Are You Looking for a Career in Public Service? Register Now for the NW Public Service Career Fair!

Northwest Public Service Career Fair Registration Now Open

NW PS Career Fair Logo

Seattle
Date: Friday, February 5, 2016
Time: 10:00 – 10:30 AM Student/Employer Check-In
Location: LeRoux in the Student Center at Seattle University

Portland
Date: Saturday, February 6, 2016
Time: 10:00 – 10:30 AM Student/Employer Check-In
Location: Templeton Center at Lewis & Clark College

For twenty-six years, the NW Public Service Career Fairs have linked law students and alumni with opportunities to make a difference.  We typically have more than 50 non-profits and government offices and more than 500 students and alumni from our 11 NW Consortium schools participating in the fairs.

To register, click here.

AG Shines a Light with Updated Open Governmental Manual

WA Sunshine Laws

OLYMPIA — Today Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that his office has updated its online Open Government Resource Manual summarizing Washington’s sunshine laws.

The 2015 publication modernizes the prior manual to reflect the past several years’ developments in the state’s Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act, and court decisions interpreting those laws. The manual was last revised in 2007.

“I am committed to enhancing transparency in government,” Ferguson said. “Open government is vital to a free and informed society, and this updated guide will help both public officials and the people they serve understand our state’s public disclosure laws.”

The manual includes summaries of and links to relevant statutes, court decisions, formal Attorney General Opinions, and Public Records Act Model Rules.

To access the manual, click here.

Attended the October 17th Pro Bono Core Competencies Training? We Want Your Feedback!

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Thank you for attending this year’s training. Our goal is to offer UW law students the opportunity to access some of the basic and fundamental tools and skills associated with providing direct law-related pro bono assistance to underserved and marginalized communities. We welcome you honest feedback and your participation in helping us plan next year’s training.

Please complete this very brief survey here.

For Offenders Who Can’t Pay, It’s a Pint of Blood or Jail Time

Judge Marvin Wiggins

By Campbell Robertson | The New York Times | Photo credit Dave Martin/Associated Press

MARION, Ala. — Judge Marvin Wiggins’s courtroom was packed on a September morning. The docket listed hundreds of offenders who owed fines or fees for a wide variety of crimes — hunting after dark, assault, drug possession and passing bad checks among them.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” began Judge Wiggins, a circuit judge here in rural Alabama since 1999. “For your consideration, there’s a blood drive outside,” he continued, according to a recording of the hearing. “If you don’t have any money, go out there and give blood and bring in a receipt indicating you gave blood.”

For those who had no money or did not want to give blood, the judge concluded: “The sheriff has enough handcuffs.”

Continue reading here.

Looking for Pro Bono Opportunities? Volunteer with the WA Vets Wills Clinic on October 24th!

Pro Bono Opportunity Eligible for Pro Bono Honors: Washington Vets Wills Clinic on Saturday, October 24

WA Vets Wills Clinic Logo

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 second annual North Sound Clinic will be hosted in Seattle on 24 October 2015, at 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 check in, enjoy refreshments, and visit with the clinic partners and other veterans 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 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 occur on Sat Oct 17th. This option allows for an hour or two of service, though the confirmations are more administrative than legal work. Please volunteer through the online form at www.wavetswillclinic.com/volunteer and use the comments box to indicate what volunteer opportunity you are interested in.

ABA Announces Mini-Grants for Projects Expanding Pro Bono Attorneys Representation of Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants

ABA Logo

ABA Working Group on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants is pleased to announce the availability of mini-grants to legal assistance providers engaging pro bono attorneys to represent unaccompanied minor immigrants. The mini-grants are intended to provide initial financial support for innovative and sustainable pro bono models of legal representation of unaccompanied minor immigrants.

Applications are due no later than September 30, 2015. Please click here to view and download the Request for Proposals and Grant Application.

Questions regarding the mini-grants should be directed to Juliet Gilbert.

Equal Justice Works Career Fair & Conference – Last week for interview applications!

EJW Logo

The Equal Justice Works annual Conference and Career Fair is the largest national public interest legal career fair in the country.  More than 1,200 students from 165 law schools attend for two days of interviews, workshops, networking and other career opportunities.  More than 140 public interest employers conduct interviews for internship and full-time positions and meet with students in informal “table talk” settings to discuss public interest legal opportunities.  The Conference and Career Fair also features workshops on various public interest careers and job search advice, resume and cover letter review, mock interviews, and more. Students and recent graduates can apply for interviews through September 14 and may register to attend informal table talk networking and workshop sessions through October 9. UW Law students who’ve secured interviews may be eligible for limited funding associated with travel costs to DC. Please email Aline Carton-Listfjeld at acarton@uw.edu for more details.

For more information, visit the Equal Justice Works website.

King County’s First Equity & Social Justice Strategic Plan: We Want to Hear from Local Organizations!

King County Equity & Social Justice

King County is in the early stages of developing an actionable, countywide strategic plan to advance Equity and Social Justice in our region.  We need your input to ensure the plan is informed and grounded in the true needs and opportunities within communities, as well as how the county can act as a responsive and effective partner. 

We are asking organizations in all sectors to please go to our survey to share your ideas on how to increase equity in King County.  Let us know what issues we should collectively tackle, what’s working to increase equity, and what are emerging opportunities. We also want your ideas about how we can collectively partner to advance equity in our region.

We will continue to stay in touch about this process as we collectively shape priorities and strategies.

Planning for Fellowships in 2015? Apply Now, Apply Early!

Attention All Law Students!  Washington State Supreme Court Seeking Survey Volunteer Interviewers, Due 6/1/14

Washington State Temple of Justice

Under auspices of the Washington State Supreme Court CLNS Update Committee, work with the Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid and Washington State University’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (WSU-SESRC) conducting face-to-face interviews to update our understanding of the unmet civil (non-criminal) legal problems faced by low-income residents of Washington State.

Time commitment: Completion of up to 3 hours of required training; up to 15 contact hours for completing 8 interviews and entering information.

Interviewer’s primary responsibility will be to conduct face-to-face interviews with low-income Washington State residents & enter the data into a secure data base following the interview. The project includes mandatory training in interviewing protocols.

For a complete description on the scope of the volunteer work and application instructions, click here.

Columbia Legal Services Seeking Institutions Project Staff Attorney, Due 6/25/14

CLS Logo

The Institutions Project (IP) is seeking a full-time attorney with a minimum of five years of litigation experience.  IP is an advocacy team consisting of five attorneys, a paralegal, and two legal assistants. IP engages in system systemic advocacy for individuals and groups, in collaboration with other programs and the private, on behalf of people in facilities for the developmentally disabled, psychiatric hospitals, and adult and juvenile state and local correctional facilities throughout Washington.  IP systemic advocacy has focused on cases that have a broad impact on solving the most critical issues of clients in institutions, including class actions, legislative representation and other policy advocacy on behalf of clients.

Under the supervision of the Project Coordinator, staff attorneys provide civil legal advice and representation in areas of importance to Columbia Legal Services low-income clients.  Staff attorneys are expected to be able to use the full range of potential forums appropriate to address relevant issues for our clients, including litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and administrative or legislative representation.  The changing needs of our clients require attorneys to engage in an ongoing effort to gain and share expertise and resources with their coworkers and others throughout the Alliance for Equal Justice.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

Community Legal Services in Philly Accepting 2015 Fellowship Applications, Due 7/7

CLSPhillyCommunity Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia (CLS) sponsors law students and lawyers for fellowships funded by the Independence Foundationthe Skadden Fellowship FoundationEqual Justice Works, the Open Society Foundations, theStoneleigh Foundation, the Borchard Fellowship in Law & Aging, and other fellowship programs (including fellowships offered directly by law schools).  Fellows work closely with our experienced staff attorneys and are directly supervised by a more senior attorney.  Fellows carry their own caseload and gain valuable experience in providing a wide range of services, from brief advice and counsel to representation at administrative hearings, judicial proceedings, and appeals.  Fellows are also deeply involved in our policy and systemic advocacy work.  Past fellows have provided crucial advocacy for our clients, contributed greatly to CLS’ development as a legal services organization, and many have become long-term members of our staff.

CLS invites law students beginning their third year, recent law school graduates, and those with judicial clerkships to apply for sponsorship for a fellowship.  For consideration for fellowships that begin in 2015, applications will be accepted until Monday, July 7, 2014. 

For a complete description and application instructions, click here. Please note this post has recently been corrected.

Eastside Legal Assistance Program Seeking Rule 9 Intern, Due 12/31

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The Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides access to justice through free civil legal aid to low income residents of East and Northeast King County Washington and domestic violence legal aid throughout King County.

Your role as a Rule 9 Intern will be to assist ELAP DV Staff Attorneys in their representation of clients who are survivors of domestic violence.  This volunteer position requires a minimum of ten hours a week for a minimum of one semester.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

Neighborhood Legal Clinics Need Intake Volunteers, 50th Anniversary of Gideon Decision, Puget Sound Fair Housing Survey & Attorney Needed for Certified Professional Guardian Board

Neighborhood Legal Clinics Intake and Referral Volunteers Needed

nlcdoorThe Neighborhood Legal Clinics (“NLC”) are looking for volunteers who are passionate about helping people in our community.

Each year in Washington, 87% of low-income households experience a civil legal problem; over 88% of those households will attempt to face their legal problem without an attorney. NLC offers free limited legal advice to King County residents, with a focus on providing service to low-income clients. We serve over 8,000 clients annually and have 34 legal clinincs throughout King County, most operating on a weekly basis. As an intake and referral line volunteer, you are a lifeline for people in need. You will be connecting clients to vital legal services which help them stay in their homes, keep their families together, get protection from domestic violence, manage their debt, and keep their heads above water within a complex legal system.

Phone line volunteers provide a valuable service to the community by connecting clients with resources and information; this volunteer position plays an invaluable role in empowering clients to create solutions to their most urgent problems. Volunteers will become experts on the community resources available in King County. Volunteers are provided extensive training regarding a variety of civil legal issues and dealing with people in crisis is provided, as well as access to substantive legal continuing education courses.

Shifts are available Tuesday-Thursdays from 8:30am-12:30pm. Minimum commitment is 4-8 hours a week for 4-6 months.

For complete description and contact info click here.

50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright: WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LET OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM FAIL

NLADAThe National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Gideonat50 website, a collaborative venture generously supported by the Ford Foundation.

As you know, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark Supreme Court decision in which the court unanimously agreed that all individuals must have a qualified defense attorney, regardless of income.

Thanks to the tireless work and dedication of public defenders, many individuals unable to afford counsel are zealously represented against immeasurable odds.  Unfortunately, such representation is not always possible everywhere in the nation due to significant resource imbalances and systemic inequities.  Chronic under-funding and overwhelming caseloads for public defenders are stretching the justice system to the breaking point.

As a result, 50 years after the decision, the promise of Gideon goes largely unfulfilled. 

Gideonat50 is an interactive and informative place for visitors to:

  • Learn about America’s justice system crisis.
  • See a new interactive map prepared by NLADA that for the first time provides a detailed overview of the national  landscape of public defense and state specific descriptions.
  • Sign up to get involved in the Gideonat50 campaign.

The site also features information about three powerful works of literature and film:

  • Gideon’s Army, a Sundance award-winning documentary by director Dawn Porter that follows three young public defenders challenging a broken justice system.
  • Chasing Gideon,  a book by veteran reporter Karen Houppert that movingly chronicles the stories of people in all parts of the country who have relied on Gideon’s promise.
  • Defending Gideon, a short film produced by The Constitution Project and narrated by actor Martin
    Sheen that features interviews with the key players in the Gideon v. Wainwright
    case.

We encourage you to visit the site and sign up to be a part of this exciting campaign to fix the justice system crisis and ensure the constitutional right to counsel is protected. Help raise awareness of this critical issue in your community by scheduling a screening of “Gideon’s Army” or a discussion of “Chasing Gideon” or “Defending Gideon.”

Learn what you can do here.

Fair Housing and Equity in the Puget Sound Region: The Puget Sound Regional Council and the Fair Housing Center of Washington Need Your Help

FHCWThe Puget Sound Regional Council, in tandem with the Fair Housing Center of Washington, is gathering information on barriers to equal housing opportunities with a special focus on the major transportation corridors in Snohomish, King, and Pierce Counties.  This Fair Housing Equity Assessment is part of the Growing Transit Communities three year project to ensure equity along transit lines.  They need your help in three ways!

Please complete the short survey here. This survey can be translated into languages for groups of significant size. For more info on translations contact  Lauren Walker to discuss this possibility.

Deadline for surveys is June 30th.

Hard copy surveys can be returned to the following address: Fair Housing Center of Washington, 1517 South Fawcett, Suite 250, Tacoma, WA  98402.

The Certified Professional Guardian Board Seeks WSBA Representative for Three-Year Term

WSBA.jpegThe Certified Professional Guardian Board has an opening for a WSBA representative for a three-year term starting Oct. 1, 2013. The WSBA Board of Governors will nominate an individual who will be appointed by the Supreme Court.

The Board was created by the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of Certified Professional Guardians and Agencies and help assure that qualified professional guardians are available to assist incapacitated individuals. Learn more about the Board on its web page.

Interested in serving on the Board? Email a letter of interest and résumé to barleaders@wsba.org by June 14, 2013, or mail to Communications Department, WSBA, 1325 4th Avenue, Seattle WA 98101-2539.