PSJD Public Interest News Digest – September 22, 2017

by Sam Halpert, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives


Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s begin by addressing the elephant: I am not Christina Jackson. As her successor and NALP’s new Director of Public Service Initiatives I’ll be taking over the PSJD Public Interest Digest. I hope I’m able to continue providing useful and timely summaries of news related to our community and our work.

To paraphrase Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes, folks), these days the days are just packed. I’d like to experiment with a slightly denser, more synoptic approach to the Digest. Please let me know what you think. I want to make sure this document remains useful. Feel free to reach out to me by phone or email on this issue or anything else related to my transition here.

Disaster Legal Aid

As Christina noted last week, the need for pro bono legal services in areas hit by storms and fires continues. (For additional opportunities to help, stay tuned to the PSJD Blog, follow PSJD on Twitter (@PSJDTweets) and Facebook, or contact your local legal service providers.)

A number of organizations have stepped up to coordinate efforts–especially in response to the storms battering the Caribbean and the Southeastern US:


The Trump Administration’s recent announcement that it will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has provoked responses from a wide variety of groups:

Transgender Military Service Ban — Evolving Response from Law Schools

As military recruiters interview law students for potential JAG careers, more law school administrators and student groups are taking positions concerning the Trump Administration’s transgender military service ban:

Civil Access to Justice

In a couple of places, civil access to justice is expanding:

Elsewhere, key figures and institutions are expressing an interest in improving access to civil legal services:

A few other noteworthy A2J-related developments:

Criminal Justice

Government attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense are struggling with structural issues in a number of jurisdictions:

Generally Noteworthy Items

Music Bonus!

Yours, with irony: 

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