PSJD Public Interest News Digest – December 19, 2015

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

Happy Holidays everyone!  We finish up our series on job search strategies for the winter break on the PSJD Blog.  Check it out and share with your friends.  The Digest will be taking a hiatus for the holidays.  We will return in January with news to get your year started right.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • RI legal services non-profit to suspend services;
  • CT legal aid agency marks 50 years;
  • Marquette law clinic to offer free legal services to start-ups;
  • Vancouver nearly doubles indigent defense fund;
  • DC Bar Foundation awards $319,000 in loan repayment assistance;
  • Ontario appoints lead for new Aboriginal Justice Division;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants:  William P. Quigley;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

December 11, 2014 -“The Rhode Island Center for Law and Public Policy will suspend most of its operations on Dec. 23, its president and founder said in a statement Thursday.  The nonprofit, public-interest, civil-legal-services corporation, founded in 2008, will continue its Medical Legal Partnership Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, founder and president Geoffrey A. Schoos said.  The center, which provides legal services for underserved, low-income residents, is seeking additional funding to reopen its programs.”(Providence Journal)

December 11, 2014 – It would be unheard of today, but 50 years ago when New Haven Legal Assistance Association was launched,  it was called a “socio-economic experiment,” and “the bar association felt that legal-aid lawyers were not worthy of being members.”  “A lot has changed since the early days of NHLAA. The so-called research project as it was once referred is now a staple in the legal community. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and former first lady and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton are among the noteworthy legal minds that got their start at NHLAA.”  Read more about their great work here.  Congratulations, and here’s to many more years of serving your community.
(Connecticut Law Tribune) (free registration required)

December 13, 2014 – “In a move that could bolster the region’s innovation efforts, Marquette University is launching a clinic that will provide free legal services to start-ups and entrepreneurs.  The first such clinic in the area, it will provide services to aspiring companies ranging from high-tech start-ups to mom-and-pop grocery stores, said Nathan Hammons, a full-time faculty member and the clinic’s director.  Marquette’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic supports the vision for entrepreneurship and innovation that Michael Lovell, the school’s recently installed president, has laid out for the campus community. But it also will fill a gap in the region’s emerging start-up scene, observers said.”  “The Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic will open in January in a limited capacity and be fully operational by fall 2015, Parlow said. The clinic is being funded by donations to the law school’s annual fund.”  (Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)

December 15, 2014 – “The Vancouver City Council on Monday approved a new indigent defense contract for 2015 worth nearly $1.1 million, approximately twice what it spent this year.  The additional expense, which was included in the approved 2015-16 budget, enables the city to meet legal standards set by the Washington Supreme Court to help ensure that indigent defendants receive adequate representation.”  (The Columbian)

December 17, 2014 – “The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) announced the recipients of its two loan repayment assistance programs (LRAP) for FY15. More than $319,000 was awarded to 69 civil legal services lawyers, who provide direct civil legal services to low-income, underserved DC residents. They will receive an interest-free loan from DCBF to help pay their monthly student loan payments from January to December 2015, at which time these interest-free loans will be forgiven.” (DC Bar Foundation)

December 17, 2014 – “Following an extensive recruitment campaign, Kimberly Murray has been selected to lead the newly created Aboriginal Justice Division at the Ministry of the Attorney General.  This new division was recommended by former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci in his report, First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries.  Ms. Murray, who is a member of the Kanehsatake Mohawk Nation, was called to the Ontario Bar in 1995. Over the past 20 years, she has gained considerable experience in the field of Aboriginal law as a legal counsel, and as a leader who has the ability to build collaborative relationships and bring about transformational change.”  (Ontario Newsroom)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants: William P. Quigley, a professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Father Robert Drinan Award. The annual award is presented to one law professor a year by the American Association of Law School’s section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities and recognizes educators working toward increasing access to justice.  Read more about this award and his great works here.  Congratulations!

Super Music Bonus! Happy Holidays!

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