Blog Archives for June 2013

Helping victims of military sexual trauma transition back into civilian life.

June 28, 2013

Fellow Friday – 2011 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Elly Kugler

Too often our servicemen and women are returning home from battle only to face new struggles, including mental and physical disabilities which create boundaries to smoothly transitioning into civilian life. Today we’d like to highlight the work of Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Alumna Elly Kugler, who served out her AmeriCorps project at the Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles and continues to work there today. Elly’s provided legal assistance and support to those dealing with mental health issues and physical disabilities caused by military sexual trauma (MST), defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs as “sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military.” What started out as an AmeriCorps service project has extended into a robust career for Elly.

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How the Government Calculates the Cost of Student Loans

June 27, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, the Student Loan Ranger detailed some of the proposals Congress is pondering to provide short- and long-term fixes to the imminent doubling of interest rates on subsidized federal direct loans. Part of that debate is data released last month by the Congressional Budget Office that shows a fiscal year 2013 "profit" of $50.6 billion for the Department of Education.

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Fellow Friday: 2011 Equal Justice Works Fellow Claire Blumenson

June 21, 2013

Working at the intersection of education and juvenile justice

Claire Nilsen Blumenson has always had an interest in public service, having been raised by a pair of public interest lawyers. After graduating from Wesleyan University, she served with Teach For America in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn at the Excellence Boys Charter School. “Being in the classroom gave me a clear understanding of how important education can be in shaping a young person's life,” she says. “However, it illuminated the challenges teachers and parents face when trying to advocate for children involved in the juvenile justice system. When young men are expelled from school and in trouble with the law, there is little educational recourse. Although I loved teaching, I decided to attend the University of Virginia Law School to pursue my interest in the intersection of education and juvenile justice.”

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Bankruptcy Case Offers Hope for Student Borrowers

June 20, 2013

A 10-year court battle waged by Michael Hedlund, a graduate of Willamette Law School, to discharge his student loans has recently ended with a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision partially discharging his loans.

Hedlund borrowed about $85,000 to get his undergraduate and law degrees, then failed the bar exam three times. He ultimately took a job as a juvenile counselor. At 33, married and with a child, he declared bankruptcy. His case has potentially large implications for borrowers.

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Fellow Friday: 2010 Equal Justice Works Fellow Todd Belcore

June 7, 2013

A dream career in public interest law takes shape

Todd Belcore began his Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2010 at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago. His project, sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, was devoted to litigating, organizing, educating, and crafting legislation to ensure that individuals with criminal records are not unjustly denied employment or occupational licenses. Throughout his Fellowship, Todd experienced many victories large and small including being named a White House Champion of Change in 2011. After completing his fellowship, Todd remained at his host organization, the Shriver Center, where he is now a staff attorney.  

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Examine Student Loan Proposals as Rates Set to Double

June 6, 2013

In a deja vu moment, the interest rates on subsidized Federal Direct loans are set to double on July 1 and Congress is scrambling to find a fix.

The Student Loan Ranger thinks there will be one – given the bipartisan recognition that it's an important issue – but the details will matter greatly for student loan borrowers. Here are the ins and outs of some of the proposals.

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