YALE LAW SCHOOL seeks applications for a Catalyst Fellow in the Robert M. Cover Public Interest Fellowship Program, a two-year position beginning on or about July 1, 2018 to teach, supervise students, and handle client matters in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic (“VLSC”) at Yale Law School. The Fellowship is designed for a lawyer with at least two years of practice who is considering a career in law school clinical teaching.
VLSC is a semester-long, in-house clinic whose students represent veterans and their organizations in disability compensation benefits, record correction, and civil rights litigation in administrative, state, and federal courts. VLSC students also represent veterans’ organizations in regulatory and legislative advocacy, strategic planning, and public education campaigns.
Illustrative examples include representation of:
· Individual veterans seeking disability compensation benefits for injuries incurred during military service, in initial applications, administrative appeals, and judicial review in federal court. Recent cases include representation of veterans suffering PTSD from combat or sexual assault, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and toxic exposure-related disabilities.
· Former service members in individual applications to upgrade a less-than-honorable (“bad paper”) discharge before Department of Defense boards and on judicial review in federal court. Recent cases include representation of veterans discharged for minor misconduct while suffering from undiagnosed PTSD or TBI; in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment; and for “homosexual” conduct in the 1940s.
· A New Haven veteran in a proposed nation-wide class action challenging extreme delays in VA adjudication of benefits applications and which resulted in a 2017 decision overturning nearly thirty years of precedent that had barred veterans from pursuing aggregate litigation via the Article I court that is the exclusive channel for review of VA benefits claims.
· A woman raped while a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in federal civil rights litigation against the former leadership of West Point.
· A proposed nation-wide class of more than 50,000 Iraq and Afghanistan Era Army veterans who were discharged with bad paper despite having PTSD or PTSD-related conditions attributable to their military service.
· A proposed nation-wide class of U.S. Air Force veterans exposed to radiation after cleaning up two hydrogen bombs accidentally dropped on Spain in 1966, whose exposure the VA refuses to recognize.
· Local and national veterans’ organizations in legislative and regulatory campaigns to address retaliation against service-members who report sexual harassment or assault; reform military boards responsible for adjudicating discharge upgrade requests; expand veteran eligibility for pre-trial diversionary programs and better credit military training and experience in state occupational and professional licensing schemes; identify and counsel Connecticut veterans with bad paper and PTSD; assist thousands of veterans and their families poisoned by contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, NC; obtain information about the Department of Defense’s treatment of veterans exposed to radioactive testing sites, including in Freedom of Information Act litigation; and end discrimination in state programs and by employers against veterans with bad paper.
The Fellow’s responsibilities include representing VLSC clients, supervising students, assisting in teaching VLSC classes, and working on one’s own scholarship. In addition, the Fellow may be asked to co-teach a section of a half-semester experimental program for first-year students, Introduction to Legal Research and Writing. Candidates must be prepared to apply for admission to the Connecticut bar. (Candidates may qualify for admission without examination.) All work will be conducted with the support of the clinical faculty, and will focus on providing legal assistance to low-income and civil rights clients and organizations. The principal supervisor for the position will be Professor Michael Wishnie.
The Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization is committed to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty and staff committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. Candidates must be able to work both independently and as part of a team, and must possess strong written and oral communication skills. Experience in creative and community-driven advocacy is a strong plus. Annual salary is $63,000-68,000. Fellows receive health benefits and access to university facilities. Send (or email) a resume, cover letter, writing sample, law school transcript, and names, addresses and telephone numbers of three references by February 28, 2018 (early applications encouraged) to: Osikhena Awudu, Program Manager, The Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, P.O. Box 209090, New Haven, CT 06520-9090; telephone: (203) 432-4800; fax: (203) 432-1426; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Yale values diversity among its students, staff, and faculty and strongly welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, protected veterans and underrepresented minorities.