Directory

Seattle University School of Law

Seattle University School of Law
Sullivan Hall
901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
www.law.seattleu.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Diana Singleton
Director, Access to Justice Institute
Seattle University School of Law
P: (206) 398-4168
E-mail

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator

Description of Programs

The work of the Access to Justice Institute reflects the mission of Seattle University School of Law: to lead its students toward a lifetime of service to justice for all. AtJI connects the law school to the community at large, collaborating with hundreds of attorneys, judges and advocates from every field and drawing more than 300 student volunteers each year. AtJI enables students to connect their classroom learning to real clients, cases and attorneys while providing invaluable services to low-income communities.

Students volunteering with AtJI have the option to be placed as volunteers in one of 55 community legal service agencies that have formed collaborative partnerships with the Institute, or, they can participate in one of the following projects administered by the AtJI staff. In-house projects include: The Community Justice Centers, Immigration Court Project, Hague Convention Project, Unemployment Insurance for Battered Women Project, Language Bank, Real Change Homeless Newspaper Project and Begal Aid Newsletter Project. More information on these projects can be found at http://law.seattleu.edu/atji

Location of Programs

The Access to Justice Institute is located in its own office/reception area within the Law School.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

Staff consists of a full-time paid director and a full-time Administrative Assistant. AtJI also receives the services of a community advisory board and a student advisory board.

Funding

AtJI has an office in the law school and is funded on hard and soft money. AtJI recently received a grant of $80,000 to implement two projects.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Beagle Aid Project – This student run project works collaboratively with faculty advisors and the Corrections Committee of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing information to prisoners incarcerated in Washington State, Volunteers with this project provide legal information through JusticeWorks, a monthly newsletter, which is distributed to state prisons.

Center for Human Rights and Justice – Under faculty supervision the Center provides opportunities for students to work on research and advocacy projects for a wide variety of local and international human rights organizations. The Center solicits and screens projects from outside organizations. Students sign up for projects each semester, generally working in teams of two or three with faculty supervision. In addition, the Center promotes human rights activism and awareness by organizing or sponsoring forums, debates, films and inviting guest speakers to the Law School.

Language Bank – This project takes advantage of the multilingual skills of the law school's diverse student body by assigning qualified students to offer translation and interpretation skills to legal service providers involved in pro bono cases. The LB volunteers are current law students and paralegals from private law firms. To date, 54 volunteer law students representing 24 languages are the assets of the LB. These languages are available to Legal Service Providers and Private Law Firms. These bilingual students and paralegals are trained by Martha Cohen, Office of Interpreter Services, King County Superior Court, in basic interpreting skills, and ethics involved in interpreting.

The Access to Justice Institute maintains the databases, online attorney evaluation, and a password-protected Web site through which legal service providers and private pro bono attorneys can reach students. Partners with the Institute include the Seattle Area Pro Bono Coordinators of forty private firms, the King County Bar Association, and legal service agencies.

Real Change Homeless Newspaper Project – Through this innovative partnership, volunteer students write a legal information column for a local newspaper serving the homeless community in Seattle. Teams of volunteer attorneys from local firms and faculty advisors provide oversight and edit the articles written by the students. The articles address common legal problems experienced by the homeless community such as property law, public benefits, health care and landlord/tenant law. For more information and examples of articles, visit the Real Change Project website at http://www.law.seattleu.edu/accesstojustice/projects/realchange

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

There is no formal faculty pro bono policy. Faculty members have taken the lead on each of AtJI's projects and are members of AtJI's advisory board.

Awards/Recognition

The Access to Justice Institute hosts a special reception to recognize students who have contributed to the pro bono work done through the Institute. The AtJI awards students who contribute 50 hours or more of pro bono work with a special certificate. In addition, graduating student leaders and those who have contributed 100 hours or more of service throughout the year, are awarded a trophy upon in recognition of their word. The Institute also awards faculty and staff members and local attorneys, judges and community advocates who have made significant contributions to the Institute.

The Seattle Journal for Social Justice hosts a special rece

ption for students who work with and contribute to the journal. The Accesst to Justice Institute's Award of Distinction for Public Service - Professor Boerner was honored for his ongoing tenacity and vision for the Access to Justice Institute since its inception. He has served as a constant support, providing guidance, mentorship and encouragement for the Institute.

The Access to Justice Institute's Award of Distinction for Public Service - Professor Thomas Fischer - As a visiting professor of Conflict in Law, Prof. Fischer played a crucial role in the development of the Hague Project's bench guide chapter. He supervised, advised and edited the chapter while serving on the Project's judicial bench guide committee.

Community Service

While the Law School does not formally sponsor on-going Community Service programs, student organizations are often very involved in the local community. For more information regarding these organizations and their events, please visit http://www.law.seattleu.edu/studentorganizations/descriptions

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Diana Singleton
Director, Access to Justice Institute
Seattle University School of Law
P: (206) 398-4168
E-mail

Joan Tierney
Associate Director
P: (206) 398-4103
Career Services

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

The Inequality and Poverty Law Focus Area provides a range of courses dealing with the problems of low-income people in our society. It includes two foundational courses and a range of more specialized substantive and skills courses, and it culminates with a capstone seminar.

The Inequality and Poverty Law Focus Area is designed to provide students with a broad exposure to the range of legal issues that arise for poor people. The courses are arranged to allow students to attain a deeper understanding of the interlocking and complex problems of poverty in America. Skills component courses, which provide students with real experiences of the difficulties that poor people face in our legal system, are a crucial element of this focus. Ultimately, the focus leads to a capstone seminar course, which requires students to draw together and reflect on the various courses and experiences they have had throughout law school. Ultimately, we expect students to arrive at a more sophisticated understanding of the problems of poverty and the legal system.

Public Interest Centers

The Access to Justice Institute - The work of the Access to Justice Institute reflects the mission of Seattle University School of Law: to lead its students toward lifetime service to justice for all. AtJI connects the law school to the community at large, collaborating with hundreds of attorneys, judges and advocates from every field and drawing more than 300 student volunteers each year. Students volunteering through AtJI have the option to be placed as volunteers in one of 55 community legal service agencies that have formed collaborative partnerships with the Institute, or, they can participate in one of the in-house projects administered by the AtJI staff. In-house projects include: the Community Justice Centers, Immigration Court Project, Hague Convention Project, Unemmployment Insurance for Battered Women Project, Language Bank, Real Change Homeless Newspaper Project and Beagle Aid Newsletter.

The Center on Corporations, Law and Society - The Center on Corporations, Law & Society at Seattle University School of Law conducts and promotes interdisciplinary scholarship and dialogue on issues related to the roles and obligations of corporations in an increasingly privatized and interdependent global society. In addition to serving as a platform for enhanced scholarly inquiry, the Center provides a forum for sustained discussion among academics, legal practitioners, business leaders, activists, policy makers and community members on the complex and important relationships between business enterprises and their many stakeholders.

The Center for Global Justice - This Center for Global Justice was created in January of 2006 to further the mission of the law school by combining a justice-based approach to globalization with a commitment to academic excellence. The Center supports a clinical course in the area of global justice related to international human rights and a global justice summer internship program for students. A student fellows program was developed to provide an opportunity for students to deepen their involvement in global legal issues and provide support to the Center, through maintaining curricular materials, developing and organizing conferences and speakers and undertaking research projects. In addition, the Center has developed curricular materials that allow faculty to incorporate issues of global justice into their classes as well as provided research support for faculty members researching global justice issues. The Center will host an annual conference and speaker series addressing a current topic of global justice, open to students, faculty and practitioners. The Center will also act as the bridge for students and faculty interested in advocacy and research projects to access local, national and international organizations.

Public Interest Clinics

Administrative Law Clinic - Students assist Medicaid recipients who have been denied medical benefits. Students represent these clients in administrative fair hearings to contest the denial of benefits.

Arts Legal Clinic - Students provide advice and assistance to low income artists with legal issues related to their artistic creations or profession.

Bankruptcy Clinic

Civil Practice Clinic

Immigration Clinic - Students represent immigrant women who are petitioning to remain in this country under the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act [VAWA].

International Human Rights Clinic - Students represent foreign and domestic clients with human rights claims in federal and state courts as well as international and regional tribunals.

Non-Profit Organizations Clinic - Students represent groups who wish to form non-profit organizations to serve the community. Students assist these groups through incorporating the organization and filing necessary paperwork to seek tax exempt status for the organization.

Professional Responsibility Clinic

Trusts & Estates Clinic - Students provide estate planning services [wills, powers of attorney, living wills and Medicaid planning] to low income elderly and disabled individuals, including persons with HIV/AIDS. Students may also represent individuals suffering from chronic mental illness in preparing health care advanced directives.

Youth Advocacy Clinic - Students represent juveniles charged with criminal offenses and parents seeking appropriate educational services for their children.

Externships/Internships

Seattle University School of Law recognizes that experiential learning is an important component of a law student's legal training. Experiential learning at the law school takes two primary forms: either the traditional clinic or the externship program, which places students with judges or practitioners.

A traditional clinic can offer a student the opportunity to represent a client in a live case, and a well-supervised externship program can help a student learn to manage a heavier case-load or to complete a variety of attorney work products in judicial chambers or practice settings. The externship experience helps the student move from law school to practice more easily. Both the faculty supervisor and the site supervisor guide the extern in reflecting on experiences in practice. This reflection enhances the practice experience by providing context for an extern's reactions to situations and observations.

The externship program's goal is to provide externs with a rewarding, well-supervised experience in judicial chambers or a practice setting that will ease their transition into practicing law, will instill professionalism, and will increase awareness of social justice concepts.

The externship program operates within the Law School's mission, which focuses on social justice, especially access to justice, concepts.

For more information, see: http://www.law.seattleu.edu/externships?mode=flash

Classes with a Public Service Component

None listed

Public Interest Journals

The Seattle Journal for Social Justice is a peer-reviewed, student-edited, interdisciplinary journal. The SJSJ publishes writings that reflect theoretical, literary and hands-on approaches toward achieving social justice. Traditional academic articles are welcome. Non-traditional formats such as narrative, commentary, interview, essay and artwork are also encouraged. www.law.seattleu.edu/sjsj

PI Career Support Center

Pacific Northwest Public Interest Career Fair: Offers myriad opportunities for students, alumni, government agencies, public interest and public service employers.

Northwest Public Service Fair

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

For a description see: www.law.seattleu.edu/financialaid/lrap

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

In 2004-2005, up to 10 students received summer stipends (approximately $30,000 was awarded in summer stipends). The money was raised by PILF (Public Interest Law Foundation) and matched by the Law School.

Graduate Student Funded:

In 2002, up to 10 students received summer stipends (approximately $30,000 was awarded in summer stipends). The money was raised by PILF (Public Interest Law Foundation) and matched by the Law School.

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Battered Women and the Hague Convention Symposium - The purpose of the Hague Symposium was to discuss the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and its impact on battered mothers and their children seeking safety in the U.S. The symposium featured presentations from two local victims, authorities on the Hague Convention and domestic violence, and two panels of experts who reflected on possible strategies for representing clients and implementing change in U.S. and international law. The symposium was attended by 13 students, 39 attorneys and 26 local legal advocates.

Washington State Access to Justice Conference - The Washington State Bar Association hosts the annual Access to Justice Conference, a meeting of the state-wide legal service community, gathering to discuss equal justice issues as they relate to the delivery of legal services to low-income people. The Access to Justice Institute sponsors up to five students and attorneys to attend the conference each year. The 2005 and 2006 conferences were attended by 7 students and 4 staff attorneys.

Reflective Seminars Film Series - The Reflective Seminars is a human rights film series open to law students and the community at large. Through the Reflective Seminars, the Access to Justice Institute (ATJI) aims to generate dialogue that informs and prepares future lawyers to address human rights problems in our own communities.

Student Public Interest Groups

American Constitutional Society (ACS)

Black Law Students Association

Dispute Resolution Board

Hispanic Organization for Legal Advancement (HOLA)

Labor and Employment Law Association

Outlaws

Public Interest Law Foundation

Student Bar Association (SBA)

August 6, 2018