The thing about social entrepreneurship — the for-profit kind — is that you either solve the problem you’ve chosen or you go out of business. There’s a certain urgency to finding a solution. So it’s exciting when a lawyer forms a tech startup committed to access to justice. You know it’s the real deal when that lawyer goes to court to see the experience of pro se litigants.
The rights of indigenous peoples made big news this year with the temporary defeat of the Dakota Access pipeline. It could not have happened without support from the Water Protector Legal Collective, a group of lawyers who defended protestors in court and paid bail to keep them on the front lines. These are Lawyers We Love.
Chicago lawyer Rhonda Crawford ran for an open judicial seat and won. But before she won, a senior judge and mentor helped Rhonda prepare for the job with a few minor traffic cases. Now the state’s legal bigwigs are trying hard to reverse the election. For fighting back, Rhonda Crawford is among the Lawyers We Love.
It will be a long time before Indiana’s Hanover Central High School fires a teacher again without good cause. They just lost a due process case filed by Brian Vukadinovich, a shop teacher they sent packing four years ago. He’s cost them a six-figure damage award, and he did it without a lawyer.
How would you design a judicial system where the primary users were self-represented litigants? Richard Zorza answered that question years ago in his book, “The Self-Help Friendly Court”. New data on our dominant presence in the courts shows his prophetic genius.
Imagine losing a friend — someone you’d dated — to murder. Imagine being arrested for the murder and convicted on a pack of lies, phony evidence, and a defense that never checked your alibi.
Imagine all that happening your senior year in high school. And you’re still in prison 17 years later.
But look! See over there? It’s Rabia Chaudry, your best friend’s big sister, a lawyer come to save your life.
You have a new trial thanks to the millions of people she helped learn of your case. And your freedom is just a few short days away.
It’s easy to be on the side of the angels as a legal aid lawyer. What distinguishes Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr. at Maryland Legal Aid from the others is a relentless focus on human rights and an ability to grow an organization devoted to those principles.
Banks paid billions for foreclosing homes with fabricated evidence, but no bankers went to jail. Is turnabout fair play? Chuck Kalogianis will soon find out.
There are few lawyers with both a lifelong passion for human rights and the competence and stamina to push the needle in the right direction over decades of service. Michael Ratner was one of them, and we honor his spirit and his legacy.
Attorney Mike Moity of New Iberia, Louisiana couldn’t stand by while visitors from Dallas, arrested on ridiculous misdemeanors, sat in jail awaiting trial because they couldn’t pay bail. So he paid it for them.