Job Opportunity at Legal Services NYC

Legal Services NYC-Bronx is currently looking to hire a Staff Attorney to work in its Housing Unit. Legal Services NYC- Bronx is a not-for-profit law firm that is dedicated to helping low income residents of the Bronx protect their legal rights. It is part of a network of local programs that operate throughout New York City.

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Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, April 2014 Now Available

Michigan Ruling Adds to Unbroken String of Marriage Equality Victories

Senior U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman ruled on March 21 that the Michigan Marriage Amendment (MMA) and the statutes that implement it, prohibiting same-sex marriages in Michigan, violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Judge Friedman ordered the state to stop enforcing the ban, not mentioning Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request that any ruling in favor of the plaintiffs be stayed pending appeal. The case is DeBoer v. Snyder, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37274, 2014 WL 1100794 (E.D. Mich., March 21, 2014). The plaintiffs, April DeBoer and Jane Rowse, started the case in an effort to adopt each other’s children, but expanded it to challenge the state’s marriage ban on the invitation of Judge Friedman, who concluded early in the litigation that the immediate statutory obstacle to the desired adoptions was that the plaintiffs could not marry each other. Judge Friedman’s Order has been stayed by the 6th Circuit pending its ruling on the merits of the state’s appeal. Continue reading

Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, March 2014 Now Available

Virginia Marriage Equality Ruling Both a Big Deal and the New Normal

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal recognition for same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional, a wave of litigation over marriage equality has descended on the federal (and some state) trial courts, and so far every judge who has ruled on a motion for summary judgment has concluded that bans on performing or recognizing same-sex marriages violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as a matter of law. In that sense, there is really nothing new about U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen’s decision in the case of Bostic v. Rainey, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19080 (E.D. Va., Feb. 13, 2014, amended Feb. 14, 2014), holding Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, since the opinion falls within what is now the mainstream of a growing body of trial court decisions issued by judges of just about every political stripe.

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Charter High School for Law and Social Justice: Principal Search Announcement

This past December, the New York State Board of Regents granted a charter for the Charter High School for Law and Social Justice. The Charter High School is the product of a unique partnership between New York Law School and the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Using a theme of law and social justice, the Charter School will engage, inspire, and empower students, and will equip them with the academic skills to earn a Regents diploma and gain admission to the college of their choice. The School is expected to open in August 2015 with approximately 120 ninth grade students. For additional information about the school, please visit

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The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later

In his State of the Union Address in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty and stated, “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it. No single piece of legislation, however, is going to suffice.”  The Johnson administration launched a multifaceted attack on poverty by creating a broad array of government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, the Community Action Program, and Legal Services. These lasting programs provided employment opportunities and ushered in a decline in poverty-related conditions. Continue reading

Justice Speaks: The Right to Survive

Wednesday, February 19, was the semester’s first Justice Speaks Lunch. The topic was The Right to Survive; the speaker was Cara Anna. Ms. Anna is an accomplished journalist that has reported on issues in China. However, her talk to students last week was not about her experience as a reporter; instead, Ms. Anna shared her experience as a suicide attempt survivor and has called upon future lawyers to stand up as civil rights advocates on this issue. Continue reading

Damashek-Pegalis Fellowship 2014

The Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families at New York Law School is pleased to announce the 2014 Damashek-Pegalis Fellowship.

The Damashek-Pegalis Fellowship is an opportunity to receive funding for travel and attendance at a conference that addresses the use of law to promote safety and better health for children and families. The Fellowship is open to all current New York Law School students with a demonstrable interest in the laws affecting families, children, health, medicine and /or medical malpractice.

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Roleplay Facilitators Needed—Paid Position

The Justice Resource Center is looking to interview and train NYLS students as facilitators for their program, The Constitution Works (TCW). TCW is a law and civics program that introduces middle school and high school students to constitutional issues through role play activities. Through engaging fact patterns, students are introduced to relevant constitutional issues and they take on a role in determining the outcome. The program culminates in a role play activity at the Eastern District Bankruptcy Court.

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Black History Month Voting Rights Panel

Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 6:00pm-8:00pm, W520

In celebration of Black History Month, BLSA invites you to attend a wide-ranging discussion on the state of voting rights in the United States. The panel will focus on, among other things, the ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, voter identification statutes, and suppression tactics.

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Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, February 2014 Now Available

9th Circuit Holds Sexual Orientation Requires Heightened Scrutiny in Gay Juror Case

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circui ruled in Smithkline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1128, 2014 WL 211807 (January 21, 2014), that a new trial has to be held because Abbott, the defendant in a civil suit involving claims about the pricing of HIV medications, used on of its peremptory challenges to exclude a gay man from the jury. The court found that excluding people from a jury ebcause they are gay without some legitimate justification violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, under an extension of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986). As a necessary part of its ruling, the 9th Circuit panel concluded that sexual orientation discrimination claims are subject to “heightened scrutiny,” a doctrine that makes such claims more likely to succeed and that may have a significant impact on pending marriage equality cases in Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and Oregon, all stated within the geographic scope of the 9th Circuit. On January 27, the court granted a petition by Abbott to extend the time for it to file a motion seeking en banc review, until early in March. Abbott’s counsel argued, in effect, that they were caught by surprise by the court’s ruling, and needed time to study the opinion and decide whether to seek en banc review or accept the remand and prepare to retry the case. Although SKB filed an opposition to the petition, the court granted it without explanation.

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