Archive for November, 2013

PSJD Public Interest News Digest – November 8, 2013

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

Happy Friday everyone!  Hello from the NLADA Conference in sunny Los Angeles.   As such, we have a bit of a shortened digest this week.  And Happy Veteran’s Day.  Please join me in honoring those who serve!

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

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Tulane student-run pro bono clinic heads to Panama;
  • Gulfcoast Legal gets grant to help sex trafficking victims;
  • Boston Community Capital launches $100K public interest fellowship;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants: Veterans;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

November 2, 2013– “Tulane law students are working to bring free legal advice to residents of rural communities in lesser developed nations.  Tulane Law School’s International Law Society, this holiday season, will be running a pro bono legal clinic in the Darien Province of Panama through a student-run non-profit called Global Brigades.  Twenty students will volunteer their legal skills and time to help communities overcome obstacles to justice, working under the advice of local counsel to address severe civil issues through community-wide legal workshops and individualized counseling.”  (dailycomet.com)

November 2, 2013 – “Victims of human trafficking in Southwest Florida will soon have more help as they face a justice system that, by design, is better at punishing them than helping them. Gulfcoast Legal Services expects to double its efforts to represent domestic and foreign-born victims of labor or sex trafficking, thanks to a federal grant.  The $321,000 grant, awarded by a branch of the Department of Justice, will enable Gulfcoast, which provides free legal aid to poor residents, to hire another staff attorney and help twice as many victims, says Gulfcoast’s executive director, Kathleen Mullin.”  (Herald-Tribune)

November 4, 2013 – “Boston Community Capital has launched a $100,000 one-year fellowship for a recent law school graduate to work for the nonprofit organization doing public interest law work.” “I want someone to understand that they can engage in public interest work and do a fellowship that doesn’t commit them to an extended period of time but gives them experience. And leaves open the possibility of a longer term relationship,” said Elyse Cherry, chief executive officer of Boston Community Capital.  The fellowship will continue after it’s inaugural year, but Ms. Cherry is unsure if it will be awarded annually.  (Boston Business Journal)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:  Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.  Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.  If you have an opportunity, please thank someone for their service.  And don’t forget the families who sacrifice just as much as the service member.  THANK YOU!!!  (History.com)

Super Music Bonus! Thank you to all veterans for standing up and taking the oath; for serving with integrity and honor; for running toward the fight while others run away.  This is for all warriors.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f02xlFYIycQ.

Comments

PSJD Public Interest News Digest – November 1, 2013

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

Happy Friday everyone!  Welcome to November.  I’ve heard some wonderful stories from Pro Bono Week across the country.  Let’s keep the momentum going throughout the year!

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

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • KY gains low-income individuals while cutting lawyers;
  • NY AG announces grant for housing legal services;
  • Call-in legal helpline – another great pro bono idea;
  • Pro Bono Institute announces 2013 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award winners;
  • Legal Services of Eastern Missouri receives grant for immigration work;
  • Is your school providing wellness programs?  I personally like when puppies come!;
  • WV Access to Justice Commission releases its recommendations;
  • Hearings in PA debate need for civil Gideon;
  • DOJ announces grants for legal defense;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants: Professor Alan Dershowitz;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

October 24, 2013– Since 2007, statewide legal aid programs have lost $3 million due to a decrease in state and federal funding, filing fees and grants while the number of low-income Kentuckians increased by 27 percent.  But, there is an upside.  “Although attorneys in Kentucky are not required to do pro bono work, they are stepping up to fill the gap. From 2007 to 2012, the number of attorneys donating legal services increased 47 percent and the number of hours donated went up 28 percent.”  The Supreme Court of Kentucky formed the KAJC to expand access to legal services to those most in need.  If you are in KY, you can find out how you can help through them.  (Kentucky.com)

October 26, 2013 – “Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced $20 million in grants to fund housing counseling and legal services for homeowners across the state. The award money represents the second round of a three-year, $60 million commitment made by the Attorney General’s Office to aid struggling homeowners in New York who are fighting to avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes.”  (LoanSafe.org)

October 26, 2013 – Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS) hosted its second free call-in day to wrap up Pro Bono Week.  Saskatchewan residents could call in and receive up to 15 minutes of free legal advice on everything ranging from child support to criminal law and even immigration.  For some it’s not a matter of not being able to afford legal advice.  For some, they don’t even know where to start.  Just another great idea for connecting lawyers/law students with those who need the most help.  (CJME)

October 28, 2013 – “The Pro Bono Institute announced that it has selected Hewlett-Packard Company, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and the National Veterans Legal Services Program to receive the prestigious 2013 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for their impactful and sustained collaborative effort to serve the legal needs of veterans. The award, given by Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), a global partnership project of the Pro Bono Institute and the Association of Corporate Counsel, will be presented at the 2013 PBI Annual Dinner on November 7 in New York.”  (CSR Wire)

October 28, 2013 – “Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) has received a $50,000, 12-month grant from the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis to support the Immigration Law Project.  LSEM’s Immigration Law Project was developed in the 1990s to meet the broad legal needs of a growing number of low-income, often vulnerable immigrants who were resettling in the St. Louis region.  Part of the grant will be used to help immigrants who are victims of human trafficking and domestic violence under the Violence Against Women and Trafficking Victims Protection Acts.”  (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

October 29, 2013 – “The West Virginia Access to Justice Commission released a list of recommendations detailing what it thinks needs to happen to make the state’s court system more accessible.  Earlier this summer, the commission gave the state Supreme Court a report about problems residents encounter when accessing the court system. The commission’s recommendations that it delivered in its most recent meeting are based on that report.  The commission, which was established by a January 2009 administrative order, said there are many accessibility problems facing West Virginians but it all goes back to the ability to afford representation.”  (Charleston Daily Mail)

October 29, 2013 – The third of three statewide hearings by the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearing was held Tuesday.  “The hearings, chaired by state Senate Judiciary Chairman Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, and part of an initiative by the Civil Legal Justice Coalition, sought to examine whether low-income people in Pennsylvania have adequate access to civil legal representation.”  “At the close of Tuesday’s hearing, the Civil Legal Justice Coalition presented a list of recommendations to the committee, including quantifying the need for funding and establishing an “access to justice commission,” which 30 other states have.”  (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

October 30, 2013 – While not technically news, it’s always good to remind students that there is life outside of law school.  As we start to head into finals season, think about ways you can help your students “de-stress.”  The program at Duke is representative of these programs, and provides some great ideas.  (The Duke Chronicle)

October 30, 2013 – “Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a total of $6.7 million in grants to state and local criminal and civil legal services organizations across the country that provide legal defense services for the poor.  These grants from the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) are part of the Justice Department’s continuing efforts to improve indigent defense, which is often underfunded and understaffed, and to support training, mentoring, technical assistance, leadership development and research to enhance the effectiveness of adult, juvenile and tribal indigent defense practices.”  (DOJ press release)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:  Professor Alan Dershowitz is retiring from Harvard Law School at the end of the semester.  Folks around the country are celebrating is 50-year career.  He has had many roles during is very distinguished career:  teacher/scholar, lawyer, writer, and promoter of causes in his role as a public intellectual.  When asked which element of his career has brought him the most satisfaction, he said teaching.  “The thing that makes teaching so amazing is that I’m teaching students today who will be influencing the world 50 years from now. It’s rare to have a profession where you can have such continuing influence.”  Read more about his amazing career and the panel celebrations at HLS here.  Congratulations Professor!!

Super Music Bonus! Thank you Fred for turning me on to a great, uplifting group!  If you are “lost” in the public interest world, we’re your answer.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DahLOOs3HAI.

Comments