Wednesday, April 14, 2010

National Council on Aging, Washington, D.C.

by Dave Goldstein

At the end of May, I will begin an internship at the National Council on Aging, a non-profit service and advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. Some of NCOA’s main advocacy efforts are aimed at promoting policies that will improve life-long health and economic security for older Americans. Among the many ways that NCOA works toward bringing about these policy changes are collaboration with organization across multiple sectors and grassroots work that lets individuals voice their concerns to a national audience, including the government. At NCOA, I will be working on public policy and advocacy issues relating to health care, an area in which I have a bit of experience, and a great deal of interest in.

This is a particularly exciting time to work on public policy issues for NCOA because of the recent passage of health care reform by Congress. I think that my work will be very relevant and helpful to people who are struggling to find out what health care reform means for them. One of NCOA’s major projects in the coming months will be reviewing the changes made to health care laws and determining what effect these changes will have on the benefits that millions of older Americans receive every year. In helping to research and identify these changes, I hope to contribute to people’s understanding of the benefits they are entitled to and the standards that employers, and all levels of government will be held to.

Interning at NCOA will provide me with an excellent opportunity to gain experience in an organization where the legal and political worlds intersect. During my internship, I will have the opportunity to attend congressional hearings and represent NCOA at forums throughout the city. Additionally, I will have a personal summer-long project assigned to me once my internship start. While interning, I hope to learn skills that will help me both scholastically and professionally. However, it is equally important to me that my work benefits the lives of the people NCOA serves.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Los Angeles County Public Defenders

by Tyler Press

This summer I will be working for the Los Angeles County Public Defenders. I will be splitting the summer between two offices, one of which will be a juvenile office. I will shadow a public defender and assisting with research, and help write pre-trial motions and sentencing memorandums. I will have direct contact with clients, and will sit in on hearings. The public defenders office provides an invaluable service for members of the public who are accused of a crime but cannot afford a private attorney. I have always thought that the public defenders are the people who maintain balance and integrity within the legal system, and this semester taking Criminal Procedure
has only reinforced these feelings.

Since my long term career goals are to stay in the public sector, I wanted to work at the public defenders office because I will get a real ground level experience in all aspects of criminal procedure and litigation. While the work done by public defenders is often some of the most difficult work, I hope that it will be a rewarding experience on which to build a career in the public sector.

This March the LA County courts announced that due to mounting budget pressure, fifteen courts are being closed, with up to 50 courts to be closed by September. Up to 20% of employees will also be cut this year. This is going to put enormous stress on the remaining employees of the system, as well as slow the docket of the courts substantially. While criminal trials will be given priority due to the right to a speedy trial, wait times will be much longer for those with civil, family, juvenile and traffic cases. Now more than ever the work of the public defenders will be essential to maintaining a semblance of justice in the criminal defense system. In the face of a troubling time, this summer I will not only be getting a first hand look into the criminal justice system, but also to the wide-sweeping changes that are occurring during the recession.

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