Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) Releases New Tool Called “Your Money Your Goals” For Financial Empowerment

Volunteer for Citizenship Day in Moses Lake, and Pasco on Saturday, September 19

Citizenship Day

Date: Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Location(s): 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

Citizenship Day is a FREE one-day legal clinic to help legal permanent residents apply for citizenship and it is hosted by the WA State Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and OneAmerica. Citizenship is a critical part of American Dream for many immigrant families, but the high cost of attorneys and fear of the process stop many eligible people from becoming citizens. We’ll have volunteer immigration lawyers, paralegals and interpreters on hand to help eligible permanent residents successfully fill out citizenship applications (N-400s).  It’s a great way to earn community service hours without a long-term commitment, meet other students, and help your community.

WE ARE IN NEED OF INTERPRETERS: General volunteers and bilingual interpreters (Spanish and English) are needed at the Pasco and Moses Lake sites on September 19th. If you are interest in helping, please email Katelyn Chrisman at Katelyn@weareoneamerica.org, and SIGN UP HERE.

To sign up, click here. 

Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) Offers 2015-2016 Mentorship Program, Sign Up Now!

LBAW

We are excited to reintroduce LBAW’s Mentorship Program.  We encourage you to sign up!

If you would like to be a part of LBAW’s 2015-2016 Mentorship Program, please complete the mentor form or mentee form and return it to membership@lbaw.org no later than Tuesday, September 22. 

LBAW’s Mentor/Mentee Welcome will be held Friday, September 25, at the home of LBAW’s President Chach Duarte White on Mercer Island at 5:30 p.m.—8:00 p.m.  Come eat, drink, and meet your mentor/mentee!  Details will be included in the next LBAW Announcement and on the LBAW website and Facebook page.  We look forward to seeing you!

Registration Now Open for Stanford Law School’s 16th Annual Shaking the Foundations Progressive Lawyering Conference on October 17

Shaking the Foundations 2015

Stanford Law School’s 16th annual Shaking the Foundations conference will be on Saturday, October 17, 2015. This year, we are excited to feature Bay Area workers’ rights advocate Saru Jayaraman, author of Behind the Kitchen Door, as our keynote speaker at 10 a.m.

Shaking the Foundations brings the progressive community together each year to discuss issues within the movement, explore the role of young lawyers, and encourage attendees to work toward social and environmental justice. This year’s conference will focus on West Coast issues. Panel and workshop topics include criminal justice, immigration, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, environmental justice, consumer protection, Native American law, labor, housing, and other progressive topics. Check out our website for the full schedule.

To register, click here.

Pro Bono For Financial Empowerment

ABA Logo

By William J. Woodward, Jr. | ABA Center for Pro Bono Exchange

“Holistic pro bono” is an idea whose time may have come. When used in the legal pro bono community, the term refers to supplying a needy client with help that may go beyond legal help to include help from other professionals such as housing counselors, addiction experts, accountants, technology specialists, and so on.

The idea may have just had a substantial boost from the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”), the Federal agency created by the Dodd-Frank law and charged with protecting consumers of financial products and services. While the agency has regulatory and enforcement power, Congress also charged it broadly with educating consumers in financial matters.

Continue reading here.

Call for Submissions for the 11th Annual Sarah Weddington Writing Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights

LSRJ Logo

Law Students for Reproductive Justice, in collaboration with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law School, is pleased to announce the Call for Submission for the eleventh annual Sarah Weddington Writing Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights.

This year, the Sarah Weddington Writing Prize’s suggested theme is “Restoring Public Insurance Coverage for Abortion,” with a focus on the Hyde Amendment and Harris v. McRae (1980). However, submissions on other topics will also be accepted.

The deadline for submission is Monday, January 18, 2016.  Winning authors will receive cash prizes: $750 (first place), $500 (second place), or $250 (third place).  Additionally, each winning author will receive a copy of the newly released casebook, Melissa Murray and Kristin Luker’s Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice. The first place winner will also have a chance at publication with the NYU Review of Law and Social Change.

For more information, please download the 2015 Call for Submissions here.

Preliminary Results for the Civil Legal Needs Study Now Available

Mayor Introduces New Legislation Requiring Places of Public Accommodation to Designate All-Gender Restrooms

City of Seattle Logo

By Kathryn Robertson | Seattle.gov

Today Mayor Ed Murray introduced legislation that would require all City-controlled and privately operated places of public accommodation to designate existing or future single-occupant restrooms as all-gender facilities. All existing City-controlled single-occupant restrooms (across all City departments, from City Hall to Parks) will be re-signed to conform to this new standard. The proposal was one that was introduced to the City by the Seattle LGBT Commission as part of its ongoing work, and is one of the early recommendations from the Mayor’s LGBT Task Force.

“The transgender community deserves the dignity and respect that most people take for granted,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “That’s why Seattle is building upon our history of being one of the most welcoming cities in the world by ensuring restrooms are available and safe for all.”

Continue reading here.

Volunteer Opportunity with the Washington Court Reports Commission, Application Deadline 7/9

WSBA Logo

The WSBA Board of Governors is accepting letters of interest and résumés from members interested serving a four-year term on the Washington Court Reports Commission. The term begins Aug. 2, 2015, and expires Aug. 1, 2019.

The Washington Court Reports Commission is as an advisory body for the Washington Supreme Court, regarding publication of official opinions from the state’s appellate courts. See RCW 2.32.160. The commission is chaired by Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen. Additional members include a Supreme Court justice, a Court of Appeals judge, the state reporter of decisions, the state law librarian, the state code reviser, and two representatives from the WSBA. Members are appointed by the chief justice to serve four-year terms.

The commission is involved in issues, such as the periodic awarding of publishing contracts, publication of official opinions in the Washington Reporter series of books, and electronic publication of opinions. The commission usually meets once annually in the summer in Olympia or SeaTac.

The commission would find it particularly helpful for the Bar’s nominee to have an interest and knowledge in technology issues related to electronic publications of official documents.

For more information about the Washington Court Reports Commission contact Rick Neidhardt, Washington State Reporter of Decisions, at 360-357-2090 or Rick.Neidhardt@courts.wa.gov.

Fair Housing Victory 

Supreme Court Courthouse (c) Stockvault

On Thursday, June 25, the Supreme Court ruled that disparate impact can continue to be used as evidence in illegal discrimination cases. Under disparate impact, actions that create discrimination can be found to violate fair housing and fair employment laws, even if those actions do not intend to discriminate. U.S. courts have used disparate impact for decades to assess discrimination charges; the Supreme Court’s ruling means we can continue to take disparate impact into consideration.

Read the full opinion here.

WSBA Board of Governors Accepting Letters of Interest for Judicial Information Systems Committee, Due Tomorrow

WSBA Logo

The WSBA Board of Governors is accepting letters of interest and résumés from members interested serving a three-year term on the Judicial Information System Committee (JISC). The term begins Aug. 1, 2015 and expires July 31, 2018.

The JISC is the policy-level steering committee for the court’s automation system. The committee is composed of 12 Bar members, including four members representing each of three areas of the judicial system — appellate court, superior court, and courts of limited jurisdiction. Three at-large committee members from outside the judiciary include a Bar member, a member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, and a member of the Washington State Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Learn more about the JISC or contact Pam Payne, senior administrative assistant, at 360-705-5277 or pamela.payne@courts.wa.gov.

Please submit letters of interest and résumés to: WSBA Communications Department, 1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98101-2539, or via email to barleaders@wsba.org.

The Washington Office of Civil Legal Aid Releases Preliminary Results on the 2015 Civil Legal Needs Study

OCLA Logo

The Washington State Supreme Court’s Civil Legal Needs Study Update Committee commissioned the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) at Washington State University to conduct a comprehensive update of the 2003 Civil Legal Needs Study.  The survey research was conducted in late 2014.  Publications documenting the research findings are found below.

Continue reading here.

Western States Center Extends Registration for Activists Mobilizing for Power Training 2015

Western States Center Logo

Western States Center offers training and strategy event at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.  Workshops run from 10 am to 5 pm with a 2-hour lunch break.  Long lunch breaks are designed to give you a chance to network with other attendees and participate in lunch-time meetings. Space is limited.

To register online, click here.

UW Law Celebrates the Success of Saturday’s Pro Bono & Leadership Training

Celebrating Pro Bono at UW Law- Annual Pro Bono & Leadership Training Day is a Success!

By: Aline Carton-Listfjeld, Assistant Director, Center for Public Service Law

CPSL Logo This past Saturday, October 11 from 8:30am-5:30pm Gates Hall was filled with over 100 students committed to fulfilling the promise of equal justice by attending our Pro Bono Core Competencies Training and Advanced Pro Bono Legal Assistance and Leadership Development Fundamentals Workshops! Training topics ranged from professionalism, addressing and managing bias, working with clients in poverty and crisis, secondary trauma, leadership theory, event planning, accountability, developing organizational mission, vision and core values and more!

These trainings and workshops are a joint initiative of the Center for Public Service Law and student leaders from the Immigrant Families Advocacy Project (IFAP), Center for Human Rights & Justice’s App Help Project (CHRJ’s App Help), Street Youth Law Advocates of Washington at UW (SYLAW), Environmental Law Society (ELS) and the Prison & Family Justice Project (formerly IMAP).

A special thanks goes to the following faculty who co-led trainings with student leaders including: Dean Michele Storms, Dean Mary Hotchkiss, Professor Kim Ambrose, Professor Lisa Kelly, Professor Tom Andrews, and Professor Angelica Chazaro. In addition, this training would not be possible without the participation of student leaders of pro bono projects most notably Melody Young, Erin Apte, Alex Revelas, Crys O’Grady, Claire Sullivan, Michael Gerbec, Michael Huggins and Katherine Chung. Another thanks goes to Thomas O’Ban who helped staff the registration table in the morning.

Another big thank you goes to our dedicated program assistant, Ann Spangler, who works behind the scenes graciously juggling multiple projects making our success possible.

Attention Pro Bono Students: Please Evaluate the Pro Bono Core Competencies Training!

Survey

Pro Bono students, thank you for your interest in pro bono service and for attending our recent Pro Bono Core Competencies training.

Please help us continually improve this annual training. Kindly take a couple of minutes to  complete this brief survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M3VYZZP.

We really value your feedback.

Event Tomorrow – Human Rights in Global Garment Factories: Meet Garment Workers Who Sew UW Clothes

Solidarity USAS

Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 6 PM
Savery 264, UW Campus Quad

https://www.facebook.com/events/1501149146820448
*free & open to the public*

Meet workers who sew Husky apparel! Hear how UW can support dignified working conditions and human rights in the global garment industry! The Alta Gracia Factory, located in the Dominican Republic Free Trade Zone, is the first college logo t-shirt project to pay its workers a living wage, respect their democratic voice on the job, and provide a safe and healthy work environment as regularly verified by the Worker Rights Consortium. The result of decades of collaboration between college students and garment workers worldwide, Alta Gracia offers a stark contrast to the often exploitative conditions in garment factories and is transforming the lives of workers, the community of Villa Altagracia, and the wider apparel industry.

WITH SUPPORT FROM: Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, UW Honors Program, UW United Students Against Sweatshops, Washington Fair Trade Coalition

CONTACT: UW United Students Against Sweatshops, uwusas@uw.edu, Solidarity Ignite, info@solidarityignite.org

Critical Language Scholarship Fellowship – Applications Now Open

CLS Scholarship Program

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the opening of the scholarship competition for the 2015 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in thirteen critical foreign languages.

The CLS Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is a fully-funded overseas language program for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and to build relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides study opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.

The thirteen CLS languages are: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu.

The application is now live and available online here

Applications will be due November 12, 2014 by 8:00 pm EST.

New Advisory Opinion and Country Visit by the Inter-American Human Rights Bodies Clarify the Rights of Migrant Children

By: International Justice Resource Center

IACHR Border Visit

Last month, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights released an Advisory Opinion defining the scope of States’ obligations to protect the rights of migrant children and families. See I/A Court H.R., Rights and Guarantees of Children in the Context of Migration and/or in Need of International Protection, Advisory Opinion OC-21/14, 19 August 2014. State Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man must take this Advisory Opinion into consideration when “designing, adopting, implementing, and applying their immigration policies.” See id.at para. 50. Relatedly, from September 29 to October 2, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights conducted a country visit to the United States, examining the treatment of unaccompanied migrant children who had crossed the southern border into the United States. [IACHR Press Release] The Inter-American bodies’ focus on migrants’ rights comes at a point in time when the United States and Mexico, in particular, are facing scrutiny for their treatment of undocumented migrants – including an influx of children – from Central America.

Continue reading here. Photo credit: Daniel Cima

Volunteer Opportunity with Wayfind – Volunteer Microenterprise Clinic, Applications Due 10/17

wayfind logo

Wayfind connects nonprofit organizations and low-income microenterprise entrepreneurs in Washington State with transactional lawyers who will assist them, pro bono, on business legal matters. Wayfind hosts two microenterprise legal clinics, in partnership with Washington CASH and Start Zone NW, two nonprofit organizations that provide support to low-income microenterprise entrepreneurs. Wayfind pro bono transactional lawyers meet with low-income microenterprise entrepreneurs to issue-spot and counsel them on legal issues and responsibilities with respect to their microenterprise business venture.

The types of legal issue that clients typically present include: review of contracts operating agreements and leases, business entity selection, intellectual property including publishing and trade name, and adding people to a partnership.

Law student volunteer clinic assistants are needed to assist the lawyers at the microenterprise clinic by taking interview notes and drafting the client “work plan” which summarizes the legal advice given by the attorney. The WA CASH clinic takes place from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of every month; and the Start Zone NW clinic takes place from 5:00 to 7:30 quarterly (December 2nd and March 3rd). This opportunity is open to all law students.

  • Time Commitment: Must commit to volunteering at least one 3-hour clinic
  • Location: Clinics held at Washington CASH in Seattle and Start Zone NW at Edmonds Community College
  • Training: Must participate in the UW Law’s Pro Bono Core Competencies training on Saturday, October 11, 8:30am- 3:00pm and watch a video of the 10/2/12 Microenterprise 101 training.
  • Application Process: Email a resume and cover letter addressed to Jodi Nishioka, Wayfind Executive Director to the contact below.
  • Application Deadline: Friday, October 17, 2014
  • Contact: Aline Carton-Listfjeld, Center for Public Service Law

Don’t Forget to Attend Tomorrow’s Pro Bono Training!

October 11: Pro Bono Legal Aid Core Competencies Training

CPSL Logo

Saturday, October 11, 2014
8:30am-3:00pm*
William H. Gates Hall, 127

Thinking about volunteering for…

  • Bridging the Gap/Moderate Means Program (MMP)
  • Immigrant Families Advocacy Project (IFAP)
  • Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington (SYLAW)
  • Prison & Family Justice Project (formerly IMAP)
  • Immigrant Application Assistance Project (CHRJ)
  • Environmental Law Society Pro Bono Research Project (ELS)
  • or any of the dozens of community legal aid programs in the Seattle area?

If the answer is YES! then you need to get trained on the fundamentals of providing pro bono legal assistance! Attendance required for UW Pro Bono Honors Society membership at graduation.

1-      Pro Bono Core Competencies Training, 9am-5:30pm (which includes the IFAP training), room 127- this is ideal for 1Ls, LLMs and other law students new to Pro Bono. Attendance is also required for membership into the Pro Bono Honors Society at graduation.

2-      Advanced Pro Bono Legal Assistance Workshop, 9am-12pm in room 117- this is ideal for 2Ls, 3Ls and other law students with pro bono legal assistance experience who also attended last year’s Pro Bono Core Competencies Training. Attendance is also required for membership into the Pro Bono Honors Society at graduation.

3-      Leadership Development Workshop, 1-5:30 pm, room 127- this is ideal for 2L, 3Ls, LLMs and other law students who are active members or leaders of student-led pro bono projects and other student organizations.

October 12: The Global Struggle for Food Sovereignty: A Discussion with African Food Leaders & Farmers

African women farmers

Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave
Sunday, October 12
5:00 PM Reception, 7:00 PM Panel
Hosted by Community Alliance for Global Justice/AGRA Watch
African farmers are fighting for “food sovereignty,” the right of all people everywhere to control their food systems. You are invited to hear first-hand from African food leaders and farmers about how corporate “philanthropists” like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are working to transform African small-holder agriculture into American-style industrial agri-business, with all its problems. Join us for a reception and a panel discussion to learn about the struggle for global food sovereignty and how we can work in solidarity to change these alarming trends.
For more information, click here.

October 13: “A Policy Lawyer on Foreign Soil” Jeffrey M. Riedinger, Vice Provost for Global Affairs, University of Washington

Riedinger Photo

Monday, Oct. 13, 2014
12:30-1:20 PM
William H. Gates Hall 117

A graduate of UW Law (JD ’80), Jeffrey Riedinger has been serving as the UW Vice Provost for Global Affairs since 2013. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University, and served as professor and dean of International Studies and Programs at Michigan State University prior to returning to UW.

As a law student, Riedinger worked closely with Professor Roy Prosterman, founder of the LL.M. Program in Sustainable International Development at UW Law. The two worked on issues of land tenure security and land reform, and in 1981 Riedinger helped Professor Prosterman establish the Rural Development Institute (now Landesa) and help extend land rights to the world’s poor.

Over the years, Vice Provost Riedinger has carried out research in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Middle East, and is an expert on the political economy of land reform, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. He has conducted briefings on foreign aid, land reform and other development issues for members of the White House staff, state department and USAID personnel, members of Congress, the World Bank, non-governmental organizations and private foundations. His publications include two books and more than 30 articles, chapters, reviews and monographs.

Hosted by UW Law Global Affairs and the Graduate Program in Sustainable International Development

October 14: Pro Bono & Externship Fair

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Gates Hall Galleria

“Table Talk” Networking and Fair
Participating Organizations/Agencies

  • ACLU of Washington
  • Associated Counsel for the Accused
  • CENTS Program
  • Center for Children and Youth Justice Lawyers Fostering Independence
  • Disability Rights Washington
  • Earthjustice
  • Eastside Legal Assistance Program
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Seattle Field Office
  • Federal Public Defender
  • Heart of America Northwest
  • King County Bar Association Pro Bono Services
  • King County- CASA Program
  • King County Dept. of Public Defense-SCRAP
  • Landesa
  • MultiCare Health System Legal Services
  • Northwest Defenders Association
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • Northwest Justice Project
  • Pierce County Dept. of Assigned Counsel Misdemeanor Division
  • Q-Law Foundation
  • Seattle City Attorney Torts Division
  • Seattle Community Law Center
  • Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office
  • The Defender Association Misdemeanors
  • Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney
  • U.S. Dept. of Labor, Office of the Solicitor
  • U.S. Federal Trade Commission
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • U.S. Social Security Administration
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District
  • UW Bridging the Gap/Moderate Means Program
  •  UW Center for Commercialization
  • UW Center for Human Rights and Justice
  • UW Environmental Law Society
  • UW Immigrant Families Advocacy Project
  • UW Prison and Family Justice Project
  • UW Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington
  • UW Student Legal Services
  • Washington Appellate Project
  • Washington Attorney General’s Office
  • Washington Defender Association
  • Washington State House of Representatives – Office of Program Research
  • Washington State Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee

October 15: CHRJ’s Immigrant Application Assistance Project (“App Help”) Volunteer Training (Mandatory)

CHRJ Logo

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 PM
William H. Gates Hall, 127

Looking to build client interviewing, research, or advocacy skills?  Want to give back to the community in an impactful way, but are short on time?

Join the Center for Human Rights & Justice’s Immigrant Application Assistance Project!

CHRJ has partnered with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) to assist pro se immigrants in filing applications for legal relief. There is no right to counsel in deportation proceedings and most immigrants go unrepresented. Volunteers work directly with asylum-seeking unaccompanied children in Seattle and detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Volunteer opportunities consist of application assistance, declaration drafting, and evidence gathering/legal research.

Time commitment: Generally, assignments can be completed in 4-6 hours.
**Bonus: Volunteer on an ad hoc basis per your own availability**

Training is MANDATORY for all volunteers. No background in immigration or asylum law required.

Questions or concerns? Contact Melody Young.

October 18: Volunteer Opportunity for One America

OneAmerica

Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014
8:00 AM to 5 PM
SITES: Renton, Pasco, Moses Lake, and Olympia

Washington New Americans, a program of OneAmerica, promotes successful integration by connecting Legal Permanent Residents to the information and services they need to successfully pursue citizenship and become active members of our community. Citizenship Days, held in partnership with AILA and community organizations across the state, offer assistance with citizenship applications in 8 cities in Washington State. Last year, we had over 375 volunteers supporting Citizenship Days and were able to serve 531 individuals at 13 sites across the state! Visit our website www.wanewamericans.org for more information.

We need YOU to make our Citizenship Days successful!

ALL volunteers will be required to attend trainings prior to the day of the event. Trainings will be held via conference call or in person on October 8th and 9th.  To sign up to volunteer, contact lilly@weareoneamerica.org.

October 20: GlobalWA Presents Ghana’s Oil for Food Initiative

GlobalWA

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014
Seattle University Student, Center Building, Room 160, Seattle, WA 98122
6:00 – 7:30 PM

Oxfam America, Global Washington and Seattle University’s Poverty Education Center invite you to a panel discussion in celebration of World Food Day 2014.

The Oil for Food initiative represents a major improvement over the previous distribution of oil revenues in Ghana.

Our panel will include the following guests:

  • Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director, Africa Center for Energy Policy
  • Victoria Adongo, Program Coordinator, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana
  • Ian Gary, Senior Policy Advisor – Extractive Industries, Oxfam America
  • Moderator: Dr. Benjamin Curtis, PhD, Director of the Poverty Education Center and Assistant Professor, Matteo Ricci College, Seattle University

Register online here.

October 28: Peggy Browning Fund Summer Fellowships Info Session – Advocating for Workplace Justice

PeggyBrowning

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm (refreshments will be served)
William H. Gates Hall, Room 127

  • Learn about the Peggy Browning Fund’s Summer Fellowships
  • Hear what it’s like practicing law for a union, a law firm representing workers or a government agency regulating the workplace
  • Find out how to get a job promoting workplace justice

Free admission to Seattle law school students. Webcast available to students of Gonzaga University School of Law. Information on where to watch the webcast will be provided after you register.

Register by October 21 with the Peggy Browning Fund here.

CLS Launches Re-Entry Legal Clinic, NJP Launches Veteran’s Legal Project, More Poverty Law News and Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition

Columbia Legal Services Launches Re-Entry Legal Clinic

CLSlogo

Pro bono attorneys and law students needed!

Re-entry Clinic: Addressing the legal needs of people turning their lives around after a criminal conviction.

What is the Re-Entry Clinic? It provides free legal services to low-income men and women with criminal records trying to reenter society, but facing barriers to a successful reentry.

What legal issues does the clinic address? Legal financial obligations (fees, fines and restitution) and access to employment and housing.

How does it work? Volunteer attorneys attend the clinic for about 2.5 hours to provide legal advice and counsel. Law students volunteer as legal assistants. Volunteers can assist at the clinic as often as s/he likes, but we ask for a minimum of four times per year. A staff attorney will be at the clinic to assist.

Where are the clinics held? There are two.  One is located at the Public Law Library of King County the second Monday of the month from 2:45-4:45pm. The other is at FareStart the fourth Tuesday of the month from 2:40-4:30pm.

Will there be training? Yes. Please join us on December 2, 9am-3:30pm at Perkins Coie for a CLE on reentry law. Topics include: fair credit reporting act, legal financial obligations, housing law and employment screening.

Where can I learn more info? Please email Nick Allen at Columbia Legal Services.

Northwest Justice Project Announces Expanded Legal Services for Veterans

NJP_LogoNJP’s Veterans Project provides free legal services for civil problems that are barriers to housing, employment, and self-sufficiency. The Veterans Project also focuses on women veterans who face greater barriers to accessing services and often require special outreach and services to deal with service-related sexual abuse trauma.

In addition to performing direct outreach to low-income and at-risk veterans, the Veterans Project team of attorneys coordinates with veterans’ social services, health and housing providers, and Veterans Treatment Courts. Veterans Project attorneys are located in Spokane, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and Everett and provide services statewide.

The Veterans Project provides legal advice, representation, and referrals on a variety of civil legal issues including:

  • Child Support (modification and arrears forgiveness)
  • Vacating Criminal Convictions / Records
  • Consumer Law
  • Housing Issues
  • Veteran’s benefits, and state public / health benefits
  • Discharge Upgrades (less than 15 years old)

Veterans can call NJP’s Veterans Project directly.  The toll free, statewide Veterans Project number is: 1-855-NJP-VETS (855-657-8387).

Veterans facing issues not listed above can apply online or call NJP’s CLEAR line to find out if they qualify for free legal aid.

Op Ed- A Dream Deferred: The Right to Food in America

Huff Post Food for Thought

October 30, 2013–by Smita Narula and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Huffington Post

Last month, the USDA reported that 49 million Americans live in “food insecure” households, meaning they cannot afford adequate food for themselves or their families. In other words, nearly one in six individuals in the richest country in the world is struggling to put food on the table. Hunger in the United States is not the result of a shortage of food or resources — it is the direct result of poverty perpetuated through policies that fail to prioritize Americans’ fundamental needs.

On the heels of the USDA report, the House voted to cut $40 billion over the next ten years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — the nation’s largest anti-poverty program. Under the House version of the farm bill, 3.8 million individuals would lose their SNAP benefits in 2014 alone, and an estimated 210,000 children would be kicked off of free school lunch programs. On November 1, SNAP recipients will see an automatic decline in their benefits when a temporary boost to the program (voted in as part of the 2009 Recovery Act) ends.

The impact of these assaults on our nutrition assistance programs will be felt over a generation and possibly beyond. Children who do not receive adequate nutrition — including prenatally — are at risk of serious health and developmental problems. Hungry children struggle to learn in school and, according to a report by Feeding America, are far more likely to experience behavioral problems, increasing the chance that they will drop out of school and decreasing their lifetime earning potential. By failing to adequately feed our children, we are setting them up to fail.

This is a moral failing. It is also a violation of human rights.

For full article please click here. To learn more and to take action against SNAP cuts, please visit: http://hungercliff.org/ or http://frac.org/leg-act-center/

How Crummy, Run-Down Housing Harms the Children Who Live in It

October 24, 2013– By Emily Badger, TheAtlanticCities.com, photo courtesy- The Atlantic

housingThe housing crisis sounded all kinds of alarms for policymakers and the public about what happens when families can’t afford their homes, or when they lose the stability that a secure home provides. We’ve heard about the effects of foreclosures on neighborhoods, the weight ofhousing stress on human health, the impact of lost equity on household wealth for huge portions of the U.S. population.

But something has been absent in all this talk about how unstable housing in any form affects families.

“The attention raised by the mortgage crisis and the foreclosure crisis really missed a lot of central aspects of housing that are likely to be important for children,” says Rebekah Levine Coley, a professor in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.

Notably, it’s the quality of housing – the presence of peeling paint or cockroaches, broken appliances or damaged walls – that most strongly predicts a child’s well-being and development.

Continue reading here.

World Justice Forum Announces the World Justice Challenge

WJChallenge_logo_transparency
About
The World Justice Challenge is an open competition designed to inspire individuals to create initiatives that will strengthen the rule of law where they live and work. It provides an opportunity for individuals to test practical solutions on the ground supported by:
  • Modest seed grants—the typical size of a seed grant is $15,000 to $25,000
  • Connections to others in the WJP’s global network
  • Increased visibility through media and communications support
The WJP believes that everyone is a stakeholder in the rule of law, and that a multidisciplinary approach is essential to creating long-lasting change.

How to Apply

The World Justice Challenge is open to all individuals, organizations, and entities from any country. The competition will launch on November 5 and close January 15. Approximately 10 grantees will be selected by a Selection Panel using the criteria listed in the application. The typical size of a seed grant is $15,000 – $25,000.

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