Public Service Voices

Don't let your schooling get in the way of your education

By Laurie Davenport

Running a pro bono program is probably the last thing I figured I'd be doing in 2002 at age 56 – and here I am in 2010, looking forward with anticipation to another year of a challenging and infinitely varied job. As I look back at the last few years, I realize that being here isn't at all unlikely, rather a natural consequence of everything I've done in my life up to this point.

Crafting a public interest plan for the long-term

By Tara Herivel

I came to the UW law school in 1998 with tunnel-vision focus to work on behalf of incarcerated people. In college I started writing and researching prison issues and began working with prisoners and activists: this interest would propel me to and through law school. I suppose this area of work best feeds my authority complex and it's ceaselessly complex. No lack of opportunities to fight The Man or stretch your brain. more...

Walking the Talk: A Life of Public Service

By Greg Dallaire

I graduated from UC Hastings College of Law in 1965. I became a legal services lawyer in June 1967 after I returned to the Bay Area from managing a political campaign and practicing two years in Iowa where I spent most of my time representing indigent defendants in criminal cases. I applied to work for the Public Defender in Oakland and was granted an interview. At the time the Chief Public Defender was a political appointee and his hires were civil service employees. more...

An Advocate for the Underrepresented: Lori Isley of Columbia Legal Services

Graciela Navarro Licona, 3L Law Student – Lewis & Clark School of Law

"A life’s journey is not only determined by drive, intelligence, and chance, but it is also formed by the opportunities made possible by the sacrifice of others. I could not continue a journey true to myself and true to those who provided me with opportunity, without working to provide opportunities for others" - Lori Jordan Isley

For 18-years Lori Jordan Isley has excelled in her career as a public service attorney. She has worn numerous advocacy hats and she is currently the managing attorney at Columbia Legal Services. more...

Pushing for Change; Pushing for Justice

By Joachim Morrison, managing attorney, Columbia Legal Services

"If you don't know what to do after law school, come on out to our office and I'll find something for you to do to keep you busy." - César Chávez, 1993

What was César Chávez doing delivering a speech at tiny Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts only a few short weeks before his untimely death? I don't remember all the details of his speech – just that he used a number of pictures to demonstrate the hazards farm workers face working with pesticides. more...

The Path to Fulfillment is Not a Straight Line

By Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

One of the most fascinating things about public interest lawyers is that virtually all of us followed interesting paths to getting to where we are today. This is one of the things that I mention to law students who are concerned about what their career is going to look like or what jobs they "should" be pursuing: it is hard to really plan your path, and you will most often find yourself following opportunities as they appear at unexpected times. more...

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