CJP In the News

A group of CJP students authored a statement in response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and protests around the country:

We, student-attorneys with Georgetown Law’s Community Justice Project (CJP), write to recognize and join the national dialogue surrounding continuing failures of the U.S. criminal justice system. This conversation was reignited by the tragic deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner--young, unarmed black men killed by police officers who faced no liability for their actions. These events highlight the criminal justice system’s well-established propensity to devalue the lives of people of color and afford police officers an increasing and unprecedented level of autonomy and legal immunity. We at CJP stand in resolute solidarity with the victims of police brutality and their families--as well as legal professionals and political activists across the country--to advocate for change to our public institutions and to craft a system that ensures justice for all.

With increased police autonomy and weakened legal protections, our nation has become increasingly polarized so that security and peace is only a reality for a segment of our country’s population. For far too many, the legal system is a looming threat to the physical, economic, and social security of individuals and communities. The losses of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other minority victims of police brutality make clear that this threat is real and present. This state of affairs is abhorrent. As future professionals and experts, we are uniquely poised to recognize, confront, and combat this problem; we cannot refuse to act without becoming implicated in the continued devaluation of the lives of people of color.

True reform does not begin or end with the simple indictment of reckless police officers or the eradication of stop and frisk; it begins with a change in the mindset of individuals and is an ongoing process. We as legal practitioners and civil servants must recognize our participation in society’s unequal legal systems. We must learn to integrate our passions and convictions into our daily practice. No matter how zealous our advocacy for individual clients, we must be ever-mindful that being true champions for justice requires ensuring that the system as a whole reflects the principles and values our society aspires to embody, for “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In solidarity,

Jessica Berger

Myka Held

Elizabeth Jordan

Meredith Madnick

Catherine Polta


CJP's work with LIFT-DC, which focused on developing policy advocacy strategies for the organization, was highlighted in a post on LIFT's blog

On July 14, 2014, the D.C. City Council unanimously passed a modified version of the "ban-the-box" legislation drafted by CJP students for the D.C. Jobs Coalition in the fall of 2013. The legislation prevents employers from asking job applicants about any criminal history before offering the applicant a position. On December 17, 2014. the Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014 took effect. Learn more about enforcement of the law here.

Georgetown Law covered CJP's recent victories related to actions by the D.C. City Council in a press release and Georgetown Law magazine. 

The Community Justice Project received the Civic Leadership Award from Casa Ruby at its second anniversary celebration on June 3. The leadership award was given in honor of work done by clinic students Jason Amirhadji (L’14), Michelle Mirabal (L’14) and Jessica DeStefano (L'14) in creating a strategic plan for the organization's future advocacy.  A full release is available here.

CJP students working with So Others Might Eat published recommendations on homelessness in D.C. 

CJP's work with So Others Might Eat was featured in Street Sense.

The Blade reported on CJP's work with Casa Ruby.

CJP was featured on the Legislation Law Prof Blog.

WAMU 88.5 featured the collaboration between CJP and Ayuda to combat notario fraud.

CJP students testified at the D.C. City Council Public Hearing on the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety as part of their work with the D.C. Office on Returning Citizen Affairs, and responded to questions from Committee Chair Tommy Wells. 

CJP students testified at the D.C. City Council Oversight Hearing on The Department of Employment Services.

Immigration practitioners in Oregon are using the resources and arguments in the Georgetown CJP-Ayuda report and manual to argue for the U visa for victims of fraud in an immigration services scheme. 

The Southwester highlighted CJP students' work with the Southwest DC community to address and respond to environmental health concerns.