Job’o’th’week (Internship Edition) – Pro Bono Net (NYC)

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

Pro Bono Net is seeking a legal intern to provide support for their New York based programs and initiatives with a specific focus on the NYC Pro Bono Center, New York City’s online hub for lawyers, law students and legal professionals engaged in pro bono work. Pro Bono Net is a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged through innovative technology solutions and collaborative partnerships that transform the way legal help reaches those in need.

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

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – April 8, 2016

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

Happy Friday! We are very excited to see everyone at the 2016 Annual Education Conference next week.  Since we will be sharing news with so many of you in person, the Digest will return on April 22nd.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • British Columbia Chief Judge to hold Twitter town hall;
  • Iowa inmates facing added time have right to counsel;
  • Ontario raising legal aid eligibility threshold by another 6 percent;
  • L.A. County reconsiders reliance on flat-fee juvenile defenders;
  • New report finds South Carolina indigent defendants routinely denied counsel or not informed of their 6th Amendment rights;
  • Georgia Bar’s incubator for new lawyers launches;
  • Boston University School of Law alum creates endowment to fund pro bono service trips;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

March 31, 2016 – “Members of the public are being invited to participate in a Twitter ‘town hall’ being organized by provincial court Chief Judge Thomas Crabtree. Anyone who has a question for Crabtree can contact him through the hashtag #AskChiefJudge on April 14, B.C. Law Day. Topics being encouraged include access to justice, the future of the justice system and specialty courts, including First Nations court. ‘The Provincial Court wants to engage members of the public in their justice system,’ Crabtree said in a statement. ‘Our recent consultation on online access to criminal court information demonstrated the valuable contribution the public can make to policy decisions. The Twitter Town Hall is another way the Court can engage with the public. I’m looking forward to the conversation on April 14.'” (The Vancouver Sun)

April 1, 2016 – “Iowa inmates have a right to a lawyer when fighting Department of Corrections decisions that can add time to their sentences, a judge has ruled in a case that the state is appealing. If upheld, the ruling would help inmates challenge department rulings about treatment they must complete or disciplinary violations, which can tack on months or years to their incarceration. The outcome could have major implications for the prison system and the state-funded public defender system. The Department of Corrections filed notice Thursday that it would appeal the decision Judge Scott Rosenberg issued last week. The Iowa Supreme Court will decide whether to take the case or send it to an appeals court for review.” “The expense of any change could be significant. State Public Defender Adam Gregg said that spending by his office for lawyers in simple misdemeanor cases has shot up 45 percent, a $352,000 increase, after last year’s court ruling and that he’s asked lawmakers for a supplemental appropriation. Gregg said he was watching the inmate case closely. ‘It could have a major impact on both the right to counsel in Iowa, and on the indigent defense budget,’ Gregg said.” (The Des Moines Register)

April 1, 2016 – “Ontario is giving more people access to affordable legal services by increasing the financial eligibility threshold for Legal Aid Ontario by six per cent, effective immediately. Legal Aid Ontario provides low-income Ontarians with access to legal services in areas such as criminal, family, immigration, mental health and poverty law. Ontario’s 2014 budget committed to increasing the eligibility threshold by six per cent each year over three years, and today’s increase is the third. This year’s investment amounts to over $48.8 million and as a result of these three combined threshold increases, nearly 400,000 more people will have access to legal aid services. Enhancing legal aid for Ontario’s most vulnerable is part of Ontario’s plan to create a justice system that is modern and responsive to the needs of the people it serves. A simpler, faster and more accessible justice system helps to create a fair society, encourages investment in our communities, and makes life easier by lowering costs and improving convenience and choice.” (Ontario Newsroom)

April 3, 2016 – “In the wake of a new report, Los Angeles County juvenile justice advocates and policymakers are calling for oversight of juvenile defense attorneys to address disparities in legal counsel provided to youth in the juvenile-justice system. Earlier this month, the county received a long-awaited report from the Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at University of California, Berkeley School of Law that analyzed representation for juvenile defendants in the county’s Superior Courts whose families are not able to afford private attorneys. The ‘Los Angeles County Juvenile Indigent Defense System’ report highlighted several areas of concern about the use of county-contracted panel attorneys, who are paid a flat fee to represent youth.” “Indigent youth are most often represented by the county’s Public Defender’s Office, but when there is a conflict of interest, the county must use an alternative option. However, Los Angeles County is the only county in the state to use a flat-fee system, a process that many believe discourages panel attorneys from spending suitable time and effort on a youth’s case.” “‘Los Angeles is the only county with no centralized mechanism for quality control and oversight over those panel attorneys, and the results [of the Warren report] show disparate treatment and outcomes,’ said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas at the Board of Supervisors meeting last week.” “As the Board of Supervisors considers a way to change the system, many advocates point to the use of the county’s Alternate Public Defender’s Office as the best way to move on from panel attorneys.” “On Tuesday, the board will consider a motion presented by Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl that will propose oversight of panel representation and explore the cost of alternatives, including an expansion of Alternate Public Defender’s Office.”  (The Chronicle of Social Change)

April 4, 2016 – “In South Carolina’s lower courts—called magistrate, municipal, or summary courts—low-income defendants are routinely denied access to an attorney or not informed of their Sixth Amendment rights, according to a new report published Monday by the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. ‘When you go to a summary court in South Carolina, you find yourself in a judicial netherworld where the police officer who made the arrest acts as the prosecutor, the judge may not have a law degree, and there are no lawyers in sight,’ said Susan Dunn, legal director of the ACLU of South Carolina, in a statement.” (takepart)

April 5, 2016 – “The State Bar of Georgia’s new incubator program for young lawyers has recruited its first class of participants and hired a pro bono director. Seven lawyers started work Monday at the incubator, called Lawyers for Equal Justice. Sarah Babcock, the pro bono director, has joined from Alston & Bird, where she was an associate for six years in the environmental practice. Lawyers for Equal Justice’s aim is to help young lawyers get their legal careers started, while also providing legal services to people of moderate to low means. The inaugural class members are: Greg Clement and JoAnna Smith, both Emory University graduates, Alicia Mack and Candice Sneed, both Georgia State University graduates, Charles Wardlaw, an Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School graduate, Tamorra Buchanan-Boyd, a Mercer University graduate, and Chris Bruce, a University of Georgia graduate.” “Lawyers for Equal Justice participants receive training and office space for 18 months and are paired with a solo practitioner who serves as a mentor. The incubator is sharing a floor at Peachtree Center with the Atlanta Bar Association. There is no fee to participate for the first six months, then it’s $500 a month for six months, and $750 a month for the final six. Part of the deal is that participants put in 40 hours a month of pro bono service for six months and then 30 hours a month for the following year.” (Daily Report)(subscription required)

April 7, 2016 – “Boston University School of Law graduate Thomas Smith created an endowment to further fund the School of Law’s Spring Break Pro Bono Service Trips, according to a Monday release. Inspired by the spirit of the program, Smith and his wife Sharon established the Thomas Royall Smith and Sharon L. Smith Crisis Advocacy Fund in order to allow School of Law students to ‘help communities in crises,’ the release stated. ‘We were moved by the idea of creating a crisis advocacy fund,’ Smith, a 1970 alum, stated in the release. ‘In this way, we can support BU Law students helping to respond to crisis situations, the most recent being the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.’ The support and vision of the Smiths’ fund will provide future School of Law students the opportunity to respond to nationwide crises situations, such as providing a ‘much-needed legal assistance,’ the release stated.” (The Daily Free Press)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

It is with great sadness that we convey the news that Esther Lardent, founder and former President of the Pro Bono Institute, has died.  She was a force of nature, and the driving force behind pro bono in large law firms and corporate legal departments. It may seem commonplace today, but in the late 90’s, it just wasn’t on many people’s radar. The National Law Journal has a very nice article about Esther and her amazing dedication to serving.  The loss to our community is profound!

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

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Job’o’th’week (Experienced Edition): Disability Rights California

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

Disability Rights California (DRC) is seeking an Associate Managing Attorney to join their organization. DRC is dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities and works to achieve fairness and justice for people with disabilities through quality representation, advocacy, investigations of abuse and neglect, peer/self advocacy services, community partnerships, legislative and regulatory advocacy work, education and outreach.

If this sounds like something for you, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: April 28, 2016).

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April 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 April’s Regional Highlights:

West/Rocky Mountain: Summer Intern (Honolulu, HI); Legal and Policy Director (Anchorage, AK); Equal Justice Works AmeriCorpsJD Program (Seattle, WA); Assistant City Attorney (Seattle, WA); Reproductive Health Staff Attorney (Los Angeles, CA); Assistant General Counsel (Corvallis, OR); Deputy City Attorney (Portland, OR); Law Clerk (Salem, OR); Summer Law Clerk (Las Vegas, Nevada); Legal Director (Phoenix, AZ); Staff Attorney (Tuba City, AZ);  Staff Attorney – Migrant Farm Worker Division (Denver, CO); Family Stability Programs Attorney/Social Worker (Denver, CO); Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney (Los Angeles, CA); Deputy City Attorney – Police Litigation Unit (Los Angeles, CA); Staff Attorney/Clinical Supervisor Housing Program (Berkeley, CA); Staff Attorney/Clinical Supervisor: Community Economic Justice (Berkeley, CA); Summer 2016 Americorps JD Program (Watsonville, CA); Deputy Director (Los Angeles, CA); 2016 Compassion & Choices Legal Internship (Los Angeles, CA); Direct Representation Attorney – Central Valley (Merced, CA); Summer 2016 Legal Affairs Intern (Sacramento, CA); BayLegal Law Clerk Program (Oakland, CA); Staff Attorney, Clean Energy (San Francisco, CA); Staff Attorney: International Law and Operations (Los Angeles, CA); Staff Attorney: Legislative Affairs (Los Angeles, CA); Staff Attorney: Administrative Law (Los Angeles, CA);

Mid-west: Public Defender (Eagle Butte, SD); Assistant State’s Attorney II (Bismarck, ND); Litigation Attorney (St. Paul, MN); Attorney – Antitrust (St. Paul, MN); Staff Attorney (Racine, WI); Staff Attorney (Oshkosh, WI); Assistant Director – Career Services (Iowa City, IA); Staff Attorney (St. Louis, MO); Assistant City Attorney – Tort Litigation Division (Kansas City, MO); Assistant City Attorney – Domestic Violence Unit (Kansas City, MO); Senior JD Advisor – Center for Career Development (St. Louis, MO); Staff Attorney (Peoria, IL); Staff Attorney (Chicago, IL); VISTA Attorney Mobilization Volunteer – Summer (Chicago, IL); VISTA Attorney Mobilization Volunteer – Academic year (Chicago, IL); Legislation and Policy Clinical Teaching Fellow (Chicago, IL); CCLA Volunteer and Pro Bono Program Director (Chicago, IL); Chicago Regional Chief Counsel’s Office 2016 Summer Internship (Chicago, IL); Law Clerk Summer 2016 (Columbus, OH); Bilingual Outreach Workers (Toledo, OH); Bilingual Outreach Worker (Dayton, OH); Attorney (Cleveland, OH); Managing Attorney (Cleveland, OH):

SoutheastEJW AmeriCorps JD Summer Corps (Miami, FL); Assistant U.S. Attorneys – Civil Division (Orlando and Jacksonville, FL); Summer Immigration Internships (Miami and Miramar, FL); Human Rights Attorney (Sarasota, FL); Supervisory Equal Opportunity Specialist (Atlanta, GA); Supervisory General Attorney – Civil Rights (Atlanta, GA); Legal Director (Atlanta, GA); Attorney-Advisor (Glynco, GA); Trial Attorney (Birmingham, AL); Bilingual Managing Attorney (Various locations, LA); Bilingual Immigration Staff Attorney (New Orleans, LA); Investigator Fellow (New Orleans, LA); Assistant Legal and Governance Director (New Orleans, LA); Summer Law Clerk (New Orleans, LA); Americorps JD Internship (Houston, TX); Public Policy Intern (Austin, TX); Texans Legal Hotline Internship (Austin, TX); Summer 2016 Attorney General’s Antitrust Section Law Clerk (Various Locations, TX); Director, Center for Health Care Policy (Austin, TX); Litigation Law Clerk (Austin, TX); Policy Intern (Austin, TX); 2016 Summer Policy Associate (Austin, TX); Attorney/Fellow – Randall O Sorrells Legal Clinics (Houston, TX); Assistant Attorney General – Office of Civil Rights (Oklahoma City, OK); Criminal Justice Policy Advocate (Various Locations, TN); Policy Counsel/Associate (Durham, NC); Leslie J. Winner Public Interest and Civil Rights Fellowship (Raleigh, NC); Attorney (Charlotte, NC)

Mid-AtlanticJustice Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellowship (Philadelphia, PA); Staff Attorney (Philadelphia, PA); Staff Attorney (Harrisburg, PA); Staff Attorney, Clean Energy (Philadelphia, PA); Attorney – Civil Division (Pittsburgh, PA); Legal Intern (Philadelphia, PA); Staff Attorney (Philadelphia, PA); Immigration Legal Intern (Silver Spring, MD); Assistant Attorney General – Maryland Technology Development Corp (Baltimore, MD); Senior Director of Criminal Justice Programs (Baltimore, MD); Deputy General Counsel (Baltimore, MD); Policy Research Intern (Silver Spring, MD); Justice Americorps Fellow (Baltimore, MD); Assistant Attorney General (Baltimore, MD); Fall Class 2016: Assistant Public Defender (Baltimore, Upper Marlboro and Rockville, MD); Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney (Baltimore, MD); Public Interest Legal Fellowship (Richmond, VA); Attorney (Arlington, VA); Two Full-time JustChildren Attorney Positions (Charlottesville, VA); Legal Fellow (Arlington, VA); Senior Civil Rights Investigator (Richmond, VA); EAS Deputy Director and Senior Civil Rights Investigator (Richmond, VA); Pro Bono Manager Attorney (Harrisonburg, VA); Summer Legal Intern (Herndon, VA); 2016 Legal Intern (Arlington, VA); Staff Attorney, Clean Energy (Washington, DC) Litigation Associate (Washington, DC); Director of Pro Bono Recruitment and Training (Washington, DC); Attorney (Washington, DC); Trial Attorney – Public Integrity Section (Washington, DC); 2017-18 George N. Lindsay Fellowship (Washington, DC); 2017-19 Skadden Fellowship (Washington, DC); Trial Attorney (Washington, DC); Senior Attorney (Washington, DC); Attorney Advisor (Washington, DC); Trial Attorney (Washington, DC); Attorney – Oversight and Review Division (Washington, DC); Judiciary Committee Law Clerkships (Washington, DC); Fall 2016 Legal Intern (Washington, DC); SEIU Law Student Program Interns and Externs (Washington, DC); The Benach Collopy Asylum Summer Fellowship (Washington, DC); Ethics Fellowship Program (Washington, DC); DOL Volunteer Service Program (Washington, DC); Attorney (Washington, DC); Legal Associate – General (Washington, DC); Managing Attorney – Immigration Legal Program (Washington, DC); Senior Attorney -Health Care Legislative Branch (Washington, DC); General Attorney (Washington, DC); Supervisory Trial Attorney (Washington, DC); General Attorney – International (Washington, DC); Attorney – Civil Rights Division (Washington, DC)

Northeast: Farm and Food Legal Fellow (Providence, RI); Supervisory Equal Opportunity Specialist (Boston, MA); Assistant Federal Public Defender (Boston, MA); Assistant Federal Public Defender – Appeals Unit (Boston, MA); Senior Associate Director/Clinical Instructor (Cambridge, MA); Staff Attorney (Lawrence, MA); Citizenship Program Manager (Boston, MA); Summer Legal Internship (Boston, MA); Senior Attorney – Project on Predatory Student Lending (Jamaica Plain, MA); Family Law Staff Attorney (Worcester, MA); Public Benefits Staff Attorney (Springfield, MA);  Peter B. Cooper Legal Fellow (New Haven, CT); Executive Director (Hartford, CT); Environmental Law and Policy Intern (New Haven, CT); Internship (Trenton, NJ); Staff Attorney (Trenton, NJ); Summer Intern (Newark, NJ); Part-Time Staff Attorney (Monmouth County, NJ); Part-Time Staff Attorney (Mercer County, NJ); Staff Attorney – Legal Assistance to Medical Patients Project (Edison, NJ); Staff Attorney – FT/Temp (Camden, NJ); Staff Attorney – PT/Temp (Camden, NJ); Staff Attorney, Clean Energy (New York, NY); Director of Legal Services (New York, NY); Summer 2016 Policy Internship (New York, NY); Assistant Corporation Counsel, Affirmative Litigation Division (New York, NY); Legal Officer (New York, NY); Deputy General Counsel (New York, NY); Summer 2016 Legal Intern (Long Island City, NY); Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney (New York, NY); Civil Defense Practice Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow (New York, NY); Summer Internship (Various Locations, NY); Summer Position – Law & Justice Institute Coordinator (New York, NY); Staff Attorney – Part Time (Brooklyn, NY); Associate Research Scholar (New York, NY); Summer 2016 Law Internship (New York, NY); Staff Attorney (Staten Island, NY); Summer Intern – Capital Markets Division (New York, NY); Summer Legal Intern Program (New York, NY); 2016 Schulte Roth & Zabel Academic Year Fellowship (New York, NY); Staff Attorney (Syracuse, NY); Immigration Intern (Hempstead, NY); Law Fellow (New York, NY); Staff Attorney (Hempstead, NY); Staff Attorney (Hempstead, NY); Supervising Attorney (New York, NY); Staff Attorney (New York, NY); Staff Attorney (New York, NY); Staff Attorney (New York, NY); Supervising Attorney (New York, NY); Managing Attorney (New York, NY); LegalHealth – Staff Attorney (New York, NY); Staff Attorney (Brooklyn, NY); Managing Attorney (New York, NY)

CanadaSocial Justice Articling Positions (Ottawa, ON); Articling Opportunity 2017-18 (Yukon); Articling Student 2017-18 (Windsor, ON)

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Don’t Miss! Free Law Student Training: Post-graduate Fellowships 2.0 – April 11, 2016

Check out the following message from So Cal Pro Bono Managers:

So Cal Pro Bono Managers announces Post-graduate Fellowships 2.0, a free one-hour web-based training for law students, to be held Monday, April 11, 2016 at 12 noon PST (3 PM EST).

Since it’s web-based, law students can watch the training and participate from any location.

This is a free training opportunity for law students who plan to apply for post-graduate fellowships in their 3L year, offering tips and strategies for locating a fellowship that matches the student’s interests, developing a fellowship project, identifying a host organization and completing a successful application.

The training will be facilitated by OneJustice in a webinar format, which, again, enables students to access the training live on their laptops from remote locations and to ask their questions.

To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2576196798813595906.

Training panelists are David Daniels of Public Counsel, Rachel Kronick Rothbart of USC Gould School of Law and Pamela Marx of Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. They hope to offer multiple perspectives on the fellowship application process. Coordinating Committee members are Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc., OneJustice, Public Counsel, Southwestern Law School and USC Gould School of Law.

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – April 1, 2016

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

Happy Friday! Welcome to April.  The 2016 Annual Education Conference is only a week away.  We’re so excited to bring you another outstanding conference!

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Legal aid now available in Arabic for Halton refugees;
  • 2016 Pro Bono Institute Conference review;
  • Age discrimination complaint filed against the Montana Office of the State Public Defender;
  • Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid receives grant to provide legal assistance to seniors;
  • Eastern Shore Maryland attorneys lead in pro bono hours;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

March 24, 2016 – “With the arrival and resettlement of Syrian refugee families in the region, Halton Community Legal Services (HCLS) says the demand for legal aid in Arabic will be increasing. That’s why it has developed a one-page information sheet in Arabic about the recent release of its Legal Health Check-Up tool. The survey helps low-income people find unrecognized every-day legal problems and get legal assistance before a crisis can develop, according to the Georgetown-based HCLS. The one-page sheet in Arabic is available through the clinic.” (Oakville Beaver)

March 24, 2016 – “Cherry blossoms were budding along the National Mall in Washington DC, and just a few blocks away, so were ideas about developing and maintaining world-class corporate pro bono programs.  Once the exclusive domain of law firms, more corporate legal departments are developing their own programs to build their teams, stretch their attorneys and deploy the unique skill sets of the legal department for the community good. Corporate legal departments, large and small, gathered at the 2016 Pro Bono Institute Conference the week of March 21st to discuss best practices in managing a pro bono program and to celebrate the good work and volunteer hours contributed in the pursuit of justice and the representation of those in need.” This article is a great recap of the conference. (Corporate Counsel Blog)

March 24, 2016 – “The Montana Office of the State Public Defender is under investigation by the state Human Rights Bureau for age discrimination. Montana Department of Labor and Industry Staff Attorney Timothy Little confirmed the filing Thursday. Little said he could not say for sure when the complaint was filed, although it was recent enough that an investigator has not yet been assigned, which can take up to two months. Once an investigator is assigned, the office has about 180 days to investigate and determine if the complaint should proceed to a hearing.” (Independent Record)

Update:  “Former Montana State Chief Public Defender Randi Hood has filed a suit with the Human Rights Bureau regarding its hiring practices. Hood, 66, filed a complaint in November 2015 with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry alleging the Office of the State Public Defender discriminated against her due to her age.” (Billings Gazette)

March 26, 2016 – ” The St. Cloud office of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid has received a grant of Older Americans Act funds from the Central Minnesota Council on Aging to provide legal services for seniors residing in Cass County. The funds will be used to provide legal advice, counseling and representation in court and administrative hearings. There is no cost for these services.” (The Pilot-Independent)

March 28, 2016 – “Eastern Shore [Maryland] attorneys donate more legal services than the rest of their Maryland colleagues, according to a recently released report, ‘The Current Status of Pro Bono Service among Maryland Lawyers,’ based on 2014 data.” “For 2014, 70.8 percent of the Eastern Region’s lawyers provided some pro bono hours, compared to 53.8 percent for the state as a whole, the report said. For full-time lawyers donating more than 50 hours, the Eastern Region again led the state at 32.2 percent, compared to the Maryland average of 19.9 percent.” (My Eastern Shore MD)

 

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

Pamela Robinson, Director of the University of South Carolina School of Law Pro Bono Program, was named the 2016 South Carolina Lawyer of the Year by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly. The honor was revealed at the “Leadership in Law” ceremony held on March 10 in Charleston.

Robinson helped create the School of Law’s pro bono program in 1989, which became the first 100 percent all-volunteer law school program in the nation. She has inspired a generation of lawyers to serve their communities through volunteerism, and has helped improve the lives of untold thousands of South Carolinians.

We at PSJD have the pleasure of collaborating with Pam regarding student pro bono.  This award is very well-deserved! Congratulations!!! (the fine print*)

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

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Job’o’th’week (Fellowship Edition) – North Carolina Justice Center

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

The North Carolina Justice Center is seeking a fellow for their inaugural Leslie J. Winner Public Interest and Civil Rights Fellowship. The Winner Fellowship provides the opportunity for a recent law school graduate to spend two years as a staff attorney at the North Carolina Justice Center – a nonprofit organization committed to alleviating poverty in North Carolina by ensuring that every household has access to the resources, services and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security.

If this sounds like something for you, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: April 30, 2016)

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DC Event: FTC Legal Services Quarterly Brownbag

Check out the following message from the Federal Trade Commission:

The FTC will host a Legal Services Quarterly Brownbag at 12:30pm on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at the FTC’s offices in the Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20001, Room 10102. We hold these meetings to discuss what is happening at the FTC that may be of interest to the legal services community. We also want to hear from you as well. If you have consumer protection concerns you would like to raise, new issues or trends you are seeing, any consumer outreach or education campaigns, or any other items you wish to share—please let us know.

On the agenda for this upcoming brownbag is the DeVry University case the agency filed on January 27, 2016, as well as recent cases we’ve brought to put a stop to fraudulent diploma mills.  We will also talk about policy changes and upcoming events at the FTC.

Please send your RSVP to Tracey Thomas at tthomas@ftc.gov. We also hope you won’t hesitate to contact Tracey Thomas (tthomas@ftc.gov), Monica Vaca (mvaca@ftc.gov), or Patti Poss (pposs@ftc.gov), with any questions or input.

Note that the Constitution Center is conveniently located at the L’Enfant Plaza metro station, which services the yellow, green, blue, and orange metro lines.  Leaving the metro via the “7th and D” exit will let you out right at the Constitution Center.  Please give yourself time to get through the security line.

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – March 25, 2016

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

Happy Friday! Spring is here!  Ok, maybe just a day or 2 in the DMV. But let’s enjoy it while it lasts!

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Tagalog legal assistance helpline launched in LA County;
  • Justice Department addresses high cost of court fines and fees on the poor;
  • New Mexico’s Chief Public Defender resigns;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

March 18, 2016 – “To expand its reach of legal services in the growing Filipino community, non-profit organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Los Angeles has launched a free Tagalog helpline to assist the community with citizenship issues. ‘We know that many Filipino-Americans speak English, but many still have language barriers and many prefer to speak Tagalog or another Filipino dialect as they try to get services,’ said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Advancing Justice. ‘Without that, many Filipinos have difficulties accessing services and will not come forward. Somewill suffer in silence rather than reaching out and getting the help that they need.'” “The new line is part of Advancing Justice’s Asian Language Legal Intake Project (ALLIP), which provides toll-free hotlines to low-income community members in a variety of legal areas, including family law and domestic violence, employment, housing and immigration. The Tagalog line will focus on the area of citizenship, as Advancing Justice has noticed that many Fil-Ams wish to become US citizens.” (Asian Journal)

March 18, 2016 – “In a letter this week to local courts in all 50 states, the Justice Department put judges on notice that slapping fines and fees on defendants without regard for their ability to pay can be a constitutionally dubious practice. In some instances, it has relegated judges and police to roles that have little to do with justice and protecting the public, and more to do with filling the public coffers.” “In the Justice Department letter, Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and Lisa Foster, director of the Office for Access to Justice, wrote of the imposition of unchecked court costs that ‘in addition to being unlawful, to the extent that these practices are geared not toward addressing public safety, but rather toward raising revenue . . . can cast doubt on the impartiality of the tribunal and erode trust between local governments and their constituents.’ The officials urged courts to adhere to basic constitutional principles, warning them not to jail poor people who failed to pay court costs because they couldn’t afford it, and to consider alternatives such as community service for indigent defendants. Judges were also cautioned not to keep poor defendants in jail solely on the basis of their inability to post bail and not to make payment of court costs a condition of access to judicial hearings.” (Washington Post)

March 23, 2016 – “Simmering tensions between the newly minted independent New Mexico Public Defender Commission and its executive, Chief Defender Jorge Alvarado, led this week to Alvarado’s resignation after two years and four months at the helm. He said he was leaving with ‘a heavy heart,’ mindful that there have been dramatic changes during the transition from being an agency overseen by the executive branch to one with an independent commission setting policy. Alvarado’s announcement of his imminent departure, official April 1, was accompanied by a long, impassioned missive to the attorneys and staff in the department sent out late Monday.” “The commission has scheduled an April 1 meeting, its first in months, at which an interim chief will be named, or at least a committee appointed to look into procedures to maintain continuity and seek a replacement, commission chairman Michael Stout said Tuesday.” (Albuquerque Journal)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

“A group in Salisbury, North Carolina has seen the need for legal aid, but not everyone has access to the help they provide. A new justice initiative aims to help people by coming to them. It’s the brain child of City Council member and attorney David Post. It’s hard to miss the bright green RV rolling through Salisbury and East Spencer. Jackie Leach, who needed some legal help, knows firsthand just what the traveling ‘Center for Access to Justice’ can do. ‘He was able to take time out even though he had other things scheduled to help me and from that point on, he’s been a great access to me and I’m quite sure he’ll be a great access to others,’ said Leach.

A chance meeting at the courthouse gave Leach the help she needed. The traveling initiative is the result of years of planning, by Post and other community attorneys and activists. Post saw a need for legal help, after talking with some West End residents. ‘A lot of them don’t have cars, so the only way for them to see me, is they have to take a bus and then a second bus, so I came up with this idea of an RV,’ said Post. ‘There are more people that go to the courthouse every single day, every single day, than go to every doctor and the hospital in Salisbury,’ said Post. Post said legal aid is hard to come by in the Salisbury and Greensboro area, with 200,000 people qualifying for legal aid. ‘You have about one lawyer for about 40-50 thousand people,’ said Post.” (TWC News)

Super Music Bonus!  This week we have a special treat.  Our music pick is from the 2015 PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award Winner Lark Mulligan.

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Job’o’th’week (Internship Edition) – Spend the summer with PSJD!

Help Wanted Photo: Brenda Gottsabend – CC License

Plan on being in DC for the summer? Consider coming to work for us! We have two paid internships available for law and/or graduate students. Check them out below!

NALP/PSJD Publications CoordinatorWe are seeking a law or graduate student to work full-time as its PSJD Summer Publications Coordinator, editing and producing our Comprehensive Fellowship Guide during the summer of 2016.  The term of the employment period is approximately 10 weeks.  The position is ideal for a law or graduate student who has editing experience and is interested in public interest law and/or nonprofit administration.  The Publications Coordinator serves as an integral part of the PSJD team.
To learn more, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: April 28, 2016)

PSJD Project Assistants – We are seeking three to four summer project assistants to help update and maintain database content on the PSJD website. This is an ideal opportunity for law or graduate students who desire to supplement their income while interning or clerking in Washington, DC in the summer of 2016.
To learn more, check out the full post on PSJD. (Application Deadline: June 1, 2016)

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