Blog Archives for July 2012

Equal Justice Works Interns Reflect on their Experiences

July 31, 2012

This summer, Equal Justice Works hosted four interns in our Washington, DC, office. They helped with a variety of tasks, and we were so grateful to have them here for six weeks. We asked each of them to reflect on their experience, and here is what they had to say.

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Student Loan Ranger: How to Use College Navigator in Your School Search

July 26, 2012

 

Summer is halfway over, and you know what that means: college application season! The process is complex, but necessary to figure out where you're going to spend the next few years learning to be an adult. 
 
It's been 10 years since I started thinking about college applications and I'm a bit jealous of all the resources available to students today. My most recent object of envy is the College Navigator, a tool from the Department of Education that culls information submitted by universities and posts them in a somewhat digestible format online.

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Delivering Justice in Rural California - Part Four

July 24, 2012

On June 29, OneJustice’s Justice Bus® mobile clinic brought summer associates and attorneys from Fenwick & West LLP and legal interns from Facebook to Point Reyes Station, CA.  Held in conjunction with Legal Aid of Marin, the group was able to provide legal assistance to 23 individuals in just one day. This is the fourth and final post in the series. Catch up on parts one, two, and three.

When Julia Wilson started her Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 1999, she probably had no idea that one day she’d be at the helm of a legal aid organization like OneJustice. The seeds that were planted during her Fellowship have grown into far-reaching branches of pro bono and public interest attorneys. So far we’ve heard about Julia herself, an Equal Justice Works Fellow, and a summer associate who all went on the Justice Bus trip last month to help rural Californians. Today we’ll hear about the experience of one of the full-time attorneys who was also on the bus contributing to this great effort.

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10 Years in Prison for a Misdemeanor?

July 23, 2012

This is a guest post by Ray Ibarra, an Equal Justice Works Public Defender Corps Member working at the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, Covington Office. 

The cost of incarceration is significant.  According to a recently released report on prison costs by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Pew Center on the States, ten years in prison costs Kentucky taxpayers $146,030, not counting loss of tax revenue from a defendant’s employment, property and sales taxes.[1] That’s why strict adherence to the Sixth Amendment is critical. It ensures that society does not waste these resources by sending defendants to prison unless it is necessary to do so. Appointed counsel should be available to insist that defendants are treated fairly by the system, assert their rights in court, and advise them on all of the consequences of their decisions in the case.

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Student Loan Ranger: Gainful Employment Regulations Put on Hold

July 19, 2012

A few weeks ago, we wrote about new regulations that were to take effect on July 1 to ensure career education programs were preparing their students for gainful employment. But on June 30, a federal district judge vacated the regulation's debt-measure scheme, as well as portions of the regulation it ruled were "intertwined" with the scheme. The result? Gainful employment is on hold.

We won't go into the long history of the gainful employment regulation, but will instead state simply that the Student Loan Ranger agrees with Kevin Carey in his New America Foundation blog and our friends at The Institute for College Access and Success: Congress and the Obama administration cannot back down from the gainful employment fight.

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Delivering Justice in Rural California - Part Three

July 17, 2012

 

On June 29, OneJustice’s Justice Bus® mobile clinic brought summer associates and attorneys from Fenwick & West LLP and legal interns from Facebook to Point Reyes Station, CA.  Held in conjunction with Legal Aid of Marin, the group was able to provide legal assistance to 23 individuals in just one day. This is the third post in a series about OneJustice’s Justice Bus Project. There will be a new post every Tuesday in July. Read part one here. Read part two here.

Derek Flores, a rising 2L at Northwestern, is spending his break as a Summer Associate at Fenwick & West LLP where his typical day involves researching cases and some writing and editing. “The typical day of a summer associate surprisingly shares many similarities with the typical day of a law student. Just like nobody is telling you that you need to go to class, nobody is telling you that you need to get in by a certain time or leave by a certain time,” Derek says. “Work as a summer associate, like being a law student, requires a lot of self-motivation.”

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Student Loan Ranger: Student Debt Crisis Still Needs Long-Term Solution

July 12, 2012

It's been a big week in the nation's capital. All three branches of government were in the limelight: The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Health Care Act (or most of it, anyway), and Congress approved a $127 billion transportation and student loan package to enact changes that were long-championed by the Obama administration.

 
Loyal readers of the Student Loan Ranger may already have guessed that this is the measure that would maintain the federal subsidized Stafford loan interest rate at the current 3.4 percent. But while the idea of maintaining lower interest rates may seem like a no-brainer, what is going on with the federal student loan program is much more complicated than it appears.

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Delivering Justice in Rural California – Part Two

July 10, 2012

On June 29, OneJustice’s Justice Bus® mobile clinic brought summer associates and attorneys from Fenwick & West LLP and legal interns from Facebook to Point Reyes Station, CA.  Held in conjunction with Legal Aid of Marin, the group was able to provide legal assistance to 23 individuals in just one day. This is the second post in a series about OneJustice’s Justice Bus Project. There will be a new post every Tuesday in July. Read part one here.

Joanna Shalleck-Klein is an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Fenwick & West LLP and working at Legal Aid of Marin in California. Joanna’s project involves litigating on behalf of low-wage workers from all over Marin County.  In addition to its weekly intake clinics in the Canal District of San Rafael and in Novato, Legal Aid of Marin has a regular practice of conducting clinics in Marin’s rural locations, making sure that even the most remote residents have representation. 

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Student Loan Ranger: 2 Longstanding Programs That Still Help College Students

July 6, 2012

Last week, Congress struck a deal that keeps the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans at 3.4 percent for another year, leaving a long-term solution for another day.

At the Student Loan Ranger, we're glad to see any movement in Congress to help keep college costs down, so we'd be remiss in not also applauding the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for approving a fiscal year 2013 education budget that goes a long way in solving next year's Pell grant funding crisis.

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Delivering Justice in Rural California – Part One

July 3, 2012

This is the first in a series of blog posts about Equal Justice Works and the Justice Bus, a program of OneJustice in California.

One-third of low-income rural Californians need legal help to access life’s most basic needs — housing, access to benefits, and education.  A disparate number are elderly.  Located far from the legal hubs of San Francisco and Los Angeles where pro bono assistance might be available, in addition to significant legal needs, they face challenges such as lack of transportation, language barriers, and disabilities.  

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