Social Justice Monday: Law Students Improving Access to Justice through the use of Technology, Design, and Collaboration

Social Justice Monday: Law Students Improving Access to Justice through the use of Technology, Design, and Collaboration

November 14, 2016

In the United States, approximately 80 percent of the serious civil legal needs of low-income people are unmet, disproportionately affecting poor communities of color and other marginalized groups. In addition, legal aid is under-resourced and underfunded, resulting in a situation where even people that are able to qualify for representation through a legal aid organization are not getting assistance.

Can the use of technology, human-centered design, and innovative collaborations increase the capability of the civil legal services community to meet the legal needs of poor persons in this country? How can law students learn to use and deploy technology in a meaningful way to close our legal access gap and ensure justice?

This Social Justice Monday featured a group of legal innovators who discussed the challenges in our civil justice system and the need for future lawyers to leverage technology to allow the legal expertise of one lawyer to reach hundreds – or even thousands – of clients at once, wherever possible. The panelists also discussed the ATJ Tech Fellows Program—a national program to educate law students in the use of technology to improve legal service delivery.

Panelists included:

Brian Rowe, Program Manager, Legal Services Technology Assistance Project at Northwest Justice Project. Brian, a lawyer and techie, manages the National Technology Assistance Project and teaches at the University of Washington and Seattle University. Brian lectures on Privacy Law, Cyborg Rights, Ethics, Copyright and Information Policy. Find him online at Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @sarterus.

Destinee Evers, 1L, Seattle U School of Law. Destinee serves on advisory committees for the KCBA and WSBA, including the Access to Justice Board’s Technology Committee, and is the program coordinator for ATJ Tech Fellows. Prior to law school, Destinee spent six years as a civil litigation paralegal with a focus on complex-asset divorce litigation.

Miguel Willis, 3L, Seattle U School of Law. Last year, Miguel organized Seattle U’s first ever Social Justice Hackathon, and the recent TeamChild Hack, collaborative events bringing the legal community together with technologists to build innovative technologies to tackle long-standing problems. Additionally, he serves as the founder and Program Director for ATJ Tech Fellows.

Interested in learning more? Here are related books from the Law Library:

reinventing-the-practice-of-lawReinventing the Practice of Law: Emerging Models to Enhance Affordable Legal Services

Law Library LAW-Reserve (KF336.R45 2014)

Edited By:
Luz Herrera

We all want to make things better. We want to improve our law practices. We want to improve the legal profession. We want to improve our communities. Reinventing the Practice of Law explores ways in which lawyers can change their practices to make things better – for themselves, their clients and their neighborhoods. The book encourages lawyers to step out of the mold and consider how they can create better practices when providing personal legal services. This book offers a useful compendium of essays from nationally known lawyers describing how they have begun to make our legal system more accessible to moderate income clients. These distinguished authors address the practical, ethical, and business dimensions of new ways of providing legal advice and assistance. – From the Publisher

Cover ImageThe Future of Law and eTechnologies

Law Library LAW-New Books (K487.T4F88 2016)

Edited by:
Tanel Kerikmäe
Addi Rull

This book presents groundbreaking discussions on e-residency, cryptocurrencies, scams, smart contracts, 3D printing, software agents, digital evidence and e-governance at the intersection of law, legal policies and modern technologies. The reader benefits from cutting-edge analyses that offer ideas and solutions to some of the most pressing issues caused by e-technologies. This collection is a useful tool for law and IT practitioners and an inspiring source for interdisciplinary research. Besides serving as a practical guideline, this book also reflects theoretical dimensions of future perspectives, as new technologies are not meant to change common values but to accommodate them. – From the Publisher

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


 

Social Justice Monday: Animal Liberation and the No New Animal Lab Campaign

Social Justice Monday
October 24, 2016

The Access to Justice Institute and the Seattle University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund held a talk titled “Animal Liberation and the No New Animal Lab Campaign.”

The Seattle University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law.

Here are some related materials if you are interested in learning more:


Cover Image
The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre

Edited by:
Nik Taylor
Richard Twine

SU Lemieux Library 5th Floor-Books (QL85.R57 2014)

As the scholarly and interdisciplinary study of human/animal relations becomes crucial to the urgent questions of our time, notably in relation to environmental crisis, this collection explores the inner tensions within the relatively new and broad field of animal studies. This provides a platform for the latest critical thinking on the condition and experience of animals.

 

The volume is structured around four sections:

engaging theory
doing critical animal studies
critical animal studies and anti-capitalism
contesting the human, liberating the animal: veganism and activism.

The Rise of Critical Animal Studies demonstrates the centrality of the contribution of critical animal studies to vitally important contemporary debates and considers future directions for the field. This edited collection will be useful for students and scholars of sociology, gender studies, psychology, geography, and social work. – From the Publisher

 

Cover Image
Animal Experimentation: A Guide to the Issues

Vaughan Monamy

SU Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (HV4915.M65 2009)

Animal Experimentation is an important book for all those involved in the conduct, teaching, learning, regulation, support or critique of animal-based research. Whilst maintaining the clarity of style that made the first edition so popular, this second edition has been updated to include discussion of genetically modified organisms and associated welfare and ethical issues that surround the breeding programmes in such research.

 

 

It also discusses

the origins of vivisection
advances in human and non-human welfare made possible by animal experimentation
principal moral objections to the use of research animals
alternatives to the use of animals in research
regulatory umbrella under which experiments are conducted in Europe, USA, and Australasia.

The book also highlights the future responsibilities of students who will be working with animals, and offers practical advice on experimental design, literature search, consultation with colleagues, and the importance of the on-going search for alternatives. – From the Publisher

 

Cover Image
Animal Experimentation: Opposing Viewpoints

Helen Cothran

SU Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (HV4915.A638 2002)

The use of companion animals such as dogs in medical experiments has intensified the debate about animal testing. Doctors, researchers, and activists argue whether or not animals should be experimented on in the following chapters: Do Animals Have Rights? Is Animal Experimentation Justified? How Should Animal Experimentation Be Conducted? Should Scientists Pursue New Forms of Animal Experimentation?
– From Amazon

 

 

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


 

Social Justice Monday – Land Grab: How American Colonists Used Mortgage Foreclosures & Predatory Lending to Seize the Lands of Native Americans

Social Justice Monday: Social Justice Monday – Land Grab: How American Colonists Used Mortgage Foreclosures & Predatory Lending to Seize the Lands of Native Americans

October 10, 2016

As schoolchildren we learned that Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Lenape People for $24 in goods and trinkets. But little thought is given to how American colonists acquired the rest of the 13 original colonies. According to our eminent speaker, K-Sue Park, changes to basic property law gave a legal veneer to wholesale expropriation. The colonists added a new twist to English property law that muddied the traditional distinction between real and personal property—and gave rise to unconstrained mortgage foreclosures that seized ancestral lands from Native Americans, who had a very different concept of land ownership and credit.

K-Sue Park is Equal Justice Works Fellow and Staff Attorney in the El Paso office of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where she practices foreclosure defense and investigates predatory mortgage lending. She received her Ph.D from the Rhetoric Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2015. Her article, “How Tort Debt Funded the Occupation of Indigenous Lands: Indian Depredations as Early Federal Torts,” will appear in the journal History of the Present in Spring 2018; “Money, Mortgages, and the Conquest America” was published in Law and Social Inquiry this fall. She is working on a book manuscript provisionally entitled, Conquest and the American Dream: A Pre-History of U.S. Law, Finance and Real Estate.

Interested in learning more? Here are some related articles:

Image of AuthorMoney, Mortgages, and the Conquest of America

K-Sue Park

Full Text Available Online

In colonial America, land acquired new liquidity when it became liable for debts. Though English property law maintained a firm distinction between land and chattel for centuries, in the American colonies, the boundary between the categories of real and personal property began to disintegrate. There, the novelty of easy foreclosure and consequent easy alienation of land made it possible for colonists to obtain credit, using land as a security. However, scholars have neglected the first instances in which a newly unconstrained practice of mortgage foreclosure appeared—the transactions through which colonists acquired land from indigenous people in the first place. In this article, I explore these early transactions for land, which took place across fundamental differences between colonists’ and native communities’ conceptions of money, land, and exchange itself. I describe how difference and dependence propelled the growth of the early American contact economy to make land into real estate, or the fungible commodity on the speculative market that it remains today. – From the Abstract

 

Image of AuthorEquity in Times of Mortgage Crisis

Steven Bender

Full Text Available Online

The notion that equity is available to both lenders and borrowers in foreclosure is widely accepted. Yet, during times of a mortgage crisis, equity does not act to avoid certain injustices. This Article, premised on the historical and modern applications of equity, suggests increasing the role of equity without completely disregarding contractual obligations between lenders and borrowers.

“Equity will not suffer a wrong without a remedy.” (1)

“In a suit in equity, the Court is vested with jurisdiction to do that which ought to be done.” (2)

“Equity abhors forfeitures.” (3)

“If equity can mold its remedies to meet conditions as they arise, then equity should not fail in this emergency to hold the scales even.” (4)

“A [law] student came to a dean asking to study equity.

First you must study law, said the dean, and sent the student away. Three years later, the student returned. I studied law . . . . It was a worthless endeavor. The law is unjust, formalistic, nonsensical, and hopelessly confused. I have never been so frustrated in my life as in the last three years.

Now you are ready to study equity, said the dean.” (5)

-Editor’s Synopsis

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


 

Women in the Law Panel

CPD held a moderated panel discussion in Sullivan Hall. Guest speakers from corporate, law firm, and government backgrounds shared their personal career trajectories and respective leadership paths, as well as discussed topics such as networking, resources, and the importance of mentors.

Check out the following books about women in law:

           

Women-at-law : lessons learned along the pathways to success
Phyllis Horn Epstein, author. American Bar Association. Law Practice Division, sponsoring body. 2015
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF299.W6E77 2015 )

Women attorneys and the changing workplace : high hopes, mixed outcomes
Phyllis Kitzerow, author. 2014
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF299.W6K58 2014 )

Learning to lead : what really works for women in law
Gindi Eckel Vincent, author. Mary B. Cranston; American Bar Association. Commission on Women in the Profession, issuing body. 2013
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF299.W6V55 2013)


 

Social Justice Monday: Racial (In)Equity and Policing

Social Justice Monday: Racial (In)Equity and Policing
September 26, 2016

The long-smoldering issue of racial bias in policing and the criminal justice system is finally front and center in America’s consciousness. LLSA and ATJI presented a panel of nationally-recognized experts on how conscious and unconscious bias can manifest in police and prosecutorial interactions and how such bias may influence outcomes throughout various stages of the criminal justice system and particularly impact Latinx people and other communities of color.

In addition to a scholarly perspective, panelists also offered insight as to how these issues are arising and being addressed in real-time through United States v. City of Seattle, in which the U.S. Department of Justice alleged excessive use of force violations by the Seattle Police Department.

Panelists included:

J. Michael (“Mike”) Diaz is the Civil Rights Program Coordinator for the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, as well as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has investigated and/or prosecuted a wide variety of civil rights matters, from “classic” civil rights cases such as housing, employment and educational matters to more “modern” matters, including rights violated by police misconduct. Due to his expertise, Mike is a faculty member of the DOJ’s National Advocacy (Training) Center teaching on civil rights enforcement. Mike has been the lead line attorney on the investigation, lawsuit, and consent decree in United States v. City of Seattle (SPD) since its inception in 2010. In addition to other volunteer work, Mike, in his individual capacity, currently serves on the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission. Mike received his JD from Cornell Law School in 2002.

Taki V. Flevaris is a Faculty Affiliate at the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law and an attorney at Pacifica Law Group, LLP, with a practice focused on constitutional and governmental litigation. He has a background in psychological study and research, and he writes and presents regularly on equal access and equal treatment in the justice system, with special emphasis on race and the use of psychological science to inform legal rules and procedures. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Northwestern University.

Dr. William Parkin, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Seattle University, focuses his research on ideological violence, bias crimes, and the media’s relationship with the criminal justice system. Dr. Parkin has worked on research projects related to domestic terrorism, the nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, and community public safety in Seattle. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York, Graduate Center in 2012.

Interested in learning more? Here are some related books available from the Law Library:

Cover Image
Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma

Michael Tonry

Full Text Online

How can it be, in a nation that elected Barack Obama, that one third of African American males born in 2001 will spend time in a state or federal prison, and that black men are seven times likelier than white men to be in prison? Blacks are much more likely than whites to be stopped by the police, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned, and are much less likely to have confidence in justice system officials, especially the police.

In Punishing Race, Michael Tonry demonstrates in lucid, accessible language that these patterns result not from racial differences in crime or drug use but primarily from drug and crime control policies that disproportionately affect black Americans. These policies in turn stem from a lack of white empathy for black people, and from racial stereotypes and resentments provoked partly by the Republican Southern Strategy of using coded “law and order” appeals to race to gain support from white voters. White Americans, Tonry observes, have a remarkable capacity to endure the suffering of disadvantaged black and, increasingly, Hispanic men. Crime policies are among a set of social policies enacted since the 1960s that have maintained white dominance over black people despite the end of legal discrimination. To redress these injustices, Tonry offers a number of proposals: stop racial profiling by the police, shift the emphasis of drug law enforcement to treatment and prevention, eliminate mandatory sentencing laws, and change sentencing guidelines to allow judges discretion to take account of offenders’ life circumstances. Those proposals are all attainable and would all reduce unjustifiable racial disparities and the collateral human and social harms they cause.

A damning indictment of decades of misguided criminal justice policy, Punishing Race takes a crucial look at persisting racial injustice in America. – From the Publisher

Cover Image
Critical Race Realism: Intersections of Psychology, Race, and Law

Edited by:
Gregory S. Parks
Shayne Jones
W. Jonathan Cardi

LAW-4th Floor (KF4755.C749 2008)

A new way of looking at our legal system—focused on the nexus of social science, race, and the law—that takes the field of critical legal studies into the twenty-first century.

Building on the field of critical race theory, which took a theoretical approach to questions of race and the law, Critical Race Realism offers a practical look at the way racial bias plays out at every level of the legal system, from witness identification and jury selection to prosecutorial behavior, defense decisions, and the way expert witnesses are regarded.

Using cutting-edge research from across the social sciences and, in particular, new understandings from psychology of the way prejudice functions in the brain, this new book—the first overview of the topic—includes many of the seminal writings to date along with newly commissioned pieces filling in gaps in the literature. The authors are part of a rising generation of legal scholars and social scientists intent on using the latest insights from their respective fields to understand the racial biases built into our legal system and to offer concrete measures to overcome them. – From the Publisher

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.

 


 

Social Justice Monday: Mobilizing for Refugee Rights

Social Justice Monday: Mobilizing for Refugee Rights
September 19, 2016

We are in the midst of the largest refugee crisis since the aftermath of World War II. Over 1 million people made the decision to cross the Mediterranean in 2015, fleeing inhumane and deeply troublesome conflicts in their home countries. They are running into barriers both systemic and drawn from the darkest fears of human nature as they struggle to find peace and security.

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) was sparked as a way of helping those swept up in the crisis. IRAP staff and volunteers have spent the past 8 years resettling as many individuals as possible, working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure that refugees receive legal assistance during some of the most trying times in their lives. More recently, as countries face an overwhelming influx of refugees resulting from the Syrian Civil War, IRAP is also working to confront xenophobic rhetoric and a toxic social reality by engaging in policy work and continuing to offer legal aid to the most vulnerable populations.

Students from Seattle University’s IRAP Chapter, including Emily Wright (2L), Whitney Wootton (2L), and Stephen Anderson (2L), discussed ways to get involved through case work and policy research. For more information about getting involved, email Whitney Wootton, Director of Seattle University’s IRAP Chapter.

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.

Interested in learning more? Here are some related books available from the Law Library:

Cover ImageCity of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

Ben Rawlence

LAW-McNaughton Collection-2nd Floor (HV640.4.K4R39 2016)

To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a ‘nursery for terrorists’; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort.

Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, deep within the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education.

In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers did for the Mumbai slums. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home. – From the Publisher

Cover ImageGender in Refugee Law: From the Margins to the Centre

Edited by Efrat Arbel, Catherine Dauvergne, and Jenni Millbank

LAW-3rd Floor (K3230.R45G46 2014)

Questions of gender have strongly influenced the development of international refugee law over the last few decades. This volume assesses the progress toward appropriate recognition of gender-related persecution in refugee law. It documents the advances made following intense advocacy around the world in the 1990s, and evaluates the extent to which gender has been successfully integrated into refugee law.

Evaluating the research and advocacy agendas for gender in refugee law ten years beyond the 2002 UNHCR Gender Guidelines, the book investigates the current status of gender in refugee law. It examines gender-related persecution claims of both women and men, including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and explores how the development of an anti-refugee agenda in many Western states exponentially increases vulnerability for refugees making gendered claims. The volume includes contributions from scholars and members of the advocacy community that allow the book to examine conceptual and doctrinal themes arising at the intersection of gender and refugee law, and specific case studies across major Western refugee-receiving nations. The book will be of great interest and value to researchers and students of asylum and immigration law, international politics, and gender studies. – From the Publisher

Cover ImageAdjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: The Role of Witness, Expertise, and Testimony

Edited by Benjamin N. Lawrance and Galya Ruffer

LAW-3rd Floor (K3268.3.A93 2015 )

In this book, an array of legal, biomedical, psychosocial, and social science scholars and practitioners offer the first comparative account of the increasing dependence on expertise in the asylum and refugee status determination process. This volume presents a comprehensive study of the relevance of experts, as mediators of culture, who are called upon to corroborate, substantiate credibility, and serve as translators in the face of confusing legal standards that require proof of new forms and reasons for persecution around the globe. The authors draw upon their interactions with expertise and the immigration process to provide insights into the evidentiary burdens on asylum seekers and the expanding role of expertise in the forms of country-conditions reports, biomedical and psychiatric evaluations, and the emerging field of forensic linguistic analysis in response to emerging forms of persecution, such as gender-based or sexuality-based persecution. This book is essential reading for both scholars interested in the production of knowledge and clinicians considering the role of experts as mediators of asylum claims. – From the Publisher


 

Social Justice Monday: Washington in the Era of Mass Incarceration

Social Justice Monday: Washington in the Era of Mass Incarceration
September 12, 2016

Did you know that more than 18,000 Washington residents were incarcerated in prisons in 2015? Over thirty years ago, Washington enacted a comprehensive Sentencing Reform Act that dramatically impacted sentencing in our state. Many changes in sentencing law and policy have come and gone since then, often in response to shifting public policy toward crime and punishment.

Professor Emeritus and sentencing and ethics expert David Boerner presented an analysis of Washington’s prison population and sentencing over the past third of a century. He presented information about who is imprisoned in Washington, why, and how we have gotten to the point of mass incarceration today.

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.

Interested in learning more? Here are some related books available from the Law Library:

Cover ImageThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Michelle Alexander

LAW – 3rd Floor (HV9950.A437 2010)

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”

Called “stunning” by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David Levering Lewis, “invaluable” by the Daily Kos, “explosive” by Kirkus, and “profoundly necessary” by the Miami Herald, this updated and revised paperback edition of The New Jim Crow, now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience. – From the Publisher

 

Image Cover

The Power of the Prosecutor: Gatekeepers of the Criminal Justice System

Joan E. Jacoby and Edward C. Ratledge

LAW – New Books (KF9640.J288 2016)

Prosecutors have a powerful and generally little-understood role in the criminal justice system. Their important powers include accepting or rejecting cases, making decisions about dismissing charges, or moving cases to disposition and recommending a sentence—all of which can critically affect not only individuals but society through their ability to shape our criminal justice system. The Power of the Prosecutor: Gatekeepers of the Criminal Justice System explores the real-world actions and outcomes of local prosecutors through five well-known cases, documenting the variety of pressures prosecutors face both within and outside their offices as they attempt to make the best decisions about crimes and defendants.

Written by individuals who have actively engaged prosecutors in practically every U.S. state over 30 years’ time, the book examines actual case profiles that enable readers to witness how prosecutors reach their behind-the-scenes decisions and grasp how the criminal justice system operates. The authors explain the variations in prosecution, including the effects of policies and priorities, action choices available, and the types of both internal and external relationships with other participants in the system: the police, the courts, the defense counsel, and the community they represent. Readers will come away with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complexities and pressures faced by prosecutors in upholding justice under a wide variety of conditions. – From the Publisher


 

Washington’s “Legislatively Recognized Days”

Everyone knows the major holidays observed by the country (and consequently the state). However, Washington’s Legislature has created a list of “legislatively recognized days.” They are listed below. And sorry, the statute specifically states they “may not be considered legal holidays for any purpose.” So no time off. Here are the dates and days (RCW 1.16.050):

(a) The thirteenth day of January, recognized as Korean-­American day;

(b) The twelfth day of October, recognized as Columbus day;

(c) The ninth day of April, recognized as former prisoner of war recognition day;

(d) The twenty­-sixth day of January, recognized as Washington army and air national guard day;

(e) The seventh day of August, recognized as purple heart recipient recognition day;

(f) The second Sunday in October, recognized as Washington state children’s day;

(g) The sixteenth day of April, recognized as Mother Joseph day;

(h) The fourth day of September, recognized as Marcus Whitman day;

(i) The seventh day of December, recognized as Pearl Harbor remembrance day;

(j) The twenty-­seventh day of July, recognized as national Korean war veterans armistice day;

(k) The nineteenth day of February, recognized as civil liberties day of remembrance;

(l) The nineteenth day of June, recognized as Juneteenth, a day of remembrance for the day the slaves learned of their freedom; and

(m) The thirtieth day of March, recognized as welcome home Vietnam veterans day.


 

Congratulations to Our Graduating Student Workers

The Seattle University Law Library congratulates all graduating law students. However, we would like to acknowledge two in particular who have worked in the law library throughout their time at the law school: Corddaryl Woodford and Manal Al-Ansi. Thanks to both of them for their time, effort and friendship and best of luck to them and all of our law school graduates.


 

Social Justice Monday: Invisible Borders Barriers to Justice in the Workplace for Immigrant and Refugee Workers

Social Justice Monday–March 7, 2016

Submitted by Jeanna McLellan, Electronic Services Assistant

We know that injustice and power imbalances in the workplace can be common. But what if you have come to the US from another country and are unfamiliar with the legal system here? What if English is your second or third language and you cannot communicate your complaints?  What if your supervisor targets you because he or she believes you cannot stand up for yourself?

At today’s Social Justice Monday, attorneys and community organizers discussed unique barriers that immigrant and refugee workers face at the workplace. Today’s panelists included Cariño Barragán Talancon from Casa Latina, Marsha Chien from the WA Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Unit; Diego Rondon Ichikawa ’13 from the Washington Wage Claim Project, and Andrés Muñoz ’15, the Seattle University Frances Perkins Fellow at the Unemployment Law Project. Each panelist offered their own insight into the issues discussed below.

Andres Munoz engages in outreach to immigrant and refugee workers. Munoz discussed how the Unemployment Law Project is not the only group assisting immigrant and refugee populations, and how they can get referrals to the many other groups through the Unemployment Law Project. Munoz also discussed how specific areas of law may fall short of helping immigrants and refugees, since administrative judges have discretion to make dicisions.

Cariño Barragán Talancon assists with day laborers and domestic laborers at Casa Latina—which offers classes in ESL and workers rights—program in wage theft. Talancon works as mediator between restaurant workers, construction workers and employers. The program at Casa Latina helps employees recover unpaid wages. Talancon discussed how government agencies ask too much of the workers who have language barriers and immigration barriers. Talacon suggested that workers, documented or not,  have the same rights.

Marsha Chien provided a three point discussion on discrimination and the intersection of immigration and employment law: 1. Immigration law and employment law are inter-connected. 2. Retaliation is real—it is a real fear—employers use this against employees. 3. Policy impacts immigrants—there are so many ways that immigrants lives are not thought of in our system—it impacts immigrants differently. Ie., English only, No hats, etc.

Diego Rondon Ishikawa discussed his work with construction workers who are never paid overtime-pay. Often they are told that they do not get overtime pay because they are undocumented, illegal workers. For restaurant workers, they may get 40 hours on the paycheck and then paid cash for overtime but not at time-and-a-half. The biggest barrier to the workers getting fair pay is fear—they are undocumented. There are laws to protect them, but the likelihood is that they will get fired.


Interested in learning more? Here are some related books and a movie available in the Law Library:

Human rights and refugees, internally displaced persons, and migrant workers: Essays in memory of Joan Fitzpatrick and Arthur Helton

By Anne F. Bayefsky & Joan Fitzpatrick

LAW-4th Floor (KZ6530.H86 2006)

From Publisher:

An extraordinary volume with 28 of the world’s leading refugee and human rights scholars and advocates in a wide-ranging examination of the major issues in the field today: the theoretical challenges of international protection; lessons learned from the field including Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan; jurisprudential responses from courts and treaty bodies on the rights and responsibilities of protection; due process issues from Europe, Canada and the United States, and the special needs of migrant workers. The book brings together a unique group of experts including UNHCR officials, legal academics and practitioners, and uniquely tackles these crucial subjects from the perspectives of theory, legal practice, and advocacy.


 

Marginal Workers How Legal Fault Lines Divide Workers and Leave Them without Protection

By Ruben J. Garcia

From the Publisher:

Undocumented and authorized immigrant laborers, female workers, workers of color, guest workers, and unionized workers together compose an enormous and diverse part of the labor force in America. Labor and employment laws are supposed to protect employees from various workplace threats, such as poor wages, bad working conditions, and unfair dismissal. Yet as members of individual groups with minority status, the rights of many of these individuals are often dictated by other types of law, such as constitutional and immigration laws. Worse still, the groups who fall into these cracks in the legal system often do not have the political power necessary to change the laws for better protection.

In Marginal Workers, Ruben J. Garcia demonstrates that when it comes to these marginal workers, the sum of the law is less than its parts, and, despite what appears to be a plethora of applicable statutes, marginal workers are frequently lacking in protection. To ameliorate the status of marginal workers, he argues for a new paradigm in worker protection, one based on human freedom and rights.


 

Bread and Roses

Directed by Ken Loach

Description:

Maya is an undocumented worker who has crossed the U.S. border from Mexico to search for her sister Rosa, and to begin a new life. After being reunited, Rosa gets Maya a job with a janitorial service in a large office building. While working, Maya happens upon Sam Shapiro, a muckraking lawyer and union agitator whom the service-workers‘ union has assigned to bring its “justice for janitors” campaign to the building. Appalled at the work conditions and unfair labor practices, Maya and Sam team up to fight her employer.
Originally released as a motion picture in 2000.