MLaw Public Interest Community

MLaw Public Interest Community Connecting with Michigan Law's thriving community of alumni, students, and faculty who are committed to using law as a tool for justice.

Operating as usual

Students, please join the MLaw Public Interest Community and Professor Mike Steinberg for our annual Public Interest Kic...
09/02/2020

Students, please join the MLaw Public Interest Community and Professor Mike Steinberg for our annual Public Interest Kickoff on Wednesday, September 9, from 8-9 pm EST. This year's celebration will be a virtual event and we are thrilled to host three exceptional public interest lawyers: Marbre Stahly-Butts (Executive Director of Law for Black Lives), Chase Strangio (Deputy Director for Trans Justice with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project), and Tiffany Cabán (former public defender and DA candidate, now political organizer). The event will feature a conversation between Professor Steinberg and our three guests, followed by breakout sessions with each speaker so that students can ask questions and network in smaller groups. Although we will miss gathering around Professor Steinberg's backyard bonfire this year, we hope this event will provide you with the same inspiration and feeling of community!

All students are welcome. Please RSVP in Symplicity by going to the Events tab and selecting the "Workshop" you wish to attend. Please RSVP by September 9th at 3 pm EST -- the Zoom links to the group conversation and individual breakout rooms will ONLY be sent to students who RSVP by the deadline.

Wonderful profile and conversation with our alum, Kyla Moore ('16), about her impact as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. "...
08/26/2020
My Impact: A Conversation with 2016 Fellow Kyla Moore - Equal Justice Works

Wonderful profile and conversation with our alum, Kyla Moore ('16), about her impact as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. "This is a time to be more hopeful, because people are listening."

Kyla Moore, a 2016 Fellow and current pro bono specialist at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, discusses externships, choosing a host organization, and more.

06/01/2020
This is why our public interest community is so special. An incredible effort from rising 2L Maiya Moncino and our 200 o...
05/13/2020
Law School Students Form COVID-Fighting Pro Bono Group

This is why our public interest community is so special. An incredible effort from rising 2L Maiya Moncino and our 200 other volunteer law students!

If law students are looking for a way to help, consider this model.

Congratulations Ashleigh!!!Newly minted MLaw grads Taylor Jones and Ashleigh Pelto are recipients of a 2020 Equal Justic...
05/12/2020
Ashleigh Pelto - Equal Justice Works

Congratulations Ashleigh!!!

Newly minted MLaw grads Taylor Jones and Ashleigh Pelto are recipients of a 2020 Equal Justice Works Fellowship, one of the most prestigious and competitive post-graduate legal fellowships in the country. This year, 78 public interest lawyers were selected from over 432 applicants, with Taylor and Ashleigh being two of them. Taylor will be working with the National Center for Youth Law over the course of two years on a project addressing children and youth populations, and Ashleigh will be working with Domestic Violence Ended, Inc. on a project addressing human trafficking.

Equal Justice Works Fellow Ashleigh Pelto will provide immigration and criminal record relief services to human trafficking victims.

Congratulations Taylor!!!Newly minted MLaw grads Taylor Jones and Ashleigh Pelto are recipients of a 2020 Equal Justice ...
05/12/2020
Taylor Jones - Equal Justice Works

Congratulations Taylor!!!

Newly minted MLaw grads Taylor Jones and Ashleigh Pelto are recipients of a 2020 Equal Justice Works Fellowship, one of the most prestigious and competitive post-graduate legal fellowships in the country. This year, 78 public interest lawyers were selected from over 432 applicants, with Taylor and Ashleigh being two of them. Taylor will be working with the National Center for Youth Law over the course of two years on a project addressing children and youth populations, and Ashleigh will be working with Domestic Violence Ended, Inc. on a project addressing human trafficking.

Equal Justice Works Fellow Taylor Jones will work to support District of Columbia homeless youth in accessing an appropriate education.

04/21/2020

CALLING ALL ALUMNI AND STUDENTS: if you are doing any work directly related to the pandemic and/or the economic ramifications stemming from it, please email Lara ([email protected]). We would love to feature you in our next public interest newsletter. We keep hearing snippets of some of the incredible, inspiring, and critical work you're doing under very challenging circumstances, and we'd like to be able to highlight it for everyone.

04/21/2020

Congratulations to Anna Yaldo (Dec. '19) who was selected as a Gideon's Promise Fellow along with eleven other recipients nationwide. Gideon’s Promise trains public defense professionals to improve the quality of legal representation in communities across the nation. This program provides law students with the opportunity to begin their career as a public defender and criminal justice reformer on the front lines of the effort to realize equal justice in America. Congrats Anna!

We want to highlight our dual degree (MPH) student, Susan Fleurant, whose research and blog post on eviction record seal...
04/20/2020
COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard

We want to highlight our dual degree (MPH) student, Susan Fleurant, whose research and blog post on eviction record sealing was incorporated into the COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard, published today by Eviction Lab. Eviction Lab hopes that this tool can be used to highlight best practices and enable housing advocates to push for more legislative reform. Thank you Susan for your work on housing and health justice!

See how your state ranks in our nationwide scorecard of housing policies in response to COVID-19.

Congratulations to Professor Mike Steinberg and our students in the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative!
04/20/2020
Judge extends filing deadline for Michigan candidates, citing coronavirus

Congratulations to Professor Mike Steinberg and our students in the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative!

U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Berg ordered Michigan to extend Tuesday’s candidate filing deadline to May 8, halve signature requirements and provide candidates with an option to collect signatures electronically while social distancing.

04/04/2020
Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents

Attention alumni who are working towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): the Dept of Ed has put out guidance on how the loan suspension under the CARES Act will affect PSLF payments.

Notably: "If you have a Direct Loan, were on a qualifying repayment plan prior to the suspension, and work full-time for a qualifying employer during the suspension, then you will receive credit toward PSLF for the period of suspension as though you made on-time monthly payments."

If you have questions on your specific situation, we encourage you to reach out to our Financial Aid Office.

Find out what to do if you’re affected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Huge congrats to 3L Alex Moody who was just announced as an If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellow! Alex will be workin...
04/03/2020
Changing the Face of RJ Lawyering

Huge congrats to 3L Alex Moody who was just announced as an If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellow! Alex will be working with SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! in Atlanta, Georgia. Congratulations Alex!!!

Meet If/When/How's new cohort of reproductive justice fellows, kicking off their careers lawyering for reproductive justice from coast to coast.

Thank you to Sofia Valencia Nelson and our Michigan Law students who are working to save lives in Michigan.
04/01/2020

Thank you to Sofia Valencia Nelson and our Michigan Law students who are working to save lives in Michigan.

SADO Attorney Sofia Nelson is a warrior. Two weeks ago, she began leading a project to help reduce the Macomb County Jail Population. Sofia, along with other partners, will be filing over 100 motions to secure the immediate release of people serving jail sentences. Thus far, eight people have been released and we hope many more are to follow.

Thank you to the following partners: Tom Tomko, administrator of the Macomb County Public Defender Office, the Macomb County Criminal Defense Bar, the Detroit Justice Center, and law students from University of Michigan Law School and MSU College of Law.

The SFF Auction is now live! Please go bid and support our public interest students!
03/23/2020
University of Michigan Law School

The SFF Auction is now live! Please go bid and support our public interest students!

The #UMichLaw Student Funded Fellowships Auction is live! The silent auctions will go through 11:59 PM Thursday. There will also be secret items unlocked daily that will have a shorter bidding period. Some items are restricted to students only but many are open to alumni and the general public. Please consider bidding on items to support public interest law! https://sffauction2020.ggo.bid/

Yesterday, the Michigan Public Interest Community gathered to celebrate our first ever storytelling event, The Valiant. ...
03/11/2020

Yesterday, the Michigan Public Interest Community gathered to celebrate our first ever storytelling event, The Valiant. Four 3L students -- Brenna Twohy, Alex Gilewicz, Hetali Lodaya, Meredith Reynolds -- and Professor Mike Steinberg told exceptional stories that made us laugh, moved us, and left us feeling inspired. Thank you to our valiant storytellers and to the students and faculty who came to support them!

03/06/2020
Michigan Supreme Court

Yesterday, MLaw ('12) alum and SADO attorney Erin Van Campen argued on behalf of her client in the Michigan Supreme Court in a case that will decide who bears the burden of proof when the state seeks life without parole for a juvenile.

ICYMI: Watch video of MSC oral arguments in 154773 People of MI v Ihab Masalmani.

Open Door Legal is working to close the access to justice gap in San Francisco. Their goal: 100% of low-income city resi...
03/02/2020
Open Door Legal expands: Now nearly half of all low-income San Franciscans can access free legal help

Open Door Legal is working to close the access to justice gap in San Francisco. Their goal: 100% of low-income city residents having access to free civil legal aid and to become a model for national replication.

San Francisco – Open Door Legal (ODL), a San Francisco non-profit committed to building the nation’s first system of universal access to legal help, has opened two new offices in the Excelsior and …

Congratulations to our 3L and dual-degree student John Petoskey, who has been appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the ...
02/24/2020
Michigan Law Student Appointed to Governor’s Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice

Congratulations to our 3L and dual-degree student John Petoskey, who has been appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice! Johnny will be one of 21 Michiganders chosen to provide public and impacted community input on statewide environmental issues as part of a brand new initiative.

Michigan Law 3L and dual-degree student John Petoskey was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice. The cohort of 21 Michiganders were selected to provide "public and impacted community input" on statewide environmental issues, a first-of-its-kind....

HUGE congratulations to our 3L, Lauren Schusterman, who has been selected as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Justice Fe...
02/21/2020
Lauren Schusterman — Immigrant Justice Corps

HUGE congratulations to our 3L, Lauren Schusterman, who has been selected as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Justice Fellow for their 2020 class! Lauren will be working at Make the Road New Jersey, where she will represent immigrants on a wide range of affirmative and defensive cases for immigration relief.

More about Lauren: After working with refugees and asylees at the International Rescue Committee, Lauren decided to attend law school in order to gain the skills necessary to address the complex legal issues and systemic barriers her clients faced. Throughout law school she continued to advocate for immigrants through working with IRAP, the Legal Aid Society, UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, and the Michigan Law Human Trafficking Clinic. Some other fun facts about Lauren: she's an international bronze medalist in table tennis and once trekked to Everest Base Camp.

More about IJC: IJC is the country’s first fellowship program dedicated to meeting immigrants’ needs for high-quality legal assistance. Fellows serve for two years as staff attorneys at strategically-selected legal services agencies and community-based organizations across the country, providing legal assistance to low-income immigrants in an array of immigration matters including deportation defense and affirmative applications for those fleeing persecution.

University of Michigan Law School

On March 10th, join the Michigan Law Public Interest Community for our first-ever storytelling event. Four brave 3Ls (He...
02/20/2020

On March 10th, join the Michigan Law Public Interest Community for our first-ever storytelling event. Four brave 3Ls (Hetali Lodaya, Brenna Twohy, Alex Gilewicz, Meredith Reynolds) will tell stories related to our theme for the evening -- Taking a Stand -- followed by a bonus performance by Professor Mike Steinberg. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP on Symplicity as space is limited.

Last Thursday, we were thrilled to welcome back our alum, Azadeh Shahshahani (Legal & Advocacy Director of Project South...
02/19/2020

Last Thursday, we were thrilled to welcome back our alum, Azadeh Shahshahani (Legal & Advocacy Director of Project South), for our annual Inspiring Paths dinner! Azadeh's main message to our students: discover the issues your passionate about, find your community, and blaze your path.

From the archives! MLaw Public Interest Kickoff in 2012. Kylee went on to become a family defense attorney and Alisa is ...
02/01/2020

From the archives! MLaw Public Interest Kickoff in 2012. Kylee went on to become a family defense attorney and Alisa is a clinical professor in immigration law. And of course, Lara is now the Public Interest Director and Mike has come to MLaw from the ACLU and created the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative which started this year!

Congratulations to John He ('18) who was recently announced as a 2020 Skadden Fellow! John will start as a fellow at the...
12/21/2019

Congratulations to John He ('18) who was recently announced as a 2020 Skadden Fellow! John will start as a fellow at the Public Justice Foundation next fall, where his project aims to combat the imposition and collection of excessive criminal justice fines and fees through legal outreach, impact litigation, and advocacy. John is currently completing a clerkship for Judge Sidney H. Stein in SDNY following his clerkship for Judge Marsha S. Berzon on the Ninth Circuit. As a student, John was heavily involved at the law school: he was president of APALSA, volunteered for the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, served as editor-in-chief for Law Review, and competed in Campbell Moot Court. As a 3L, John was awarded the Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship, which is given to outstanding seniors with a promise of a distinguished career. We wish him the best for his fellowship and beyond!

12/20/2019
Michigan Law School on Twitter

Congrats to our Dec. '19 grads and our last-ever summer starter class! For today, goodbye. For tomorrow, good luck. And forever, GO BLUE!

“To commemorate our final Summer Start class, we felt it necessary to raise a banner to the rafters and honor all of the Summer Starters who have graduated from #UMichLaw and celebrate their unique place in our school’s history #umlawgrad https://t.co/6JR4uVyZ1q”

Seth Buchsbaum (J.D. ‘16, M.S. ‘17, B.S. ‘11) holding court and talking to students about life as a young environmental ...
11/26/2019

Seth Buchsbaum (J.D. ‘16, M.S. ‘17, B.S. ‘11) holding court and talking to students about life as a young environmental attorney. A chance for a sighting at that rare animal, the triple Wolverine!

"Clients can expect they will get innovative, holistic representation," Managing Director Chantá Parker tells Detroit Ne...
11/23/2019
Finley: Wayne County acts to assure equal justice for poor

"Clients can expect they will get innovative, holistic representation," Managing Director Chantá Parker tells Detroit News as NDS Detroit opens. "We want to understand who you are and what brought you into the system in the first place."

"The goal is to end a two-tiered justice system in Wayne County, one in which the poor are far more likely to end up behind bars."

11/18/2019

Interested in building a legal career where you can fight against gender-based violence, whether in civil legal services, impact litigation, or criminal work?

Join MLaw's Gender Violence Project for its annual "Working Against Gender-Based Violence" Networking event on Thursday, November 21 from 7 to 9 pm in Jeffries Hall 1070!

This event will take place in a deconstructed panel format. Panelists will remain stationary and groups of students will rotate between panelists at specific intervals.

You can RSVP here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdpXjOLktYW0er6KX0YrCy5e-0cqAI1XGdp9Im22m0uBrdUYA/viewform. Please let them know about your dietary, childcare, and accommodation preferences here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdOQ_pWC75sQgoE-CKhVHg_Nui-AUo8Ly--LOXUlb2K0XAjqA/viewform.

Dress is business casual! Dinner will be served! Free childcare will be available!

11/13/2019

Students at the University of Michigan Law School are working to launch Poverty and the Law, a new online poverty law resource for lawyers, students, and activists. The student board is currently soliciting feedback from legal practitioners to get a sense of what would be most useful in this resource.

They have created a short survey to collect feedback: https://forms.gle/zDxJfdQJcdSZzPbA8

They would appreciate responses to the survey and would be grateful if you would share this email with colleagues and others in your network.

Please contact the Poverty and the Law board at [email protected] with any questions or comments. They thank you for your time and feedback. They look forward to building this community with you.

For the fourth year in a row, Michigan Law was honored to host the Peggy Browning Fund’s panel and networking event on A...
10/30/2019

For the fourth year in a row, Michigan Law was honored to host the Peggy Browning Fund’s panel and networking event on Advocating for Workplace Justice today. Many thanks to our panelists, James Britton from the UAW, Renee McKinney from the National Labor Relations Board, Tony Paris from Sugar Law, and Carla Blakey from Legghio Israel! Applications for Peggy Browning Fellows for Summer 2020 will open in December with a January 17th deadline.

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