PSJD Public Interest News Digest – February 24, 2017

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

Happy Friday! I was thrilled to be at Duke University School of Law this week to present the 2016 Pro Bono Publico Award to Gabrielle Lucero. Read more about her exemplary contribution to pro bono in her community on PSJD and stay tuned to the PSJD Blog for her guest post. Thank you to Stella Boswell and her team at Duke for an amazing celebration of pro bono.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Austin City Council approves emergency funds for immigrant legal services;
  • DC District Court certifies class in Pacer fee lawsuit;
  • Hunton & Williams LLP receives Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Medal for pro bono work;
  • Judges and lawyers push for better access to British Columbia justice system;
  • Immigrant Justice Corps announces 2017 Justice Fellows;
  • ABA study finds Louisiana’s public defender system understaffed by about 1,400 lawyers;
  • New Mexico judge rules against underfunding public defenders;
  • Law Foundation of Ontario issues grants to examine technology and access to justice;
  • Grant from Massachusetts Attorney General will help veterans;
  • Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants; and
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

February 16, 2017 – “Austin City Council approved $200,000 in emergency funding for immigration legal services Thursday, while immigrants and advocates took to the steps of City Hall outside to protest ICE raids and national anti-immigrant policies. The grant expands a preexisting contract the city holds with Catholic Charities of Central Texas, which provides pro bono legal service to help immigrants understand their rights and legal statuses. Justin Estep, the director of legal services for Catholic Charities, says the money is much needed.” (KUT)

February 16, 2017 – “The United States District Court for the District of Columbia certified a class of all individuals and entities who paid fees to obtain court records though the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. The proposed class representatives, three nonprofit legal advocacy organizations, overcame the government’s primary challenge to class certification, which was that they were not adequate class representatives. The National Veterans Legal Services Program, the National Consumer Law Center and the Alliance for Justice, all nonprofit entities that paid fees to obtain court records from PACER, filed suit to recover the allegedly excessive fees charged by the government for PACER access. Plaintiffs claim that the PACER fee schedule violated the E-Government Act of 2002, 28 U.S.C. § 1913) and seek reimbursement of the excess fee pursuant to the Little Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346, on behalf of all individuals and entities, excluding class counsel and federal governmental agencies, who paid PACER fees from April 2010 through April 2016. Plaintiffs assert that the PACER fees result in a profit that violates the E-Government Act, inhibits “public understanding of the courts” and thwarts “equal access to justice.” For example, although the 2012 cost to the judiciary for providing technology and access to PACER was approximately $41 million, the judiciary collected more than $145 million in PACER fees that year. Plaintiffs seek a refund of the excess fee for themselves and the class members.” (JD Supra Business Advisor)

February 16, 2017 – “Hunton & Williams LLP today received the U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Medal for the firm’s pro bono legal work on behalf of Coast Guard members.” “‘While we are honored to receive this prestigious award, it truly has been our privilege to serve the Coast Guard and its families, and we look forward to continuing and expanding our partnership,’ said Managing Partner Wally Martinez, a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, who helped start the pro bono legal assistance program and is among the program’s most active participants. Martinez also received a Meritorious Public Service award for his personal contributions. Begun in 2012, the Coast Guard partnership has involved about 30 of the firm’s lawyers who have contributed nearly 1,800 volunteer hours in five states. The firm assists Coast Guard members and their families with legal issues involving real estate, estate planning, bankruptcy, immigration and other matters. Lawyers from the firm’s New York, Miami, Norfolk, Richmond, Atlanta and Washington offices have all been involved in the partnership. The Meritorious Public Service Medal is given to recognize substantial contribution to the Coast Guard that produced tangible results and specific individual accomplishments that provide unique benefits to the public.” (Business Wire)

February 16, 2017 – “As the old saying goes, ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ Those words are being invoked by many of BC’s judges and lawyers who are demanding the provincial government fix a troubled legal system. In a report entitled ‘An Agenda for Justice,’ the Canadian Bar Association’s BC branch is making wide-ranging recommendations it would like to see made provincial election issues ahead of the May vote. The association is concerned about access to the justice system, pointing to struggles with long case delays and an overstretched legal aid system. ‘Legal aid funding is so limited that in Provincial Court, approximately 40 percent of British Columbians are unrepresented by a lawyer in family court cases and 20 percent are unrepresented in criminal cases,’ states the report. ‘The impact is that, through no fault of their own, people who are unrepresented take up more court time and more taxpayer-funded resources to go through the system.’ Among other recommendations, the Bar Association suggests increasing funding for legal aid lawyers from $84 an hour to $135.” The report concludes, ‘the Government of British Columbia and Members of the Legislative Assembly have the opportunity — every day — to improve the lives of British Columbians by taking steps to ensure they have access to justice that is delivered in a timely manner, by courts supported by up-to-date legislation and technology, and with a studied interest in their needs and challenges.'” (News 1130)

February 16, 2017 – “Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC), the country’s first fellowship program wholly dedicated to meeting immigrants’ need for high-quality legal assistance, announced today its 2017 fellowship class, a select group of talented and promising new lawyers who will represent immigrants fighting deportation and seeking lawful status and citizenship.  Twenty-five graduates from top law schools from around the country were chosen for the prestigious fellowship at IJC, which was conceived of by Robert A. Katzmann, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and incubated by Robin Hood in 2013.” Click the link for the complete list.  Congratulations Fellows! (Immigrant Justice Corps)

February 17, 2017 – “The state public defender system in Louisiana is understaffed by 1,406 lawyers, according to an ABA study of their workloads.The study (PDF) found that 1,769 full-time public defenders are needed to provide reasonably effective assistance of counsel in Louisiana, but the state only employs 363 full-time equivalent PDs. An ABA press release summarizes the findings. Currently, the state has the capacity to handle 21 percent of the workload to provide indigent defense that complies with prevailing professional norms, the study concludes. The study was conducted by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and the consulting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville.” (ABA Journal)

February 17, 2017 – “A state district court judge in southeastern New Mexico has rejected arguments by public defense attorneys that they are too overloaded with work to provide adequate representation to poor defendants facing jail time. District Judge William Shoobridge of Lea County said in an order released Friday that attorneys with the Law Offices of the Public Defender have been providing reasonably competent representation to indigent defendants in the area despite financial pressures. The order is a setback for the Office of the Public Defender as it seeks to suspend work on some indigent cases while seeking more state funding. Chief Public Defender Bennett Baur says his office is weighing an appeal to the state Supreme Court and that he would continue to raise issues of high caseloads and lack of resources.” (Artesia Daily Press)

February 21, 2017 – “The Law Foundation of Ontario has issued grants to the Winkler Institute at Osgoode Hall Law School and Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone so they can examine how technology and innovation can improve access to justice for young people. ‘Together, these projects will give the Foundation insight into how technology can be harnessed to help young people facing legal problems,’ said Linda Rothstein, chair of the foundation’s board. ‘The projects will enable youth to explore creative solutions while allowing them to create tangible prototypes that use technology to improve access to justice.’
The effort to improve youth access to justice was inspired by Elizabeth Goldberg, who was the foundation’s chief executive from 2007 to 2015 and who previously served on the foundation’s board of trustees.” (Financial Post)

February 22, 2017 – “The state is helping hundreds of veterans by awarding $350,000 in grants to four Massachusetts organizations. The grant funding will go to Community Legal Aid, Inc., in Worcester; Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center in Gardner; The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School in Boston; and Veterans Legal Services in Boston, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office announced Wednesday. Veterans seeking health services benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system, housing and education assistance, discharge status upgrades, general legal representation, and veteran-specific employment will benefit from the funding, Healy’s office said in a statement.” (Mass Live)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

Legal Aid Ontario will honour HIV/AIDS legal activist Ryan Peck with the Sidney B. Linden Award at a ceremony Feb. 23 at Osgoode Hall, in recognition of his commitment to helping low-income Ontarians in the pursuit of access to justice. The award is named in honour of Legal Aid Ontario’s first board chair, Justice Sidney B. Linden, who has been involved with legal aid for over 35 years. Since its inception, the award has been presented to eight deserving recipients. The Toronto lawyer and the executive director of HIV & Aids Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) told The CJN he was surprised to be chosen for the award. “I went to law school because I was interested in issues surrounding social and economic justice, and I have devoted my career to those issues,” he said. (CJN)

Music Bonus! Music pick from the PSJD Fellow Delisa Morris.

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Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Advancing Justice Fellowship

The Organization

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta is the first legal and policy advocacy center dedicated to defending democracy for Asian Americans, immigrants and refugees in Georgia and the Southeast. Founded in 2010, Advancing Justice – Atlanta serves thousands of vulnerable and underserved people through its four core program areas of civic engagement, direct legal services, policy advocacy, and leadership development. Advancing Justice – Atlanta is one of five independent civil rights organizations that make up the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation.

The Position

The fellow, hosted by Advancing Justice – Atlanta, will work with Advancing Justice – Atlanta and the broader Advancing Justice affiliation to provide direct services to the community and look for impact litigation opportunities.

Applicants are expected to design a new project focusing on the needs of Georgia’s Asian American community, in the context of immigration, voting rights, and/or employment law.

Ready to advance your career?  See the full-post on PSJD.

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – February 17, 2017

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

Happy Friday! With all the pro bono activity, you may be wondering how you can volunteer.  PSJD has lawyer and law student pro bono opportunities and resources for exploring pro bono in your area.  And while you’re there, check out the many useful resources in the Resource Center!  Not sure where to start? In our PSJD Blog Series Resource Round-Up career counselors talk about their favorites.  What are you using?  Let us know, and you might be featured in our next Resource Round-Up.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • University of North Dakota School of Law puts student law clinic on hiatus;
  • Nova Southeastern University opens new legal clinic;
  • New website provides convenient option for pro bono service in Massachusetts;
  • Crowdfunding for litigation – new site launches in US;
  • New York City guarantees legal aid to low-income residents facing eviction;
  • New Indiana program gives resources to elder victims;
  • Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law launches new deportation defense clinic;
  • Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants; and
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

February 9, 2017 – “The University of North Dakota School of Law will put its student law clinic on hiatus for at least two years and is beginning to discuss tuition increases because of higher education budget cuts proposed by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. In a meeting with about 80 law students Thursday afternoon, UND School of Law Dean Kathryn Rand told students the program would need to begin making hard cuts. Those cuts will include no longer operating the law clinic, which provides pro bono legal service primarily in immigration and employment law fields. The clinic allows law students to get some of the hands-on credits they need to earn their juris doctorates.” “The two-year hold on the law clinic will force law students down other routes to get the six experiential courses required for their degree. UND law students also can get such credits via moot court courses, field placement assignments and estate planning courses. Rand said they would have to get creative in how students get experiential credits.” (Bismarck Tribune)

February 9, 2017 – “Nova Southeastern University will open a legal clinic in the fall that will provide legal services to nonprofits, students, researchers, educators and entrepreneurs. The enterprise is made possible thanks to a donation by Berger Singerman founder Mitchell W. Berger and his wife—fellow attorney Sharon Kegerreis. The Sharon and Mitchell W. Berger Entrepreneur Law Clinic at Nova’s Shepard Broad College of Law will provide legal services to researchers associated with Nova Southeastern’s Center for Collaborative Research and to low- to medium-income inventors in technology, life sciences and creative communities. The clinic will serve students who are inventing, as well as law students working in fields such as intellectual property, data security and technology.” (Daily Business Review)

February 9, 2017 – “Want to do your part in filling the legal aid gap but don’t have the time to provide a needy client full representation on a pro bono basis? A legal advice website launched by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute may be the answer to your public service aspirations.” Details at the link. (Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly)(subscription required)

February 11, 2017 – “When online crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe debuted, people hoping to invent and sell a better bottle opener, those in need of help with medical bills and all sorts of personal would-be fundraisers talked about the concept in grand, world-changing ways. This, they said, was a disruptive, potentially transformative financial development. A new website aims to mash up that kind of popular Internet fundraising with legal work, hoping to turn legal cases into publicly funded — and backed — social causes. CrowdJustice.org, went live with its first U.S. fundraising appeals in recent weeks with a tag­line meant to promote equal access to the courts, regardless of one’s economic standing: ‘The law should be available to everyone.’ The site’s founder, a British transplant, says CrowdJustice is a politically neutral portal where people and organizations pursuing litigation can solicit and win public help with the costs.” “Also, despite its “dot.org” URL, CrowdJustice is not a nonprofit organization. It collects 5 percent of all donations made to legal cases and another 3.5 percent goes to the website’s payment processor. The remaining 91.5 percent of donations goes to trust accounts set up to fund the individual cases to which donors contribute. CrowdJustice does some due diligence to ensure none of the parties to the lawsuit are subject to any kind of national or international sanctions (such as Securities and Exchange Commission violations, federal or international court matters) and verifies that the case in question is under active litigation by a licensed attorney. Then, it posts a campaign.” (The Washington Post)

February 12, 2017 – “Funding just doubled for the city’s well-supported ‘right to counsel’ initiative, turning the free legal aid pilot program into a full-fledged city service, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Councilmembers announced Sunday. Low-income tenants who earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level are now entitled to city-sponsored intervention in New York City Housing Court, where the vast majority of those tenants have had no legal counsel. The program will drastically reduce the excessive rate of homelessness and the cost to taxpayers on homeless shelters and other services, officials say.” (metro)

February 13, 2017 – “Because of an aging baby boomer generation, Indiana is seeing a swift increase in the number of elder abuse and exploitation cases throughout the state.” “But now, thanks to a new program from Indiana Legal Services, elders and endangered adults have more resources if they fall victim to these crimes. The Legal Assistance for Victimized Adults project was established at the beginning of the year with a grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. LAVA provides legal representation to seniors and endangered adults who have suffered abuse, neglect or exploitation. Among many of the services, the program can provide legal representation, file civil actions on behalf of a victim, file protective orders and fight to recoup financial loss from scams or from the exploitation by a guardian or someone with power of attorney. The program also works with county prosecutors when pursuing criminal charges. An endangered adult is defined as a victim at least 18 years old that has some physical or mental incapacity, and a senior is anyone 60 or older. There are income guidelines to qualify for services, but for those who are eligible, LAVA is completely free.” (South Bend Tribune)

February 15, 2017 – “Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law launched a new legal clinic on Wednesday to represent Long Island immigrants facing deportation. The law school also will lead education and advocacy programs for immigrant rights. Hofstra’s Deportation Defense Clinic, is the first clinic of its kind on Long Island. It aims to protect immigrants vulnerable to the consequences of increased deportation enforcement. It will concentrate on two high risk populations: those immigrants with removal orders against them and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients – undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and have spent most of their lives here.” (Long Island Business News)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

We have lost a great champion – E. Clinton Bamberger. Our colleague Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs had this remembrance – “Clinton was one of the founders of the original War on Poverty program that later became the Legal Services Corporation. He argued Brady v. Maryland in the United States Supreme Court and was a leader in the clinical legal education movement. Clinton served on my Board of Directors when I was at the Public Justice Center in the late 90’s. He helped push us to begin the work on civil Gideon and other critical projects. Clinton was kind, supportive and always up for the struggle to create greater equity, fairness and justice. This is a tremendous loss at a time when every progressive voice, especially those as wise as his, is needed.”

Read more about Mr. Bamberger’s fight on behalf of disadvantaged people and his great legacy at the link. He will be sorely missed in our community. (The Baltimore Sun)

Music Bonus! Music pick from the PSJD Fellow Delisa Morris.

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Job’o’th’Week (Internship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Publications Coordinator

The Organization

NALP houses and administers PSJD, an online public interest job database and “virtual” career services center for law students and attorney on public service career paths.  PSJD contains listings of several hundred post-graduate public interest fellowships which are offered in the U.S. and abroad.  Every year, this information is culled from the website and published as The PSJD Comprehensive Fellowship Guide.

The Position

The Publications Coordinator plays the lead role in fellowship guide’s annual update.  NALP also publishes its Federal Legal Employment Guide annually.  The Publications Coordinator is also responsible for updating the information and assisting in its production.

The Publications Coordinator’s specific responsibilities are to:

Produce the 2017 Fellowship Guide

  • Research and update all PSJD online fellowship listings for use in the print fellowship guide. This is accomplished through concerted telephone/email outreach to several hundred organizations;
  • Research and verify new fellowships to be added to the guide;
  • Compile other resources for the guide, following previous editions;
  • Edit content and layout for online publication.

Produce NALP’s Federal Legal Employment Guide

Other duties as assigned

Does this position coordinate with your career goals?  Find the full-post on PSJD.

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Resource Round-Up: State & Local Government Career Resources State by State List

Image courtesy of The Diamond Gallery

Image courtesy of The Diamond Gallery

The PSJD Resource Center has valuable information for law students, career counselors and lawyers about public service law jobs.

The PSJD State & Local Government Career Resources State by State List is a list of useful places to begin research on internships and jobs with state and local governments. Here you will find links to information about many different government employers.

 


*Career Counselor’s Corner*

 

Claudia Melo, JD, Director of the Career Center at University of Minnesota Law School says “This is a quick, handy compilation that I use in conjuction with the Gov[ernment] Honors Guide for those students interested in government careers.”

Do you have a great state resource? Send it to us in an email and we’ll do our best to get it up on the website.

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – February 10, 2017

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

Happy Friday! More pro bono efforts in the news this week. We’re also seeing a rise in contributions to organizations that provide legal assistance. Did you see the ACLU Amazon Dash button? Let’s keep the money (and assistance) flowing.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Canadian law students take part in a research-a-thon to help people affected by the U.S. refugee ban;
  • Applications open for The Massachusetts Bar Foundation’s Legal Intern Fellowship Program;
  • Virginia Legal Aid Society receives $20,000 grant;
  • Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee awards Serving Tennessee’s Seniors grants;
  • New Arizona website gives court information and more;
  • New indigent defense lawsuit filed in Louisiana;
  • Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice seeks critical funding;
  • Atlanta office of public defender receives grant;
  • University of Virginia School of Law launches new pro bono clinic;
  • Lawyers help create website to coordinate legal aid to immigrants at airports;
  • $25 million donation boosts University of Minnesota Law School’s legal services for immigrants and refugees;
  • Community Legal Services receives $3.1 million Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant;
  • Sen. Booker, Rep. Maloney renew effort to fix America’s strained public defender system;
  • Montana officials may take novel approach to overhaul of indigent defense system;
  • Coder turns Amazon Dash button into ACLU donation tool;
  • Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

February 3, 2017 – “Students from 22 Canadian law schools from coast to coast joined a ‘research-a-thon’ Saturday to help with possible legal challenges stemming from U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent travel ban and suspension of the country’s refugee program. The focus of the research was on what is known as the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and U.S., which mandates that a person seeking refugee status must make the claim in the first country in which they arrive — the understanding being that both countries are considered ‘safe.’ But in the wake of Trump’s executive order banning travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, advocates have been calling on Ottawa to immediately suspend the pact, arguing the U.S. is no longer safe for refugees.” “Kim Veller, a second-year student at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and chair of the local chapter of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, said each school had been given a different question to work on by the Canadian Council for Refugees, which she said is building a proposal to suspend the bilateral agreement.” (The Star)

February 3, 2017 – “The Massachusetts Bar Foundation’s (MBF) Legal Intern Fellowship Program was established in 1996 to give talented law students the experience and encouragement they need to pursue careers in the public interest law sector while providing legal aid organizations with much-needed additional staff capacity for the summer. The MBF awards at least three (3) stipends of $6,000 each to law students who intern during the summer months at nonprofit organizations providing civil legal services to low-income clients in Massachusetts. These awards are supported by generous contributions to the MBF from lawyers and judges statewide and by the Smith Family Fund.” Application materials available at the link. (MBF)

February 3, 2017 – “The Virginia Legal Aid Society has received a $20,000 grant to help support low-income families in Suffolk and Isle of Wight County. The money comes from the Beazley Foundation Inc., a supporter of many organizations serving South Hampton Roads for nearly seven decades. The grant will support VLAS’s Strengthening Families with Children program to help low-income families increase and preserve financial resources, obtain and maintain safe and affordable housing, increase access to healthcare and education and increase stability for families in transition.” (Virginia Lawyers Weekly)

February 3, 2017 – “The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, a charitable organization dedicated to enriching our quality of life, is pleased to announce that Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) is one of 121 Tennessee nonprofits and governmental organizations receiving funding as part of a one-time Serving Tennessee’s Seniors grant opportunity. Funding of Serving Tennessee’s Seniors was provided by the Chancery Court and administered by The Community Foundation through the settlement of a lawsuit initiated by Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper against both SeniorTrust and ElderTrust.” “Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) has received a $25,000 grant to provide legal education to seniors in Upper East Tennessee, and give them tools to assess their individual legal problems.” “Outcomes achieved by each grantee will be reported to the Court and available to the public on an interim basis. Final results will be available in July 2017.” (The Newport Plain Talk)

February 5, 2017 – “A new website has recently launched to offer basic assistance to people of all walks of life who have legal questions or need assistance in resolving disputes in court. AzCourtHelp.org is organized by topic and geographical location to help people find the court locations, forms, and other information they may need. Geographical information includes court locations, maps, hours, payment terms, parking, and accessibility information.  The site also features live chat forums to assist with legal information, legal talk clinics on popular topics, and other information helpful to self-represented individuals.  Frequently asked questions are arranged by topic so users can quickly find the information that is most helpful to their situation.  The site will also include video tutorials, webinars, and a calendar of free legal workshops around Arizona.” (The Daily Courier)

February 6, 2017 – “Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and the board that oversees the state’s indigent defense services were named in a class-action lawsuit filed Monday (Feb. 6) by a group of 13 inmates who contend their constitutional rights to counsel have been denied because of an insufficient public defense system. The suit, filed in the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish, asks for a court declaration that Louisiana’s system for indigent representation is ‘significantly compromised,’ and for a court-appointed monitor with the power to oversee fixes to the system. ‘This suit seeks to bring long-overdue relief to communities that have literally been left defenseless for far too long,’ said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of the groups representing the plaintiffs. The suit names Edwards, Chief Public Defender Jay Dixon, and all members of the Louisiana Public Defender Board, the agency responsible for the oversight of statewide legal services for the poor in criminal cases.” (The Times-Picayune)

February 6, 2017 – “The Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice is seeking $1.5 million in one-time funding to support legal defense for Utahns who can’t afford it. Joanna Landau, executive director of the Indigent Defense Commission, said that funding would build on last year’s support to fund more defense attorneys, training and oversight to local governments throughout the state. Support from the Indigent Defense Commission is done through cost sharing with local governments, and grants awarded by the commission are carefully administered, Landau told the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday. In response to questions from the committee, Landau agreed that while the commission is currently seeking one-time funding, eventually a long-term solution will need to be addressed.” (Deseret News)

February 6, 2017 – “The City of Atlanta’s office of the public defender has been chosen to join the Safety and Justice Challenge, a grant program awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create a more fair and effective local justice system and model reforms for the nation, the city announced. The chosen sites taking part in the grant program’s Innovation Fund will get technical assistance and financial support of $50,000 each, and are eligible for future funding opportunities, the city said. The challenge is a national $100 million initiative whose aim is to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails, according to the city’s announcement. Atlanta and the other selected jurisdictions will design and test innovative local justice reforms with the purpose of safely bringing down jail usage and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in their local justice systems.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

February 6, 2017 – “Over winter break, nine law students from the University’s School of Law volunteered at the Legal Aid Justice Center, which will be launching a new pro bono clinic this coming semester. The Civil Rights Litigation Pro Bono Clinic is a partnership between the Law School and Charlottesville’s Legal Aid Justice Center. ‘We’re always looking to elevate our cases to make a big impact that will help as many people as we can,’ said Mario Salas, an attorney at the Legal Aid Justice Center who is working with the Civil Rights Pro Bono Clinic. Volunteers will work on civil rights and racial justice cases pro bono, which means they don’t receive academic credit for their work, but can receive volunteer hours. Many of the topics involved in the cases can be seen in today’s headlines, such as policing and race, the criminalization of poverty and mental health.” (The Cavalier Daily)

February 6, 2017 – “A group of lawyers has tapped into technology to make sure that immigrants and families waiting for them at airports around the country have access to free legal help when they need it. A website launched Monday, called airportlawyer.org, collects information about travelers and sends it securely to volunteer lawyers near airports, who can then help clients on the ground. The site, created by Seattle-area lawyers and New York legal software company Neota Logic, was spurred by President Trump’s recent executive order, said Tacoma immigration lawyer Greg McLawsen, who was involved in creation of the website.” “The site takes in simple information from travelers’ friends or family members such as flight time and the type of visa the traveler holds. It then passes that information, with identifying details removed, on to a coordinating lawyer. Once a volunteer is assigned, that attorney can log in to a secure site to review the entire case.” “Airportlawyer.org currently has coordinating lawyers working near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Denver International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Dulles International Airport.” (The Seattle Times)

February 6, 2017 – “A $25 million donation to the University of Minnesota Law School will solidify a unique partnership between lawyers and students to provide free legal services to immigrants and refugees.” “The center is a partnership between University law students and lawyers from the Dorsey & Whitney, Faegre Baker Daniels, and Robins Kaplan law firms, as well as the nonprofit Immigration Law Center of Minnesota, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and The Advocates for Human Rights. In 2015, the students and lawyers won a U.S. Supreme Court case after arguing that a Tunisian noncitizen’s conviction for hiding unspecified pills in his sock should not trigger deportation. Last year, 50 law students worked on cases.” (TwinCities.com)

February 6, 2017 – “An East Palo Alto nonprofit group that helps thousands of low-income residents with housing and immigration issues will receive a three-year, $3.1 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Initiative announced on Monday. David Plouffe, president of policy and advocacy, announced in a Facebook post that the philanthropic Initiative would begin supporting Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California, Berkeley. Both organizations help affordable housing challenges. The Initiative was founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan.” (Palo Alto Online)

February 7, 2017 – “U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) are renewing a bicameral effort to fix America’s strained public defender system from local courts all the way to the Supreme Court. Today, Booker and Maloney are re-introducing two legislative initiatives that seek to ensure America’s judicial institutions are living up to the Constitution’s guarantee of a right to counsel. The Equal Justice Under Law Act would empower indigent criminal defendants to take action against states and localities that systematically fail to provide effective assistance of counsel in felony cases. The Gideon Act would establish a federal corporation dedicated to delivering independent, uniform, and quality defense representation in criminal cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and, at times, in the highest courts in the states.” (Sen. Booker Press Release)

February 8, 2017 – “Montana officials moved forward Wednesday with an effort to overhaul the state’s public defender system, which has been long beset with sinking morale and a growing caseload that puts pressure on what officials say is an overburdened staff. The state Senate, without debate, gave preliminary support to a pilot project that is to develop a more comprehensive approach to helping repeat offenders stay out of the criminal justice system. The program, if approved, would connect defendants with social workers and services to help offenders get their lives back on track. The Senate also gave final approval to a bill stripping a requirement that automatically assigned a public defender to a parent of a child, even if that parent had not been identified or was not involved in the case. The latter change is expected to save the system at least $100,000 annually. Earlier, a legislative committee approved a plan to transfer oversight of the public defender’s office to the Department of Administration from a state commission.” “To help reduce the caseload, the state is exploring a variety of approaches, including a novel method called a ‘holistic defense pilot project’ already used by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. It is among the growing number of jurisdictions nationwide experimenting with a holistic approach that draws human support services into the criminal justice system. The project would be established for up to four public defender’s offices. The approach could eventually save millions of dollars, according to the pilot program’s lead sponsor, Rep. Kimberly Dudik, a Democrat from Missoula, who is sponsoring several bills as part of the overhaul.” (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

February 9, 2017 – “Nathan Pryor was getting frustrated by news of Trump administration policies that he disagrees with. So he did what any a self-described designer, programmer and ‘tinkerer’ would do: He hacked into an Amazon gizmo designed to instantly order consumer goods for the home and made it donate $5 to the American Civil Liberties Union with every press, instead. OK, so maybe that’s not something anyone would do. Pryor credits his friend Katherine with the idea, but his follow-through on the execution has made donating to the ACLU as easy as, well, pressing a button.” “Amazon introduced the Dash Button in 2015 to allow frazzled consumers to reorder essential home supplies by literally pressing a button that sticks to a surface at home. The Dash Button quickly became a favorite hobby project for hackers and ‘maker’ types, who invented hacks that allowed users to control lights, build a silent doorbell and track work hours all with a single push. Amazon responded by releasing a developer kit and a customizeable ‘Internet of Things’ button called the AWS IoT. Pryor’s version looks to be one of the first Dash Buttons that donates to a charitable cause.” “He’s got a lot of ideas about how to implement a nonprofit donation button on a large scale, too. Pryor told NBC News that use of the buttons among supporters could provide ‘great feedback’ to an organization. “If 10,000 people pushed to donate within 10 minutes of a policy announcement, while another announcement brought only a trickle through the day, the organization would have a new perspective on what mattered to its donors,” Pryor said.” (NBC News)

 

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

“Joe Meux has been a volunteer attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid since 1994 and has since served more than 300 low-income clients. He has worked with Elder Source and SHINE and also has served as a volunteer mediator. For the past 10-plus years, nearly weekly, he has been the attorney on-site at the Mary Singleton Senior Center. On Jan. 24, Joe shared with us that he is retiring from pro bono work to concentrate his time on his family and his church.” What a wonderful legacy.  Thank you Mr. Meux for your long service. (Jacksonville Daily Record)

Music Bonus! Music pick from the PSJD Fellow Delisa Morris.

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Job’o’th’Week (Entry-Level Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Staff Attorney

The Organization

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), a non-profit regional law firm that provides high-quality legal assistance to low-income persons and groups in western Ohio, seeks a bright, creative, hardworking attorney for its Dayton office.

The Position

The Attorney will work with ABLE’s Education Practice Group and the Housing and Economic Development Practice Group. The Education Practice Group provides legal representation to low-income children and parents in education cases.  The Education Practice Group advocates for appropriate and meaningful educational opportunities for children in poverty, including a focus on discipline cases and disrupting the school to prison pipeline, particularly for African American and Latino youth who are disproportionately impacted by these policies.  The Housing and Economic Development Practice Group focuses their work on improving housing conditions and choices for low income communities as well as improving eThe Attorney must have excellent interpersonal skills and be experienced in working in collaborative environments.

Are you ready, willing and ABLE to be an advocate? Check out the full-post on PSJD.

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The First Annual Low Bono Law Conference

Below is an invitation from our friends at the Washington State Bar Association’s Low Bono Section. Together with Seattle University School of Law (and its Low Bono Incubator Program), the Low Bono Section is hosting their first annual full-day conference for low bono practitioners in Seattle, at which they will be exploring practical issues faced everyday in low bono practice. This is a great opportunity for law students and newly minted lawyers to learn about low bono.  A live webcast feed will be available if you are not in the Seattle area.  What an amazing program at a very opportune time.

 

Presented by WSBA Low Bono Section and Seattle University School of Law CLE

The Money Barrier: 1st Annual Low Bono Law Conference
Seattle University School of Law, Friday, February 24, 2017

Many people are “priced out” of the justice system, with incomes too high to qualify for legal aid, but too low to afford an attorney. Can the legal profession do anything about this justice gap? Absolutely! We can, we are, and you can do it, too.

Join us for this full-day conference on how to run a flourishing law practice that includes an intentional commitment to serving clients with limited financial resources. We’ll discuss what low bono is (spoiler alert: it’s more than just cutting operating costs and discounting your rates or fees) and hear specifically how some lawyers are incorporating low bono principles into their work. We’ll address real-life challenges that arise when clients face financial barriers to full participation in the justice system and share some specific solutions to addressing those challenges.

Lunch is included during our Beyond Networking lunchtime breakout session. The opportunities to build meaningful professional relationships will continue at our Post-CLE Social (appetizers sponsored by the Seattle University School of Law Center for Professional Development).

Register or learn more about this full-day CLE here: http://law.seattleu.edu/continuing-legal-education/upcoming-programs/1st-annual-low-bono-conference

Lawyers from all practice areas and all firm sizes are welcome. Limited license legal technicians, law students, and non-lawyers are encouraged to join us as well.

A Live Webcast option is now available!

Contact Low Bono Section Education Committee Chair, Veronica Smith-Casem, with questions: 425-243-9341 or veronica@smithcasemlaw.com

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Students Taking Action: UCLA Law

 University of California Los Angeles students have launched a group “UCLA Law Students Against Deportation” to help detained foreign nationals at Los Angeles International Airport.  With over 175 law students, the group has translated documents about refugee and detainee rights into Arabic or Farsi, gathered food and water for onsite attorneys, and compiled a list of potential translators.
Students are also working closely with the ACLU and students from other Southern California law schools.  The students have prepared flyers and supported the work of attorneys from the ACLU and Public Counsel.  Some UCLA Law students, with knowledge of immigration law, have been working full-time at the ACLU in Los Angeles.
Read the full-story about these great students here on the University of California website.

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – February 3, 2017

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

Happy Friday! This week’s news is dominated by the recent executive actions of President Trump and the legal community’s response. Law school clinics and local legal aid organizations are mobilizing, and can use the help.  If you wish to get involved, PSJD has attorney and law student pro bono opportunities.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Two New York immigration legal services merge;
  • New York State Bar opposes Cuomo proposal to raise lawyer fees to pay for indigent defense;
  • Employers extend legal aid to employees caught in President’s aggressive immigration reform;
  • New York governor offers legal aid to airport detainees;
  • Hundreds of lawyers offer free legal aid at airports;
  • Law school clinics stepping up to provide immigration legal aid;
  • Big Law responds with immigration legal assistance;
  • Federal judge dismissed ACLU suit over indigent defense funding in Louisiana;
  • Protesters seeking money for indigent defense block Governor Cuomo’s office;
  • Greater Waco Legal Services opens;
  • Study finds civil legal aid yields seven fold return on investment in Florida;
  • Legal clinic pilot launched in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island;
  • Bill seeks to include juvenile defendants under Utah’s Indigent Defense Commission;
  • HackJustice brings together multiple disciplines for access to justice solutions;
  • Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

January 26, 2017 – “At a time of uncertainty and anxiety in immigrant communities here and across the nation, a merger between Neighbors Link in Mount Kisco and the Pace Community Law Practice in White Plains will formalize a partnership between two nonprofit service organizations with overlapping missions. Neighbors Link focuses on helping immigrants integrate into communities in Westchester County through efforts that include educational and employment programs. Pace Community Law Practice, founded in 2012, employs a staff of two lead attorneys, student fellows and volunteers to provide low-cost legal services. The two organizations began working together in 2014 on immigrant legal services, including naturalization and deferred action on cases involving undocumented juvenile immigrants to exempt them from deportation. By merging the Pace practice into the operations of the immigrant community center in Mount Kisco, Neighbors Link Executive Director Carola Bracco said the organization can add an additional component to its offerings. ‘We have a very holistic approach to the services we offer and legal services was the last thing missing,’ she said. The legal service has been renamed the Neighbors Link Community Law Practice, though its office will remain at 33 Crane Ave. near the Pace law school campus in White Plains. The practice will also continue to work on cases taken outside of the Neighbors Link partnership.” (Westchester County Business Journal)

January 27, 2017 – “The president of the New York State Bar Association said Jan. 27 her group will ‘vehemently oppose’ Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to raise biennial lawyer registration fees in New York by $50. Claire Gutekunst, speaking at the state bar’s annual meeting in Manhattan, told the group’s policy-setting House of Delegates Jan. 27 that the 74,000-member organization’s executive committee will oppose the governor’s proposal. Lawyers currently pay a $375 fee to re-register as attorneys with the state every two years. The fee was last increased in 2010, when it rose to $375 from $350 under a proposal by then-Gov. David Paterson to help boost state aid for civil legal services. Cuomo’s proposal calls for the new $50 charge on lawyers to go directly toward paying for legal representation of indigent criminal defendants, as required under the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1963 ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright.” (New York Law Journal)

January 28, 2017 – “On Friday President Donald Trump signed an executive order that is temporarily halting the admission of refugees, indefinitely banned the admission of refugees from Syria, and stopping citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The order also includes any green card and visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, meaning if you were a citizen of these countries and you are outside of the U.S. at the time the order went into effect, you’re now barred from entering the country for at least the next 90 days. Employees from many tech companies who are visiting or on holiday in their home country have been affected by the ban, with an estimated 500,000 legal employees of foreign nationality affected. Microsoft is providing legal assistance to its employees affected by the issue, saying in a statement, ‘We share the concerns about the impact of the executive order on our employees from the listed countries, all of whom have been in the United States lawfully, and we’re actively working with them to provide legal advice and assistance.'” (MSPowerUser Blog)

Another company story: “Uber says it will create a $3 million defense fund to help cover legal, immigration and translation costs for drivers affected by Trump’s immigration and travel ban, which Uber CEO and founder Travis Kalanick calls ‘wrong and unjust’ in a new note shared to Facebook and Uber’s newsroom. The post outlines in more detail Uber’s commitment to assist drivers impacted by the executive order, which Kalanick made Saturday in a prior post.” “Meanwhile, rival Lyft has committed $1 million to the ACLU, and its founders came out strongly in opposition to the measures by Trump’s White House.” (techcrunch)

And another company: “Amazon chief executive, Jeff Bezos, has pledged the full legal resources of his company to fight the travel ban instituted by Donald Trump against seven Muslim-majority nations. In an email to employees sent on Monday afternoon, Bezos said that Amazon would be putting its legal and lobbying efforts behind the fight against the ban. A key avenue of opposition involves supporting the attorney general for Washington state, where Amazon is headquartered, in his lawsuit against Trump – the first confirmed legal action from a state against one of the new administration’s policies.” (The Guardian)

January 29, 2017 – “Gov. Andrew Cuomo is dispatching lawyers from his office and the Port of Authority to aid persons detained at airports by federal authorities enforcing President Donald Trump’s executive morder on immigration. In addition to providing legal counsel to detainees, the governor announced during a news conference Sunday that he is proposing legislation to protect transportation workers against physical assault perpetrated by anyone on the basis of race or religion. The proposed bill was sparked by an attack against Rabeeya Khan, a Muslim airline employee in her office in the Delta Sky Lounge. A Massachusetts businessman, 57-year-old Robin A. Rhodes, is accused of mocking her religion and kicking her in the leg. He is being charged with hate crimes, prosecutors said. Anyone convicted of assaulting an airport worker or other state transit employee would be guilty of a class D felony and subject to a maximum sentence of seven years in prison under the new law, dubbed the Transportation Worker Protection Act.” (metro)

January 29, 2017 – “Hundreds of attorneys descended on U.S. airports all over the country this weekend to offer free legal help to the travelers and family members of loved ones detained under President Trump’s executive order. By Saturday afternoon, arrival terminals in airports from Dulles, Va., to Chicago to San Francisco were being turned into makeshift hubs for legal aid. Lawyers assembled conference-style tables in restaurants and gathered around electrical outlets with their laptops awaiting work. Some held signs near arrivals gates introducing themselves to families in need.” (Washington Post)

January 30, 2017 – “New York University is among the growing number of universities looking to their law schools to help protect and guide fellow students, faculty and staff in the wake of Trump’s executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The order led to chaos and protests at airports around the country and sparked concern and confusion at colleges and universities that draw faculty and students from around the globe. The Institute of International Education, a nonprofit organization that promotes international educational opportunities, estimates that 17,000 students from the seven banned countries were studying in the United States in 2015. The majority of those are from Iran. Harvard Law School; Cornell Law School; Yale Law School; and Stanford Law School are also pitching in to assist affected students and university employees.” (Law.com)

January 30, 2017 – “It’s a busy time to be a pro bono lawyer. After President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday to severely limit immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, lawyers across Big Law jumped in to help travelers, visa and green card holders, who faced uncertainty and deportation in the wake of the order that was soon followed by federal rulings staying parts of the action. Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Davis, Polk, Hogan Lovells, and Mayer Brown represent just a sliver of the firms that had lawyers on the ground at John F. Kennedy International, Dulles and other airports assisting clients. To find clients, they have partnered with non-profits such as IRAP [International Refugee Assistance Project], which organizes law students and lawyers to offer legal aid for refugees, while tapping their existing client networks, and resorted to holding signs in airports.” Click on the link for more information about the firm programs. (Bloomberg Law)

January 31, 2017 – “A federal judge in Baton Rouge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit seeking court enforcement of poor criminal defendants’ right to counsel in Orleans Parish, ending a bid by the American Civil Liberties Union to force the state to address what even U.S. District Judge James Brady agreed is a crisis in public defense funding in Louisiana. ‘It is clear that the Louisiana Legislature is failing miserably at upholding its obligations’ under the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, which required states to provide lawyers for defendants unable to hire their own, Brady wrote. ‘Budget shortages are no excuse to violate the United States Constitution.’ But in a 13-page ruling, Brady raised concerns over federalism, writing that ruling in the ACLU’s favor ‘would inevitably lead (the court) to become the overseer of the Orleans Parish criminal court system’ in a way that would fly in the face of prior U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The court ‘sees no way to enter this funding fray without intermeddling in state criminal prosecutions,’ Brady wrote. The ruling puts an end to an unusual lawsuit in which the ACLU sued Orleans Parish Chief Public Defender Derwyn Bunton’s office, while also targeting the state Public Defender Board, in an effort to force the state to fund both agencies better.” (The New Orleans Advocate)

January 31, 2017 – “Eight protesters were arrested outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office Tuesday, as they demonstrated for more money for legal aid services for New York’s poorest. Protesters chanted “What do we want? Lawyers,” and blockaded an entrance to Governor Cuomo’s suite of offices at the Capitol. After years of what critics say was under-funding legal aid for New York’s lowest income people, the Senate and Assembly passed a bill in 2016 to create a state funded system to ensure that indigent criminal defendants receive legal representation, as is their right under the U.S. Constitution. Currently, most  individual counties pay the costs of legal defense. Governor Cuomo held the legislation until New Year’s Eve, then vetoed it, saying it would be an $800 million cost shift to state taxpayers and that reform is needed first to bring the price down. Cuomo has proposed a new plan in his budget that he says will offer more accountability. Terrell Jones, with VOCAL New York,  says he’s tired of waiting, and accused Cuomo of favoring the wealthy over the poor. Demonstrators blocked the entrance to the governor’s offices, and eight were arrested.” (WAMC)

January 31, 2017 – “A legal service for low-income residents that incubated under the wings of Mission Waco is striking out on its own. Greater Waco Legal Services kicks off this week as an independent nonprofit organization, headed by attorney Kent McKeever, who started Mission Waco Legal Services in 2012. ‘I think it opens new doors for us to really strategically structure ourselves for growth,’ McKeever said. ‘Our mission is the same: to provide compassionate, affordable legal services for our community.'” (Waco Tribune-Herald)

January 31, 2017 – “With funding for civil legal aid in Florida at its lowest point in 10 years, a new study shows that every dollar spent on civil legal services for the state’s low-income residents yields more than $7 in economic impacts. With total funding of $83 million from all sources, 33 Florida civil legal aid organizations made $600 million of economic impact in 2015, according to the study commissioned by The Florida Bar Foundation. The detailed results and implications of the study will be the topic of three press conferences Feb. 2 and 3.” (citybizlist)

January 31, 2017 – “Starting next week, the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island will launch a pilot project to provide free legal advice. It’s a response to a trend seen in courtrooms around the Island and across the county, where many people try to represent themselves in court without the help of a lawyer. According to P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice David Jenkins, it’s part of ‘crisis’ in access to justice across the country. ‘In a majority of family law matters we see in our courts, there’s at least one participant who is self-represented,’ he said. The pilot project will allow people to meet privately with a qualified lawyer. The 45-minute sessions, by appointment only, are free of charge. The clinics are for family law and civil matters only.” “The volunteer lawyers who will be providing the free advice are all qualified members of Law Society of Prince Edward Island. The Community Legal Information Association (CLIA), based in Charlottetown, will help people arrange appointments for the weekly sessions.” (CBC News)

February 1, 2017 – “Juvenile defendants may soon benefit from a state-funded commission created last year to tackle problems with Utah’s public-defender system. A bill introduced this week would amend a legislation enacted last year that created the Indigent Defense Commission, which distributes state funds and oversees indigent defense services statewide. But bill sponsor Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said the bill he passed a year ago did not include juvenile defendants. This meant the commission could only grant money to counties for use in providing attorneys to those charged in adult court, who can’t afford their own attorneys and face the possibility of jail time. SB134 proposes that the commission be expanded to include juvenile defense, and also proposes an additional $150,000 a year to hire a staffer who has experience in juvenile crimes.” (The Salt Lake Tribune)

February 1, 2017 – “Students, legal professionals, computer programmers, computer scientists, software developers, members of the public and professionals of various disciplines will come together Feb. 3 and 4 for a two-day ‘hackathon’ designed to create technology applications that will improve access to justice. HackJustice, which is organized by the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the Cyberjustice Laboratory at Université de Montréal – will run simultaneously at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and the Cyberjustice Laboratory in Montréal. Over the course of the two days, participants will compete for prizes as they work in teams to create and code either a mobile phone or software app, a website, or other technological solution that will make justice more accessible. Each team will then present their tech solution to a panel of judges who will choose the hackathon winners based on the originality and usefulness of the tech developed. ‘HackJustice is a great competition for anyone who is interested in technology and improving access to justice,’ said Nicole Aylwin, Assistant Director of the Winkler Institute. ‘The challenges that the teams will be taking on reflect a desire to help build public engagement and participation in the justice system and policy-making.'” (York University Media Relations)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:

Lawyers – for those of us with the training and expertise to make a difference, it is more important than ever that we do so.  We have seen a incredible response to the call to action by our profession.  Lawyers on both sides of the issues will be asked to do extraordinary things.  Please support them as you can, and thank you to those who have already stepped up.

Music Bonus! Music pick from the PSJD Fellow Delisa Morris.

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