Friday, March 26, 2010

The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York

by Dan Soleimani

This summer, I’ll be interning with the Juvenile Rights Practice of The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York. My work this summer will be evenly distributed between two very different types of law: Juvenile Justice and Termination of Parental Rights. In working on juvenile justice cases, I will be the attorney assigned to representing juveniles accused of having committed crimes in New York City. Like any typical criminal defense attorney, I’ll be responsible for evaluating the government’s case against my client, investigating the facts of the alleged crime, and ultimately representing my client at trial in the Family Court of the NY Supreme Court (the trial court of the NY state court system). This will be a fantastic opportunity to practice my legal writing and litigation skills on a daily basis. I’ll be spending the other half of my summer representing individual juveniles in an entirely different context.
When a parent or guardian has neglected his/her legal duties to a juvenile, the government may choose to bring a civil action against that parent or guardian in order to terminate his/her parental rights, and remove the juvenile from that individual’s custody. New York is understandably concerned about the interests and well-being of the juvenile during this complicated and often heartrending process. As such, attorneys in The Legal Aid Society are assigned to represent the child’s interests during the investigation and prosecution of the government’s case against the child’s parent or guardian. I will be spending the other half of my summer representing children who have become ensnared in this unfortunate process. My role will not be to tell the juvenile whether they should stay with their parent (if the court allows it), or whether they should leave their childhood home and move in with a foster family. Instead, I will have the responsibility of being the child’s voice at the hearing, and expressing my client’s wishes and interests to the parties at bar.
Perhaps the most appealing dynamic of a summer internship with The Legal Aid Society is the opportunity to work in two very different fields of law. Although I’m committed to working on some sort of juvenile rights issue post-graduation, I still haven’t settled on a particular field of law. I’m confident that this internship will expose me to a wide range of juvenile rights issues, and will help me further hone my interests. Also, the internship will give me a fantastic opportunity to develop my litigation skills. Both components of the internship will allow be to be in and out of court, in hearings and trials, almost every single day this summer. However, since the position is unpaid, there is no way I could have accepted this unbelievable opportunity without my EJF summer funding.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Northwest Defenders Association, Seattle, WA

By Samual Eilers

I am a 2L at Georgetown University Law Center. I came to law school specifically to become a criminal defense attorney. This Summer (Summer 2010) I will be interning with the Northwest Defenders Association (NDA) in Seattle, Washington. NDA is a private, non-profit organization committed to equal justice and the defense of individual liberty. Its attorneys and staff represent clients in criminal and civil proceedings and work to improve the justice system. With investigators, paralegals and social workers, the attorneys defend adults and juveniles against criminal charges in King County Superior Court, King County District Court, and Seattle Municipal Court. NDA attorneys also represent parents and children in Dependency proceedings and respondents answering Contempt petitions.

I will have a limited license to practice law under the Washington Admission to Practice Rules (APR 9). Rule 9 Interns are supervised by an experienced NDA attorney. My supervising attorney will be Dave Roberson (L’91, Georgetown), who is the Deputy Director of NDA. At the beginning of my internship, I will undergo an intensive, week-long criminal law and procedure review, along with extensive trial advocacy training. Then, as an APR 9 intern in the District Court Unit, I will be fully responsible for the representation of adult clients charged with misdemeanors, including arraignment, investigation, interviews, motions, bench and petit jury trials, and sentencing. I will also have the opportunity to represent juveniles charged with misdemeanors and to second-chair felony trials. Finally, I will assist Felony Unit and Dependency Unit attorneys with various legal research and writing assignments.

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Day for Justice 2010

Participate in our One Day for Justice Program by pledging one day's salary for public interest. To participate please fill out a form for current students or graduating students and return it to EJF.

EJF Recipients - ask your friends with paying jobs to donate One Day for Justice!

Equal Justice Foundation

EJF's Live Auction took place January 29, 2015 in Hart Auditorium and was a HUGE SUCCESS. Check the Facebook page for updates about other ways to help fund public interest activities for Summer 2015