Legal Fellows Answer the Call to Social Justice

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43 Attorneys to address needs of underserved populations

The decline in the economy has caused federal and state budgets to be cut, resulting in slashed funding for legal services. However, those needing legal representation to obtain medical care, mortgage foreclosure assistance and the most basic needs have increased. Forty-three law students and recent graduates are answering the call to close this justice gap. Recipients of 2010 Equal Justice Works Fellowships, they will spend the next two years providing legal services to underrepresented people and causes across the country.

The Equal Justice Works Fellowship program is the largest postgraduate legal fellowship program in the country. Equal Justice Works Fellows design projects with nonprofit organizations providing legal services in low income and underserved communities in a range of issue areas including homelessness prevention, immigration, criminal defense and Native American rights.

At the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, CA, Brendan Darrow will represent Spanish-speaking renters who have been thrust into the housing crisis by their landlords’ default. Unaccompanied immigrant children facing deportation in the Greater Boston area will be able to receive legal assistance from Erin Cox, who will be working with Lutheran Social Services in Wellesley. And at the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment,Mike Becher’s project will address surface coal production’s effects on human health and safety and the perpetuation of poverty in the coalfields of Appalachia.

“The 2010 Equal Justice Works Fellows are entering the field when legal aid has been devastated, leaving more people desperately needing affordable legal services,” said Cait Clarke, Director of Public Interest Law Opportunities at Equal Justice Works. “These attorneys have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to public interest law and helping to address the legal needs of the most vulnerable among us. We are proud to welcome them to the legal services community.”

The 2010 Equal Justice Works Fellows will be working at 41 host organizations in 17 states and the District of Columbia. For more information about Equal Justice Works and a complete list of 2010 fellows, their projects and their sponsors, visit http://www.equaljusticeworks.org.

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Sally Carlson

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