Besides March Madness, the third week of March 2017 marks other noteworthy occasions. Among these, according to Google, are: Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, Brain Awareness Week, Girl Scout Week, and Public Defense Week. The value of the first three are self-evident: Breathing. Thinking. Thin Mints.
But why public defense? Isn’t it already inclusively acknowledged in National Law Day (May 1), National Be Kind to Lawyers Day (April 11) and Love Your Lawyer Day (Nov. 3)? Here’s a non-exclusive Top-10 list of why I and my colleagues celebrate a stand-alone week honoring public defense. Of course there are more than these 10 reasons, and we welcome your additions. Read more
Law students often see themselves working at a public interest or legal-services setting. But after graduation, few new lawyers end up following that path. One study found just 4% of newer lawyers working in a public interest or legal services. Why might this be?
Certainly, it is not for lack of demand or the need for access to justice. Since the Great Recession, the need for affordable legal services has continued to grow, while governments continue to cut funding. Not only do these cuts harm people who can’t afford a lawyer, they also make finding a job in public-interest law and legal services increasingly difficult. Dwindling opportunities discourage newer lawyers from pursuing a career focused on social justice, even though their skills are badly needed. Read more
Charlie Shane is a Bainbridge Island-based attorney who works with clients in the Seattle area and in Kitsap, Mason, and Jefferson counties. For Charlie, the Moderate Means Program has been a great way to give back to his community and help clients who need it. Read more
As a member of the WSBA, you have probably heard about the Low Bono Section (LBS) and the Moderate Means Program (MMP), but you may not know the differences between the two. Although both entities serve similar client populations, they are very different groups. Here’s a quick introduction to both — and some ways you can get involved. Read more
Like most attorneys, Michael Addams wears many hats: principal partner at the Spokane law firm Addams & Leavitt, board member of CASA Partners and Teen Closet, Washington Air National guardsman, WSBA Low Bono Section member, husband and father. In addition, Michael and his firm have incorporated a significant number of moderate means clients into their practice.
WSBA member Emily C. Nelson spoke with Michael about his unique approach, which combines public service law and business management. Read more