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2018 Summer Forum: Photos

2018 Summer Forum: Photos

Yesterday we held our annual Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum, featuring a discussion with ACLU National Legal Director David Cole and breakout panels on different types of pro bono and public-interest practice. More soon, but here are a few photos from the event. (more…)
Summer Forum Preview: There Is Always A Need To Protect Civil Rights And Civil Liberties.

Summer Forum Preview: There is always a need to protect civil rights and civil liberties.

By Christina Jackson In today's political climate, it is vital for individuals to have access to legal advice in order to protect their basic civil rights and civil liberties. This year at the Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum, we'll discuss how to think creatively and devise alternative ways to achieve the goals of a civil rights lawyer and protect those rights. Our esteemed panel includes: Brandy Wagstaff (U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division) (moderator) Brandy Wagstaff is currently serving as Legal Counsel for Litigation in the Criminal Section's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU) at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. In this capacity, she provides legal and strategic analysis in support of HTPU-led enforcement activities and initiatives. Prior to joining the HTPU, Brandy served as an Attorney with the Civil Rights Division's Disability Rights Section, where she engaged in litigation and developed regulations to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act. Brandy is also an adjunct professor who teaches courses in legal writing, appellate advocacy, and disability law at George Mason University School of Law (GMU). She previously served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Alan Kay on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Sasha Buchert (Lambda Legal) Sasha is a Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal working in their new Washington D.C. office. Before joining Lambda Legal, Sasha served as Staff Attorney and Policy Counsel at Transgender Law Center where she engaged in litigation and policy advocacy that was focused on helping transgender and gender-nonconforming people find meaningful employment, obtain competent health care coverage and secure accurate identity documents. Before joining Transgender Law Center, Sasha worked for Basic Rights Oregon, the largest LGBT rights advocacy organization in the state. Sasha was the first openly transgender person to be appointed to an Oregon state board, and from 2012-13, she served as the chair of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board. Kelly Dunbar (Wilmer Hale) Kelly is a leader of Wilmer Hale's Administrative Law Group and focuses his practice on government and regulatory litigation, administrative rulemakings, and appellate matters. Kelly also has a robust pro bono practice. He successfully represented Norman Brown, a prisoner sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for drug crimes in his early 20s, in his clemency efforts. President Obama commuted Mr. Brown's sentence after more than 20 years in prison. He currently represents an inmate serving a more than 40-year sentence in seeking sentence modification; seven public health organization and individual pediatricians in suing the FDA under the Administrative Procedure Act; and the D.C. public charter schools in litigation relating to equal funding requirements under the School Reform Act. Jonathan Smith (Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs) Jonathan became Executive Director of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on July 1, 2016. Immediately prior to joining the Committee, Jonathan was the Associate Dean of Experiential and Clinical Programs at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Previously, Jonathan served as the Chief of the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Jonathan has an extensive career in civil legal services prior to his government services. He was Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and the D.C. Prisoners' Legal Services Project. Hassan Zavareei (Tycko & Zavareei LLP) In April of 2002, Hassan founded Tycko & Zavareei LLP with his partner, Jonathan Tycko.  Prior to joining the firm, Hassan was in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Although he is a general litigator, Hassan devotes most of his practice to class action litigation. While at Gibson Dunn, Hassan managed the defense of a nationwide class action brought against a major insurance carrier. In recent years, Hassan's class action practice has focused on the representation of plaintiffs in consumer fraud cases, primarily relating to the financial services industry. In his civil rights practice, Hassan has represented individuals, groups of employees, and tenant associations in employment and fair housing litigation. Hear these panelists, along with keynote remarks by ACLU Legal Director David Cole, at the Summer Forum on Wednesday, June 13, from noon to 2:30 at Georgetown Law. Christina Jackson is the Deputy Director of Washington Council of Lawyers.

Summer Forum Preview: Endless Chances To Practice Poverty Law

Summer Forum Preview: Endless chances to practice poverty law

By Alexis Applegate Many students go to law school to help people in their communities, and many of those decide to practice poverty law. This year at the Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum, we'll examine how that passion to help people intersects with issues affecting low-income residents of Washington, DC. (more…)
Summer Forum Preview: Suing The Federal Government

Summer Forum Preview: Suing the Federal Government

By Karly Satowiak This year at the Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum, we're adding a new panel in response to the current political climate. Our panelists will discuss how various sectors have come together to hold the federal government accountable, the diverse ways that they are challenging federal policies, and the role that the private sector plays in this work. (more…)
Summer Forum Preview: Justice For Immigrants

Summer Forum Preview: Justice for Immigrants

By Emily Batt At our 2018 Summer Pro Bono and Public Interest Forum, the Immigration and Human Rights panel will discuss the work on the ground done by immigrant-rights organizations both in the District and around the country. During this especially timely panel, we'll discuss the current state of immigration advocacy under the Trump administration, as well as guidance for law students and new lawyers on breaking into immigration law and the practical realities of working at a nonprofit immigration organization. (more…)
Summer Forum Preview: Criminal Justice And Mental Health

Summer Forum Preview: Criminal Justice and Mental Health

By Nicole Foster People with mental-health disorders and substance-abuse disorders are overrepresented in the criminal-justice system. A recent study by the Vera Institute shows that 14.5% of incarcerated men and 31% of incarcerated women have a serious mental illness, compared with only 5% of the general population. This data illustrates the need for more lawyers with the skills, training, and resources to effectively represent indigent criminal defendants with mental-health disorders. (more…)
Summer Forum Preview: Pro Bono Is For Non-Litigators, Too

Summer Forum Preview: Pro bono Is for Non-Litigators, Too

By Christina Jackson Many people (and many TV shows) think of lawyers as fiery litigators who perform in courtrooms. Most lawyers know that the profession is more diverse, but when it comes to pro bono cases, all too many lawyers still think of litigation first. But there’s plenty of rewarding pro bono work to be done by non-litigators as well. (more…)
Dinner & Discussion With Peter Edelman (2018)

Dinner & Discussion with Peter Edelman (2018)

By Anne King In his latest book, Georgetown Law's Peter Edelman highlights several ways in which the government treats poverty like a criminal offense. At our recent Dinner and Discussion, Peter joined us to discuss that book, Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America, and also offered advice on public-interest lawyering. (more…)
Free To Ride: Transportation As A Civil-Rights Issue

Free to Ride: Transportation as a Civil-Rights Issue

By Alexis Applegate When someone mentions the Civil Rights Movement, what comes to mind first? For many of us, it’s Rosa Parks’s stand on a bus, which sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and galvanized the broader effort. Yet few of us think about transportation as a civil-rights issue. (more…)
Bread For The City Breaks Ground In Southeast DC

Bread for the City Breaks Ground in Southeast DC

Exciting news from Bread for the City -- the organization has begun construction on a 30,000 square-foot facility on Good Hope Road, more than tripling their footprint in Southeast! The new Southeast Center will provide a variety of new and enhanced services, including primary health care, vision, and dental services; a wellness center; and even a vegetable garden on the roof. The new facility will also feature an expanded jobs center, which will provide job seekers with a new classroom, computer lab, and training space, in addition to offering counseling, mentorship, and long-term support. Bread for the City hopes to open the new and improved Southeast Center in 2020. In the meantime, they plan to continue providing Southeast residents with legal, employment, and social services. Read more about this exciting development in Anacostia here!