the rate of pay is $18 an hour. The intern must be able to attend the sealing clinics (1st Wednesday of every month from 6-8 PM and 1 Saturday every month from 9:00-11:00 AM) and the King County Juvenile Court hearing (at least one morning a month from 8:30-11:30 AM). A car is useful but not necessary.

This is a great opportunity for a 1L or 2L that wants to practice communicating with clients, community members, and is also seeking courtroom experience. If you are interested please email a resume and cover letter to recordsealing@teamchild.org by 5:00 PM on December 5, 2014. Interviews will be conducted in January, and training will begin in February.

Accountability Counsel Seeking Spring 2015 Law Fellow

accountability counsel logo

Our Law Fellows will work with Accountability Counsel’s staff toward our mission:

Accountability Counsel defends the environmental and human rights of communities around the world who are harmed by internationally financed development projects. We specialize in non-judicial accountability mechanisms established to receive community complaints. We accomplish our mission through: (1) assisting communities to use these mechanisms effectively and; (2) policy advocacy, ensuring that these complaint offices are accessible, transparent, and fair tools for justice.

Our Law Fellows will support Accountability Counsel’s collaboration with communities around the world in their complaints to accountability mechanisms, as well as policy work toward improvement of accountability mechanisms. Law Fellows will work on legal research assignments and fact memos, and will participate in meetings with community members, international institutions, and NGO colleagues. We expect students to work at least 10 hours per week.

For more information, click here.

Application Launch for 2015-2016 White House Fellows

White House Fellowship Seal

We are pleased to support the White House Fellows program in announcing that the 2015-2016 White House Fellows application officially launches online on November 1, 2014! Open season is from November 1, 2014 to January 15, 2015.

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson established the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and over the course of nine presidential administrations – four Democrat and five Republican – the nonpartisan White House Fellows program has become the nation’s premier fellowship for public service and leadership. The program’s mission is to expose Fellows to first-hand, high-level experience in the Federal government. The program consists of a full-time work placement in the offices of Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House staff, and other high-ranking Administration officials. During a year in Washington, DC, Fellows also participate in a robust education program designed to provide a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of the Federal government. It is an extraordinary year that yields a lifetime of rewards.

Learn more about the White House Fellows program here.

Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund National Headquarters Seeking Summer Interns

lambda-legal-logo

The Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund is offering summer internships for law students. Primarily, summer interns assist attorneys with investigation, research and drafting in ongoing cases, prospective cases, and amicus curiae briefs, in all areas of sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV discrimination. Interns may also research, draft, and/or edit publications on these issues for public education, and will assist in maintenance and expansion of resources for our national legal Help Desk.

For more information, click here.

University of Minnesota Center for New Americans Clinical Teaching Fellowship, Position Open Until Filled

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Law School is seeking applicants for a clinical teaching fellowship beginning fall 2015 with the Center for New Americans. The Center for New Americans is a comprehensive immigration law center composed of the three interrelated clinics: The Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, The Detainee Rights Clinic, and the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic, as well as an education and outreach program. The Law School currently offers twenty-two clinical courses with a broad diversity of subject matters. Thirteen in-house clinical faculty members and nineteen part-time adjunct instructors teach in the program. The Law School is committed to providing national leadership in clinical education and to ensure that students be prepared for the increasing complexities of legal practice in a diverse community.

For more information, click here.

National Employment Law Project (NELP) Seeking Summer Legal Interns in New York City, Due 12/15

NELPimages

The National Employment Law Project (www.nelp.org) is a non‐profit research and advocacy organization that partners with national, state and local allies – including community groups, immigrant advocacy organizations, worker centers, unions, faith-based organizations, policy makers and think tanks – to develop and promote policies and programs that create good jobs and enforce hard-won worker rights. NELP is one of the country’s leading workers’ rights organizations, developing innovative policy models, conducting research and education, supporting worker
organizing, and engaging in strategic communications.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) is seeking dynamic law students for our 2015 summer legal internship program in New York City.  With a staff of lawyers, social scientists, and policy experts, NELP’s approach is to work in close partnership with grassroots organizing groups and reformers to test new models in the states and cities and translate them to the federal level, in order to respond to the key problems of the U.S. labor market in the twenty‐first century.

For complete details, click here.

Attention 3Ls! Projects Selected for the 2014-2015 Emerging Leader Fellowship

Stoneleigh Foundation Logo

Welcome to the Emerging Leader Fellowship (ELF) application process!   If you are not familiar with this fellowship program, we encourage you to visit the Stoneleigh Foundation at www.stoneleighfoundation.org.

We have selected six (6) projects of non-profit organizations in Philadelphia which can provide an opportunity for an Emerging Leader Fellow to contribute to improving life outcomes for vulnerable children and youth.  The fellowship term is from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

For more information, click here.

Stanford Law School Seeking Research Fellow, Due 12/7/14

Stanford Law School Logo

Assist with the research of Professors John J. Donohue, Daniel Ho, Daniel Kessler, and Alison Morantz at Stanford Law School.  Designed for graduating seniors or recent college graduates, fellowships provide a unique opportunity for those considering graduate school, law school, and/or business school in the future.

Prior Research Fellows have matriculated to Ph.D. programs at Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and MIT, and law school at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia.  They have been drawn from a variety of undergraduate disciplines, including economics, political science, applied math, public policy, statistics, and computer science.

Successful applicants will be matched with a specific professor based on background and interests.  As full-time Stanford University employees, fellows will receive a competitive salary and benefits package, including full medical and dental insurance, access to campus athletic and academic facilities, paid vacation time, professional development funds, and the capacity to audit Stanford courses and attend on-campus lectures and seminars free of charge.

For more details, click here.

Legal Momentum Seeking Legal Intern, Due 12/31/14

Legal Momentum Logo

Legal Momentum: The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund was founded as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1970. Legal Momentum advances the rights of women and girls by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy. We are the oldest national women’s rights legal advocacy organization, with a rich history in litigation and public policy development. We have worked to enact, expand, and enforce many of the most important laws and policies that affect women, including employment rights under Title VII, educational equity under Title IX, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA.)

 

Legal Momentum strives to provide its legal interns with a stimulating and diversified clinical experience. In the past, Legal Momentum interns have participated in both litigation and other projects, performing such duties as researching and drafting legal memoranda and briefspreparing Congressional testimony, drafting model legislation, screening potential cases for Legal Momentum involvement, and drafting informational pamphlets on legal topics.  Applicants should expect most of their work to involve legal research and writing. Interns are also encouraged to participate in regular meetings of the legal staff, as well as meetings with other groups.

For more information, click here.

Calling for Submissions! Human Rights and Refugee Essay Competitions

Seattle Women’s Commission Seeking Candidates for Vacant Seats on the Commission, Due 9/22

City of Seattle Logo

The Seattle Women’s Commission is seeking candidates for vacant seats on the Commission. The Commission advises the Mayor, City Council and city departments on issues that impact women in Seattle. The commission identifies areas of concern and recommends policy and legislation, provides feedback and opinion on issues of city and state budget, and acts as a liaison between Seattle women and city government.

As advisors to the Mayor, City Council and city departments, commissioners have the opportunity to address issues of concern for Seattle women and to work for positive change.

Terms are three, two-year terms and are subject to confirmation by the City Council. Applicants must live or work in Seattle and be available for monthly meetings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the 3rd Monday of the month at City Hall in downtown Seattle.

The SWC is seeking candidates with a particular interest in the following areas, in accordance with the SWC’s annual work plan:

  • Economic opportunities for women, including pay equity, job opportunities, and women-owned businesses
  • Health disparities affecting women, including access to healthy food, reproductive rights, and the social determinants of health such as infant and maternal mortality
  • Housing and homelessness including affordable housing, tenant rights, institutional and informal housing and shelters, and vehicular residents and women living in encampments in the city
  • Violence prevention including training for police and other responders, sexual assault, domestic violence and preventing youth violence
  • The SWC aims to work closely with governmental and community-based organizations to make certain that women of color, women with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, returning female veterans, youth and members of the LGBTQI communities are being served appropriately by the Commission’s work.

To apply for appointment to the Seattle Women’s Commission, submit your resume and a letter of interest by September 22, 2014. Please reference your experience and interest in the previously mentioned issue areas in your cover letter. To reduce paper consumption, electronic submissions are preferred. Email your letter of interest and resume to: marta.idowu@seattle.gov.

PLI Offering Online Seminar on Effective Communication with the Legal Services Client

PLI SeminarAs states enact new pro bono requirements and ease some restrictions on pro bono representation, it is becoming more important than ever for lawyers to understand the unique challenges posed by pro bono clients. PLI’s first open interactive course is free to anyone who wants to learn more about how to meet the unique challenges posed by pro bono clients. This course will teach new attorneys and seasoned professionals how to work effectively and cooperatively with their pro bono client.

Click here to access more content.

Call for Submissions: The Washington College of Law Human Rights Essay Award 2015 English & Spanish, Due 2/1/15

WCL

By: Cecilia Marcela Bailliet

Are you interested in attending an all-expense paid 3 week summer program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law taught by over 40 world-renowned practitioners and academics at American University Washington College of Law? Well, now is your chance! Submit an essay to the Human Rights Essay Award Competition and you could be the lucky winner to receive a scholarship to attend the 2015 Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. This year’s topic is “Transitional Justice, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law” and the deadline to submit is February 1, 2015. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review.

This annual competition sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of: a scholarship to the Academy’s Program of Advanced Studies, travel expenses to Washington D.C., housing at the university dorms and a per diem for living expenses.

For detailed guidelines about the award please click here.

Volunteer Lawyer Programs Assist in Disaster Relief Efforts

ELAP Logo

By: Eastside Legal Assistance Program

Oso Mudslide

After the mudslide that devastated Oso in May 2014, there was an emergent need for legal services in the area. Snohomish County Legal Services (SCLS) responded by partnering with the local bar association and with Northwest Justice Project (NJP).  NJP launched a toll free number for those affected by the 530 Slide and informational flyers were distributed by  SCLS and NJP. Additionally, the Snohomish County Bar Association (SCBA) sent out an email to member attorneys to gauge interest in assisting – over 100 attorneys signed up to volunteer their time and expertise to the victims of the disaster.  Additionally, Foster Pepper and Perkins Coie offered their assistance to SCLS in this effort and SCLS was able to secure emergency funding from Legal Foundation of Washington to hire a part time staff attorney, Dustin Hoegemeyer, to help coordinate volunteers and assist victims of the slide.

With all of this support and dedication from the local legal community and professional organizations,  SCLS has assisted more than 30 clients to date and referrals are still coming in.  SCLS Executive Director Anita Hale reports that “It has been humbling to be part of such an amazing effort and to see individuals receive the legal support they need to start moving forward with their lives.”

Okanogan County Fires

Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services (VAS) developed a legal aid response to the wildfires in Chelan and Okanogan counties. The Wenatchee-based nonprofit opened its intake to include Okanogan County residents who were affected by the fires. VAS, in partnership with the Wenatchee law firm Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn & Aylward, began referring fire-related legal matters to local attorneys in July. The volunteer legal program will facilitate free legal advice through the end of 2014 and, in addition, plans to organize informational meetings and legal clinics in affected areas.

International Refugee Law Student Writing Competition: Call for Papers

ILSA logo

The American Society of International Law’s International Refugee Law Interest Group (IRLIG) announces an annual International Refugee Law Student Writing Competition, co-sponsored by the Global Migration Centre at the Graduate Institute of International
and Development Studies, Geneva; the International Law Students Association (ILSA); the International Journal of Refugee Law; Oxford University Press; and the American Society of International Law (ASIL).

IRLIG seeks submissions of academic papers on international law pertaining to refugees, internally displaced persons, and forced migrants. Participation is open to students enrolled at an accredited university at the time of submission.

Click here for more details.