Blog Archives for February 2014

Mobile legal clinics provide much-needed legal services to children and families in DC

February 28, 2014

Even before law school, Taylor Healy knew she wanted to be a public interest lawyer.  After graduating, she was awarded the Polikoff-Gautreaux Fellowship at Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) in Chicago, where she focused on public housing redevelopment and affordable housing policy at the city level.  

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Equal Justice Works Fellow Helps Free Innocent Man

February 25, 2014

Baltimore Man Released after Spending 20 Years in Prison for a Murder he Did Not Commit

On Friday, Sabein Burgess became a free man after spending nearly 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Mr. Burgess was a client of Steptoe & Johnson LLP and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP), the host organization of Equal Justice Works alumna Susan Friedman. Susan a 2011 Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, worked on Mr. Burgess’s case two years, and continued to work on his behalf even after her fellowship ended and she moved to New York.

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Navigating a complex system for returning veterans in Washington State

February 21, 2014

Northwest Justice Project (NJP) in Washington State has been a host site for Equal Justice Works Fellows and AmeriCorps Legal Fellows for many years.  Many of these Fellows have focused on veterans’ rights, to address the needs of the more than 600,000 veterans in Washington.  When these veterans return home, they are faced with the overwhelming task of navigating many separate programs or benefits, each with its own eligibility criteria (source), and all while trying to adjust to civilian life.  Washington has a great need for lawyers to help veterans understand their rights and navigate benefits they may be eligible for, and NJP is making great strides to fill that need.  In the 2013 class of the Veterans Legal Corps—a recent initiative of Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps—Michelle Miller is working with NJP and other community leaders to help facilitate the set-up a Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) in Snohomish County, Washington.  Michelle says there is so much community support and good will surrounding the creation of the VTC, and as a veteran of the US Air Force herself, Michelle is deeply connected to this cause. 

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Introducing the Student Borrowers’ Bill of Rights!

February 19, 2014

Equal Justice Works has been working with the office of Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) on a comprehensive bill of rights for student loan borrowers intended to help ensure America's higher education system remains a force for social mobility and shared prosperity. And just last month, H.R. 3892, The Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights was introduced.

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2012 Fellow Stephanie Akpa Helps DC Residents Access Health Care

February 14, 2014

This week, the staff at Equal Justice Works were treated to a presentation by 2012 Fellow Stephanie Akpa, who works at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and is sponsored by the Norflet Progress Fund.  Stephanie’s project, Health Care Access for African Americans, addresses the disproportionately negative health outcomes for African Americans living in DC.  She addresses this issue through direct representation, education and outreach, and advocacy.

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Esha Bhandari Continues to have an Impact on Immigrant Rights – from Fellowship Project to Law Career

February 7, 2014

Esha Bhandari is an Equal Justice Works alumna from the class of 2011.  Her fellowship project at the ACLU in New York City focused on immigrants’ rights, a topic that was near and dear to her heart.  The daughter of immigrant parents, Esha has always been passionate about immigrants’ rights.  She worked on immigration throughout law school and was an extern for one summer at the Legal Resources Center in Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked with refugees and asylees who had fled very difficult circumstances.  They faced many legal and other hurdles integrating into life in South Africa, but Esha was moved by their “dedication and commitment to building new lives in the face of hardship.”  She was excited to develop her fellowship project at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project after this experience, and found it “immensely gratifying to fight for the rights of immigrants and know I am a small part of helping them achieve their dreams.”

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