Job’o’th’week (Internship Edition) – Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLESPA) is seeking Fall 2016 interns. CLSEPA’s housing staff strives to safeguard decent and affordable housing by working with individual clients and their families to resolve specific housing problems. They counsel and represent tenants in order to help tenants eliminate unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions.

If this sounds like something for you, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: August, 5 2016)

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – July 22, 2016

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

Happy Friday!  Mandatory pro bono service in Indiana starts in October and more funding news.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • $2.4 million in Georgia state grants will provide legal aid to domestic violence victims;
  • The John Marshall Law School launches gender marker program;
  • Southern District of Indiana mandatory pro bono service to start in October;
  • Social entrepreneurship, public service and student debt;
  • United Way grants $25,000 to Iowa Legal Aid;
  • Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

July 13, 2016 – “The Judicial Council of Georgia has awarded about $2.43 million in grants to eight Georgia nonprofits to provide civil legal services to domestic violence victims. The Georgia Legal Services Program received the largest grant, for $1.57 million, followed by the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, with $676,500.” “The bulk of the funding is used for lawyers to represent domestic violence victims in judicial hearings for 12-month temporary protective orders from their abusers, said Zan Patorgis, legal compliance officer for the state Administrative Office of the Courts, which administers the grants. Victims do not need a lawyer to get an initial one-month protective order, he added, so the funds can’t be used for that.” “The grant money, which comes from the state legislature, is distributed in proportion with the state’s population of poor people. Georgia Legal Services, which has an annual budget of $14 million, serves the 154 counties outside the five-county metro Atlanta area, which are mostly rural and poor. The group’s 50 lawyers, who operate out of 10 offices around the state, are spread so thinly that they are poverty law generalists, handling matters for domestic violence victims as part of their caseloads, said Vicky Kimbrell, who directs Georgia Legal Services’ family violence project. A special-needs portion of the grant funds an extra lawyer in the group’s Macon and Albany offices, she added, ‘because the need is so high and there are no resources down there.'” (Law.com)

July 18, 2016 – “The Pro Bono Clinic at The John Marshall Law School has launched a new program to help transgender individuals navigate the legal hurdles that come with changing one’s name and gender. The Name and Gender Marker Change Project aims to help transgender individuals reach an essential step in claiming their identity — to ensure their official documents match their declared identities. Under the auspices of the program, law students will assist individuals by filling out the forms needed to change these documents, getting fees waived if necessary and even going to court with them, said Kelly A. Burden, an adjunct professor who will oversee the project.” (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin)

July 18, 2016 – “Attorneys could be tapped to handle cases under the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s new mandatory pro bono rule before the end of this year. The District Court has adopted Local Rule 87, which is designed to bolster the number of lawyers available to represent pro se litigants at no charge. Two pools of attorneys will be created — the volunteer panel will consist of lawyers who offer their services to the court, and the obligatory panel will be filled with lawyers who are required to provide representation. Unrepresented litigants who have shown the court they cannot afford legal assistance and whose cases have cleared substantial hurdles, like surviving summary judgment, will be provided pro bono attorneys. If none of the volunteer attorneys take the case, the court will pull a lawyer from the obligatory pool. Attorneys who have appeared before the court at least 10 times in civil cases during 2015 will be placed in the obligatory panel and assigned cases. The calculation is based on the number of court appearances filed, not on the length of time representing a particular client. If a lawyer files an appearance in 2015 and the case continues through 2016 and into 2017, the court will only count that as one appearance. The new rule will take effect Sept. 1, 2016, but the first obligatory panel will not become active until Oct. 1. Lawyers chosen to be in the first round will be notified of their selection about a month in advance.” (The Indiana Lawyer)

July 18, 2016 – Ashley Matthews, Program Manager for Law School Engagement & Advocacy for Equal Justice Works has a great article on the impact of student debt on social entrepreneurship, and provides concrete guidance for those who want to follow that path.  (The Huffington Post)

July 20, 2016 – “The United Way of Siouxland has donated grants totaling $100,000 to three nonprofit organizations as part of its new Funding Opportunity to Connect and Uplift Siouxland (FOCUS) initiative. The program’s purpose is to offer one-time grants, between $20,000 and $50,000, to eligible nonprofit organizations in Siouxland to provide support for their programs and initiatives.” “Iowa Legal Aid addresses the complex challenges low-income families face. The project involves a medical-legal partnership, where patients receive legal assistance to alleviate conditions affecting their health.” (Sioux City Journal)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Board of Directors presented Pro Bono Service Awards to the law office of Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC and three Vermont attorneys in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to equal justice.

Recipients of the Pro Bono Service Awards are:

  • Sandra Baird, an attorney who has volunteered with the Legal Services Law Line of Vermont since 1987 and been an important supporter of the Satur­day Free Walk-In Legal Clinic.
  • P. Scott McGee, an attorney with Hershenson, Carter, Scott and McGee, PC. He has closed approximately 25 pro bono cases, many involving complex legal matters related to family law, contracts, or homeownership.
  • Rebecca Rice, an attorney practicing law in Rutland with Cohen & Rice. She has been a volunteer with Legal Services Law Line of Vermont since 1987, handing complex and emergency bankruptcy cases for low-income clients.
  • Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, Vermont’s largest law firm and a long-time supporter of pro bono efforts in the state. It provides financial support for trainings, offers office space to other pro bono attorneys, and is a strong supporter of the Chittenden County Small Claims Clinic.

(Legal Services Corporation)

Music Bonus!  Music pick from the PSJD Fellow Eulen Jang.

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Job’o’th’week (Entry Level Edition) – Legal Aid Society of Nassau County

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

The Legal Aid Society of Nassau County (Hempstead, NY) is seeking entry-level attorneys or recent law graduates for a criminal defense trial attorney position. New attorneys practice in the Society’s District Court Bureau, which handles misdemeanor and violation level offenses.

If this sounds like something for you, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: July 29, 2016).

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Equal Justice Works Class of 2016 Fellows

The 62 2016 Class of Equal Justice Fellows come from 34 schools and will work in 19 issue areas.  Fourteen schools had multiple awards: University of Minnesota Law School (4), Northeastern University School of Law (4), Georgetown University Law Center (4), University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (4), University of Texas School of Law (3), New York University School of Law (3), American University Washington College of Law (3), Harvard Law School (3), University of Washington School of Law (3), Columbia Law School (3), University of Houston Law Center (2), Yale Law School (2), University of Michigan Law School (2), and University of Chicago Law School (2).

The largest issue area is Immigrant Populations, with 12 projects based in organizations from Massachusetts and Minnesota to Texas and California. Children/Youth, Veterans, and Disability Rights were the next most commonly funded issue areas encompassing 19 projects.  Funded projects are located primarily on the east and west coasts and Texas, with a few notable exceptions.  Two immigrant populations projects will be housed at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Goshen, IN and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN; a pro se and other legal representation systems project will be housed at the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services in Nashville, TN; and a health care/medical-legal partnership project will be housed at the Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. in Rockford, IL.

Funding for these fellowships comes from law firms, corporations, foundations, and anonymous donors.  The most prevalent funding source is private law firms, with Greenberg Traurig, LLP contributing to all or a part of 8 fellowships.

By comparison, there were 53 Fellows in the Class of 2015, hailing from 31 schools.  These projects addressed 17 issue areas, with housing being the most prevalent issue.

Congratulations to the 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellows!  They will be doing outstanding work in their communities.

And the 2017 application is now open.  Visit the Equal Justice Works Fellowship page to download the application guide, view sponsor preferences and sign up for an application webinar.

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – July 15, 2016

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

Happy Friday! Welcome to a double issue this week. Lots of funding news, and one interesting lawsuit, so let’s get to it.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • New attorneys’ fees in Ohio to fund legal aid;
  • Funds for new prosecutors in South Carolina;
  • Senator and Representative propose bills to fix America’s strained public defense system;
  • New Hampshire approves $1 million in new legal aid funds;
  • New fellowship promoting public interest law names first recipient;
  • Pennsylvania Department of Aging receives legal assistance grant;
  • Ohio lawyers donated over 76,000 pro bono hours;
  • Ontario Access to Justice Challenge finalists announced;
  • State grant funds more legal services for Vermont seniors;
  • Missouri’s public defender system sues over funding cuts;
  • Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

July 1, 2016 – “New attorneys’ fees approved by the Ohio Supreme Court will help fund legal services for poor and disadvantaged Ohioans. The fees taking effect Friday were adopted earlier this year by the Ohio Supreme Court. Under new court rules, annual registration fees paid by out-of-state attorneys to appear in Ohio courtrooms increase from $150 to $300. The court also approved a voluntary $50 ‘add-on’ fee on top of the $350 attorney registration fee paid every two years. Money raised from the fees will help pay for civil legal aid services for poor or disadvantaged Ohioans. The court’s Task Force on Access to Justice recommended the increases last year.” (Home Town Stations)

July 3, 2016 – “South Carolina’s criminal justice system will see changes in the coming months, as millions of dollars the Legislature approved to help lighten unmanageable prosecutor caseloads start to trickle into judicial circuits. The Legislature approved $7.8 million in this year’s state budget with the goal of adding an estimated 104 prosecutors statewide. The cash is expected to lower the burden on prosecutors, especially in poorer and rural districts, where the workload discrepancy is stark.” “Legislators also approved $2.9 million to have South Carolina hire more prosecutors specifically to deal with criminal domestic violence cases and end the practice of having police officers playing the role of prosecutor against seasoned criminal defense attorneys in magistrates court.” “The extra money is expected to reduce the average caseload to 280. ‘That’s a start,’ said David Ross, executive director of the Commission on Prosecution Coordination.” (The State)

July 8, 2016 – “U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced the beginning of a new bicameral effort to fix America’s strained public defender system. Sen. Booker is introducing the Equal Justice Under Law Act of 2016, legislation that seeks to address the indigent defense crisis in many states throughout the country. Rep. Maloney has introduced the Equal Justice Under Law Act of 2016 in the House. The two will partner to advance the legislation through Congress. ‘The right to counsel is a constitutional right guaranteed to all Americans. Sadly, all too often our broken justice system falls short of providing this right, and the consequences of these shortcomings is felt most acutely in low-income communities all across this country,’ Sen. Booker said. ‘The Equal Justice Under Law Act seeks to fill in the glaring gaps that have left too many Americans vulnerable and without adequate legal representation. I will continue to work relentlessly to better balance the scales of justice so that we can truly be a nation of liberty and justice for all.'” “The Equal Justice Under Law Act of 2016 would: create a federal cause of action that allows indigent criminal defendants to file a lawsuit against states and political subdivisions for systemic failures to provide effective assistance of counsel in felony cases; permit litigants to file a class action lawsuit against states and localities for systemic failures to provide effective assistance of counsel in felony cases; and in the Senate version, it would require states to consult with representatives from the public defender community prior to distributing Byrne JAG funds.” (Cape May County Herald)

RELATED: “U.S. Sen. Cory Booker has also introduced the Clarence Gideon Full Access to Justice Act (Gideon Act), which would establish a federal corporation dedicated to delivering independent, uniform, and quality defense representation in criminal cases before the United States Supreme Court and, at times, the highest courts in the states.” “‘The Gideon Act seeks to support ordinary citizens in their pursuit of justice by providing access to high-quality and specialized representation at the Supreme Court.'” (Cape May Herald)

July 8, 2016 – “The [New Hampshire] Executive Council last week approved $1 million in new funding for New Hampshire Legal Assistance and two other organizations to expand legal aid services to more victims of stalking and domestic violence. Of the more than 5,000 domestic violence and stalking victims who filed restraining order petitions in the state in 2015, just 9 percent received legal help, according to the court system. ‘Victims who are unrepresented are at an enormous disadvantage in court,’ said Amanda Grady Sexton, public policy director for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. With the new money, New Hampshire Legal Assistance will hire two attorneys focused solely on domestic violence and stalking cases, more than doubling the organization’s current capacity to help victims. The Legal Advice and Referral Center, which connects victims with crisis centers and lawyers, will hire an additional intake worker. And the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Pro Bono Program will launch a new statewide program to help stalking victims and work to recruit more private volunteer attorneys. The partnership will put more effort into reaching immigrant, refugee and non-English speaking victims who may face cultural or language barriers that prevent them from seeking help.” (Valley News)

July 8, 2016 – “Lisa Hartline overcame personal obstacles with poverty and homelessness to go to law school. At age 41, she’s a year away from her degree, and she plans to turn around and help others experiencing the same struggles she did in West Virginia. This year, Hartline was the inaugural recipient of the Regina Charon Fellowship, which provides a stipend to a West Virginia University College of Law student to spend the summer working at Legal Aid of West Virginia. The fellowship was created to honor a former Morgantown lawyer and administrative judge, Regina Charon, who worked for North Central Legal Aid of West Virginia after earning her law degree from WVU in 1976. It’s one of many internships funded through the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest. Hartline will spend 10 weeks working at the Parkersburg office of Legal Aid of West Virginia, with support from a $5,500 stipend.” (West Virginia Record)

July 8, 2016 – “Today, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne announced that the department has received a federal grant to enhance and strengthen Pennsylvania’s senior legal service delivery systems. The grant will enable the department to further protect the rights, health, and safety of older Pennsylvanians, with a focus on victims of elder abuse and exploitation.” “The purpose of the grant is to implement a well-integrated and cost-effective legal service delivery system that maximizes the impact of limited legal resources for older Pennsylvanians with the greatest need. This entails assessing the capacity of the current legal service delivery system, developing and implementing legal service delivery standards and guidelines as well as data collection and reporting systems, creating and strengthening no-cost and low-cost legal service delivery mechanisms, and establishing new guardianship and court-based initiatives. The department will fulfill the grant requirements through a partnership with the SeniorLAW Center, a non-profit organization which improves the lives of older Pennsylvanians and protects their rights through legal representation, education, and advocacy.” (Yahoo Finance)

July 8, 2016 – “The Ohio Supreme Court says attorneys around the state donated more than 76,000 hours of legal services last year. The state’s high court and the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation said Thursday that more than 4,300 attorneys voluntarily reported pro-bono services for 2015. That’s more than double the number of attorneys who reported such work last year.” (The Washington Times)

July 11, 2016 – “The Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University, in partnership with the Ministry of the Attorney General, announced the ten startup finalists in the Ontario Access to Justice Challenge. After reviewing the 29 applications received, 10 finalists have been chosen because of their innovative service, process, and/or solution that will challenge the status quo of legal services and enhance access to justice in Ontario. The 10 finalists are: Codify Legal Publishing, Compliance Buster, Courthouse Access, JusticeTrans, Law Scout Inc., Legale(a)se, Legally Inc., Lex Cortex Ltd, ParDONE and Small Claims Wizard. These 10 startups will pitch to a panel of judges on Wednesday July 20 at the Legal Innovation Zone. Six of these teams will be awarded working space at the Legal Innovation Zone for four months, including access to mentors, advisors and other resources.” “At the end of four months, the six startups will participate in a ‘Demo Day,’ where three of the six startups will be selected and awarded seed money totaling $50,000 and invited to stay in the Legal Innovation Zone for an additional four months.” (Legal Innovation Zone)

July 13, 2016 – “Vermont received an Administration for Community Living grant that will provide $178,500 each year for three years to expand legal services for at-risk older adults. The Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems demonstration grant is a cooperative grant between the Vermont Agency of Human Services’ Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) and Vermont Legal Aid. The grants are designed to help states respond effectively to legal issues affecting seniors with significant social or economic needs. In Vermont, the funding will be used to develop services specifically for seniors at the statewide legal hotline, Vermont Law Help, as well as to provide legal training, to do outreach, and to build and strengthen partnerships throughout the state with the court system, Adult Protective Services, the Office of Public Guardian, the Area Agencies on Aging, and others.” (Vermont Biz)

July 13, 2016 – “Missouri’s public defender agency is suing over what it calls Gov. Jay Nixon’s unconstitutional decision to withhold $3.5 million in funds for defending the indigent. The Missouri State Public Defender system and the state’s Public Defender Commission filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Cole County. The plaintiffs allege that Nixon has cut its budget by 8.5 percent while no general revenue was restricted from Nixon’s own budget.” (WGEM)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

For its work in providing unmet legal needs to underserved parts of the United States, the University of Georgia School of Law was awarded the State Bar of Georgia’s Law School Excellence in Access to Justice Award. The UGA School of Law was selected for the award because of its ‘Working in the Public Interest’ — UGA Law Student Access to Justice Project, a group-led, student-run conference. Public law practitioners from around the world travel to this conference held by UGA Law students to speak about public issues and provide networking opportunities to students interested in public law. (The Red & Black)

Music Bonus!  Music pick from the PSJD Fellow Eulen Jang.

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Job’o’th’week (Experienced Edition) – Americans for Immigrant Justice

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice – formerly FIAC) is seeking a qualified, full time Supervising Attorney for its work with unaccompanied immigrant children. AI Justice, a not-for-profit law firm founded in 1996 to protect and promote the basic human rights of immigrants, has a multicultural and a multilingual staff. AI Justice works closely with traditional civil rights organizations as well as with grassroots organizations and local, state and national government officials to effect positive change in immigration policies.

If this sounds like something for you, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: July 25, 2016).

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Job’o’th’week (Entry/Lateral Level) – Murphy Anderson PLLC

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

Murphy Anderson is accepting applications for an immediate opening for an associate in their Washington, DC office. Murphy Anderson PLLC is a collegial, fast-paced and innovative public-interest law firm.  Firm lawyers practice labor, employment and whistleblower law.

If this sounds like something for you, check out the full posting on PSJD. (Application Deadline: July 15, 2016)

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – July 1, 2016

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

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Mandatory pro bono reporting proposed in Virginia;
  • Special Report:  A Year of Service;
  • Illinois Bar Foundation renews $15,000 grant to PILI;
  • Iowa Supreme Court establishes access to justice commission;
  • Thunder Bay one site for Ontario pilot project to assist victims of sexual assault;
  • 2016 Access to Justice Conference explores urgent need for civil legal assistance;
  • DC Bar Foundation awards $900,00 to expand access to justice;
  • JAG recruiters return to Lavender Law;
  • Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

June 23, 2016 – “A Virginia Supreme Court panel has proposed a requirement that lawyers report the number of hours and dollar amount of donations they make to pro bono each year. The June 5 proposal – unanimously approved by the court-appointed Virginia Access to Justice Commission – was presented June 16 to the Virginia State Bar.” (Virginia Lawyers Weekly)(subscription required)

June 27, 2016 – “The American Lawyer’s latest survey of Big Law’s pro efforts, from law firm rankings to project profiles and the state of the Justice Gap.” On of the most striking aspects of the survey is the wide range of pro bono projects, and the scope of their work.  The survey also looks specifically at the Clemency Project.  Check out the link for the full survey, including law firm pro bono rankings. (American Lawyer)

June 27, 2016 – “PILI is grateful to the Illinois Bar Foundation for renewing their $15,000 grant to PILI. This funding helps to support our statewide pro bono efforts through our Pro Bono Initiative and our Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees. We share the IBF’s mission to enhance the availability of justice for those without attorneys, and through these programs we work to promote pro bono throughout the state.”  (Public Interest Law Initiative)

June 27, 2016 – “Too many Iowans can’t afford attorneys, giving people no choice but to represent themselves in the justice system, according to the Iowa Supreme Court. In response, the court is establishing the Iowa Access to Justice Commission to help remove financial barriers preventing people from getting legal representation, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady wrote in an order on Monday.” “Along with the establishment of the Access to Justice Commission, Cady ordered a grant by way of $26,646 to the ISBA Public Service Project for the sole purpose of providing staff for the commission through July 2017.” (Des Moines Register)

June 28, 2016 – “Ontario is piloting a new program in three cities, including Thunder Bay, that will give survivors of sexual assault access to free legal advice, regardless of how much time has passed since the incident. Starting June 28, survivors of sexual assault living in Toronto, Ottawa, and the District of Thunder Bay will be able to receive up to four hours of free, confidential advice from a lawyer. The pilot is expected to run until March 2018. During that time, the province will assess the effectiveness of the program and determine its next steps.” (CBC News)

June 28, 2016 – “An outspoken former Chief Judge of the New York courts challenged judges and other leaders across the country to step up the fight to provide access to justice for thousands of people who, because of financial need, are left to represent themselves in civil court cases.” “The 2016 conference brought together attorneys, judges, legal service providers and lay people to discuss ongoing challenges to providing legal representation for thousands of people who have no means to pay an attorney in civil cases that often involve basic needs, such as housing issues and parental rights. Also included on the day-long conference agenda were discussions about homelessness, landlord-tenant mediation, attorney training for self-help centers, affordable housing issues, implicit bias, and ceded land and quiet title actions.” (University of Hawai’i System News)

June 30, 2016 – “Between July 2016 and December 2017, the DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) will award $900,000 to 22 organizations that provide direct civil legal assistance to underserved and low-income DC residents. These grants are funded by private donations to DCBF and by the DC Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, which DCBF administers. The organizations receiving grants provide legal help in many areas of civil law, including housing, employment, domestic violence, immigration, education, health, and disability rights.” (DC Bar Foundation)

June 30, 2016 – In another historic step, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced today that, effective immediately, the US military will have a policy allowing for open transgender service. Not only is this great news for civil rights, but it also opens another avenue of legal service for many.  In response, the LGBT Bar has invited JAG recruiters to return to the Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair in August.  See the link for more details.  (LGBT Bar Association)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland presented its Pro Bono Service Awards to a wonderful group of attorneys.  The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland is the statewide coordinator of volunteer legal services. Recipients include:
Lee A. Caplan Award: Gerald Kelly, Esq., Kelly | Dorsey, P.C. – Howard County

Young Lawyers Section Alex Fee Memorial Award: Jonathan D. Kossak, Esq., Miller & Chevalier Chartered- Washington, DC

Judge Robert M. Bell Award: Tracey Turner, Esq., DLA Piper – Baltimore City

Distinguished Pro Bono Volunteer Award: Andrea Trento, Esq., Hogan Lovells  – Baltimore City

Law Firm Pro Bono Service Award: Pamela West, Esq., P.S. West, Attorney at Law, LLC- Montgomery County

Pro Bono Program Award: Catholic Charities of Baltimore – Immigration Legal Services, Esperanza Center and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Herbert S. Garten Special Project Award: “Life for Lifers” project – Michael P. Lytle, Esq., The Law Offices of Michael Patrick Lytle- Anne Arundel County and Erica J. Suter, Esq., The Law Offices of Erica J. Suter, LLC – Prince George’s County

(Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center)

Music Bonus!  

 

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Job’o’th’week (Experienced Edition) – South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc.

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

South Coastal Counties Legal Services (SCCLS), an established non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal aid to low-income and elderly clients in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, is seeking experienced attorneys, to serve clients with family, housing and /or benefits issues from our Bristol County offices.

If this sounds like something for you, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: July 4, 2016).

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Faculty/Staff Pro Bono Spotlight – June 28, 2016

Volunteer LogoEvery week, we honor an exceptional faculty/staff member who is making significant contributions to under-served populations, the public interest community, and/or legal education.

Today, we’re featuring an outstanding faculty member from the Gonzaga University School of Law, dedicated to providing pro bono mediation services.


 

Megan Ballard

Who: Megan J. Ballard, Professor of Law at Gonzaga University School of Law

Where: Gonzaga University School of Law partnered with Refugee Connections Spokane and the Community Colleges of Spokane to host a workshop, ‘American Law & Justice for Refugees and Immigrants’ on March 9, 2016 at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington.

What:  Professor Ballard took the lead in coordinating a half-day workshop on American Law and Justice for Refugees and Immigrants, held March 9, 2016.  This collaborative workshop helped refugees and immigrants overcome barriers to justice by providing participants information about their legal rights and responsibilities, and offering a positive view of legal actors, in 11 languages other than English.

The workshop served approximately 160 refugees and immigrants, representing more than 15 different languages.  Community Colleges of Spokane provided interpreters for the largest 11 language groups.  Most of the substantive instruction (including the criminal justice system, domestic violence, discrimination, police stops, and children) was carried out in small, language-based groups facilitated by 26 volunteers comprised of lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students and staffed by interpreters.  In addition, Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu addressed the entire group, explaining constitutional rights and the rule of law, and providing each participant with a pocket-sized U.S. Constitution.  Spokane Police Sergeant Dan Waters visited each of the small groups and gave everyone an emergency language card to facilitate communication between police and English language learners.  From Gonzaga Law School, 7 students helped facilitate the small groups, plus 6 additional students volunteered during the workshop and with earlier preparation; 7 faculty and JD staff also helped to facilitate small-group instruction and assisted with preparation and execution of the event; and at least 14 staff lent assistance before, during and after the workshop.  Collaborating organizations – Community Colleges of Spokane and Refugee Connections Spokane – also provided volunteers.

During a half-hour refreshment break, eight service providers and others staffed tables to provide information to participants.  Each organization provided various printed resources at their table, some of which were translated into different languages.  The organizations providing information, in addition to Refugee Connections Spokane were: Spokane County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program, Catholic Charities, Northwest Justice Project, TeamChild, Northwest Fair Housing, Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, Washington State Interpreter Commission, Spokane Police Department, and the Washington Defenders Association.

On her work: Professor Ballard underscored the importance of this event: “Not only does this workshop help to welcome refugees and immigrants, but it introduces the broader Spokane legal community to a population and their legal needs that is otherwise somewhat hidden.

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