Pro Bono Opportunity – Washington Vets Will Clinic, 10/24 (Seattle)

Date: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Time: Day-long, TBD
Location: University of Washington School of Law, 4293 Memorial Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98195
Registration: To volunteer, complete the Volunteer Application
Contact: Click here

Volunteers Needed: Attorney, Notary Public, Law Student, or Community Member

The Washington Vets Wills Clinic (“Clinic”) has been providing pro bono legal advice and free estate planning documents to eligible Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserve members, and their spouses for three years. Founded in 2012, the Clinic is a coalition of philanthropic, educational, civic, and veterans’ service organizations dedicated to giving back to former members of the military. The Clinic assists Veterans while providing pro bono opportunities to the legal community and experiential learning through service to law students.

The first North Sound Clinic will be hosted in Seattle on October 24, 2015, by the University of Washington School of Law. The Clinic’s goal is to ensure that every attending Veteran and spouse meets with a lawyer and leaves the Clinic with an executed and notarized will, power of attorney, and health care directive.

To participate in the Clinic, Veterans apply online and the information requested in the application is used to create unique estate planning documents for each Veteran client. Not all that apply are accepted, and the Clinic reserves the right to determine rules of use and participation. Once the Veteran and spouse are accepted, Clinic staff assigns them an appointment time. On the day of the Clinic, Veterans register, enjoy refreshments, and visit with the partners and each other until their appointment time.

At their appointment time, the assigned law clerk greets the Veteran and their spouse, and accompanies them to a room where they meet in confidence with an assigned lawyer. The lawyer interviews, counsels, and advises the clients while the law clerks draft any changes to the packet of pre-filled estate planning documents. The lawyer reviews these with the clients and, once final copies are printed, guides them through execution of the documents. Volunteer notaries public assist with formally executing the documents. Finally, the law clerk escorts the clients back to the lobby.

A free Continuing Legal Education training class precedes each Clinic event, to teach lawyers and supporting volunteers the estate planning process, and to acquaint them with the basic documents used at the Clinic.

As one second-year law student volunteer observed, “As I saw the Vets leave after their sessions, they left holding hands with their spouses, smiling and thanking volunteers. It was apparent that the services we provided had both legal and emotional benefits for the clients.” Those legal and emotional benefits extend to the students, who find it very gratifying to serve the Veterans population, while learning about estate planning from practicing attorneys.

Law Student Role: Law students can volunteer in two ways. The first is to volunteer for the day of the clinic, for a morning shift, afternoon shift, or all day (both) shift. The day of shifts will involve a combination of observing attorneys advising veteran clients, as well as general all-around and administrative tasks. The Clinic will work diligently to provide a combination of exposure to legal work as well as general purpose work. The second way to volunteer is for making confirmation calls to the veteran clients of their appointments, which will be decided. This option allows for an hour or two of service, though the confirmations are more administrative than legal work. Please volunteer through the online volunteer form.

 

Washington New Americans Citizenship Days, 9/19 & Ongoing

Date: Saturday, September 19, 2015 and Ongoing
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location(s): September 19 sites include Renton, Pasco and Moses Lake

RENTON: Renton Technical College, Building C, 3000 NE 4th St, Renton, WA 98056
MOSES LAKE: Big Bend Community College, ATEC Building 1800, 7611 Bolling St NE, Moses Lake, WA 98837
PASCO: Columbia Basic College, Center for Career & Technical Education (corner of W. Argent Rd & Saraceno Way), Pasco, WA 99301

Registration: To volunteer, complete the Volunteer Application
Contact: wna@weareoneamerica.org;
http://www.wanewamericans.org/Citizenship_Day_Volunteers

Volunteers Needed: Attorney, Law Student, or Interpreter

Washington New Americans is a partnership of the state of Washington and OneAmerica, an organization that advocates for immigrants and refugees here in the state of Washington and nationally. Each year, Washington New Americans partners with the Washington State Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to offer Citizenship Day events across Washington State.

Citizenship Day is a day-long workshop where volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, and interpreters come together to offer assistance with citizenship applications. All lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders) interested in applying for U.S. citizenship are welcome to participate. The assistance extended to the public on Citizenship Day is free.

The next Citizenship Day will be held on Saturday, September 19 at sites around the state. Additional “Mini Citizenship Days” are held throughout the year. For more information about upcoming events and how to volunteer, please email wna@weareoneamerica.org or visit http://www.wanewamericans.org/Citizenship_Day_Volunteers.

If you live in the Seattle area and would like to volunteer to help the program run smoothly, please email WA New Americans.  Tasks include helping prepare for Citizenship Days, handling client inquiries, and general program administration.

Possible Roles:

INTERPRETER: Interpret verbatim between clients and paralegals or attorneys and other volunteer staff. Insure clients and paralegals/attorneys understand each other and the contents of all forms and documents needed for naturalization. Interpreters may NOT provide legal advice except as direct translation of advice given by attorney.  Interpreters of all languages are welcome, particularly, those with Spanish, Russian, Somali, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese skills, among other languages.

GENERAL SUPPORT:  As directed by Site Coordinators, help with set up/take down at facility, signage, client intake, routing of clients through the facility, copying and assembling documents, answering non-legal questions, passing out information documents, and helping with food and drinks for volunteers.

UW CAYLAC Clinic Helps Open New Opportunities Through Juvenile Justice Law

Starting Today, Juvenile Justice Law Opens Up Opportunities for Tens of Thousands of Washingtonians 

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By Columbia Legal Services

Today, tens of thousands of Washingtonians, and thousands of youth every year, will have significantly more opportunities despite childhood mistakes. This historic change comes as a result of a major juvenile justice law – the Youth Equality and Reintegration Act (SB 5564) – which was passed by the Washington legislature this past legislative session. […]

The prime legislative sponsors were Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-University Place) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle) and the advocacy was also led by students from the University of Washington Children and Youth Legislative Advocacy Clinic. More information on the YEAR Act is available here.

Read the entire publication here.

Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy (WJELP) Hosting First Annual Symposium on Ocean Acidification and Coastal Health, Now Accepting Paper Submissions

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The Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy (WJELP) invites submissions for papers focused on ocean acidification. Partnering with the UW Law Environmental Law Program, WJELP will be hosting an Ocean Acidification Symposium on November 6, 2015. Accepted papers will be featured at the symposium and later printed in an edited volume. Submitted papers should relate to the growing need for law and policy addressing ocean acidification, strategies to manage ocean acidification at various scales (local, regional, national and global), and other related topics (using ocean acidification to target CO2 emissions, sustainable aquaculture, land-based sources of water pollution, etc.). We also welcome proposals for symposium speakers. Paper submissions due by October 16, 2015.

For more information, click here.

World Health Organization Releases New Publication on Sexual Health, Human Rights and the Law

WHO

Sexual health today is widely understood as a state of physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality. It encompasses not only certain aspects of reproductive health – such as being able to control one’s fertility through access to contraception and abortion, and being free from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual dysfunction and sequelae related to sexual violence or female genital mutilation – but also, the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. Indeed, it has become clear that human sexuality includes many different forms of behaviour and expression, and that the recognition of the diversity of sexual behaviour and expression contributes to people’s overall sense of well-being and health.

Continue reading here.

Judges Rebuke Limits on Wiping Out Student Loans

Janet Roth (Photo (c) Nick Cote, NYT)

By Tara Siegel Bernard | New York Times

[…] The judge, Jim D. Pappas, in his concurring opinion for the bankruptcy appellate panel decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, said the analysis used “to determine the existence of an undue hardship is too narrow, no longer reflects reality and should be revised.”

He added: “It would seem that in this new, different environment, in determining whether repayment of a student loan constitutes an undue hardship, a bankruptcy court should be afforded flexibility to consider all relevant facts about the debtor and the subject loans.” But the current standard, he wrote, “does not allow it.”

Read the entire article here.  Photo courtesy of Nick Cote, New York Times.

EEOC Bans Discrimination Against Gays in Workplaces

EEOC Seal

By Sue Reisinger | Corporate Counsel

In a historic decision, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that all job discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The 3-2 decision, dated July 16, does what Congress and most courts so far have refused to do: ban discrimination against gays in the workplace. Until now only a handful of states and municipalities have done so.

The EEOC foreshadowed its decision in a field memo last February saying that workers are protected under Title VII from discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as gender identity.

Continue reading here.

Attention New and Young Lawyers! Service Opportunity with the WSBA, Due 8/14

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The Washington Young Lawyers Committee encourages WSBA’s new and young lawyers to apply to serve as a young lawyer liaison to one of the following sections:

Apply now! Deadline is Friday, Aug. 14, at 5 p.m.

For more information about the volunteer position and application process, click here.

Attention Pro Bono Project Leaders! Registration for Fall Pro Bono Leadership & Advocacy Course Now Open

Registration for Fall Pro Bono Leadership & Advocacy Course is Now Open!

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Attention leaders of student-initiated pro bono projects including IFAP, IMAP, SYLAW, App Help, ELS, Outlaws and any other emerging pro bono legal assistance projects!  Will you be on a pro bono project board or steering committee next year?

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 Mondays, 5:30-7:30.

See the syllabus here. 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 project.  Photo courtesy of StockVault.

Wondering How You Can Be a White Ally?

Check out Cracking the Codes: Joy DeGruy, A Trip to the Grocery Store

U.S. Department of Justice Announces New Mobile App

DOJ

Get the latest information about legal careers at Justice with our mobile app, DOJ Law Jobs. Users can quickly and easily create personalized job searches based on practice area, geographic preference, and hiring organization.  DOJ Law Jobs is available for free on iTunes for Apple iPhone and iPad, and the Play Store for Android devices.

Professionalism Tip of the Week! 10 Common Email Mistakes: Using Email Effectively 

Rainbow

By Keith Jackson | Mind Tools

How many hours do you spend communicating by email every day?  Most of us would answer “Too many!”  According to a study by McKinsey® & Company, people spend 28 percent of their working week reading and replying to emails. However, despite the risk of becoming overloaded with messages, it remains one of the most powerful and efficient communication tools.

Using email is a quick and easy way to stay connected with your team members, customers and stakeholders, particularly those who are geographically dispersed. However, it can be very easy to send ineffective emails, create the wrong impression, or even damage your reputation with sloppy practices.  In this article, we’ll look at 10 common mistakes that people make when they send emails, and explore what you can do to avoid these.

Continue reading here.  Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Biletskiy Evgeniy

Opportunity for Service: WSBA Council on Public Defense

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The WSBA Council on Public Defense (CPD) was established to implement the recommendations of the WSBA Blue Ribbon Panel on Criminal Defense, which was appointed by the Board of Governors in 2003 as a first step in addressing concerns about the quality of indigent defense services in Washington. Today, the CPD provides a unique and valuable forum for bringing together representatives of the Bar, prosecutors, private and public criminal defense counsel, the bench, elected officials and the public.

The WSBA is now recruiting volunteers to serve on the CPD. Except as noted, the members of the CPD are appointed for two-year terms, with the ability to renew their membership on the CPD for up to four years. All positions will begin Oct. 1, 2015. The open positions include:

  • Three current or former prosecutors/city attorneys. Two of the prosecutors/city attorneys will be appointed for two-year terms. One prosecutor/city attorney will be appointed for a one-year term.
  • One at-large member who will be appointed for a one-year term.

To apply, login to myWSBA, then use this link to access the committee application.

The application deadline is 6 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2015. Please do not apply for any committee other than the Council on Public Defense, as the deadline for other committees has passed.