Archive for Events and Announcements

Exciting New Announcement from our Friends at EJW

Equal Justice Works is excited to announce the Rural Summer Legal Corps program which connects public interest law students with LSC-funded civil legal aid organizations to address pressing legal issues facing rural communities.

Applications must be submitted by February 29 for the 31 positions open nationwide. Participants must complete 300 hours of service by August 31, 2016 to receive the $4,000 stipend.

More information can be found below and at www.rurallegalcorps.org. Please share this opportunity with any students who may be interested! Questions can be directed to ruralcorps@equaljusticeworks.org.

SERVICE

The Rural Summer Legal Corps program will operate between May-August 2016. Participants will begin the summer with intensive training from poverty law experts on housing, domestic violence, public benefits, migrant farmworkers, Native American, and family law. After the training, the law students will travel directly to their host site to begin their 8-10 week placement.

Participants will build their legal skills in various areas, such as direct legal services, outreach and education, and capacity building.

OPEN POSITIONS

Position descriptions and more information on the Legal Aid Providers can be found on our website. Applications must be submitted here by February 29.

HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION

It is the participant’s responsibility to obtain housing and ensure adequate transportation throughout the summer placement. Legal Aid Providers (host organizations) will provide general information, however it is not the responsibility of the legal aid provider (host organization) to provide direct housing or transportation assistance.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Attend an Equal Justice Works member school.
  • Complete their first or second year of law school by the start of their summer placement.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident (e.g., green card).
  • Pass a criminal background check. Applicants are not disqualified for most criminal records.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and access to adequate transportation during summer placement.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING

There are two funding options for Rural Summer Legal Corps members. As shown in the table below, the standalone option is favorable for applicants who have significant outside funding from their law school or another source.

Option Stipend Education Award Outside Funding
Rural Summer Legal Corps (standalone) $4,000 $0 More than $1,212
Rural Summer Legal Corps + AmeriCorps JD $4,000 $1,212 $300 or less

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2016 Equal Justice Works Public Interest Awards

Equal Justice Works is presenting awards to law students at EJW member schools in eight regions who have a demonstrated commitment to public interest law and pro bono workCheck out their message below:

The 2016 Equal Justice Works Public Interest Awards seek to identify and honor law students who have provided extraordinary service through clinics, volunteer work, internships, extracurricular projects, and more.

The deadline to apply for an Equal Justice Works Public Interest Award is March 1, 2016. Click here to access the 2016 Equal Justice Works Public Interest Award application, and click here to view a list of all Equal Justice Works member schools by region. For all questions, please email our Law School Engagement & Advocacy Unit at lsea@equaljusticeworks.org.

Good luck!

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Spring Break at the 2016 Criminal Defense Trial Practice Institute

Want to spend your spring break brushing up on your lit skills? The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia has got you covered:

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia is pleased to present the 2016 Spring Break Criminal Defense Trial Practice Institute (Institute).  The Institute seeks to help students cultivate effective trial advocacy skills and explore indigent criminal defense work.  The program consists of a week of workshops on how to conduct opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, and closing arguments.  In addition, students will learn how to develop theories of defense, master the rules of evidence, and impeach witnesses at trial.  At the end of the program, students will participate in full-length mock trials presided over by District of Columbia Superior Court judges.

The Institute is designed to support law students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups, students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, and/or students from law schools that lack criminal defense and trial advocacy training opportunities.

The Institute will be held March 13 March 18, 2016.  Each student is expected to commit to participating in the entire program, which also includes daily evening sessions.  The program is free of charge to students, although students are expected to provide their own transportation and lodging.

For more information on how to apply, click here. (Application Deadline: January 30, 2016).

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Public Interest Training: Bergstrom Summer Fellowship

Attention Students! Interested in working in child welfare law? Plan on interning this summer at a child welfare law office? Then you may be interested in Michigan Law’s Summer Fellowship training. For the past twenty years, the University of Michigan Law School has invited students interested in child welfare law to spend three days in Ann Arbor, prior to starting their summer internship at a child welfare office, to participate in a comprehensive training on child welfare law and practice.For fellows accepted into the program, the Bergstrom Foundation will provide travel expenses for the participants, housing during the fellowship, training, and meals.

If this sounds like something for you, check out their website for full details and how to apply. (Application Deadline: March 15, 2016).

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DC Event on 1/21 – Surviving on a Public Interest Salary

The Greater Washington Area Chapter of the National Bar Association is hosting an exciting program on “Surviving on a Public Interest Salary”. Check out their message below for more information:

When: January 21, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM
Where: District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 430 E Street, N.W., Second Floor, Courtroom 1, Washington, D.C.

Do you want to help those who cannot afford legal representation? Do you want to embark upon a career in the federal and/or local government?  Or, perhaps, a career working for a non-profit?

These are aspirations for many in the legal profession, but they often face a commonly perceived obstacle: figuring out how to survive on a public interest salary. Please join us for an informative panel discussion on this very topic.

Panelists Include:

  • Michelle Bonner, Exec. Director, D.C. Corrections Information Council
  • Kensley Dougan, Financial Planner
  • Kendra Brown, Congressional Black Caucus
  • Ashley McDowell, Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia

Our panelists will provide practical advice about budgeting, paying bills (including student loans), saving for retirement, obtaining promotions, longevity in public service, student loan forgiveness programs, and much more.

PLEASE RSVP to GWAC Law Student Affairs Committee Co-Chair and Employment and Professional Development Committee Chair, Janea RainesHERE.

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Regional Highlights

NALP Regions Map - Final Version

Find your region below to learn more about job opportunities and public interest events happening in your area this month. (Click image to enlarge map)

Here are December’s Regional Highlights:

West/Rocky MountainAttorney (Various locations, New Mexico); Attorney (Albuquerque, NM); Family Law Staff Attorney (San Francisco, CA); Legislative Advocate (San Francisco, CA); Director of Litigation (Santa Ana, CA); 2016 Legal Fellow (Oakland, CA); Summer 2016 Clerk (Portland, OR); Part-time Pro Bono Coordinator/Staff Attorney (Portland, OR); Assistant U.S. Attorney (Spokane, WA); Attorney (Barrow, AK); Staff Attorney, Domestic Violence (Bozeman, MT); Law Clerkship, Summer 2016 (Honolulu, HI)

MidwestConsumer Protection Attorney (St. Paul, MN); Senior Attorney (St. Paul, MN); 2016 Summer Advocate (Madison, WI); Clinical Professor with the Wisconsin Innocence Project (Madison, WI); Staff Attorney (Grand Rapids, MI); Summer 2016 Legal Internship (Kalamazoo, MI); Assistant Dean for Career Services (Bloomington, IN); Intake Staff Attorney (Indianapolis, IN); Summer Law Student Internship (Kansas City, MO); Staff Attorney (Columbus, OH); General Counsel’s Summer Intern Program (Cincinnati, OH); CCLA Volunteer and Pro Bono Program Director (Chicago, IL); Law Student Internship Program for Summer 2016 (Alton, IL)

SoutheastAssistant United States Attorney – Appellate Division (Raleigh, NC);  Assistant Post-Conviction/Staff Attorney (Nashville, TN);  Assistant United States Attorney (Dallas, TX); Managing Attorney (Covington, KY); Staff Attorney (Oklahoma City, OK); Legal Internship (Miami, FL); Lucha Staff Attorney (Miami, FL); Human Rights Attorney (Sarasota, FL); Staff Investigator (Tallahassee, FL);

Mid-AtlanticSenior Attorney (Harrisburg, PA); Staff Attorney (York, PA); Law Clerkship 2016 (Philadelphia, PA); Assistant Attorney General – Educational Affairs Program (Baltimore, MD); Principal Counsel – Maryland Energy Administration (Baltimore, MD); Staff Attorney (Baltimore, MD); Legal and Policy Intern (Bethesda, MD); Legal Intern, Advocacy (Silver Spring, MD); Bioethics Fellowship (Bethesda, MD); Assistant U.S. Attorney (Newport News, VA); Attorney Adviser (General) (Arlington, VA); General Counsel’s Summer Intern Program (Washington, D.C.); Assistant United States Attorney (Washington, DC); Public Interest Law Internship (Washington, DC); Direction Attorney, Economic Security Team (Washington, DC); Spring 2016 Law Clerk (Washington, DC); Privacy Fellow (Washington, DC); Legal Fellow (Washington, DC); Advocacy Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean (Washington, DC); Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic Graduate Teaching Fellowship (Washington, DC)

Northeast Staff Attorney (Burlington, VT); Disability Law Project Attorney (Rutland, VT); Public Defender (St. Albans, VT); Abrams Clinical Fellowship – Yale Law (New Haven, CT); Summer Legal Intern (Boston, MA); Staff Attorney (Quincy, MA); 2016 Corporation Counsel Clerkship (New York, NY); Managing Attorney (Jamestown, NY); Supervising Attorney – Civil Action Practice (New York, NY);  Director of Immigration Project (Staten Island, NY); Legal Advocate (Brooklyn, NY); Legal Fellow – U.S. Legal Program (New York, NY); Assistant General Counsel (Manhattan, NY); New York State Bar Association – Minority Fellowships in Environmental Law (NY Summer Funding/Scholarship)

CanadaPSJD Resource: Careers in Social Justice

 

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2015 PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award Winner announced!

We are very pleased to announce the 2015 Pro Bono Publico Award Winner: Lark Mulligan.  This year we selected 7 finalists and then chose a winner from a VERY competitive pool.  We’ve also selected two Merit Distinction recipients.  All three will be guest bloggers for the PSJD Blog.

In addition, we will be presenting Lark with her award (and her $1,000) at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.  I look forward to meeting her, her family, and all those who helped her advance the work of the Transgender Justice Law Project of Illinois and especially the Name Change Mobilization project.

Here is the full announcement, with all the great finalists.  We are so grateful to them for their incredible work!!!

21st Annual PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award

This prestigious award honors one law student nationwide for their pro bono contributions to society, and recognizes the significant contributions that law students make to underserved populations, the public interest community, and legal education through public service work.

WINNER

Lark Mulligan

DePaul University College of Law

For the past five years, Lark Mulligan has been a leading volunteer with the Transformative Justice Law project of Illinois, a volunteer-run organization that provides free, zealous, holisitc, and gender-affirming legal services to impoverished and low-income transgender people who are criminalized.  In addition to the work she does in overseeing the maintenance and growth of the organization as a Collective Member, she is a leader in the Name Change Mobilization project and the ‘zine publication Hidden Expressions.  Through the Name Change Mobilization, trained volunteers assist transgender and gender non-conforming people file petitions to change their names legally.  One example of her dedication to this population arose when, as part of the name change process, she became aware that some judges were regularly asking inappropriate questions and denying meritorious petitions because they believed transgender petitioners did not have valid reasons for changing their legal names.  In response, Lark drafted a “Transgender 101 for Judges in the Civil Division” document in order to educate judges about the importance of having identity documents that reflect a transgender person’s true self.  The effort has been a success and those judges have stopped creating roadblocks for transgender name change petitioners.  This is just one example of Lark’s tireless commitment to the transgender community and the many hours she has spent helping vulnerable clients navigate a difficult and onerous process.

In her letter of recommendation, Avi Rudnick, Name Change Mobilization Coordinator, described Lark’s contributions this way, “Ms. Mulligan has demonstrated outstanding skills as an advocate while supporting individuals through a significant life changing moment. . . She uses humor and her trans identity to truly connect with our clients, and based on the glowing feedback we have received, I am confident that she has left a lasting impression on each one.” 

MERIT DISTINCTION

Courtney Brown

Golden Gate University School of Law

Courtney Brown volunteers every day at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, where she helps San Francisco’s most vulnerable tenants navigate the confusing and stressful eviction process.  She had dedicated over 2,000 hours to helping tenants while maintaining a high academic standard and being a leader in her law school public interest community.  Courtney is also a visionary, who identified a gap in service to her clients in the area of 3-day eviction notices.  She realized real estate speculators and developers were using this mechanism to skirt existing landlord/tenant law and displacing elderly, disabled and vulnerable clients.  She has developed a project to combat this issue, and is currently seeking funding to continue this work beyond graduation.

Courtney best expressed the source of her own inspiration: “I grew up in a small rural Wisconsin town, and as a child I experienced economic and housing instability.  I know what it is like to grow up watching the stress of economic and housing instability drive my family to desperation and illness.  I know what it is like to fight, and I use that same resolve to empower vulnerable people defending their homes and communities.”

Emily Bock

Temple University Beasley School of Law

 

Emily Bock demonstrated a commitment to serving low-income people in need of legal services before she even started as a law student. During law school, her most notable pro bono achievement has been the launch of the Expungement Project, a new student pro bono group with Temple’s National Lawyer’s Guild chapter.  Emily recruited 43 students in its inaugural year, and together with attorneys from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, organized trainings, multiple clinics per semester, and petition “drafting days” in different locations around Philadelphia.  And she is working with law school professionals to ensure the project outlives her time at Temple.  As one example, she successfully lobbied the law school administration to allow 1Ls to sign up for pro bono projects on a limited basis in their first semester, with the idea that this would help in recruiting long-term, committed student volunteers to her project.

One of the volunteers she recruited said it best: “Providing expungements has been very meaningful.  There are very few legal processes that can so quickly change the circumstances for a person. … Emily is the perfect leader for the expungement project.  She is incredibly knowledgable, very caring, and extremely motivating.  Everyone who has gotten involved with the project has been exceptionally trained and is well informed about the overarching issues complicating the lives of our clients.”

OTHER FINALISTS

Michael Paspon, Touro Law Center

Helped launch the Breaking Barriers Pro Bono Assistance Project, which provides holistic re-entry services to post-incarcerated individuals.

Dana Mangiacapra, Touro Law Center

Helped launch the Breaking Barriers Pro Bono Assistance Project, which provides holistic re-entry services to post-incarcerated individuals.

Tiffany WoelfelUniversity of Wisconsin Law School 

Dedicates many pro bono hours to the Legal Assistance for Institutionalized Persons Project and the Veteran’s Law and Legal Intervention for Nonviolence Clinics as well as Wills for Heroes.  Additionally,  Tiffany organized multiple pro bono service trips, which provided over 840 hours of service to the destination communities.

Rasha Abu-Zeyadeh, Texas Tech University School of Law

Started the Texas Tech Law Criminal Law Association and dedicated more than 160 pro bono hours to the Innocence Project of Texas and the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office.

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Upcoming Equal Justice Works Free Student Debt Webinar

Equal Justice Works is hosting another Free Student Debt Webinar! Check out their message below: 

Halloween is almost here! If you’re a law student or graduate, the scariest thing on your mind right now is probably your student loans. 

Not to fear – Equal Justice Works is here to help. We will be hosting our free webinar, “JDs in Debt: What Law Students &Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” on Thursday, October 27, 2015 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT. Whether you’re currently a law student or have already graduated, this webinar will provide you with the in-depth information you need to know about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, income-driven repayment plans, and more. Learn to manage your student debt, and take control of your career and financial future. 

Click here to register now! 

We’ll be updating our student debt e-book, Take Control of Your Future, to keep all law students and graduates up to date on any legislative and regulatory changes that occur. If you download it now, we’ll notify you when we’ve updated it with the new information. 

Student Loan Debt Hits 1.2 Trillion, Impacts Multiple Generations of Families 

Recently, the New York Federal Reserve released data showing that student loans for Americans over 40 years old now account for more than 35 percent of educational debt – a 10 percent increase from 2004. Generation X adults between the ages of 35 and 50 years old owe about as much as recent college graduates, with an average of $20,000. 

This data also showed that more parents are struggling to help their children pay for higher education while continuing to pay off their own student loans, and the whopping $1.2 trillion in student loan debt increasingly spans multiple generations within families. Now that the student debt crisis is officially multigenerational, studies show that some families are delaying marriage and foregoing home ownership until their loans become less of a burden. 

Law graduates are no strangers to the collateral consequences of heavy student debt, but thankfully there are still federal debt relief programs around to help. In a recent Huffington Post blog article, “9 Facts About How to Manage Your Student Debt,” we give you a quick rundown of things you need to know about borrowing and repaying student loans that will help alleviate the effects of crippling student debt. 

Help Protect Public Service Loan Forgiveness 

As always, we urge you to take action to preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness before Congress moves forward with capping or eliminating this vital program for public service workers. Start today by filling out our survey and joining the ABA’s Save #Loan4Giveness campaign! 

Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. Our webinars are tailored to law students and lawyers, but the information is applicable to anyone who needs help managing the burden of student loan debt. To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter (@EJW_org, #studentdebthelp) and on Facebook!

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DC Event on 10/13 – Actual Innocence: Discussion on the Crosley Green Death Penalty Case

Join the Washington Council of Lawyers for Pro Bono in Action: Actual Innocence: Discussion on the Crosley Green Death Penalty Case on Tuesday, October 13 at 12:00 PM.

This brown bag lunch will discuss Crosley Green’s conviction for the murder of a young man in Florida. Green was sentenced to death and remained on death row for nearly 20 years until his pro bono lawyers at Crowell & Moring succeeded in having his death sentence vacated and converted to life with the possibility of parole.  Now they are fighting to overturn his conviction.

The discussion of this pro bono death penalty case will be moderated by Erin Moriarty of CBS News and feature three of Mr. Green’s lawyers from Crowell & Moring: Robert Rhoads, Keith Harrison, and Jeane Thomas.

There is no cost to attend this event. To register, click here.

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Upcoming Equal Justice Works Free Student Debt Webinar

If you’re trying to get a handle on student loans, check out this message from our friends at Equal Justice Works:

Fall semester is here, and law school is officially back in session! As law students settle into a routine of classes, casebooks, and study groups, Equal Justice Works is here to remind everyone that it pays to be smart about student loan debt – especially for those in the public interest law profession.

 

To help you out, Equal Justice Works will be hosting a free webinar, “JDs in Debt: What Law Students &Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” on Thursday, September 24, 2015 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT. Whether you’re currently a law student or have already graduated, our webinars provide you with the in-depth information you need to know about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, income-driven repayment plans, and more. Learn to manage your student debt, and take control of your career and financial future.

 

Click here to register now!

 

We’ll be updating our student debt e-book, Take Control of Your Future, later this year to keep all law students and graduates up to date on any legislative and regulatory changes that occur. If you download it now, we’ll notify you when we’ve updated it with the new information.

 

Campaign to Save Public Service Loan Forgiveness

 

One potential legislative change that every public interest law student and lawyer needs to know about is the possibility that Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) may be capped or eliminated in 2016. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted a proposed FY2016 budget that recommends eliminating loan forgiveness for those who choose to dedicate their careers to public service. President Obama has also proposed capping PSLF to only allow forgiveness up to the undergraduate loan limit of $57,500 – a significant blow to law graduates burdened with a heavier debt load.

 

As veteran public interest attorney Estelle H. Rogers wrote in a guest post for our Huffington Post blog, “Making a Dent in Law School Debt,” “[t]he Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is a crucial ingredient in preserving – we can only dream of expanding – a vibrant public interest legal community.”

 

Here at Equal Justice Works, we couldn’t agree with Estelle more. If you agree too, take action by filling out our survey on preserving Public Service Loan Forgiveness and join the ABA’s Save #Loan4Giveness campaign.

 

Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. Our webinars are tailored to law students and lawyers, but the information is applicable to anyone who needs help managing the burden of student loan debt. To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter (@EJW_org, #studentdebthelp) and on Facebook!

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