Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Laurel Rubin Rural Externship Advocacy Program

A Collaborative Project of the Access to Justice Law School Relations Committee
Autumn Semester/Quarter 2010

REAP is a collaborative externship program between:
*The Washington Alliance for Equal Justice and
*All three Washington law schools - University of Washington, Seattle University, and Gonzaga University.

The goal is to expand access to justice for migrant and seasonal farm workers, who are among the poorest and most vulnerable group of workers in the U.S. With approximately 289,000 farm workers and family members, Washington has the fourth largest population of migrant and seasonal farm workers in the country.

This externship honors Laurel Rubin, who was a young, talented legal aid lawyer and advocate for farm worker justice. Laurel died tragically on her way to meet with clients in Southeastern Washington. Laurel was passionately committed to advocating for farm worker justice and helping farm workers obtain some measure of fairness and respect. Despite working in a somewhat isolated and rural community, Laurel’s good will, intelligence, and tenacity quickly established her promise as a justice fighter and admired community asset. Her memory lives on in this statewide collaborative program through the training of law students advocating for farm worker justice.

Placement: The Access to Justice Law School Relations Committee, together with the Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project, is proud to announce the continuation of this unique externship program, which will place three bilingual (Spanish-speaking) law students in the Yakima Valley, with Northwest Justice Project, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Columbia Legal Services. The students will work under the supervision of a team of experienced legal aid attorneys during the autumn academic term assisting farm workers on a wide variety of civil legal issues.

Structure. Students are eligible for their school’s maximum academic credits for the autumn term. All students will receive a housing stipend. The cohort will receive substantive training from private and legal aid practitioners on a wide array of legal subjects, along with academic seminars conducted by law school faculty. See reverse for more details. Students must have a high proficiency in Spanish to be considered for this externship. Professors from all three law schools, Gonzaga University, Seattle University and the University of Washington have successfully coordinated their faculty externship sponsorships. Students may be required to complete a contemporaneous externship seminar for academic credit as set out in their law school’s Externship Program guidelines for field supervisors, faculty, and students.

Student Selection: The cohort of three students will be selected from the Gonzaga University (GU), Seattle University (SU), and the University of Washington (UW) law schools. Students interested in applying for this externship should submit contact the Externship Office. The application deadline is April 10th.