SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: Legal Aid for Veterans

I’ve wanted for some time now to interview a lawyer who worked with veterans in a legal public service capacity. Strangely enough it was a rather difficult position to locate. There are a plethora of organizations and governmental bodies tasked with aiding veterans, but they all seemed to be staffed with social workers and nurses, rather than lawyers. Interviewing Lauren Peach  I found Lauren Peach on LinkedIn by doing a search of people who had worked in veteran legal aid, contacted her, and found a very enthusiastic woman who joined the legal profession specifically to aid the public. Lauren spent…

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SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project in Amman, Jordan

For my second interview in Jordan I reached out to some fellow Americans working abroad, Mia Crager and Stephanie Kim. We met at the Wild Jordan Café in Amman, Jordan to sit with a panoramic view of the city outside our window and talk about their work for the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project during their summer abroad after their first year of law school. Mia is a current student at Stanford Law School, and Stephanie is a student at Yale Law School. Both women had previously visited Jordan, and jumped at the chance to return this summer. About the Iraqi…

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SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: Tamkeen Legal Aid in Amman Jordan - Aiding Migrant Workers

Visiting Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights For my first interview in Jordan I decided to hunt down a local grassroots public service law office. I found what I was looking for with Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights. Making the interview actually happen was easier said than done; the Director, Ms. Linda Alkalash, was more than gracious in setting up a time for me to stop by the office; the difficulty was caused by me being a clueless foreigner. Google maps is near useless in Jordan, so I just had to jump in a taxi and fumble…

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SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: Non-Partisan Legislative Counsel

For this month’s public interest career spotlight I spoke with Kelly Pfundheller, non-partisan counsel for the Washington State House Committee on Local Government. I met Kelly when she came to give a presentation to my class on the bill creation process. She had the kind of bubbly enthusiasm about her work that I usually identify with people trying to convince me that World of Warcraft builds valuable life skills, or that I should come to their Society of Creative Anachronism meeting and learn how to joust. “Oh my goodness,” I thought, “this woman is a democratic processes nerd. That’s awesome!”…

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SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: Animal Law is Getting Hot

Inspired by the Animal Law CLE hosted this month by the University of Washington chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund that I belong to, I decided to spend this month focusing on the public service aspects of the emerging field of animal law. How I Became Interested in Animal Welfare How did I get interested in animal welfare? Probably the same way most people do - as a child. I’d always liked animals, in the way that little girls do. When I was small I would tell adults who indulgently asked, “What do you want to be when…

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SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: Representing Kids As a CASA Lawyer

One of the things that led me to even think about a career in the law was my experience volunteering as a guardian ad litem. I found out about the position when reading the novel My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Feel like sobbing hysterically? Give it a read). In the book the main character, a child, was represented by a GAL lawyer in a legal action against her parents. Years later, I was scrolling through volunteermatch.com one day and I found a posting for guardian ad litem volunteers needed at the local courthouse. I was about to leave the…

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SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: The Growing World of Public Health Law

What is Public Health Law and How Does One Get Into The Field? Public Health is a growing field. Anyone who has spent some portion of time paying attention to the career environment in the United States will have noticed this. The health care field in general is growing as we face an aging population, an intense interest in health legislation, and changes to our country’s healthcare framework. Public health professionals, rather than focusing on individual patients like doctors and nurses, examine the larger picture of the population they are responsible for overseeing. Their purpose is to try to prevent…

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SierraMarie

Public Interest Paths: A Conversation About Legal Aid

Do I Want to Do This? When deciding where to begin my investigation into the world of public service law, I decided that the best person to speak to would be one who’s job is to advise students on their public interest career options.  Aline Carton Listfjeld is the assistant director at the University of Washington Center for Public Service Law. When I contacted her for an interview, she sounded delighted to help. Upon meeting her, I came to the conclusion that being delighted was a character trait. At least when she was met with an interest in her passion:…

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