JUSTICE & ACCOUNTABILITY CENTER OF LOUISIANA
SEEKING 2021 SKADDEN FELLOW APPLICANT
The Justice & Accountability Center of Louisiana (JAC) helps people recover from the criminal legal system through representation in civil legal and traffic matters, litigation, policy/advocacy work, community education, and organizing. We focus on addressing the legal obstacles and barriers facing currently and recently incarcerated people, as well as people with criminal records that follow them for life. Our ReEntry Docket programs across the state have eliminated over $1M in traffic debt and removed hundreds of warrants. Our expungement clinics have cleared thousands of records, and with our Clean Slate Campaign, we are on the way to automate expungements for millions of people with Louisiana records. Believing that prison conditions directly impact successful reentry, we facilitate the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition, a group of nearly 200 survivors, family members of incarcerated people, faith leaders, and advocates. During annual legislative sessions, we track, testify on, and advocate around dozens of bills with an eye toward ending the collateral consequences of arrest, conviction, and incarceration.
We are currently seeking applicants for the two-year Skadden fellowship beginning fall 2021, for which the application is due in September 2020. You must be a rising 3L, final year LLM student, or currently in a judicial clerkship, with an intent to obtain your Louisiana bar license, to apply. JAC seeks a passionate, creative, dedicated person to sponsor in this application process. We would LOVE to have students from Loyola, Southern, and LSU apply, as those schools have not yet been well-represented in the fellowship program. However, any person who seeks social justice through a racial justice lens, particularly those who have personally been impacted by the criminal legal system, and has a project idea along the guidelines below, is welcome to apply with JAC as your sponsor.
JAC would considering a project that could address one of the following areas:
1) Occupational licensing: conduct Louisiana-research, represent individuals in licensing board applications and appeals, draft policy, envision campaign/advocacy plan, coordinate with statewide and national partners also seeking occupational licensing reform.
2) Fines and fees: monitor implementation of ability to pay reforms, observe and report on court proceedings, conduct research, initiate litigation, represent individuals in reducing fines and fees, engage in advocacy at the state level and with commissions and judges, participate in and contribute to national campaigns related to fines and fees.
3) Expungements: represent individuals in expungements, conduct research as to obstacles in obtaining expungements in “expungement deserts,” participate in Louisiana Clean Slate Campaign, perform outreach and research to determine issues with 3rd party credit reporting of expunged records, litigate credit reporting violations, produce report on credit reporting violations of expunged records, draft and advance policy to eliminate problem of credit reporting of expunged records.
4) Driver’s licensing: conduct research and obtain data on individuals without licenses and with suspended licenses, participate in national Free to Drive campaign, draft policy and/or legislation for Louisiana, represent individuals in appeals and applications with Office of Motor Vehicles for reinstatement, perform outreach and monitor implementation of Provisional Driver’s License for formerly incarcerated people, research obstacles and find solutions for loss of commercial driver’s licenses.
While occupational licensing, fines and fees, expungements, and driver’s licensing are the general areas in which we are seeking fellows, the details of the project are UP TO YOU, employing a variety of strategies including:
- Providing legal, policy, and strategic assistance for campaigns, including drafting legislation, legal analyses, and policy briefs;
- Participating in direct representation, strategic litigation, or administrative actions;
- Drafting reports, op-eds, and educational materials and engaging in strategic communications;
- Coordinating networks of advocates to develop and advance policy campaigns;
- Conducting extensive research and collection of data through public records requests, legal research, and outreach and surveys of impacted communities.
While we will provide you input on your application to Skadden for this fellowship, and write a letter in support, the responsibility for drafting the application lies with you, the applicant.
This position will be located in Louisiana either out of our New Orleans office or remotely from home elsewhere in Louisiana. The compensation for this position is $60,000 annually, as well as 100% employer paid medical and dental, paid holidays, and $5,000 annual loan repayment assistance through the Louisiana Bar Foundation.
To apply for sponsorship through JAC, submit a cover letter detailing your interest and project ideas, resume, writing sample, and three references to Vanessa@JACLouisiana.org with “Skadden Fellowship” in the subject line of your email by August 9th. Late submissions will not be considered. We will consider applications on a rolling basis.