Substantive Areas of Law

While the following information is not the definitive summary of public interest law areas, this is a good jumping off point for you to develop your understanding of what is out there. Each topic includes a brief summary of the work and environment in which you can practice, a list of Web sites that will deepen your knowledge about what you can do as an attorney in this field, and a set of classes that are taught at SU that you might find beneficial if you are considering practicing in this area. For additional information and Web sites in various practice areas or topics, please see CPD’s Legal Practice Areas.

Disclaimer: Class suggestions are not an official SU recommendation of curriculum – just a jumping off point for you to consider what information you want to be able to access in your practice. For specific guidance in choosing classes, talk to your faculty advisor, mentors, fellow students, and feel free to come and see us in CPD.

Class suggestions

AIDS/HIV

A career in the HIV/AIDS issue area can take many forms, such as advocacy, governmental policy construction (both inside and outside the U.S.), and legislation. HIV/ AIDS advocacy encompasses a wide-variety of legal practice areas. At HIV/AIDS legal clinics, attorneys can practice in the areas of housing, access to health care, employment, insurance, immigration, confidentiality matters, credit, government benefits or public accommodations, bioethics, wills, power of attorney and guardianship contracts. Of particular frequency is advocacy in health law and related insurance matters, housing and employment disputes. There are also many ways to utilize your law degree in federal governmental agencies that create policys affecting persons living with HIV and AIDS, such as the CDC, NIH, the FDA, and DHHS. Finally, careers in the legislative and lobby arenas that can effect enormous change for those affected by the AIDS epidemic. For the 2005-2006 year, The American Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division’s public service project was “Answering the Call”, a program to educate, and provide training materials and legal services for people living with AIDS/HIV.

Seattle University School of Law Clinical Law Program offers the Trusts and Estates Clinic and Administrative Law Clinic, in which
students learn skills that are essential to best serve those living with AIDS/HIV. The Administrative Law Clinic’s main work is in securing client Medicaid benefits.

Locally, the King County Bar Association runs a variety of legal services clinics that can assist persons living with AIDS/HIV with civil legal issues. If you are interested in pursuing a career meeting the legal needs of those living with HIV/AIDS, you should consider joining the Health Law Section of the WSBA.

AIDS Legal Referral Panel’s mission is to help San Franciscans living with HIV/AIDS maintain or improve their health by resolving their civil legal issues. Volunteer opportunities are available with the organization. American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmfAR) is dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. The Foundation's Public Policy program is currently engaged in efforts to secure necessary increases in funding for HIV/AIDS research, including vaccine and microbicide research; implement a comprehensive national prevention strategy, including repeal of the current ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs; expand access to care and treatment; and protect the civil rights of all people affected by HIV/AIDS.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE LAW CLINIC (3 credits) ADMN-400
  • TRUSTS AND ESTATES CLINIC (3 credits) ESTA-400
  • ADVANCED TOPICS IN HEALTH LAW (2 credits) HLTH-350
  • BIOETHICS AND THE LAW (2 credits) HLTH-300
  • ADVANCED CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: STATE & FEDERAL POWER AND THE
  • HEALTH CARE SYSTEM (2 credits) CNLW-410
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-
  • 315
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • ELDER LAW (3 credits) ELDL-300
  • ESTATE PLANNING (3 credits) ESTA-305
  • HEALTH LAW I (3 credits) HLTH-305
  • HEALTH LAW II (3 credits) HLTH-330
  • INSURANCE LAW (2 credits) INSU-300
  • PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
  • PUBLIC HEALTH LAW (2 credits) HLTH-375

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Animal Rights

Animal law encompasses all interactions with animals within the context of traditional areas of law, and at all levels of government (local, state, national and international). The subjects of animal laws include companion animals, wildlife, captive animals, and animals used for entertainment, in research, and for food and food production. A career in animal law can include work on issues such as animal cruelty, animal control, laboratory animal welfare, the use of animals in education and research, animal import and export, endangered animal classification, and general animal welfare. As such, careers addressing animal rights may work within such legal arenas as administrative, constitutional, criminal, environmental, property and disability law.

The Washington State Bar Association Animal Law Section provides a forum for members to exchange ideas, study, and understand laws, regulations, and case law pertaining to all areas of Animal Law. International Institute for Animal Law provides access to legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of animals. National Center for Animal Law of Lewis & Clark Law School trains and supports animal law students in order to further the field of animal law and promote legal protections for animals.

  • ANIMAL LAW (2 credits) ANIM-300
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • WILDLIFE/MARINE LAW SEMINAR (2 credits) ENVL-385

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Arts

Public interest work done in the arts generally falls into one of two categories: First Amendment protections for artists, and Intellectual Property protections for their creations. Seattle University School of Law hosts the Arts Legal Clinic, that works to ensure that artist’s IP rights are protected. If you are interested in developing a practice in this area, it is critical for you to participate in this opportunity.

Locally, Washington Lawyers for the Arts is dedicated to creating alliances and making legal resources accessible to artists and arts organizations. For more information on public interest in the arts community, see Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, or Seattle University School of Law Arts Clinic . Law students and practitioners should consider joining WSBA’s Intellectual Property Section .

  • ARTS LEGAL CLINIC (1 credit) INTP-401
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • ENTERTAINMENT LAW (2 credits) INTP-325
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (3 credits) INTP-300
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AUDIT LAB (1 credit) INTP-302
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LICENSING LAB (1 credit) INTP-301
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LICENSING LAW (2 credits) INTP-310
  • INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (2 credits) INTP-345
  • MASS MEDIA LAW & POLICY (3 credits) JURS-352
  • MASS MEDIA THEORY AND FIRST AMENDMENT JURISPRUDENCE SEMINAR
  • (3 credits) JURS-350
  • NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION CLINIC (2 credits ) TAXL-400
  • TRADEMARK LAW (2 credits) INTP-315

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Children / Youth

Legal issues affecting children are as broad as “law” itself. Laws directly affecting the health, safety and welfare of children are promulgated at every level of government, and can both expand and restrict the rights of minors. Persons seeking to effect change on behalf of children can do so in a variety of practice areas including dependency/child welfare, family law, immigration, education, victim’s rights, access to health care and insurance coverage, living wage/employment, environmental justice, reproductive issues, consumer protection, civil rights, and juvenile justice. All of the aforementioned practice areas allow for work directly with juvenile clients as their advocate, but there is also an enormous body of meaningful work in the administrative and legislative realms as well.

Seattle University School of Law’s Clinical Law Program hosts the Youth Advocacy Clinic, in which students work with attorneys from a local public defense agency in variety of forums representing King County youth.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide on Children’s Rights.

More information on several of the above-mentioned practice areas can be accessed at these Web sites: Juvenile Law Center, National Association of Counsel for Children, Children’s Defense Fund, Right to Education, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Local bar organizations offer opportunities to get involved in legal issues affecting juveniles. WSBA’s Juvenile Law Section addresses issues of child welfare, Juvenile justice, Status offenses (truancy, at-risk youth, and child in need of services), and the civil legal needs of youth. KCBA’s Kinship Care Solutions Project provides free legal representation to relatives and other caregivers seeking custody (also known as third party custody) of children at risk. KCBA also has the Family Law Mentor Program, which provides direct representation to low-income clients in contested dissolution or paternity cases where the children are at risk because of domestic violence, child abuse/neglect, or alcohol/drug abuse.

Local organization TeamChild addresses the underlying causes of juvenile delinquency by advocating for education, mental & medical health services, safe living situations and other supports. Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington provides civil legal representation, information and education to the homeless and at-risk youth population of Washington.

  • APPELLATE ADVOCACY (2 credits) ADVC-320
  • CHILD, FAMILY & STATE (3 credits) FAML-305
  • COMPREHENSIVE PRETRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-300
  • COMPREHENSIVE TRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-305
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-
  • 315
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • EDUCATION LAW (2 credits) EDUL-300
  • EVIDENCE (4 credits) EVID-200
  • FAMILY DISSOLUTION AND RELATED ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-305
  • FAMILY FORMATION/RECOGNITION AND RELATED CONSTITUTIONAL
  • ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-310
  • FAMILY LAW CLINIC (6 credits) FAML-401
  • LAW & MENTAL HEALTH (3 credits) MENT-300
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND
  • NEGOTIATION (1 credit) ALDR-350
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND
  • NEGOTIATION LAB (2 credits) ALDR-401
  • PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
  • SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW SEMINAR (2 credits) EDUL-350
  • YOUTH ADVOCACY CLINIC (6 credits) ADVC-310

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Civil Rights / Civil Liberties

A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege that if denied, may be a basis for a claim of injury. Litigating civil rights claims often means that you are handling cases involving freedom of speech disputes or discrimination on the basis of gender, race, disability, religion, age, or national origin. Claims can arise from disputes including housing, employment, education, voting rights, and access to public places. Civil liberties disputes can arise when there is a law or policy restricting rights or mandating an action that a party believes violates his Constitutional protections. Litigation can occur in a judicial or administrative setting.

There is also a significant amount of civil liberties and civil rights work that can be done outside of the court system. Educating the public, constructing legislation, lobbying, and working in administrative agencies all can ensure that citizens’ rights are protected.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide on Civil Rights and Liberties.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers several civil rights and liberties extern opportunities in the community, including externships with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage.

The American Civil Liberties Union is perhaps the foremost national organization dedicated to ensuring that the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are respected by the federal government. Most recently best known for its work on national security issues, the ACLU also has projects focused on AIDS/HIV, police practices, drug policy, disability rights, rights of the poor, reproductive freedom, and voting rights. The ACLU has internship opportunities at the national and local office levels. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is a 180-member coalition of civil rights organizations with internships available – many member organizations (such as Equal Justice Society) have internships as well. Legal Information Institute of Cornell School of Law provides an overview of Civil Rights and Liberties, as well as links for continued research.

  • APPELLATE ADVOCACY (2 credits) ADVC-320
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CIVIL RIGHTS, ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA (3 Credits)
  • CMCT-310
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR: The Rule of Law and Judicial Review (2
  • credits) CNLW-405-A
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • EVIDENCE (4 credits) EVID-200
  • FAMILY FORMATION/RECOGNITION AND RELATED CONSTITUTIONAL
  • ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-310
  • JURY TRIAL SEMINAR (3 credits) CIVL-400
  • LATINAS/OS AND THE LAW (3 credits) JURS-380
  • LAW & LIBERTY IN POST 9/11 WORLD (3 credits) JURS-375
  • LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
  • PRIVATE RIGHTS OF ACTION (3 credits) CIVL-320
  • RACE AND THE LAW (2-3 credits) JURS-360
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-
  • 315

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Consumer Rights

Pursuing a career in consumer rights means that you will be addressing issues such as predatory lending, credit counseling abuses, debt collection, mortgage scams, bankruptcy, and consumer fraud. Attorneys working in this arena can perform advocacy on behalf of individuals, shape public policy, and litgate disputes under both federal and state statutes. Consumer rights litigation sometimes involves class action suits and may address the interplay of state and federal consumer protections. Consumer rights violations are often embedded in more acute legal issues for low-income and otherwise disenfranchised persons.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers several consumer protection extern opportunities in the community, including externships with the Attorney General of WA (Consumer Protection Division), Government Accountability Project and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program home page.

Several local legal services organizations provide consumer protection services, including Northwest Justice Project and Solid Ground . The Washington State Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division and the Department of Financial Institutions are state entities that strive to protect and educate consumers. NJP, CLS, and the AG’s Office all have internships available for students. Private attorneys handling public interest consumer protection issues can be located via The National Association of Consumer Advocates . The King County Bar Association runs the Consumer Education and Training Services Program (CENTS), a financial literacy organization and a provider of money management classes and materials, including the financial education class required under the Bankruptcy Law. Joining the WSBA Antitrust, Consumer Protection and Unfair Business Practices Section is a way to stay informed about significant developments in the field of trade regulation law.

National Consumer Law Center helps consumers, their advocates, and public policy makers to use consumer laws to build financial security and assure marketplace justice for vulnerable individuals and families. The group conducts policy work as well as impact litigation, and recently launched a new program to address fairness in lending. Intern positions are available in the Boston and Washington DC offices. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a watchdog organization founded to improve the lives and protections of American consumers and taxpayers. FTCR has current suits addressing insurance and health care reform, and rebate and cellular phone billing scams.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (3 credits) ADMN-300
  • BANKRUPTCY (3 credits) BANK-300
  • BANKRUPTCY CLINIC (1 credit) BANK-400
  • CONSUMER LAW (3 credits) COMM-310
  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP CLINIC (4 credits)
  • BUSN-400
  • CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (3 credits) BUSN-340
  • CORPORATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) BUSN-350
  • ELDER LAW (3 credits) ELDL-300
  • PREDATORY LENDING CLINIC (Civil Practice Clinic) (6 credits) ADVC-410

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Corporate & Government Accountability

Corporations play a more dominant role in society than ever before. While corporations have tremendous capacity to produce valuable goods and services, they also have the potential to harm fundamental public interests in safe and affordable health care, a sustainable environment, worker rights, and safe consumer products. Likewise, government agencies and representatives, charged with protecting the public interest through regulation and enforcement, also engage in corruption, abuse of authority, and violations of law.

There are many different ways to practice law in the areas of corporate and government accountability, ranging from working within the government or corporations to promote legal compliance and responsibility, to working outside of these institutions in public interest “watchdog” organizations or as a private attorney representing individual clients harmed by corporate or government conduct.

The Center on Corporations, Law & Society at Seattle University School of Law conducts and promotes interdisciplinary scholarship and dialogue on issues related to the roles and obligations of corporations in an increasingly privatized and interdependent global society. The Center hosts conferences, a film and a speaker series, and a Student Fellows Program, in addition to working on projects that explore how law navigates corporate and societal interests.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers several opportunities in the community, including externships with the Government Accountability Project and Governor's Executive Policy Office. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage.

Within the government, the civil division and the criminal fraud division of the Department of Justice are committed to addressing fraud and violations of law in a range of issue areas. Similarly, over fifty government agencies have Inspector General offices that are charged with conducting audits and investigations and preventing and detecting waste, fraud and abuse within their respective agencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission protects investors by prosecuting corporate fraud.

There are many ways to promote accountability within corporations as well. Business for Social Responsibility provides resources for companies committed to supporting sustainable, responsible business practices and has job listings on their Web site. Similarly, lawyers frequently serve as ethics and compliance officers within companies committed to accountability.

Many watchdog organizations use litigation, legislative advocacy, and public education to promote government and corporate accountability. Citizen Works, Corporate Accountability International, and the Business Ethics Network offer internships or job listings with public interest organizations working to promote corporate accountability. Similarly, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) are national nonprofit public interest groups that promote government and corporate accountability and whistleblower protection. GAP hosts student interns.

Finally, many lawyers in private practice focus their work on holding corruptions accountable for consumer and shareholder fraud or violations of law within various practice areas, such as environmental law, consumer rights, or health law. Taxpayers Against Fraud focuses on false claims act litigation and has a network of attorneys across the country focusing on fraud against the government and whistleblower representation. The Washington State Trial Lawyers Association is a member organization for lawyers committed to serving persons who have suffered harm from, in part, corporate wrongdoing, and Public Justice (formerly Trial Lawyers for Public Justice) is the leading public interest law firm that engages in impact litigation and education to protect people and the environment, hold accountable those who abuse power, and challenge governmental, corporate and individual wrongdoing.

  • ADVISING PRIVATE COMPANIES (3 credits) BUSN-360
  • ANTITRUST LAW (3 credits) ANTI-300
  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP CLINIC (4 credits)
  • BUSN-400
  • COMPREHENSIVE PRETRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-300
  • COMPREHENSIVE TRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-305
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR: The Rule of Law and Judicial Review (2
  • credits) CNLW-405-A
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
  • CORPORATE FINANCE (3 credits) BUSN-315
  • CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (3 credits) BUSN-340
  • CORPORATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) BUSN-350
  • CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY SEMINAR (2 credits) CRIM-355
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • EMPLOYMENT LAW (3 credits) EMPL-300
  • FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW [with focus on white collar crime] (3 credits)
  • CRIM-315
  • GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS (2 credits) COMM-315
  • LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
  • WHISTLEBLOWERS & THE LAW (2 credits) BUSN-355

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Criminal Law - PD, PA, Death Penalty, Prisoner Rights, Sentencing, Drug Policy

The most common jobs in criminal law are as either as a prosecutor or defense attorney at the trial level of the local, state or federal court systems. Prosecutors are responsible for working with law enforcement officials to identify, charge and convict persons for commission of crimes of both property and person. Defense attorneys are either assigned or independently retained by the defendant. As with all legal practitioners, criminal attorneys are ethically bound to vigorously advocate for their client’s position in a court of law. Criminal practice generally requires a great deal of direct-client interaction, although working at the appellate level offers less opportunity in directly working with clients and more writing.

There is an abundance of work to be done in the criminal justice realm that does not entail the same level of direct contact with the clients. There is much discussion in the United States today surrounding issues such as sentences of a statutorily-mandated minimum length, drug policy, and the death penalty. Positions regarding prisoner rights, prison conditions, and rehabilitative programs for the incarcerated are also debated and studied.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written specialty guides on both working in the prosecutorial realm and in indigent defense.

At Seattle University School of Law, the student-run Beagle Aid project works collaboratively with faculty advisors and attorneys who are members of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing information to prisoners incarcerated in Washington State. Lobbying efforts and popular advocacy on these issues are different ways to effect the change you believe will better the lives of others. WSBA Criminal Law Section seeks the participation of the legal communtiy by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas in the areas of criminal law, correction, procedure, and evidence.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers numerous criminal law extern opportunities in the community, including externships with the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office-Criminal Division, and Seattle City Attorney-Misdemeanor Unit. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage. Seattle University School of Law’s Clinical Law Program hosts the Youth Advocacy Clinic, in which students work with attorneys from a local public defense agency in variety of forums representing King County youth.

On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorneys and Federal Public Defender, Western District of Washington sites have great information about ongoing issues and the projects of local offices. Internships and externships are available at both offices.

Several local public defense agencies have internships available for students that are Rule 9 qualified. King County Prosecutor’s Office is very active in recruiting first and second year students for internships. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice was established to promote balanced and humane criminal justice policies that reduce incarceration and promote long-term public safety. CJCJ's mission is pursued through the development of model programs, technical assistance, research/policy analysis, and public education. Internships are available at the San Francisco and Washington DC offices.

  • APPELLATE ADVOCACY (2 credits) ADVC-320
  • CAPITAL PUNISHMENT SEMINAR (formerly DEATH PENALTY) (3 credits)
  • CRIM-360
  • ADVANCED EVIDENCE (2 credits) EVID-350
  • COMPREHENSIVE PRETRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-300
  • COMPREHENSIVE TRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-305
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR: The Rule of Law and Judicial Review (2
  • credits) CNLW-405-A
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
  • CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ADJUDICATIVE (3 credits) CRIM-300
  • CRIMINAL PROCEDURE INVESTIGATIVE (3 credits) CRIM-305
  • CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY SEMINAR (2 credits) CRIM-355
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • EVIDENCE (4 credits) EVID-200
  • FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW [with focus on white collar crime] (3 credits)
  • CRIM-315
  • FORENSICS (3 credits) ADVC-325
  • INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW (3 credits) CRIM-380
  • JURY TRIAL SEMINAR (3 credits) CIVL-400
  • LAW & LIBERTY IN POST 9/11 WORLD (3 credits) JURS-375
  • LAW & MENTAL HEALTH (3 credits) MENT-300
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND
  • NEGOTIATION (1 credit) ALDR-350
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND
  • NEGOTIATION LAB (2 credits) ALDR-401
  • PRETRIAL CRIMINAL ADVOCACY (3 credits) CRIM-340
  • SENTENCING/PLEA BARGAINING (3 credits) CRIM-350
  • TRIAL TECHNIQUES (4 credits) ADVC-315
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-
  • 315
  • YOUTH ADVOCACY CLINIC/LAW PRACTICE CLINIC (6 credits) ADVC-310

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Disability Rights

Federal statutes primarily govern a practice in disability law. Of particular importance is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, housing, education, and access to public services. Careers advancing and protecting the rights of disabled persons are available in litigation or administrative environments. Because states may pass disability statutes, work in this area of law is available at the local, state and federal levels.

Seattle University School of Law Clinical Law Program offers the Administrative Law Clinic, valuable to students interested in disability law. The clinic does not advance disability-based discrimination claims, but participants represent many disabled clients in matters related to their disabilities.

For more information about disability law, see American Bar Association, Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. Included at this site is information about projects that the Commission is working on and a directory of disability law attorneys in different legal communities around the country.

Disability Rights Washington’s (formerly Washington Protection and Advocacy System) mission is to advance the dignity, equality, and self-determination of people with disabilities. DRW provides direct services on Information and Referral, Training and Publications, Legal Representation, System Impact Litigation, Abuse or Neglect Intervention, and System Impact Policy Initiatives. DRW does offer internships and externships for law students. For additional information on legal services for differently-able persons, see Disability Law Center, which serves the disabled of Massachusetts.

  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
  • DISABILITY LAW (2 credits) DSBL-300
  • ELDER LAW (3 credits) ELDL-300
  • EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION (3 credits) EMPL-315
  • ESTATE PLANNING (3 credits) ESTA-305
  • TRUSTS AND ESTATES (3 credits) ESTA-300
  • TRUSTS AND ESTATES CLINIC (3 credits) ESTA-400 (Fall)
  • INSURANCE LAW (2 credits) INSU-300
  • LAW & MENTAL HEALTH (3 credits) MENT-300
  • PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
  • SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW SEMINAR (2 credits) EDUL-350
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315
  • WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY (3 credits) EMPL-330

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Domestic Violence

There are numerous legal opportunities in the field of domestic violence. By holding perpetrators accountable, criminal prosecutors at both the city and county level play an important role in keeping victims safe. In the civil arena, domestic violence victims benefit from legal assistance in dealing with issues such as civil protection orders, divorce, custody and paternity actions, immigration as well as administrative, employment and housing matters. Attorneys are needed to directly represent victims and there are legal jobs available doing policy work as well as large scale organizing.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers extern opportunities in the community, including a domestic violence externship with the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault-Legal Advocacy Project. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage.

Every state has a domestic violence coalition, and there are numerous national organizations (including, among others: the ABA's Commission on DV, the Battered Women's Justice Project, Futures Without Violence (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund), the National Network to End Domestic Violence ; and the Stalking Resource Center, and the Department of Justice has an Office on Violence Against Women. Volunteer opportunities are available at Northwest Immigrant’s Rights Project, which provides assistance with a variety of immigration matters, including filing petitions under the Violence Against Women Act.

  • CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ADJUDICATIVE (3 credits) CRIM-300
  • CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY SEMINAR (2 credits) CRIM-355
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (2 credits) FAML-330
  • FAMILY LAW (3 credits) FAML-300
  • FAMILY DISSOLUTION AND RELATED ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-305
  • FAMILY LAW CLINIC (6 credits) FAML-401
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND
  • NEGOTIATION (1 credit) ALDR-350
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND
  • NEGOTIATION LAB (2 credits) ALDR-401
  • PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
  • RIGHTS OF WOMEN: INT'L AND COMPARATIVE LAW (3 credits) INTL-350

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Economic Development

As any human rights, voting rights, international, or poverty law attorney will tell you, sustainable economic development in developing regions and countries is critical to developing the infrastructure necessary to ensure a free and safe population. Jobs may be found at the local, national, and international level, and may be in poilcy development, education, and in not-for-profit organizations. An advanced degree in economics will be helpful if you are interested in pursuing this work.

We are fortunate at Seattle University School of Law to have the Community Development and Entrepreneurship Clinic, in which students learn and apply interdisciplinary legal and business skills to assist new and existing business ventures in the Central District community.

Locally, the Pierce County Asset Building Coalition is a partnership of local agencies, organizations, and foundations supporting efforts to identify barriers to prosperity in Pierce County and help citizens protect and grow their assets. The Coalition’s goal is to help low-income people become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community and its economy. Volunteer opportunities are available. Efforts are ongoing to create a statewide Asset Building Collaborative.

National Economic Development and Law Center is a national research and consulting organization dedicated to building economic health and opportunity in vulnerable communities. Law clerk positions are available for academic credit and pay. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition has intern opportunities.

LAW, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE (3 credits) INTL-320
NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION CLINIC (2 credits ) TAXL-400
POVERTY LAW (3 credits) POVL-300

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Elder Law

Elder Law is the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and their representatives about the legal aspects of health, disability, retirement, and long-term care planning; public benefits (including social security and veterans’ benefits); surrogate decision-making; older persons' legal capacity; the conservation, disposition and administration of older persons' estates; and the implementation of their decisions concerning such matters. Elder law issues may also include consideration of the tax consequences of a proposed change to legal documents or identifying for a client the need for more sophisticated tax expertise. An elder law attorney is involved in the welfare of individuals and their families.

Students should consider building skills by participating in Seattle University School of Law’s Trusts and Estates Clinic. In the clinic, students represent a low-income elderly or disabled person in an estate planning matter, including preparation of wills, powers of attorney and health care directives. The Elder Law Section of the WSBA focuses on matters related to serving elderly clients, educating attorneys about how to provide top-quality legal service to their senior clients. Young Lawyers Division sponsors a Wills for Heroes pro bono program allowing an opportunity to practice estate planning skills while drafting documents for local police and firefighters.

The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging offers two paid summer internships for 2Ls to complete elder law research projects in Washington, DC. The National Center on Elder Abuse provides a clearinghouse for publications, conferences and legal resources pertaining to elder abuse.

  • ELDER LAW (3 credits) ELDL-300
  • ESTATE PLANNING (3 credits) ESTA-305
  • TRUSTS AND ESTATES (3 credits) ESTA-300
  • TRUSTS AND ESTATES CLINIC (3 credits) ESTA-400
  • FAMILY LAW CLINIC (6 credits) FAML-401
  • GIFT AND ESTATE TAX (3 credits) TAXL-310
  • LAW & MENTAL HEALTH (3 credits) MENT-300
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION (1 credit) ALDR-350
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION LAB (2 credits) ALDR-401
  • PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310

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Environmental

Environmental law most often refers to the practice of law in an effort to protect environmental resources. Federal, state, and local authorities are charged with enforcing legislation and executive orders mandating adherence to environmental standards. Increasingly, a project’s environmental concerns are balanced with business and societal needs, so litigation is not infrequent. Federal statutes include the National Environmental Policy Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and various specific statutes including those targeting air, water, and ground pollution. Careers in environmental law can include education, litigation, policy, and regulatory work at the local, state, and federal level. Environmental issues may touch on specific legal issues in water rights, civic planning, energy regulation, administrative law; and more generally on torts, contracts, and property issues.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide on Environmental Legal Careers.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers numerous environmental law extern opportunities in the community, including externships with the Attorney General of WA (Ecology Division), Center for Environmental Law & Policy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage.

For more information, see the ABA’s Environment, Energy & Resource Section. International environmental law organizations like the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide in Eugene, Oregon and the Center for International Environmental Law in DC also have internship opportunities.

For local environmental law news and opportunities, consider joining WSBA’s Environmental and Land Use Law Section. Earth Share of Washington is a coalition of 66 environmental organizations that help to protect the local, national and international environment. Internships are available with ESW. Washington Forest Law Center is a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to providing legal services to organizations that monitor and protect Washington's private and state-owned forest lands.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (3 credits) ADMN-300
  • ADMINISTRATIVE LAW CLINIC (3 credits) ADMN-400
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT (2 credits) ENVL-395
  • ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE SEMINAR (2 credits) ENVL-380
  • ENVIRONMENTAL LAW FUNDAMENTALS (3 credits) ENVL-300
  • ENVIRONMENTAL LAW GROWTH MANAGEMENT (3 credits) ENVL-375
  • ENVIRONMENTAL LAW NEPA/SEPA/ESA (3 credits) ENVL-315
  • FEDERAL COURTS (3 credits) CIVL-305
  • HAZARDOUS WASTES AND TOXICS REGULATION (3 credits) ENVL-370
  • INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (3 credits) ENVL-340
  • LAND USE REGULATION (3 credits) ENVL-305
  • NATURAL RESOURCES LAW (3 credits) ENVL-365
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315
  • WATER LAW (3 credits) ENVL-350
  • WILDLIFE/MARINE LAW SEMINAR (2 credits) ENVL-385

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Family Law

Family law can encompass a number of issues affecting children and families, but most commonly addresses marriage dissolution and/or parentage proceedings (custody issues). A large part of family law in the public interest arena involves protecting domestic violence survivors and/or abused children (see Domestic Violence for more information). Family law also includes child support advocacy, both for parents needing additional financial assistance, and those that cannot afford to pay additional support. Many small firms in the Seattle area practice some type of family law. In addition, attorneys can work as guardians ad litem representing the interests of children in such disputes.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers several family law extern opportunities in the community, including externships with the King County Superior Court - Dependency CASA, and Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons (SCRAP). Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage. Seattle University School of Law Clinical Law Program offers the Mediation Law Clinic, valuable to students interested in family law, as mediation can be a large component of a family law practice.

The KCBA Family Law Mentor Program provides various volunteer opportunities. Experienced family law practitioners guide volunteers through the process of representing a client in marriage dissolution or parentage proceedings. In addition, KCBA Neighborhood Legal Clinics (one specific to family law) offer “legal triage” in the form of free 30-minute one-on-one consultations at 25 clinics across King County. Clinic assistants help with the intake of the clients; maintain the flow of the client schedule during the clinic; provide research and referral assistance for the clients and/or attorneys; and inventory, order, and stock clinic supplies. WSBA’s Family Law Section has an ongoing grant program, to support public access to legal services and other endeavors.

  • CHILD, FAMILY & STATE (3 credits) FAML-305
  • COMMUNITY PROPERTY (2 credits) PROP-310
  • COMPREHENSIVE PRETRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-300
  • COMPREHENSIVE TRIAL ADVOCACY (4 credits) ADVC-305
  • DISPUTE RESOLUTION (3 credits) ALDR-300
  • EDUCATION LAW (2 credits) EDUL-300
  • ELDER LAW (3 credits) ELDL-300
  • ESTATE PLANNING (3 credits) ESTA-305
  • EVIDENCE (4 credits) EVID-200
  • FAMILY DISSOLUTION AND RELATED ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-305
  • FAMILY FORMATION/RECOGNITION AND RELATED CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-310
  • FAMILY LAW CLINIC (6 credits) FAML-401
  • LAW & MENTAL HEALTH (3 credits) MENT-300
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION (1 credit) ALDR-350
  • LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION LAB (2 credits) ALDR-401
  • MEDIATION (formerly NEGOTIATION/MEDIATION/COLLABORATIVE LAW) (2 credits) ALDR-305
  • MEDIATION CLINIC
  • PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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First Amendment and Media

Freedom of the press is a fundamental right guaranteed by the First Amendment. Numerous federal, state and local laws have been enacted to ensure that this freedom of speech is not limited, or is done so only when there are compelling reasons and no less burdensome ways to ensure public safety and the competing rights of other private citizens. A career in first amendment / media law can be had through regulatory bodies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), legislative policy, and in litigation. A solid foundation in constitutional law and policy is critical.

For more information about first amendment work, see First Amendment Law Review. Organizations that work to ensure that rights guaranteed by the First Amendment include the American Civil Liberties Union (which has student internships), Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Center for Individual Rights, Institute for Justice, and The Rutherford Institute.

  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • ADVANCED CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: FIRST AMENDMENT DOCTRINES (3 credits) CNLW-320
  • CIVIL RIGHTS, ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA (3 Credits) CMCT-310
  • ADVANCED CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: FIRST AMENDMENT DOCTRINES AND THE INTERNET (3 credits) CNLW-320
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR: The Rule of Law and Judicial Review (2 credits) CNLW-405-A
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • LAW & LIBERTY IN POST 9/11 WORLD (3 credits) JURS-375
  • LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
  • LAW & RELIGION (3 credits) JURS-365
  • MASS MEDIA LAW & POLICY (3 credits) JURS-352
  • MASS MEDIA THEORY AND FIRST AMENDMENT JURISPRUDENCE SEMINAR (3 credits) JURS-350
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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GLBT

GLBT legal organizations focus on ending all types of discrimination based on gender identification and sexual orientation, and often include HIV/AIDS legal issues in their mission as well. GLBT legal discrimination cases can include issues as far-ranging as housing, employment, poverty and homelessness, medical treatment and access, educational access, criminal cases, and virtually every other legal issue. GLBT legal work often includes responsibilities for community outreach and education in addition to legal research and representation. Significant current legal activism in this area has focused on gay marriage and/or legal partnership rights at the state and federal levels.

Locally, the GLBT Bar Association of Washington (QLAW) offers an annual scholarship to a student working in public interest on GLBT issues. In 2006, WSBA approved the formation of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Legal Issues Section. Several national organizations provide public interest job and internship opportunities in GLBT work, including the ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights  Project, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (transgender issues).

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide on GLBT rights.

  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION (3 credits) EMPL-315
  • FAMILY FORMATION/RECOGNITION AND RELATED CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-310
  • GENDER & JUSTICE SEMINAR (3 credits) JURS-320
  • LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
  • LAW & SEXUALITY (3 credits) JURS-340
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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Gun Control / Rights

Gun Control/Rights legal activity centers on two main advocacy groups, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (control) and the National Rifle Association (rights). Both offer legislative internships in their Washington area headquarters. Both groups focus mainly on grass roots education and lobbying efforts. Inspired by suits against the tobacco industry, some municipalities and individuals have filed lawsuits seeking to hold gun manufacturers liable in wrongful death cases. Both the Brady Campaign and NRA have been involved in these suits.

The Brady Center's Legal Action Project provides free legal representation to gun violence victims, such as victims of the Washington, DC-area sniper attacks, in lawsuits against reckless gun manufacturers, dealers and owners. It has also taken a lead role in representing cities that have filed lawsuits against the gun industry. The Legal Action Project also files amicus briefs nationwide in support of federal and state gun control laws. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is another national organization that offers unpaid legislative, litigation, research, and other internships to undergrads and professional students.

Some local gun control organizations also exist. Washington CeaseFire is a nonprofit advocacy organization (similar to the Brady Campaign) dedicated to reducing gun violence in Washington State through education and legislative action. Founded in 1983, CeaseFire has grown to more than 3,500 members throughout the State.

  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR: The Rule of Law and Judicial Review (2 credits) CNLW-405-A
  • CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW [with focus on white collar crime] (3 credits) CRIM-315
  • LAW & LIBERTY IN POST 9/11 WORLD (3 credits) JURS-375
  • LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
  • WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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Health / Health Care

While we live in the richest, most technologically advanced country in the world, there are still millions of people without access to health care. Federal safety-net programs such as Medicaid and Medicare are being rolled back, and present many of the most disenfranchised and vulnerable with difficult choices for insurance coverage. Much work is being done to address this epidemic. At the same time, medical and research advances are daily news, and ethical discussions associated with those advances are ongoing. Attorneys in public interest health law can also work on a variety of other issues, including medical debt/collection, veteran benefits, reproductive rights and mental health coverage. Attorney positions are available in litigation, policy, regulatory, education, and transactional environments.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers several health law opportunities in the community, including externships with the Attorney General of WA (UW Health Sciences Division), NW Health Law Advocates/NW Federation of Community Organizations, and the Washington State Medical Association. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage.

Students that identify early in their legal education that Health Law is an area of particular interest may be interested in focusing their studies via the Health Law Focus Area.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide entitled “Careers in Health Law”.

WSBA’s Health Law Section focuses on the business of health care, state and federal reform, fraud and abuse, antitrust, new modes of health care delivery, insurance issues, and many other concerns. Northwest Health Law Advocates is a non-profit organization that promotes increased access to health care and basic health care rights and protections for all individuals through legal and policy advocacy, education and support to community organizations in the Pacific Northwest. The National Health Law Program seeks to ensure that low-income people have justice in health care. Washington Law Help is a general legal information site intended to help low income people access resources to address their civil legal issues. Of further interest might be Medicare Rights Center, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (3 credits) ADMN-300
  • ADMINISTRATIVE LAW CLINIC (3 credits) ADMN-400
  • HEALTH LAW I (3 credits) HLTH-305
  • HEALTH LAW II (3 credits) HLTH-330
  • HEALTH LAW TRANSACTIONS (3 credits) HLTH-320
  • BIOETHICS AND THE LAW (2 credits) HLTH-300
  • ADVANCED CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: STATE & FEDERAL POWER AND THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM (2 credits) CNLW-410
  • ADVANCED TOPICS IN HEALTH LAW (2 credits) HLTH-350
  • CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
  • FAMILY FORMATION/RECOGNITION AND RELATED CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-310
  • INSURANCE LAW (2 credits) INSU-300
  • LAW & MENTAL HEALTH (3 credits) MENT-300
  • MEDICAL FRAUD (3 credits) HLTH-400
  • MEDICAL LIABILITY (3 credits) HLTH-420
  • PENSIONS & EMPLOYEE BENEFITS (3 credits) TAXL-320
  • PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
  • PUBLIC HEALTH LAW (2 credits) HLTH-375
  • REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: LAW & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) HLTH-380
  • WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY (3 credits) EMPL-330

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Housing / Homelessness

Housing and homelessness law includes all aspects of creating, accessing, preserving and distributing housing. In addition, it may include issues relating to access to and distribution of food, clothing, and other necessitites to homeless and low income people. Organizations pursue increasing the supply of affordable housing; improving existing housing conditions including safety and security; enforcing tenants’ and homeowners’ rights; and securing and increasing housing opportunities for diverse communities. There is crossover with consumer protection regarding tenant screening fees and foreclosure rescue scams.

Locally, the KCBA Housing Justice Project is a homelessness prevention program providing accessible, volunteer-based, legal services to low-income tenants facing eviction in King County (there are additional locations in Washington State). Volunteer legal assistants (students) are responsible for opening and closing the clinic, conducting client intakes, completing HJP and court forms, and providing administrative support to volunteer attorneys. Training is provided, and legal assistants are asked to commit to one morning per week for six months. KCBA also hosts Legal Services for the Homeless, serving low-income homeless individuals in King County and individuals living in transitional housing in King County via free legal clinics run by local law firms at homeless shelters in King County. Additional local opportunities exist through Solid Ground, Northwest Justice Project and Catholic Community Services Legal Action Center. Internships for law students are available during the school year and in the summer.

National organizations with internship and job opportunities include the National Housing Law Project, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and National Coalition for the Homeless. In addition, local opportunities exist through the KCBA and Solid Ground. Internships for law students are available during the school year and in the summer.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (3 credits) ADMN-300
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW CLINIC (3 credits) ADMN-400
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (3 credits) HOUS-300
HOUSING LAW AND POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) HOUS-375
ADVANCED TOPICS IN POVERTY LAW (3 credits) POVL-410
CONSUMER LAW (3 credits) COMM-310
CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
LANDLORD/TENANT LAW (2 credits) POVL-350
LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310

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Human Rights

Although notions of basic human rights date back to ancient legal times, the United Nations' 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is generally agreed to mark the beginning of the modern international human rights law era. The Declaration has a total of thirty articles that outline basic human rights; the most important of which include the right to life, liberty and security of person; the right to education; the right to employment, protection against unemployment, and social security; the right to participate fully in cultural life; freedom from torture or cruel, inhumane treatment or punishment; freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; and freedom of expression and opinion. Human rights are administered by various international bodies such as the United Nations, the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Those bodies, in turn, are monitored by various non-governmental organizations including Amnesty International, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Lawyers Without Borders, and Human Rights First.

Seattle University School of Law Clinical Law Program offers the International Human Rights Clinic, in which students learn the skills and values that are essential for the practice of human rights law by working with foreign and domestic clients before international and regional human rights bodies.

Lawyers are needed as staff attorneys at NGOs dedicated to human rights work; they are also needed to take pro bono cases and volunteer in legal clinics. The International Labor Rights Fund has internships for students interested in human rights and international trade issues as they relate to human rights issues.

Human rights work is done domestically as well. Local organizations working on human trafficking cases include Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Northwest Justice Project. Death penalty abolition advocates argue that the death penalty is a human rights violation. Volunteer opportunities are available with the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

ADVANCED TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: HUMANITARIAN LAW/LAW OF WAR (2 credits) INTL-410
ADVANCED TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: Transitional Justice Seminar (2 credits) INTL-410
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR: The Rule of Law and Judicial Review (2 credits) CNLW-405-A
CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY SEMINAR (2 credits) CRIM-355
FAMILY FORMATION/RECOGNITION AND RELATED CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-310
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW (3 credits) CRIM-380
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC (4 credits) INTL-402
INTERNATIONAL LABOR LAW SEMINAR (2 credits) INTL-375
INTERNATIONAL LAW OF HUMAN RIGHTS (3 credits) INTL-305
INTERNATIONAL LAW OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAB (3 credits) INTL-310
INTERNATIONAL TRADE (3 credits) INTL-340
LAW & LIBERTY IN POST 9/11 WORLD (3 credits) JURS-375
LAW, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE (3 credits) INTL-320
LAW OF WAR AND HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION (2 credits) INTL-410
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW (3 credits) INTL-300
RIGHTS OF WOMEN: INT'L AND COMPARATIVE LAW (3 credits) INTL-350
TRANSNATIONAL LITIGATION AND ARBITRATION (3 credits) INTL-330

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Immigrant / Refugee / Immigration Law Reform

Immigration law is a branch of international law whose practitioners seek to ensure that immigrants are given an opportunity to live and work legally in the country of the choosing. “Refugee” is a term of art, and the designation of a person as a “refugee” entitles them to certain rights and protections in immigration practices. Aiding refugees in their applications for residency or citizenship requires an excellent command of international treaties, conventions, and national law and policy. Legal work is available in assisting with citizenship applications for elderly and disabled persons who cannot pass citizenship tests, and assisting parties in getting benefits to which they might be entitled.

Attorneys working in immigration law reform seek to change the way the U.S. government approaches immigration policy. Many practitioners engaged in immigration law also have a law reform component to their professional activities. Immigration law reform can be effected via litigation (both of individuals and class-action or impact litigation), education, appellate work, policy development, lobbying, and general civil legal services.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide on Careers in Immigration Law.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers immigration law opportunities in the community, including externships with Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, International Rescue Committee, and Seattle Immigration Court. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage.

The SU Immigration Law Clinic offers students the opportunity to represent clients who have experienced domestic violence and are seeking lawful resident status. WSBA’s International Practice Section has a very broad focus on international practice, international law, immigration law, and any cross border transactions. This Section is particularly active with programming, sponsoring CLEs, visiting scholar speakers, and hosting a law student reception. KCBA hosts the Newcomers Resource Project, which provides free legal assistance for immigrant, refugee, or limited English speaking persons, regardless of immigration status.

In the community, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project provides assistance to indigent and low-income persons seeking to address immigration issues, or apply for refugee status. NWIRP advances the legal rights and dignity of low-income immigrants in Washington State by pursuing and preserving their legal status through legal representation, education and public policy. NWIRP offers school year and summer internships for law students. Fluency in a second language is necessary and/or helpful for interns and attorneys working in direct services.

On a national scale, the Refugee Legal Centere, Refugee Law Project, Human Rights First, and the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Coalition all seek to ensure that immigrants have legal counsel during their immigration proceedings.

Organization working to reform the U.S. immigration debate and laws re immigration include National Immigration Forum, National Immigration Law Center, and the previously mentioned Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
IMMIGRATION LAW (3 credits) IMMG-300
IMMIGRATION LAW CLINIC (1 credit) IMMG-400
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION (3 credits) EMPL-315
LATINAS/OS AND THE LAW (3 credits) JURS-380
LAW & LIBERTY IN POST 9/11 WORLD (3 credits) JURS-375
LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION (1 credit) ALDR-350
LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION LAB (2 credits) ALDR-401
PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW (3 credits) INTL-300
RACE AND THE LAW (2-3 credits) JURS-360
RIGHTS OF WOMEN: INT'L AND COMPARATIVE LAW (3 credits) INTL-350
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC (4 credits) INTL-402

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International

Many of the public interest substantive areas on this page can also be done in the international realm. Areas of particular growth in the international public interest arena are sustainable development, human rights, economic development, environmental, and immigration. Work can be done in litigation, policy, administrative, judicial, education, and transactional settings, among other professional environments. A strong understanding of the interplay of international laws and treaties with that of sovereign states is critical. In 2007, NALP updated a valuable guide called Finding and Funding International Public Service Opportunities. It contains tips for job hunting, preparing resumes for international applications, and resources for identifying a position that you are passionate about. Please also see International Opportunities to learn more about locating and assessing international public interest law programs.

Seattle University School of Law has a focus area in International Law. Additionally, SU Clinical Law Program offers the International Human Rights Clinic, in which students learn the skills and values that are essential for the practice of international law by working with foreign and domestic clients before international and regional human rights bodies. Seattle University School of Law hosts two unique programs for people interested in international issues and opportunities. The International and Comparative Law Program, which includes study abroad and internship opportuntities. The Center for Global Justice provides programming on international issues including a speakers series, a student fellows program and internship possibilities. The center is designed to appeal to and benefit three core constituencies of the law school: students, faculty and the local legal community, including alumni.

WSBA’s International Practice Section has a very broad focus on international practice, international law, immigration law, and any cross border transactions. This Section is particularly active with programming, sponsoring CLEs, visiting scholar speakers, and hosting a law student reception. You may also consider joining The American Society of International Law as a Student Member. Membership gives you access to developments in international law and opportunities for networking and professional development. ASIL's Web site contains a great deal of information, including a Webinar exploring careers in international law in private practice, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the U.S. government. WSBA’s World Peace Through Law Section focuses on international affairs and issues of war, peace, and law.

COMPARATIVE LAW (3 credits) INTL-350
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW (3 credits) INTL-300
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS (3 credits) BUSN-320
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW (3 credits) CRIM-380
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (3 credits) ENVL-340
INTERNATIONAL & FOREIGN LAW RESEARCH (2 credits) INTL-400
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC (4 credits) INTL-402
INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (2 credits) INTP-345
INTERNATIONAL LAW OF HUMAN RIGHTS (3 credits) INTL-305
INTERNATIONAL TAXATION (3 credits) TAXL-330
INTERNATIONAL TRADE (3 credits) INTL-340
TRANSNATIONAL LITIGATION AND ARBITRATION (3 credits) INTL-330

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Migrant / Farmworker

A practice in Migrant Farmworker law allows for work in the advocacy, legislative and administrative realms. Attorneys typically support the efforts of migrant farmworker advocates and legal services programs serving seasonal farmworkers. Attorneys interested in this work can also increase the general public’s awareness of legal problems and the rights of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Areas of law frequently addressed in farmworker law and advocacy can include employment practices, housing, immigration, education, health care, civil rights, environmental, and criminal matters. At least a conversational level of Spanish proficiency is generally desired.

The Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project, funded by Legal Aid for Washington, assists farm workers in their efforts to enforce their right to fair, dignified, humane and safe working and living conditions. The Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Rights Project seeks to get additional advocates into the community immediately through law student summer internships to help ensure indigent farm workers' access to justice by working on cases dealing with immigration, employment discrimination, landlord tenant disputes, workers and unemployment compensation, environmental justice and civil rights. Northwest Justice Project and Columbia Legal Services do farmworker advocacy in offices throughout Washington State. Northwest Workers' Justice Project is dedicated to improving enforcement of the workplace and organizing rights of low-wage, contingent, and immigrant workers in the Northwest, and especially in Portland, Oregon.

Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, founded by the Florida Bar Foundation, is committed to ensuring that the full range of legal advocacy is available to the 300,000 farmworkers who work in Florida’s fields and groves through innovation, law reform, legislative and administrative advocacy, and class actions. There are volunteer opportunities with the organization.

IMMIGRATION LAW (3 credits) IMMG-300
IMMIGRATION LAW CLINIC (1 credit) IMMG-400
COMPARATIVE LAW: LATIN AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEMS (3 credits) INTL-350
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315
CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
LATINAS/OS AND THE LAW (3 credits) JURS-380
LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
RACE AND THE LAW (2-3 credits) JURS-360

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Native American

Virtually any area of law that you can practice in law, you can do so in and for Native American communities. Reservations are considered federal land, therefore activities taking place on Native property fall under the jurisdiction of federal law and/or independent sovereign laws applying to native peoples. For instance, if you are a registered member of a tribe, some laws enumerating rights and responsibilities apply specifically to you (e.g. Indian Child Welfare Act, Indian gaming provisions). Particular areas of interest may be in protecting natural resources, development of Indian law, and ongoing access to social and health services of tribal members.

WSBA’s Indian Law Section provides a forum for practitioners representing clients affected by Indian law. Local Native American legal practitioners should also consider joining the Northwest Indian Bar Association, which has job and intern position posting page.

Locally, Seattle University School of Law hosts the Institute for Indian Estate Planning and Probate, which assists Indian people in making informed decisions about their property. University of Washington Law School runs the Native American Law Center, which promotes the development of Indian law. The Native American Rights Fund is dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide. Each year NARF accepts one student from SU’s Alaska Study Program to intern.

ALASKA NATIVES AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (4 credits) INDL-320
ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT (2 credits) ENVL-395
FEDERAL COURTS (3 credits) CIVL-305
FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW [with focus on white collar crime] (3 credits) CRIM-315
FEDERAL INDIAN LAW (3 credits) INDL-300
INDIAN TRUSTS AND ESTATES CLINIC(2 credits) INDL-401
INDIAN LAW AND NATURAL RESOURCES (2 credits) INDL-315
WATER LAW (3 credits) ENVL-350

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Poverty

Poverty law focuses on the myriad challenges that affect people living in poverty. Practitioners of poverty law can work in any number of ways to better the daily lives of low-income and/or disenfranchised persons, therefore there is a great deal of crossover in practice areas (i.e. an attorney advocating in the poverty law arena might do so regarding employment, public benefits and housing issues).

Students interested in focusing their professional career in poverty law should have a solid academic background in administrative and public benefits law, and may be interested in focusing their studies via the Seattle University School of Law Inequality and Poverty Law Focus Area. Developing skills via practical experiences working with clients with mental health and or dependency issues, immigration concerns, and domestic violence survivors is critical. Students are encouraged to participate in the Administrative Law Clinic, in which you can represent clients in administrative hearings before Washington State Administrative Law Judges. All of the clinical courses serve clients who are unable to afford counsel, thus all of the courses require students to confront the question of how poverty informs the experience of justice. Attorneys wishing to work in poverty law can do so by providing direct legal services, working on policy development and implementation, education, and in other capacities to serve low-income people. The Seattle University School of Law Seattle Journal for Social Justice promotes critical interdisciplinary discussions on urgent problems of social justice, including poverty law, exploring the often-conflicting meanings of justice that arise in a diverse society.

Seattle University School of Law’s Externship Program offers extern opportunities in the community with Administrative Law judges, at the Legal Action Center - Catholic Community Services, and Union Gospel Mission Legal Services. Externship opportunities can be explored on the Externship Program homepage.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide on general Legal Services.

There are many opportunities for internships in the poverty law arena. Locally, a number of legal aid organizations work on a myriad issues facing those living in poverty. Columbia Legal Services and Northwest Justice Project both have a variety of school-year and summer intern possibilities, as does Seattle Community Law Center, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Employment Law Project, and Public Counsel Law Center all work to advance the movement in different ways.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (3 credits) ADMN-300
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW CLINIC (3 credits) ADMN-400
CONSUMER LAW (3 credits) COMM-310
POVERTY LAW (3 credits) POVL-300
ADVANCED TOPICS IN POVERTY LAW (3 credits) POVL-410
BANKRUPTCY (3 credits) BANK-300
CIVIL RIGHTS, ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA (3 Credits) CMCT-310
ADVANCED CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: POLITICAL PROCESS AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION (2 credits) CNLW-320
CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT (2 credits) ENVL-395
IMMIGRATION LAW (3 credits) IMMG-300
LANDLORD/TENANT LAW (2 credits) POVL-350
LAW & MENTAL HEALTH (3 credits) MENT-300
NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION CLINIC (2 credits ) TAXL-400
PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
PUBLIC HEALTH LAW (2 credits) HLTH-375
WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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Racial Disparity

Tragically, racial disparities are embedded in every area of law. Most frequently, racial disparity is noted in the criminal justice, access to health care, consumer (credit discrimination), housing, and other civil rights arenas. Racial disparity may be raised as an issue in both civil and criminal litigation. There is also policy work available for attorneys interested in studying the rates and modalities of racial disparities, as well as ways to rectify and ameliorate the effects, and outreach efforts to educate the public on this issue.

President John F. Kennedy created Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Internship and Fellowship opportunities are available with the organization. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Equal Justice Society, and Human Rights Watch are excellent resources for further information on racial disparity. Locally, The Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project works on issues of racial disparity in drivers license suspensions, drug law enforcement, and truancy enforcement, among other projects.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (3 credits) ADMN-300
RACE AND THE LAW (2-3 credits) JURS-360
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ADJUDICATIVE (3 credits) CRIM-300
CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY SEMINAR (2 credits) CRIM-355
CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION (3 credits) EMPL-315
GENDER & JUSTICE SEMINAR (3 credits) JURS-320
JURY TRIAL SEMINAR (3 credits) CIVL-400
LATINAS/OS AND THE LAW (3 credits) JURS-380
LAW & LIBERTY IN POST 9/11 WORLD (3 credits) JURS-375
PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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Voting / Election / Campaign Finance

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 codifies the Fifteenth Amendment’s guarantee of an unimpeded right to vote for all citizens despite their race, education level or gender. Since its original passage, the law has been modified, expanded, and extended. While the Act has been called the most successful piece of legislation ever passed by Congress, battles continue to be fought regarding access to polling locations, voter redistricting, and perhaps most infamously, the role of federal courts in adjudicating disputes regarding state-administered elections. Voting rights work can be done in litigation, policy / regulatory environments, and education fronts.

Campaign finance rules are in a constant state of flux in this country. Policy discussions regarding the advisability, intent, and effect of these regulations are ongoing at every level of government.

For more information about kinds of work that can be done in this arena, see the U.S. Department of Justice: Introduction to Federal Voting Rights Law, Demos’ Democracy Program, the Hoover Institute’s Campaign Finance homepage, and Open Secrets (campaign finance reform).

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
ADVANCED CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: POLITICAL PROCESS AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION (2 credits) CNLW-320
ADVANCED CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: VOTING RIGHTS (3 credits) CNLW-410
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR: The Rule of Law and Judicial Review (2 credits) CNLW-405-A
CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
LAW, POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) JURS-395
LEGISLATION AND LEGAL PROCESS (2 credits) GOVT-300
LEGISLATIVE SEMINAR (3 credits) GOVT-315
PRIVATE RIGHTS OF ACTION (3 credits) CIVL-320
WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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Women’s Rights

Women’s Rights encompasses legislative work, direct representation (both civil and criminal cases including class action litigation), watchdog activities (including monitoring legislation), public education and advocacy efforts (including lobbying and participating as amicus curiae in cases affecting women in WA and around the nation). “Women’s issues” involved in this work include, but are not limited to, domestic violence, reproductive rights issues, sexual assault and harassment/stalking, as well as civil rights and equality in employment, marriage, adoption, estate planning and benefits. Women’s rights are also embedded in every area of law including employment discrimination, dissolutions, adoptions, child custody/parentage/child support enforcement and poverty issues.

The Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising has written a specialty guide on Women’s Rights.

Northwest Women’s Law Center brings public impact cases throughout the northwest and around the nation by providing direct representation and litigation support in civil rights and equality in cases affecting young girls and women in employment, family, education, sports, domestic violence, childhood and adult sexual abuse, reproductive freedom, health care and cases involving the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and most recently marriage equality. The Center hosts student interns and externs throughout the school year and summer.

Washington Women Lawyers is a professional organization dedicated to supporting female lawyers and also protecting the interests of women through legal action. Membership in the organization is open to both male and female attorneys and provides the opportunity to access volunteer advocacy, education, and networking opportunities related to women’s rights. King County Washington Women Lawyers is the largest chapter of WWL and has specific mission goals related to advancing women’s issues.

CHILD, FAMILY & STATE (3 credits) FAML-305
COMMUNITY PROPERTY (2 credits) PROP-310
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4 credits) CNLW-200
CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (3 credits) CNLW-305
CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY SEMINAR (2 credits) CRIM-355
CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIAL POLICY SEMINAR (2 credits) CNLW-375
FAMILY DISSOLUTION AND RELATED ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-305
FAMILY FORMATION/RECOGNITION AND RELATED CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES (3 credits) FAML-310
FAMILY LAW CLINIC (6 credits) FAML-401
GENDER & JUSTICE SEMINAR (3 credits) JURS-320
LAW & SEXUALITY (3 credits) JURS-340
LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION (1 credit) ALDR-350
LAWYER AS PROBLEM SOLVER I: INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING, AND NEGOTIATION LAB (2 credits) ALDR-401
PUBLIC BENEFITS LAW (3 credits) POVL-310
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: LAW & PUBLIC POLICY (2 credits) HLTH-380
RIGHTS OF WOMEN: INT'L AND COMPARATIVE LAW (3 credits) INTL-350
WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEMINAR (3 credits) CNLW-315

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Chapel of St. Ignatius