Social Justice Monday: The Moderate Means Program: Why It’s Important and Why You Want to Do It
The Access to Justice Institute presents
The Moderate Means Program:
Why It’s Important and
Why You Want to Do It
Monday, April 8, 2019
Noon – 12:50 p.m.
Sullivan Hall, Room C5
Join Professor Clay Wilson and a panel of students to learn about the Moderate Means Program and then sign up to intern this summer and gain client interviewing skills and brief cases on behalf of real clients!
The Moderate Means Program (MMP) is an ATJI Partnership Project run in collaboration with the Washington State Bar Association and the two other law schools in Washington State. Seattle University was the first law school to implement the program in the Spring of 2011. The purpose of the program is to increase access to civil legal services for moderate means individuals (those between 200% and 400% of the federal poverty level) who cannot afford to hire private attorneys at market rates, but make too much money to qualify for traditional civil legal aid services. Through this program, eligible clients can get assistance in the areas of Family, Consumer and Housing law.
Moderate Means Program law student interns interview potential clients by telephone to collect information and evaluate their cases. After a case has been evaluated and determined to be appropriate for the program, the student contacts one or more participating attorneys who are offered the opportunity to work with the client at a reduced fee. Once an attorney agrees to take a case, the client will be directed to the attorney and the intake materials including the student's case notes and legal analysis will be sent to the attorney. The attorney will then meet with the client to determine what services are appropriate. There are two ways for students to get involved with MMP:
1. Fall or Spring Practicum (semester-long course) which offers 3 credits. Open to 2Ls and 3Ls.
2. Summer Internship (10 weeks, full-time or part-time) which is unpaid. Open to rising 2Ls (current 1Ls) and 3Ls.
Clay Wilson joined the ATJI staff in November 2010 and serves as the Moderate Means Program Attorney and as Adjunct Faculty teaching the Moderate Means Practicum. Prior to joining ATJI, Professor Wilson was an attorney with the Northwest Justice Project for thirteen years. During that time he was an advocate on the CLEAR legal hotline, he represented low-income individuals in family law matters and eviction cases, managed the Northwest Justice Project's Contract Attorney Program, and was a CLEAR supervisor. Professor Wilson also has experience as a health care administrator, policy analyst, and mental health counselor. He has an extensive history of community volunteer experience; he currently volunteers at legal clinics for Kitsap Legal Services, a non-profit volunteer lawyer program, and has served on their board for the last nine years, most recently as Board President. Professor Wilson received B.A. and B.S. degrees from Washington State University, and an M.P.A. and J.D. from the University of Washington.
Jessica Kravitz is a current 3L graduating in May. Jessica earned her bachelor's degree in political science and comparative areas and her master's degree at Duke University. Jessica also studied political, social, and cultural issues abroad in England, Spain, and Germany, both in undergrad and grad school, and most recently in the London Law Program through the University of Iowa School of Law. Jessica is currently working for Krueger Beck in Kirkland, and plans to join their practice and take on pro bono asylum cases after graduation.
Lauren Sewell is a current 3L with an undergraduate degree in psychology from Oregon State University. Lauren has been a research assistant for Professor Chon and is a member of the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law. She spent her 1L summer working as a judicial clerk for the Social Security Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. This past summer, Lauren worked at a plaintiff's law firm in Seattle. Lauren hopes to continue working in a law firm setting.
Igor Shapiro is a current 3L. He and his family moved to the U.S. from Uzbekistan as refugees when he was a child. Igor joined the ADR Board during his 2L year and was also selected to be a 2018 Fellow for the Washington State Association for Justice. This experience, and his time in law school, has made him passionate about ensuring access to justice for injured people. He hopes to advocate for individuals with diverse backgrounds who may not have the means to advocate for themselves.
Social Justice Monday is an organized, weekly series hosted by the Access to Justice Institute in partnership with students, student organizations, and other departments across the law school. If you are interested in organizing a Social Justice Monday for the 2019-2020 academic year, please contact Abby Goldy at firstname.lastname@example.org.