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

National Immigration Forum Logo

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

PRRAC

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

ELF Logo

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

NHELP Logo

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

UJC

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

Hadsell Stormer and Renick LLP Logo

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.

 

Upcoming Fellowships, Full-Time Attorney Positions, and Volunteer Opportunities

U.S. Dept. of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Seeking Associate RSD Officer, Due 3/14

UNHCR Refugees

UNHCR Kenya currently comprises a Branch Office in Nairobi and 2 Sub-Offices in Dadaab and Kakuma. The Sub-offices are responsible for coordinating the activities of the refugee camps under their respective jurisdictions. Dadaab hosts mostly Somali refugees while Kakuma is populated by 13 different nationalities including Somalis (53%), Sudanese (34%), and refugees from the Great lakes region.

The Nairobi-based Country Representative is the overall manager of the Kenya program. He is assisted by a Deputy Representative (in charge of operations) and an Assistant Representative for Protection. The Protection Section in Nairobi includes an eligibility and registration center, a protection delivery unit, and a resettlement unit.

Sub-Office Kakuma is managed by the Head of Sub-Office. The Protection, Resettlement, Community Services, Registration, and Eligibility Units are supervised by the Senior Protection Officer (P-4) who is also the head of Protection Section. There are a number of national staff and some international staff working under these protection-related units. In Kakuma the RSD team currently has a staffing capacity of 6 Eligibility Assistants and one RSD Clerk and is faced with an increasing backlog of pending cases due to a steady flow of new arrivals into the camp.

For complete details on the Associate RSD position and application details, click herePhoto courtesy of UNHCR.

Center for Conflict Studies Offers Peacebuilders Fellowship, Due 3/15

Peacebuilding

In keeping with the mission of the Center, the goal of the Peacebuilders Fellowship is to give a voice to the voiceless. Fellows will spend around two months in a conflict zone and collect stories of people who have experienced conflict. The hope is that the individual stories will give face to a “distant” conflict, providing empirical knowledge which in turn will empower people to act. Peacebuilder Fellows are therefore, storytellers for peace. Additionally, this supports the Center’s slogan “Knowledge as Action; Action as Change.”

For the year 2014, the Center will be focusing on water conflicts and the Peacebuilders Fellowship will emphasize the gathering of stories of individuals who are stakeholders in a water conflict.  The four regions of focus for the year 2014 are Asia, Latin America, Africa and Middle-East.

For more information and application details, click here.

Federal Trade Commission Office of International Affairs (Consumer Protection Group) Seeking Summer Intern, Due 3/16

FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tasked with the prevention of fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices that adversely affect consumers or competition.  In recent years, the Commission’s consumer protection mission has taken on increased international focus as more and more FTC cases involve offshore defendants or assets.  For example, the FTC has sued overseas telemarketers responsible for scamming consumers out of tens of millions of dollars, the FTC has pursued foreign spammers responsible for deluging consumers’ in-boxes with unwanted email, and the FTC has gone after U.S. promoters of bogus weight-loss products who concealed their ill-gotten gains in a maze of offshore bank accounts.

The FTC’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) works to further both the competition and consumer protection missions of the FTC by promoting cooperation with foreign law enforcement and by serving as an internal resource to other Commission offices.  On the consumer protection side, OIA attorneys provide investigative assistance and share information with our consumer protection counterparts around the world, and we assist FTC litigators in other offices with cross-border aspects of their litigation.  OIA attorneys also play a significant role in promoting sound consumer protection policies internationally. Our attorneys have served as consumer protection experts on U.S. delegations to international organizations and foreign agencies, and we have worked with foreign colleagues to produce international guidelines on the identification and prevention of cross-border consumer fraud, on privacy and spam enforcement cooperation, and on consumer dispute resolution and redress.   We also work on international privacy, data security, and e-commerce policy issues that arise in the borderless realm of the Internet, and we share our technical expertise with developing countries seeking to develop and implement an effective consumer protection regime.

For complete details and application information, click here.

Attention 3Ls and Recent Grads! Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan Seeking Full Time Staff Attorney, Spanish Required, Due 3/31

FLS Logo

Farmworker Legal Services, (FLS), a statewide division of Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM), is seeking applicants for a Staff Attorney position in our Kalamazoo office.   Kalamazoo is a college town in southwestern Michigan, located 35 miles east of Lake Michigan, and two hours from Chicago and Detroit.

LSSCM is a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to very low income and senior persons in 13 counties in south central Michigan.  FLS is the division of LSSCM that provides legal advice, referrals, direct representation and systemic advocacy to Michigan’s migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, as further described at www.FarmworkerLaw.org.

The Staff Attorney will provide effective legal services to enforce farmworkers’ rights.  Advocacy tasks will include field investigation and camp outreach, legal research and writing, negotiation, community task force participation, training, document preparation, policy analysis, and direct representation in administrative hearings, as well as state and federal litigation and appeals.

For more information and application details, click here.

Attention Law Students! Tenants Union Seeking Volunteer Policy Researcher, Due 3/31

Tenants Union (TU) Logo

The City of Seattle is facing the highest rent increases in the nation which is causing low-income tenants to be displaced at alarming rates, in addition to communities of color being disproportionately impacted. The TU is developing a grassroots response to the housing crisis and is developing an anti-displacement policy platform. This position would research effective policies in other states and cities that have been contemplated or implemented to counteract the growing wave of displacement and gentrification. Hours are flexible. Technical assistance and legal guidance will be provided on an as needed basis through our legal partners Columbia Legal Services and Northwest Justice Project, however they will not be providing direct supervision over the position.

For more information and application details, click here.

Kitsap Legal Services Seeking 2014 Intern, Applications Accepted on Rolling Basis

KLS Logo

Under the supervision of Kitsap Legal Services’ (KLS) Executive Director and highly experienced volunteer attorneys, interns will serve as part of a countywide team of legal services advocates who work cooperatively with other providers to bring high quality representation to Kitsap County’s vulnerable and low-income population. Substantive priorities may include family law, housing, consumer, bankruptcy, Social Security disability benefits application, and immigration. Interns will experience the realities of a small nonprofit legal services office as they interview clients, direct clients to appropriate community resources or free civil legal advice clinics, or observe and aid attorney in provision of legal services. Interns may also help develop self-help materials for pro-se litigants, training materials for staff and clients and work on other special projects depending on the needs of the office.

Interns will be expected to bring the maturity and commitment to their work necessary to participate as members of a comprehensive, countywide holistic delivery system. Intern skills must include the ability to treat community partners and all clients with compassion, dignity and respect.

For more details and application information, click here.

U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights in Denver, CO Seeking Volunteer Interns, Applications Considered on a Rolling Basis

DepartmentEducation_logo

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces civil rights laws, including those that protect people from discrimination in educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age.  We primarily investigate civil rights complaints.  We do not litigate.  We have volunteer internship positions available every semester, especially in the summer months, for motivated students who share our dedication.  Our region handles issues arising in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

Interns participate in all aspects of complaint investigations, including local on-site investigations.  Interns make legal determinations regarding OCR’s jurisdiction over complaints; interview witnesses, collect data; analyze data; draft evaluation and resolution letters; and conduct civil rights-related legal research and analysis.  Interns also perform other duties as assigned.

For more details and application information, click here.

Attention Recent Grads and 3Ls!  WA’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Seeking Program Supervisor in Equity and Civil Rights, Open Until Filled

OSPI Logo

The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is seeking a visionary and dynamic leader to join the OSPI team as the Program Supervisor for the Department of Equity and Civil Rights. This critical and innovative full-time position is based in Olympia, Washington. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the OSPI website (www.k12.wa.us) to gain insight into the agency’s mission and strategic plan.

Under the direction of the Equity and Civil Rights Program Director, the Program Supervisor will work collaboratively with school district personnel to monitor and ensure compliance with state and federal civil rights laws. The Program Supervisor will provide technical assistance and training to school district personnel, and will respond to allegations of discrimination by students, parents, employees, and others. The position requires broad understanding of state and federal nondiscrimination laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, disability, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, and veteran or military status.

For more information and application details, click here.

Attention Post Grads Interested in Practicing in Montana!  Office of the State Public Defender of Montana Seeks to Hire Full Time Attorney, Due 6/30

MT Office of the State Public Defender Seal

Assistant Public Defenders represent indigent clients in cases including: felony and misdemeanor criminal charges; delinquent youth proceedings; involuntary mental health or developmental disability commitments; abuse and neglect proceedings; dependent/neglect matters; and guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, as described in the Montana Public Defender Act.

Assistant Public Defenders are expected to exercise their own professional judgment and provide competent indigent defense casework pursuant to the Public Defender Commission standards. Case assignments are determined by the Regional Deputy Public Defender. Assistant Public Defenders duties include but are not limited to case investigation and strategy, discovery review, motion work, plea negotiations, trial preparation and completion, and sentencing.

For a complete description and application details, click here.  Application Deadline: 6/30/2014.

Social Security Overpayments Creates Serious Hardships, Volunteering is Good for You, Updates from Local Civil Legal Aid Orgs, Plus more

‘I was Overpaid by Social Security’

overpaid-social-security-620xaRebecca Rivetto had received disability payments for four years for her autistic son. Now the Social Security Administration is asking for it all back.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)- photo courtesy Rebecca Revetto

Americans dealing with injuries, mental illnesses and other impairments are being notified out of the blue that they’ve been overpaid by the Social Security Administration and now owe thousands of dollars.

One 33-year-old veteran began receiving Social Security disability payments after his left foot was amputated following an explosion in Iraq in 2007. After going through rehab for his prosthetic leg, he began working full-time for a defense contractor in 2009. As soon as he started collecting a paycheck, the veteran, who asked to remain anonymous, reported his roughly $100,000 annual salary to the Social Security Administration.

When recipients of disability benefits reenter the workforce, they have a nine-month trial period in which they continue to receive benefits. Once the trial period ends and their earnings exceed a certain level — currently $1,040 a month — the payments are supposed to stop. And that’s exactly what happened in his case.

But then, last July, he noticed a $75,000 deposit in his checking account. Three days later, a letter arrived from the Social Security Administration saying it had reinstated his benefits because he had not been “gainfully employed” during the past three years. Continue reading here.

Thanks to the folks at Seattle Community Law Center for sharing this article!

A New Frontline/ProPublica Report Sheds Lights on Assisted Living and Elder Law Issues

Elderly, At Risk and Haphazardly Protected _ Life and Death in Assisted LiviDid you know that in Minnesota and 13 other states, the administrators of assisted living facilities don’t need to have high school diplomas? Or that in California, assisted living facilities housing as many as 200 seniors need no more than two workers on the overnight shift? The workers are not required to have any medical training, and one is allowed to be asleep.

A special report from ProPublica and FRONTLINE finds that even though increasing numbers of assisted living residents are seriously ill and require complex care, regulations for assisted living lag far behind the reality in many states — and assisted living operators face few consequences for even the most serious lapses.

Why?  Our special report is here. It’s the latest installment in our investigation of assisted living in America — and it’s something you won’t want to miss.

Report Concludes that Volunteering is Good for Your Health

Volunteer-letters

A national survey of 3,351 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of UnitedHealth Group demonstrates that volunteering is good for your health. 

It’s no secret within the nonprofit sector that volunteers are often the difference between “make” and “break,” the special sauce that keeps an organization moving forward, delivering against its mission, serving its constituents. From hands-on volunteers to skills-based volunteers to the volunteer leaders who serve on boards, it’s almost impossible to calculate the value that those who give back add to the sector. So it’s nice to know that those who volunteer benefit from the experience as well.

A national survey of 3,351 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of UnitedHealth Group demonstrates that volunteering is good for your health. Here are some of the takeaways from this research:

  • Volunteers say they feel better—physically, mentally and emotionally—than non-volunteers
  • Volunteering helps people manage and lower stress levels
  • Volunteers feel a deeper connection to communities and others
  • Volunteers are more informed healthcare consumers and are more engaged and involved in taking care of their own health

If you work with volunteers—or if you are one yourself—those first three points are probably not very surprising. The fourth is perhaps a bit unexpected, but the report includes some interesting data around this topic, including people who report that volunteering helps them cope with a chronic illness and/or helps them take their minds off their own problems. Survey respondents who volunteer scored better than those that don’t on nine well-established measures of emotional well-being. Read more here.

Columbia Legal Services and Pro Bono Partners File Suit Against Yakima Hospital Over Charity Care

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

Together with Sirianni Youtz Spoonemore Hamburger, Columbia Legal Services has filed a lawsuit seeking access to healthcare for low-income Yakima area residents.

By Molly Rosbach, Yakima Herald-Republic.

In violation of state laws, Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center and Toppenish Community Hospital have been deterring patients from seeking charity care, shifting the burden onto other area hospitals, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the hospitals’ parent corporation.

The lawsuit in Yakima County Superior Court alleges a “severe imbalance” when it comes to charity care in Yakima County, using state figures that show Regional’s total charity care cases numbering 385 for 2011 compared to 28,503 for Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Toppenish Community and Regional are owned by Health Management Associates (HMA) of Naples, Fla., which is the sole named defendant.

Charity care is for patients who cannot pay all or part of their hospital bill, and is typically a tax write-off for the hospital. Read the full story here.

News from Eastside Legal Assistance Program

ELAP_2012_Logo_for_web_mod_3_AEH_560x560

By Stan Kehl, Executive Director

As the King County Budget process unfolds, I’ve been looking at the need for legal services for DV survivors. I’ve always known that we only scratch the surface in meeting this need, but the numbers I have recently received drove the point home. Domestic Abuse Women’s Network would refer 75 to 100 more survivors a month who would benefit from assistance on their family law cases. The King County Protection Order Advocates would refer an additional 100 to 120 survivors a month to ELAP, if we had the capacity to serve them. Lifewire, formerly Eastside Domestic Violence Program, would refer 15 more clients with critical health and safety needs to our ELAP DV Staff Attorneys each month, if we had the capacity. 

We are working on an innovative proposal to address this critical need by substantially expanding ELAP’s capacity to serve DV survivors by up to 120 to 130 DV survivors a year. We are designing a program to use what we see as unused resources, i.e. new attorneys who practice in the area of family law but have not fully established their practice yet, and non-practicing attorneys who would like to volunteer on a regular basis to keep their skill sharp. 

We will recruit new attorneys to the program and provide them with full support, including computers, phones, paralegal assistance, mentoring and training for one year while they build their solo practice. In return they will provide ELAP’s DV clients with 20 hours of legal services a week for one year. This will involve between five and eight of these attorneys each year. We will also recruit three to five experienced non-practicing family law attorneys who are temporarily staying at home, but who would like to give ten hours of their week.

In addition to providing legal services to more of the DV survivors who desperately need legal assistance, we want to train new family law attorneys in an environment which would acquaint them with working with DV survivors. We would also be forging connections with them, which we believe will lead to ongoing pro bono work on behalf of DV survivors.

If you would like to be a part of this effort, or have suggestions and ideas for this program, please contact me at stan@elap.org.

Equal Justice Coalition Funding Update

logoDuring the months of September and October, six legal aid Alliance organizations and the Equal Justice Coalition testified at all four scheduled public hearings on King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget. The public hearings were held in Kent, North Bend, Bellevue, and Seattle.

Legal aid organizations that provided testimony, and that are supported through Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed budget are Seattle Community Law Center, Unemployment Law Project, TeamChild, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Eastside Legal Assistance Program, and the Family Assistance Program at Solid Ground.

While we are thankful to be included in the Executive’s proposed budget, we’ve continued to meet with Councilmembers to highlight the importance of investing in our services, which collectively ensures our most vulnerable people are protected.

The County’s investment has enabled legal aid organizations to leverage support through unique partnerships that have resulted in a coordinated multiple entry point system for low-income people to gain access to the legal services they need.

Last year, the County’s investment of half a million dollars to these six legal aid programs allowed them to leverage support from volunteer attorneys, yielding over 25,000 hours of pro bono help – a sizable return on investment of about $4 million to the county.

At a time when we’ve seen a decline in federal support, and state funding has remained stagnant, King County has stepped up its support for legal services.

The King County Council’s Budget Leadership Team is currently in the process of budget deliberations. We expect the Council to announce their final proposal within two weeks.