Blog Archives for July 2013

Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Antoinette Balta is Serving Veterans through Legal Aid

July 26, 2013

AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Antoinette Balta, at the Public Law Center (PLC) in Santa Ana, California, led the design and implementation of the PLC Veterans Project known as Operation Veterans Re-Entry. Within Orange County, there are few legal resources for veterans, making PLC’s work essential to help veterans within the area.

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Report Reveals Student Loans, College Aid on the Rise

July 25, 2013

The report "The Condition of Education 2013," recently released by the Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics, is a fascinating, if daunting, statistical deep dive into every aspect of secondary and postsecondary education in the United States.

Because it's the Student Loan Ranger's focus, we'll talk about the postsecondary side as it relates to student debt. But the whole report is worth downloading.

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In Memoriam: Greenberg Traurig Equal Justice Works Fellows Remember Holly Skolnick

July 23, 2013

Last month, Equal Justice Works received sad news from Greenberg Traurig: Holly Skolnick passed away.  Holly was a champion for Equal Justice Works at Greenberg, serving on our Board of Directors and running the Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation.  Since 1999, she advocated tirelessly for Equal Justice Works and the Greenberg Fellows, ultimately making possible the fellowships of 120 Greenberg Traurig Equal Justice Works Fellows. David Stern writes, “She loved this organization and her Fellows.  It was a personal and professional privilege to work with Holly.”  We will miss her. 

Below, please find thoughts and remembrances from many Equal Justice Works Fellows who worked with Holly. Please feel free to share your memories of Holly in the comments section below.

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Public Defender Corps Member Kate Benward works to ensure immigrants’ right to defense.

July 19, 2013

All year we have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the landmark case of Gideon v. Wainwright, and most recently, we’ve been excited to see the documentary Gideon’s Army, featuring our partners at Gideon’s Promise (formerly the Southern Public Defender Training Center)Equal Justice Works partnered with Gideon’s Promise in 2011 to start Public Defender Corps—a three year fellowship that places attorneys in public defender offices in high-need areas. The members began their Fellowship in an intensive “boot camp” training at Gideon’s Promise before starting their public defense jobs in Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia, and West Virginia. They receive ongoing funding, training and mentoring throughout their three-year fellowship.

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Student Loan Fixes Could Go Beyond Interest Rates

July 18, 2013

Lawmakers in Congress remain all heated up about the July 1 doubling of federal direct subsidized loan interest rates with, as Politico reports, members of both parties using the now outdated #DontDoubleMyRate hashtag on Twitter. (The Student Loan Ranger is trying to get some traction for the more accurate #UndoubleMyRate.)

With both parties ardently seeking a solution with a few weeks to go before students return to school and start taking out loans, we remain convinced a fix that will be retroactive to July 1 is in the offing. The only question is whether it will be a one- to two-year extension of the 3.4 percent rate or a longer-term fix based on market rates.

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Fellow Friday: Restoring Civil Rights in Virginia

July 12, 2013

 2011 Equal Justice Works Fellow Richael Faithful

There are only four states in the U.S. which automatically take away a person’s civil rights when they are convicted of a felony: Kentucky, Florida, Iowa, and Virginia. Even though a person has served their sentence and re-entered the community—living, working, and paying taxes—they have lost their right to vote, hold office, serve on a jury, or become a notary. In Virginia, a person can directly petition the governor to have his rights restored, but the path to rights restoration is long and arduous. 2011 Equal Justice Works Fellow Richael Faithful saw this challenge and decided to meet it head-on, by designing her project to change complicated rights restoration laws in Virginia.

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Explore the Parent Direct Plus Loan Paradox

July 11, 2013

Federal Direct Plus loans for parents are a paradox. On one hand, college tuition continues to rise far faster than the rate of inflation, and federal aid – from Pell Grants to work-study to capped undergraduate student loans – is failing to keep pace.

This makes parents' ability to take out Direct Plus loans that can cover up to the remaining cost of attendance a vital part of ensuring their children have access to a college education.

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Examine Budget Proposals' Impact on Student Loans

July 3, 2013

Back in April, we took a look at the president's Read More

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