Connect to the Social Justice Community

ATJI serves as a connection point to justice-minded communities and entities, both within the law school and outside of our walls, and can help facilitate networking opportunities for law students. Contact the ATJI staff at atji@seattleu.edu for assistance with your public interest networking plan and help with making connections with attorneys and community leaders.

Social Justice at Seattle U

There are many ways to engage in social justice work within the law school and connect with other social-justice-minded students, staff, faculty, alumni and the larger community.

  • ATJI First Year Fellows: Cohort of selected 1Ls who engage in a year-long learning experience to build skills that set a foundation for leadership within and outside of the law school, as well as for a career in public interest and social justice work. The Fellowship experience includes monthly workshops as well as networking and mentorship from attorneys and community leaders.
  • Social Justice Leadership Committee: Vertically integrated committee comprised of students, alumni, faculty, and staff working on social justice initiatives within the law school. For more information, contact atji@seattleu.edu.
  • Center for Global Justice: Combining a justice-based approach to globalization with a commitment to academic excellence. Among the center's projects are a speakers series, a student fellows program and internship opportunities.
  • Externship Program: Offering a wide range of for-credit experiential learning opportunities, primarily in the nonprofit and public sectors, to help you bridge law school and practice.
  • Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law & Equality: Advancing social justice by fostering critical thinking about discrimination in U.S. society and through targeted advocacy to foster equality and freedom. The center's work is divided into three units: research, advocacy and education projects.
  • Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic: Under faculty supervision for credit, work on real cases and help real clients who might otherwise not have attorneys.
  • Seattle Journal for Social Justice: SJSJ is a peer-reviewed, student-edited journal that was founded in 2001 to promote critical interdisciplinary discussions on urgent problems of social justice, including exploring the often-conflicting meanings of justice that arise in a diverse society.
  • Center for Service and Community Engagement (CSCE): Providing service learning opportunities for broader Seattle University campus and home of the Seattle University Youth Initiative.
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs: University-wide office dedicated to the promotion of a campus community that appreciates, encourages, and celebrates diversity.
  • CAPS: A whole student is a well student. Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to helping students meet the challenges of life during college, graduate and professional school by encouraging healthy personal choices and balanced perspectives.

Public Interest Law Foundation

The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) is a law student organization committed to increasing awareness of the rewards, challenges, opportunities, and needs in public interest law. Recognizing the responsibility that members of the legal profession have in working to serve severely underrepresented legal needs, PILF engages in a number of projects, including networking events like an annual Evening with Equal Justice and fundraising to support students engaging in unpaid summer public interest work.

Conferences

ATJI facilitates student participation in several state, regional, and national social justice conferences throughout the year. In the past, ATJI has been able to provide some financial assistance for conference fees or travel costs for conferences such as:

The Student Bar Association also offers financial assistance to attend conferences through an application process. For more information, contact Abby Goldy, goldyabigail@seattleu.edu.

Committees and External Leadership Opportunities

To ensure that the social justice work of ATJI and the law school is impactful and done in partnership with the larger legal community, ATJI staff serve on many external committees, roundtables and coalitions. ATJI encourages students to also engage in external committees to network with practicing attorneys and community leaders, develop leadership skills, and deepen their understanding of issues impacting the community. Local opportunities that are open to law students include:

To get involved with these committees, contact Abby Goldy, goldyabigail@seattleu.edu.

Seattle University School of Law Domestic Violence Protection Order Clinic

As COVID-19 surged across the world, stay-at-home orders intended to protect public health unintentionally exacerbated a multitude of societal problems. Financial hardship, depression, and heightened stress levels led to a concerning increase in the frequency and severity of domestic violence as partners and children shelter-in-place with their abusers.

Seeing a 30-50% increase in abuse-related calls to police, Professor Deirdre Bowen and law students enrolled in her family law course launched a pop-up clinic dedicated to assisting survivors of domestic violence file legal Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) petitions. Filing in King County is free, but it is a complicated process filled with legal jargon and requirements.

Seattle U Law students play a crucial role in ensuring all the right information gets written down correctly in order to get a court hearing. It is vital that the court has all the information necessary to make a well-informed determination in support of the emergency request now and that it is documented for future review hearings necessary for permanent protection.

As of October 2020, 71% of all online petitions filed in King County were completed with the help of a Seattle U Law student. But as the pandemic continues through a long and dark winter, so is the ever-increasing need for survivors to have access to justice and a means to protect themselves.

This Clinic is currently run entirely by unpaid student volunteers and additional support to sustain and expand this important program in 2021 is needed. Click to learn more.