NJP's Gillian Dutton named Externship Director

With two decades of experience in the battle to ensure access to justice across Washington, Gillian Dutton will join the faculty at Seattle University School of Law as the new director of the Externship Program.

For the last four years, Dutton has served as the senior attorney in the Seattle office of the Northwest Justice Project. She has worked in the office since 1994, when she left her job as a staff attorney for Evergreen Legal Services in Yakima and moved to Seattle to direct the Refugee and Immigrant Advocacy Project, a collaboration between NJP and the University of Washington Law School. Through the project, Dutton supervised law students assisting immigrants and refugees seeking public benefits, support for victims of human trafficking, and, for elderly and disabled clients, naturalization. She has also helped coordinate regional planning for legal services in King County as part of Washington State's Access to Justice Network. Throughout her tenure at NJP, Dutton has worked with Seattle University School of Law students serving as externs, volunteers, and summer Public Interest Law Foundation grant winners.

"Jill is a creative and thoughtful teacher and a wonderful role model for our students as a leader for justice," said Professor Paul Holland, director of the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic. "She will help us maintain the high quality and impressive scope that have characterized the Externship Program in recent years."
 
The Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to earn academic credit for legal work performed under close and supportive supervision in a variety of practice settings, primarily with courts, government agencies or non-profit agencies. The law school's partnership with the many site supervisors prepares students for practice, engages their developing sense of professionalism and provides direct encounters with the challenge of achieving justice.

Dutton replaces Professor Susan McClellan, who retired.

"This is a chance to continue two of my lifelong passions - teaching law students and pursuing advocacy and academic research in the area of social justice," Dutton said. "I aspire to continue the wonderful work of Susan McClellan, who has helped law students gain valuable externship experience in the legal field as they work to contribute to the law school's mission of education for justice."

Multilingual herself, with some proficiency in Mandarin, French, German, Spanish, and Russian, Dutton was the co-founder of the Washington State Coalition for Language Access, which seeks to improve services for Limited-English proficient residents of Washington State. She is a recipient of the 1999 Charles A. Goldmark Award for Distinguished Service and the 2005 Northwest Immigrant Rights Project Golden Door Award.

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