PSJD Public Interest News Digest – March 22, 2019

Sam Halpert, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives

Photo: Harris and Ewing Collection, Library of Congress

Hello there, interested public! Every week I drink from the firehose; this week even more than usual. There are too many highlights below to even list, but one issue does stand out:

This week’s bombshell news was the Executive Order the President signed yesterday, which addresses both student loans and campus speech policy. The bit that’s getting the most attention is its provision that “agencies shall…take appropriate steps…to ensure institutions that receive Federal research or education grants promote free inquiry.” But the order additionally directs the Department of Education to publish more information about loans–both individual data via a “secure and confidential website and mobile application” and “program-level data for each certificate, degree, graduate, and professional program” through changes to the College Scorecard program. (Inside Higher Ed has some thorough reporting on both aspects of the order.) Many, many keystrokes have been entered about this order since it was issued yesterday, especially in relation to the President’s request that Congress cap student loan borrowing earlier this week. I’ll start you off with the resources I’ve linked in this paragraph.

Also in the lede, I’ve been asked to mention the ABA’s John J. Curtin, Jr. Justice Fund 2019 Summer Legal Internship Program. This scholarship program will pay “a $3,500 stipend to three law students who spend the summer months working for a bar association or legal services program designed to prevent homelessness or assist homeless or indigent clients or their advocates.” The scholarship application deadline is March 29th, and the program is still actively seeking applicants. Applicants should already have unfunded summer employment with qualifying organizations. [Reminder: you can read about the Curtin Justice Fund and other summer scholarship opportunities in the PSJD Resource Library.]

Lastly, because it does’t fit many other places, the Washington Post reported this week on the Trump administration’s “extraordinary record of legal defeat…paint[ing] a remarkable portrait of a government rushing to implement far-reaching changes in policy without regard for long-standing rules against arbitrary and capricious behavior.”

See you around,
Sam

Immigration, Refugee, & Citizenship Issues

Student Loans

Public Service Management & Hiring

Disaster Relief

Legal Technology & Privacy

Access to Justice – Civil

Access to Justice – Criminal

Criminal Justice Reform

Comments

Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

The Organization

PSJD (formerly PSLawNet) is a unique online clearinghouse for law students and lawyers to connect with public interest job listings and career-building resources. Created in 1989 at NYU Law, PSJD has been maintained by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) as one of its Public Service Initiatives since 2003.

The Position

The PSJD Fellow is the principal manager and administrator of the PSJD.org website. PSJD, a NALP initiative, catalogues thousands of job announcements for public service legal positions each year and curates a directory of civil society, government, and other public-service-oriented employers. The site also publishes a library of professional development and career search resources to assist jobseekers with legal training pursuing public service careers. Law students and alumni from hundreds of law schools in the United States and Canada rely on these materials to help them discover opportunities and make decisions about their public service careers. In addition, the Fellow gains non-profit management and administration experience and has the opportunity to write for publication, speak publicly, and build relationships with public interest organizations across the country.

The Fellow will work at NALP’s Washington, DC office–with some travel required (varying slightly, year-to-year).

See the full post on PSJD: https://www.psjd.org/opportunitydetails?OppID=90561

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – March 15, 2019

Sam Halpert, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives

Photo: Harris and Ewing Collection, Library of Congress

Hello there, interested public! It’s been an eventful couple of weeks.

First, the elephant in the room: Operation Varsity Blues. The articles highlighted in this week’s NALP News Digest are worth a look. I’ll just add one more here: “Asha Rangappa [former Yale Dean of Admissions] says the biggest victims of the U.S. college admissions scandal are the bright and diverse students from less privileged backgrounds who will be discouraged from applying to Ivy League schools.

In addition to that news, the Trump Administration released a budget packed with changes for the student loan world, the former student loan ombudsman of the CFPB and current head of the Student Borrower Protection Center testified to Congress, Texas attorneys are suing their state bar in objection to the bar’s diversity and immigration-related efforts, under a “forced-speech” rationale, and Civil Legal Aid is making headlines of all kinds in British Columbia, with an upcoming strike of the Association of Legal Aid Laywers leading the bill. You can find all this and more, below.

See you around,
Sam

Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Issues

Student Loans

Public Service Management & Hiring

Legal Technology

Access to Justice – Civil

Access to Justice – Criminal

Criminal Justice Reform

Comments

Job’o’th’Week (Internship Edition)

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

The Organization

Texas Defender Service (TDS) is a non-profit organization established in 1995 by experienced Texas death penalty attorneys.Our mission is to establish a fair and just criminal justice system in Texas.

TDS aims to improve the quality of representation afforded to those facing a death sentence and to expose and eradicate the systemic flaws plaguing the Texas death penalty.

The Position

TDS seeks summer law students for full-time internships in their Austin and Houston offices to assist in all aspects of TDS’s work.  Summer law interns must be capable of performing both high-level legal research and briefing along with ground-level intensive investigative work.  When possible, students will also attend local trainings, trials and oral arguments.  Students will receive training on how to conduct mitigation investigation in capital cases both in preparation for trial and post-conviction briefing.  They will receive regular feedback throughout the summer on both written and investigative work.

See the full post on PSJD: https://www.psjd.org/opportunitydetails?OppID=90068

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – March 1, 2019

Sam Halpert, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives

Photo: Harris and Ewing Collection, Library of Congress

Hello there, interested public! It’s March now, but the last week of February certainly packed a punch. There are two items I want to highlight for you:

First, Brooklyn Defender Services’ Director of Policy took to Twitter yesterday to highlight a two-justice dissenting opinion questioning Gideon v. Wainright. (Link to the opinion available below.) Second, any of you heading to the ABA’s Equal Justice Conference in May may want to check out the Law School Pro Bono Advisor’s Pre-Conference event.

If that isn’t enough, there’s also a legal aid strike brewing in British Columbia, a new FTC task force to police the technology sector, a report from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing tying housing to the access-to-justice gap, and allegations of infants under one-year-old detained by ICE. As always, details are in the links below.

See you around,
Sam

Student Debt

Nonprofit Management

Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Issues

Legal Technology

Access to Justice – Civil

Access to Justice – Criminal

The right to counsel is not an assurance of an error-free trial or even a reliable result. It ensures fairness in a single respect: permitting the accused to employ the services of an attorney. The structural protections provided in the Sixth Amendment certainly seek to promote reliable criminal proceedings, but there is no substantive right to a particular level of reliability. In assuming otherwise, our ever-growing right-to-counsel precedents directly conflict with the government’s legitimate interest in the finality of criminal judgments.

Garza v. Idaho, No. 17-1026, slip op. at 17 (U.S. 2019)

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Job’o’th’Week (Entry-Level Edition)

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

The Organization:

Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Ruder Law represents parents and students throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Our firm helps families obtain needed educational services for students with disabilities in all school environments, from preschool, through elementary and secondary school, into college and vocational programs.

The Position

Ruder Law seeks an associate attorney for a full-time position. The attorney will represent parents and students in matters involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The attorney will independently manage all aspects of a busy caseload, including interviewing clients, drafting memoranda and briefs, advocating in IEP meetings, filing complaints and litigating due process claims before the Office for Dispute Resolution.

The candidate should have at least 1-3 years of legal experience.

See the full post on PSJD: https://www.psjd.org/opportunitydetails?OppID=89601

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Join us for the 2019 EJC Law School Pro Bono Advisor’s Pre-Conference

Marissa LaVette, Assistant Staff Counsel | ABA Center for Pro Bono

2019 ABA EJC Conference Banner

Spring is around the corner! Spring’s return means the 2019 ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference (EJC) is almost here, and with it, the annual Law School Pro Bono Advisor’s Pre-Conference! The 2019 EJC is May 8-11, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Louisville Downtown Marriott. The Law School Pro Bono Advisors Pre-Conference will take place on May 8, 2019 from 8am-5pm.

This year’s pre-conference will offer programming on a variety of topics relevant to law school pro bono advisors. We will open the pre-conference with an inspirational and interactive session exploring self-care for pro bono advisors to sustain themselves and their students in challenging times. Law school pro bono colleagues will then lead attendees in the annual Connecting with Colleagues session, which gives attendees a chance to network and connect with colleagues from across the country. Colleagues can explore common obstacles to completing their work and discuss what they find most fulfilling about their jobs.

Next, the entire group will participate in a Project Exchange session, which will allow colleagues to brainstorm and exchange ideas on different models of pro bono projects used by schools across the country. Attendees will be able to brainstorm with colleagues from similarly situated programs to discuss ideas for new pro bono projects and solutions to common obstacles faced in the law school pro bono realm.

After lunch, participants will head into breakout sessions that address the following topics:

  • The basics of running a law school pro bono program for those newer to the field. Learn the basics of building and re-energizing a pro bono program, and how to tackle specific issues in your program such as recognition, tracking hours, and troubleshooting challenges.
  • Strategies for schools in remote areas to serve clients through a pro bono program and ways for schools in more urban areas to tackle the rural pro bono needs.
  • A session on doing more with less, to help pro bono coordinators strategize how to involve more students in pro bono, raise the profile of your pro bono program, and meet challenges you faxe as you gain a fresh start on your program.

Plan to come away from the pre-conference with an action plan that you can implement to reinvigorate your pro bono program. Following the pre-conference, an exciting EJC awaits! This year’s Conference will have 85 CLE accredited sessions, energizing speakers, and numerous networking opportunities. The Conference provides a wide range of learning and sharing experiences for all attendees. We hope to see you there! Please contact Marissa LaVette if you have additional questions!

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – February 22, 2019

Sam Halpert, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives

Photo: Harris and Ewing Collection, Library of Congress

Hello there, interested public! Major news this week includes investigative reporting from Bloomberg revealing a surge in student-loan delinquencies, British Columbia’s decision to provide amnesty for student loan interest, and a vigorous debate in Canada over recent comments by the Chief Justice indicating his interest in exploring mandatory pro bono strategies. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously to curtail civil forfeiture practices by state governments. And lots more besides! To see what I mean, read below.

See you around,
Sam

Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Issues

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment

Nonprofit Management

Student Debt

Electoral Reform

Legal Technology

Environmental Justice

Access to Justice – Civil

Access to Justice – Criminal

Criminal Justice Reform

Comments

Job’o’th’Week (Internship Edition)

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

The Organization

The International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) provides professional advice and technical assistance in promoting democracy and serves as an information clearinghouse on elections, rule of law, governance, and civil society.

IFES annually awards two to four Democracy Studies Fellowships to bring outstanding graduate students to Washington, D.C. to engage in democracy development research. Based at IFES’ Center for Applied Research and Learning, fellows have access to IFES experts and conduct independent research with IFES mentors for six to ten weeks. At the end of the program, fellows must complete a paper for presentation to the public or IFES colleagues.

The Position

Hosted by IFES, Manatt Fellows carry out research at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., for a period of four to six weeks. The Manatt Fellowship consists of a $5,000 stipend to subsidize fellows’ living expenses while in D.C.

The Manatt Fellowship is open to Ph.D., master’s and law students who are working toward a degree or concentration in international relations, political science, public administration, public interest law or a related area at a university in one of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota or Wisconsin. Successful applicants will demonstrate how their research can directly benefit from IFES’ institutional expertise, as well as how their research could contribute to IFES’ technical leadership in the democracy and election assistance field.

See the full post on PSJD: https://www.psjd.org/opportunitydetails?OppID=88818

Comments

PSJD Public Interest News Digest – February 15, 2019

Sam Halpert, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives

Photo: Harris and Ewing Collection, Library of Congress

Hello there, interested public! Student debt new continues to dominate this week, as the Department of Education’s Inspector General released an audit highly critical of the DoE’s oversight of student loan servicers and Congress introduced bipartisan bills in both houses proposing to allow employers to contribute funds tax-free toward employees’ student loans. (Commentary below.) There are also stories on legislative developments at the state level, mostly concerning states deliberations about whether or not to regulate student loan servicers. There are also some major items in Criminal Justice Reform, where the ACLU released a new report on prosecutorial transparency and New York’s The Legal Aid Society coined the phrase “knock and spit” policing.

See you around,
Sam

Legal Recruiting

Immigration, Asylum, & Citizenship

Student Debt

Legal Technology

Environmental Justice

Access to Justice – Civil

Access to Justice – Criminal

Criminal Justice Reform

Comments