The Center for Law, Diversity & Justice was launched in 2006 with the generous support of three founding donors. Students benefit greatly from the tremendous amounts of time and expertise shared by local attorneys and Law & Diversity Program alumni, providing guidance and mentorship for those seeking a career in the legal profession.
The Center for Law, Diversity & Justice is seeking financial and volunteer support in several areas (below).
Gifts in support of the Center for Law, Diversity & Justice programs are used to enrich our students' learning opportunities...
A thematic Speaker Series each quarter features a diverse group of legal scholars and advocates who inspire students to pursue careers in law and social justice advocacy. Recent themes include:
In addition to the Speaker Series, we provide funding for students to attend legal conferences and visit law schools around the state.
Approximately half the 40+ LDJ students are students of color. Nearly 75% are first-generation or returning college students.
We are seeking community support to establish a scholarship fund for LDJ students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This fund will make it possible for the Center to better serve students and disadvantaged communities by breaking down the financial barriers that many students face in pursuing a legal education.
We help our students prepare for admission to law school in several ways:
Local attorneys--including several Law & Diversity alumni--give generously of their time and talent in mentoring our students.
As of spring 2009, ten local attorneys are participating in a structured mentorship program for Law, Diversity & Justice students hoping to become lawyers. We are seeking volunteer attorneys to continue to mentor students, to work with student interns, and to conduct workshops at Fairhaven on aspects of the legal profession.
If you are an attorney interested in mentoring a student, we'd love to talk to you. Please email Niall O'Murchu.
At Fairhaven, students often include professional development internships within their self-designed interdisciplinary concentrations.
Students concentrating in Law, Diversity & Justice benefit immensely from internships with the Public Defenders’ Office, the Assistant Attorney General’s Office, Law Advocates, local and state-wide organizations including Northwest Justice Project, Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of Washington, and the Reentry Coalition, and with private attorneys. Many of our LDJ concentrators are first generation students from under-represented backgrounds.
Scholarships allow our students to afford the opportunity cost of devoting themselves fully to a professional development internship while completing an academic term or during summer quarter.
The Center for Law, Diversity & Justice sponsors two practica; Court Watch and the Whatcom Civil Rights Project:
The Whatcom County Court Watch's (WCCW) mission is to encourage equal treatment for victims of domestic violence while students and the community learn about the judicial system through observation.
Community members are needed to serve as observers in the Whatcom County courts after taking the training, watching court on a weekly or every other week schedule and filling out observation sheets. Community members are encouraged to attend the weekly meeting with students to discuss the cases observed. Monetary contributions given to the Western Foundation are charitable donations that allow for the Court Watch to continue its operations. Please contact Professor Julie A. Helling to support the Whatcom Civil Rights Project and the Whatcom County Court Watch at Julie.Helling@wwu.edu.
Whatcom Civil Rights Project
Community members are needed to serve as advocates for the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force (WHRTF) and to answer calls at the WHTRTF office after under going training. Attorneys are needed to serve on the Attorney Review Panel, a quarterly panel that meets with the students to determine if the cases will be taken by the project. Attorneys are also needed to take the selected cases pro-bono.