Thank You And Good Luck To Our Summer Intern Lydia Kotowski

Thank you and good luck to our summer intern Lydia Kotowski

While the summer isn't technically over, we do say good-bye to our summer intern Lydia Kotowski this week. She has been a wonderful addition to our team and has brought a new perspective to our work. We are exceedingly grateful for all the ways Lydia has helped move our mission forward this summer. Thank you, Lydia! We asked Lydia to share a bit about herself and her plans for the future. Lydia is a rising-senior in the Ball State University Honors College with a major in political science, a second, self-designed major in health policy, and a minor in economics. During her undergraduate career, Lydia has been named a finalist for the 2019 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a 2019 recipient of the Leadership Scholars Award through The Fund for American Studies, held several officer and leadership positions in the Student Honors Council, and co-led a 15-credit hour, full semester, immersive learning project with an honors college professor through the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Lydia also served a one-year term as a student representative for the Mid-East Honors Association Executive Council and completed three Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowships. Through these fellowships, Lydia conducted research and edited for a book by Dr. Darren Wheeler entitled, Congress and the War on Terror: Making Policy for the Long Run, co-authored an article about terrorism policy under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, and co-authored several articles with Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani about health policy topics including global health spending, electronic health records, syringe exchange programs, and teen dating violence. All articles are under peer-review currently. In the Muncie community, Lydia has taken on a very active role. Starting in January 2018, she helped pilot weekly lessons at the Ross Community Center through the Student Honors Council. Most notably, Lydia and an honors college professor, Dr. Jason Powell, started a nonprofit in December 2018. This nonprofit, called Beneficence Family Scholars, Inc., an affiliate of Family Scholar House, strives to help single-parent families overcome the cycle of poverty in Delaware County, IN community by empowering families to achieve long-term growth and stability through education and comprehensive support.  The organization had its official launch on April 26th, 2019, and has started to provide assistance to qualifying families in Delaware County. Lydia currently serves as both President and Chief Possibility Officer. To learn more, visit Looking to the future, Lydia plans to complete a joint program and earn both MPH (Master of Public Health) and JD degrees. With this background, Lydia hopes to be able to promote positive change surrounding health policy at both the state and national level. We have been very fortunate to have Lydia's ingenuity and talent hard at work for us this summer. We wish Lydia good fortune as she pursues her future goals.

A Conversation With Justice Elena Kagan And Dean William Treanor (July 18, 2019)

A Conversation with Justice Elena Kagan and Dean William Treanor (July 18, 2019)

Washington Council of Lawyers was honored to host A Conversation with Justice Elena Kagan and Dean William Treanor of Georgetown University Law Center on Thursday, July 18, 2019.  The conversation began with a discussion about the career of the late Justice John Paul Stevens, whose seat Justice Kagan filled after Justice Stevens retired. Justice Kagan praised Justice Stevens both in his role as a Supreme Court Justice and as an extraordinarily kind man and mentor.  Speaking to an audience largely comprised of law school students, public-interest lawyers, and pro bono advocates, Justice Kagan commented on Justice Steven’s commitment to continued learning on the job and his fierce independence. The afternoon’s conversation ranged from discussions about Justice Kagan’s opinions during the Court’s most recent term to the roles of stare decisis and dissenting opinions on today’s Court.  She also gave insight into how she works with her colleagues and law clerks when writing her opinions. The afternoon wrapped up with a question and answer session, where one of the students from George Washington University asked about the Court’s recent decision in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, a recent patent opinion concerning the development of a Spiderman toy, which considered the role of stare decisis in the applicable patent laws.  Referencing her opinion, which cited to a Spiderman comic book, Justice Kagan reminded the audience “[I]n this world, with great power there must also come—great responsibility.” The full video of the conversation can be found on C-SPAN.  And a collection of news clips about the afternoon can be found at the links below: A Conversation with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan: John Paul Stevens, Gerrymandering, Writing and More (Georgetown Law) Kagan Rallies Gerrymandering Foes To 'Go For It — Because You're Right' (National Law Journal) Justice Kagan discusses Justice Stevens' legacy and more (SCOTUSblog) Kagan Says She Didn't 'Pull Punches' in Gerrymandering Dissent (Bloomberg Law) Justice Elena Kagan Uses Spiderman to warn of Supreme Court's "great responsibility" to follow precedent (CNN) Elena Kagan says she'll "never" accept partisan gerrymandering decision (CBS News) Kagan: I will "never accept" Supreme Court's ruling on partisan gerrymandering (The Hill) Justice Elena Kagan encourages gerrymandering protesters: 'Carry On the Efforts' (Washington Times) Kagan Says Colleagues 'Immodest' In Ignoring Precedent (Law 360) Elena Kagan Says She'll Never Accept Supreme Court's Partisan Gerrymandering Decision (Huffington Post) Justice Kagan Is Supere Peeved Her Colleagues On The Supreme Court No Longer Care About Precedent (Above the Law) Elena Kagan: I will Never Accept Supreme Court's Gerrymandering Decision (Law and Crime) Elena Kagan: 'No Part of Me' Will Accept Gerrymandering Decision (Newsmax)  

2019 Summer Forum Preview: Pro Bono To Aid People Who Experience Poverty

2019 Summer Forum Preview: Pro Bono to Aid People Who Experience Poverty

Individuals living at or below the federal poverty level can encounter all manner of legal issues and are least likely to be able to afford legal representation. Lawyers practicing in this area must have a wide array of tools in their kit and an ability to meet a variety of challenges. The Poverty Law panel will explore the myriad ways lawyers help low-income residents including court matters with issues of housing, family, and consumer law; transactional matters such as public benefits; and policy work to ensure the defense and safeguarding of everyone’s rights regardless of position or power. #SumFo19
D.C. Council Helps Low-Income Workers Keep More Of Their Money

D.C. Council Helps Low-Income Workers Keep More of Their Money

Introduced by Council member Elissa Silverman, the Wage Garnishment Fairness Amendment Act of 2018 protects from garnishment weekly wages up to 40 times the District’s minimum wage (currently $13.25 per hour, and rising in July to $14 per hour). The law’s effective date is April 11, 2019, and its protections will likely begin to apply on October 1, when the District’s new fiscal year begins.
2019 Summer Forum Preview: Immigration And Human Rights

2019 Summer Forum Preview: Immigration and Human Rights

Over the past few years, immigration has become one of the hottest pro bono and public-interest fields. At our 2019 Summer Forum, the Immigration and Human Rights panel will discuss the ways that immigrant-rights organizations are working to protect the rights of immigrants and promote access to justice both in the District and around the country. #SumFo19
2019 Summer Forum Preview: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Panel

2019 Summer Forum Preview: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Panel

Being an attorney in the District gives you a myriad of opportunities to work on civil rights and civil liberties issues. DC or federal work, litigation or policy, career or pro bono. Come to the Summer Pro Bono & Public-Interest Forum’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties panel to learn how to defend these liberties. #SumFo19