PSJD Public Interest News Digest – September 13, 2013

by Christina Jackson, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives & Fellowships

Happy Friday!  And Friday the 13th to boot!  This week we also took a moment to remember to sacrifices of 9/11 as well.  We will never forget.

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants: If you know someone we should honor, drop me a line.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Registration now open for the NALP/PSJD Mini-Conference;
  • Bush Foundation Fellowship program might be of interest to law students;
  • Texas closes nonprofit providing unauthorized immigration services;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants: Prof. Gary Blasi – sent in by our friends at USC Gould;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

September 9, 2013 – Ok – this isn’t really news.  Just a reminder that we have a great program scheduled for October 24, 2013 with the Public Interest Advising 101 to take place on Wednesday, October 23rd.  Details and registration information available on our website.  All NALP members and public sector employers are welcome.  Hope to see you there.

September 9, 2013 – A Bush Fellowship provides individuals with opportunities to demonstrate and improve their capacity for leadership as they learn by doing. The work of the Fellowship is to blend opportunities for personal development with efforts to effectively engage with others to create positive change within their communities.  The application deadline is October 14, 2013.  This looks like an exciting opportunity for the right law student to enhance his/her leadership in Native Nation building. (Bush Foundation Bush Fellowship Program)

September 10, 2013– “A Central Texas organization accused of providing unauthorized legal services to immigrants has been closed and must pay fines and restitution of more than $500,000.”  Officials say representatives of Cristo Vive wrongly presented themselves as licensed attorneys in immigration cases.  (KHOU News)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:  Thank you so much to Rachel Kronick Rothbart, Assistant Director of Career Services at USC Gould School of Law for alerting me to this outstanding public servant.  And just to demonstrate how wonderful our public interest community is – our featured person is a professor emeritus at a rival school.

Professor Gary Blasi’s legal career began over a bag of carrots.  “Now, more than 40 years later, the 67-year-old Blasi remains passionate about the law and committed to social justice. He has built a resume that would make any aspiring poverty lawyer swoon. On Oct. 11, the UCLA Law School professor will be recognized with the 2013 Loren Miller Legal Services Award for his many contributions as a lawyer and a teacher.  Given during the State Bar’s annual meeting, the Loren Miller award recognizes attorneys who have made a longtime commitment to legal services and done outstanding legal work to benefit the poor.  Catherine E. Lhamon, director of impact litigation for Public Counsel in LA, wrote in a letter supporting Blasi’s nomination that Blasi helped shape the doctrine she and other poverty lawyers now rely on and continues to train young lawyers to follow in his footsteps.   Congratulations to Professor Gary Blasi for tirelessly championing the neediest among us!!  (California Bar Journal)

Super Music Bonus! Thank you to all those who have served on or since 9/11 and to the families and friends of those who carry on in their name.

And – Happy Friday the 13th.  Don’t blame me if you listen and then can’t sleep.  Enjoy!

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