Registration now open for national movement conference on overturning mass incarceration

At a time when 100 million Americans are trying to move on from their criminal records, hundreds (and possibly thousands) of people will gather in Oakland, California to address their common struggle with an oppressive criminal justice system. The Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM) is made up of the directly impacted families and communities confronting a system of control; a system that has, itself, grown out of control. This two-day conference (Sept. 9-10) is the latest of many historical markers in the Civil Rights movement and represents the courageous individual and collective journeys among every organizer and participant.

Source: Registration now open for national movement conference on overturning mass incarceration



The Flanbwayan tree is  a beautiful tree that grows throughout the island of Haiti. It stands out with its fiery red flowers, for us it is a symbol of strength, patience, and growth.

Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project (Flanbwayan) founded in 2005 is a youth membership-based organization serving newcomer and young adult Haitian immigrant students in New York City who are English Language Learners (ELLs) between the ages of 14 to 21. Flanbwayan provides a safety net for Haitian youth who may possibly fall through the cracks of an overwhelming high school placement process as they enter the New York area, providing much-needed services, including individual education assessments and appropriate school placements. In this project student members have found themselves in a safe space where they discussed issues, share experiences, express their views on education issues, develop outreach efforts to their peers and raise awareness on the need for education reform.

Flanbwayan’s multi-level approach to education, advocacy, organizing and cultural activities provides rigorous learning experiences where students acquire critical thinking, analytical and leadership skills that deepen community ties and cultural understanding. Flanbwayan assumes in order for newcomer immigrant youth to grow and develop they need to have a safe space, equal access to resources and opportunities.

Visit for their scholarship listings.

Please share this link with others!

International Marine Conservation Congress

The International Marine Conservation Congress is the most important international meetings for marine conservation.

Samantha Oester, Society for Conservation BiologyMarine Section president-elect, has studied marine animals and conservation around the globe, as well as freshwater ecology and aquatic microbiology in remote locations. She has also worked in Haiti as a medical volunteer, including after the 2010 earthquake. She has become passionate about helping to reduce poverty and improve public health while also ameliorating habitat for endangered and endemic coastal and marine species.

Research is still in its infancy in Haiti, especially in the Cap-Haïtien region, and Oester’s pilot project is collecting data in the Cap-Haïtien watershed, including marine, freshwater, mangrove and inland riverine wetland data, which will be discussed in her ICCB ECCB 2015 presentation. Working with the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine, Haiti’s only marine conservation non-governmental organization, Oester’s research will start a large, long-term research and monitoring project in the region to improve life for all in Cap-Haïtien Bay.

Follow Oester on Twitter: @samoester

Read more . . .

Practical Ways to do Public Interest

Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of law students and recent graduates and supported by a small group of independent contractors. Ms. JD serves “as a unique nexus between the profession and the pipeline of diverse attorneys, Ms. JD’s online community provides a forum for dialogue and networking among women lawyers and law students.”

Ms. Jd is home to the  National Women Law Students’ Organization and has campus chapters around the nation.

“Ms. JD celebrates women’s achievements, addresses remaining challenges, and facilitates continued progress by bringing legal practitioners and law students together to share in an ongoing conversation about gender issues in law school and the profession.”

Ms. JD also accepts volunteer bloggers.

Ms. Emmanuela SaintJean, of Haitian descent published an article on Ms.JD directed towards persons interested in practicing public interest law.

Ms. SaintJean states that:

While there are various branches in public interest, we all have one aim and that is to do good and pursue justice. A few practical ways we can be stronger together is by;

1. Listening: It’s not enough to just hear the issues the people we serve, we must listen to issues, listening is intentional. Briefly, put yourself in your client shoes, and give them the same attention you would want.

2. Sharing Resources: Share financial resources, list of food pantries, shelters, listing of other agencies that can serve your clients, employees, and even a willing intern.

3. Be Radical: Be unapologetic about your zeal and passion to serve your clients.  Graciously, don’t take no for an answer, be creative and think outside the box when thinking of a solution. Remember the people that you serve are counting on your brilliance to help them. Finally stronger together means

4. Being Committed: Dr. Martin Luther King said “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” If we are going to be strong together we must be truly committed to the work that we do. Public interest work is not for the faint at heart, it requires long hours, fewer dollars, and fewer resources but the reward of making a positive impact on the lives of the clients we serve far outweighs the bad, and this cause is worthy of all that we have.


UNIDROIT Internship


The UNIDROIT Secretariat no longer accepts applications for internships for the period February to July 2016.  For internships tenable as of the autumn 2016, you may send your application as of 1 June 2016.

Each year, UNIDROIT welcomes a limited number of interns to participate in the work of the Secretariat on one of the subjects on the Institute’s current Work Programme, or on work associated with other UNIDROIT instruments. Interns will generally be expected to conduct research on specific aspects of the chosen/assigned subject and/or to prepare concept notes.


Preference is given to candidates engaged in postgraduate legal studies (5 years +). It is recommended that, when applying for an internship, candidates indicate: (1) a research project that they will pursue on an independent basis in the UNIDROIT library, and (2) (the) area(s) of UNIDROIT’s work upon which they would like to collaborate with the Secretariat.

Applicants must have a good knowledge of both spoken and written English (knowledge of any other language is also appreciated).

The length of an internship is two or three consecutive months (excluding the month of August).

UNIDROIT internships are not remunerated. Interns are required to have adequate medical insurance coverage during their stay in Rome.

Individual applications (curriculum vitae and a letter of intent) should be sent to Ms Laura Tikanvaara:

For institutional co-operation (with universities, research institutes, governmental entities etc.) please contact Ms Frédérique Mestre:


ICC Young Arbitrators Forum

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) hosts the Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) where members can “learn from experienced practitioners about career development and issues of interest in arbitration.”

The forum is free to join through a simple online form.

The ICC YAF is headed in Paris but hosts events world wide, including San Francisco, California.

The events are frequently hosted by law firms and “offer a fresh way for young practitioners of the arbitration world to interact.”


Social Engineer

I strive daily to become a “social engineer,” as Charles Hamilton Houston described, because to whom much is given much is expected.

“A lawyer’s either a social engineer or … a parasite on society … A social engineer [is] a highly skilled, perceptive, sensitive lawyer who [understands] the Constitution of the United States and [knows] how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering conditions of the underprivileged citizens.”

To inspire change locally, last fall, I volunteered at Disability Independence Group Inc. (“DIG”), a non-profit organization. They had various projects to advocate for the civil rights of individuals belonging to all suspect and quasi-suspect classes. The core focus of the work consisted of bringing awareness in the community to rampant latent disabilities, such as autism.

DIG worked closely with the Coral Gables Police Department to implement the “Wallet Card Program.” A wallet card is a card that is used by a disabled individual that specifies that individual’s disability. If an individual already possesses a card, upon contact with law enforcement the disabled simply hands over the card to the officer to prevent wrongful arrest due to abnormal behaviors, which the officer may associate with drug use.

Once the department determines an individual without a card is disabled, the individual is referred to DIG. DIG met with The Honorable Carlos Martinez and members of his staff to educate them on how to properly communicate with deaf arrestees and inmates.

This semester I prepare taxes as an agent of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance on Saturday mornings. As the only Haitian-American at my site, I also translate for clients who are not proficient in English. One of the customers I assisted this year, after learning of his return amount, informed me that the funds will be used to buy a long overdue mattress for his son. My involvement with VITA goes beyond preparing taxes. No matter how nominal a return may be, for most VITA’s clientele my interaction and efforts make substantial impacts on their lives.



Samuel Rony is a second-year law student at St. Thomas University School of Law. He was born and raised in Haiti.

Is your LinkedIn Photo Professional?

Your initial answer is probably “yes,” but let’s put that to the test!

The site PhotoFeeler allows you to test your profile photo in real time. It is fun and productive. To begin, you vote on the photos of others to gain enough points to have your own photo voted on. You can also buy points to bypass that step. Last, you use your points to choose which type of testing you would like your photo to go through.

You can choose something quick and dirty or an option that is more statistically precise.

In the category of business, your photo will be voted on to determine how likable, competent, and influential you look to others.  Check it out!

Developing your EQ

Is EQ as important as IQ ?

Kieith Lee for Above the Law wrote that  “The ability to read people and respond to their emotional states in real time is an essential skill for an attorney. Yet they are largely neglected in law schools. The focus is on pure analytical analysis and logical reasoning”

Read his article and decide for yourself

Here at A&M Law we have the Professional Development Series, which I believe plays a role in developing our EQ as students here. But for those students who may be stuck in a world where your EQ is shadowed behind your GPA, we hope to provide some tips to develop that soon!

Jack Manhire is the Director of Program Development for Texas A&M School of Law. His flagship programs, Breaking Bias and the Diversity Leadership Program, create leaders in any organization who break barriers of bias to produce highly-engaged and top-performing teams.

You can contact Jack at to learn more about these and other programs to help your organization perform at its best.


CLEO’s newest program—CLIC, CLEO Legally Inspired Cohort is an exciting new program to give diverse students one more avenue to law school. Twenty of the 40 pre-law summer institute participants will be selected to take part in this new program. After the summer institute, five each of the CLIC participants will attend the four law schools together as a cohort.

Additionally, because of their matriculation at the CLEO partner law school, CLIC Scholars will:

  • Receive a $1000 book award
  • Have mentors and legal community support
  • Obtain help with summer internships, clerkships or jobs, and
  • Get other necessary assistance

Please make your friends and acquaintances aware of this great chance.  For more information about this wonderful opportunity, visit