We recently caught up with 2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow Emily Schools at the 2014 Equal Justice Works Leadership Development Training. She shared how her Fellowship experiences have personally empowered her to provide legal aid in the field. Emily is currently at Legal Aid of Northwest Texas and is sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Watch the video below:
Equal Justice Works Blog
Equal Justice Works is proud to announce the launch of a new initiative – part of justice AmeriCorps that supports immigrant children who have crossed the U.S. border without a parent or guardian as they navigate complex immigration court proceedings. The effort is led by Equal Justice Works, in partnership with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), to deploy 55 full-time Members (45 lawyers and 10 paralegals) to provide legal representation to unaccompanied children in 14 cities nationwide.
This month, Equal Justice Works kicks off its “Future Fellows” baby bib campaign! A number of Equal Justice Works alumni, sponsors, and staff members have already submitted photos—below is a preview of some “Future Fellows” in the making. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the first part of our series!
2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow Jessica Emerson, who directs the Trafficking Victims Post-Conviction Advocacy Project (TVPCAP) at the Women’s Law Center of Maryland, successfully prevented one of her clients, a survivor of human trafficking, from being criminalized as a prostitute. On September 12, 2014, the Women’s Law Center filed its first motion to vacate the prostitution convictions under the Maryland Human Trafficking Victim Protection Act. Days later, the Honorable John Peter McKenna, Jr., District Administrative Judge for Anne Arundel County, vacated the survivor’s conviction and dismissed the charges against her.
Incoming 2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Tiffany Kelley, is bringing her expertise to the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) to advocate for veteran survivors of military sexual trauma (MST). Tiffany is an Army veteran who has previously worked with wounded, injured, and ill service members while she was assigned to a Warrior Transition Unit. NVLSP recently launched an initiative—made possible by Tiffany’s Fellowship—to address the needs of veterans who are MST survivors and need assistance in obtaining VA disability benefits.
2011 Equal Justice Works alumna, Kathryn Smolinski, is currently the director of the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic at Wayne State University Law School. In this capacity, Kathryn oversees the clinic’s efforts in providing legal services, information, and education to low-income cancer patients living the Detroit metropolitan area. The clinic grew out of Kathryn’s two-year Fellowship project co-sponsored by Pfizer Inc, Jackson Lewis LLP, and Kaye Scholer LLP – a medical-legal partnership that helped ensure cancer patients received health insurance, public benefits, and end-of life planning counsel.
Equal Justice Works Fellow Marina Pantchenko (’13), co-sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, is expanding health care access to indigent refugees in Alameda County, CA. Marina and the Bay Area Legal Aid (her host organization), along with several other legal aid groups, filed a suit against the state of California on behalf of individuals applying to the California Medical Assistance Program (Medi-Cal).
With the support of sponsor Arnold & Porter LLP, Equal Justice Works Fellow Ashley Grant (’12) is working at the Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) to close the justice gap of over-aged middle school students. As part of her Fellowship project, Ashley contributed to a major AFC report, Sixteen Going on Seventh Grade: Over-Age Students in New York City Middle Schools.
Equal Justice Works Fellow Michaela Wallin (’13) who is currently serving domestic violence victims at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Women’s Rights Project, worked with a team of ACLU lawyers to strike down a law that targeted domestic violence victims for eviction. Her fellowship is made possible by co-sponsors Morgan Stanley and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.