In July 2015, the pro bono project Attorney on the Move was created to intentionally go where many of us haven't been—or where we are not "supposed" to go.
Throughout these last months, supporters of this project have witnessed and learned from migrant farmworkers who aren't receiving full due process rights in rural California; detainees (most without a criminal record) who are indefinitely held in a federal immigration detention center in Tacoma, WA; and members of the Blackfeet tribe in northern Montana who have been navigating a difficult legal system involving federal, state, and tribal governments.
And there's BIG NEWS: I am opening a longer-term Virtual Law Office (VLO) to increase legal services access to those who need it the most. The first step in launching this new law office is to extend Attorney on the Move until the end of 2016 and provide urgently needed legal services into America's most impacted communities. This upcoming year's work will not only indicate what the areas of highest need are, but will also enable me to build the infrastructure for a new, virtual legal model to reach more clients—wherever they may be.
Here is my planned route for the remainder of this journey: the end of 2015 will be spent in Arizona, and then I will start to make my way eastward through New Mexico, Texas, and the Deep South. The plan is to continue east until hitting the Eastern Seaboard, and then follow it up north to New York City/New England. Then, I will make my way through the Midwest and America's heartland by the end of the year (and ideally avoiding major snowstorms—my Smart car sidekick isn't a fan of that snow!).
I will be spending anywhere from a week to a month in a particular region continuing to work on the following:
1. Providing pro bono legal services in a clinic/interactive client setting
2. Meeting with other social justice lawyers/advocates in the field to continue building a network/infrastructure for a larger legal referral network related to the Virtual Law Office (VLO)
3. Paying particular attention to legal issues revolving around immigration law/detention, tribal law, and social justice legal issues impacting inner city & rural communities
As always, I will be blogging about the legal & social intersectional moments and my reflections being a nomadic public interest lawyer. I'd love it if you would sign up for my weekly Tuesday post so you can more closely follow along with the project and allow for us to be in better touch!