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AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships Program Manual Policies and Procedures for Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships Program Manual Policies and Procedures for Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships Program Manual

Policies and Procedures for Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps Host Sites

Last updated November 2009

I. Introduction

The Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Program Manual is designed to facilitate compliance with the administrative aspects of the AmeriCorps grant by providing a single location for basic guidance, forms and key documents for the program. We encourage project directors and fiscal managers to use the guide as a resource throughout the program year. In addition, Equal Justice Works staff is always available for additional administrative support and will make every effort to anticipate your needs and respond promptly to requests for information.

Please note, although this guide is intended to provide project directors and fiscal managers with a general understanding of the rules and regulations that govern the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship program, the legal requirements of the grant are found in the AmeriCorps statute and regulations (National and Community Service Act of 1990 and 45 CFR 2510 et seq.), the AmeriCorps Provisions and the Equal Justice Works Subgrant Agreement. The complete AmeriCorps statute, regulations and provisions may be found at:

http://www.americorps.gov/for_organiz ations/manage/index.asp#provisions

For 20092010, Equal Justice Works will operate an AmeriCorps program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (popularly known as “Recovery” or “Stimulus.” AmeriCorps program operations will be largely the same for Fellows funded through Recovery, but there are some differences. Policies unique to Recovery are presented in the Manual in this dark red font. This manual details the following responsibilities for both Equal Justice Works (the parent organization) and subgrantee host organizations (sites):

Equal Justice Works Grant Responsibilities

When awarding funds to Equal Justice Works, The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) requires Equal Justice Works to ensure that our staff, host organizations, and Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellows are operating in compliance with their regulations. Equal Justice Works is responsible for the following responsibilities under the AmeriCorps grant:

Timely disbursement of CNCS grant dollars and foundation match funding to host organizations;

In depth orientation and training for host organizations on AmeriCorps management, regulations, and effective practices;

Orientation and training for AmeriCorps Fellows regarding Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps;

Ongoing support to both host organizations and AmeriCorps Fellows on planning and implementing their service activities (including regular phone and electronic contact);

Ongoing support for AmeriCorps Fellows to build effectiveness and esprit de corps, and to fulfill their professional development goals;

Regular communication with AmeriCorps Fellows regarding professional development opportunities, best practices in pro bono legal volunteer management, opportunities for crosssite collaboration, and issues of relevance to the Fellows and host organizations;

Ongoing systematic support to host organizations regarding member monitoring and supervision;

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Administration of program evaluation efforts;

Encouragement of media coverage about AmeriCorps Fellows and their service;

Promotion of AmeriCorps Fellows’ efforts to stakeholders in government, the private sector, higher education, and foundations;

Preparation of required fiscal and program impact reports for the Corporation for National and Community Service; and

Administration of grant funds to support AmeriCorps Fellows (excluding payroll and health care coverage).

Host Organization Grant Responsibilities

As subgrantees in a federally funded program, host organizations are also subject to AmeriCorps restrictions and requirements. Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps staff is available to provide support, training, and technical assistance to help host organizations develop and maintain systems to ensure compliance with these requirements.

The complete AmeriCorps statute, regulations and provisions may be found at:

http://www.americorps.gov/for_organiz ations/manage/index.asp#provisions

Several notable regulations or grant requirements for host organizations include:

A. Grant Period

The Corporation for National and Community Service gives a three year programmatic approval with an initial one year grant award.

If Equal Justice Works and CNCS approve your application to enter into a multi year award agreement, Equal Justice Works will provide funding at the outset only for the first year of the program. Funding for the second and third years of an approved AmeriCorps program is contingent upon the satisfactory progress toward the program objectives at the parent organization and host site level, the approval of proposed changes in activities or objectives, a detailed budget and budget narrative for the program year, the availability of funds, and any other criteria established in the award agreement.

B. Monitoring Responsibilities

All recipients of AmeriCorps funds are responsible for the implementation of systems and processes to ensure compliance with applicable requirements from the federal level and Equal Justice Works. The following are examples of required host site monitoring activities:

maintenance of complete member files (e.g., contracts, forms, and performance reviews);

bi annual reporting of progress toward program objectives; and

timely electronic reporting of member status (e.g., enrollment, eligibility, and service hours).

C. Federal Financial Management and Grant Administration Requirements

Under AmeriCorps regulations, each grantee must maintain financial management systems that provide accurate, current, and complete disclosure of the financial results of its program. To meet this requirement, host organizations must have adequate accounting practices and procedures, internal controls, audit trails and cost allocation procedures. All host organizations will be required to track grant expenditures in their

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accounting ledger and submit reports to Equal Justice Works on a monthly basis via an AmeriCorps online reporting system.

Host organizations will designate staff member(s) responsible for fiscal compliance and program compliance and will maintain backup documentation of all charges to the grant, including timesheets for AmeriCorps Fellows and staff who charge time to the grant. Host organizations will send designated staff to an Equal Justice Workssponsored training, held annually in August. Host organizations will provide bi weekly living allowance payments and basic health care coverage for the AmeriCorps Fellows.

Host organizations must also demonstrate that they are in compliance with the applicable federal regulations and laws. Equal Justice Works will immediately obtain certification and assurances of such compliance upon notification of site selection for the program.

D. AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Supervision and Support

Equal Justice Works expects that host organizations will ensure AmeriCorps Fellows are primarily used to provide services that support volunteers and programs in accordance with agreedupon program objectives. Host organizations must treat AmeriCorps Fellows as full members of their organization, provide clear direction, supervision and support to AmeriCorps Fellows and provide AmeriCorps Fellows office space, use of a computer and phone and resources to accomplish their projects. Host organizations are also expected to define, explain and recognize the service provided by AmeriCorps Fellows to stakeholders in your community as a way to promote understanding of AmeriCorps and Equal Justice Works.

E. Communication and Reporting Requirements

Host organizations will provide monthly online Periodic Expense Reports and quarterly Financial Status Reports to Equal Justice Works. Host organizations will report results and submit two online Progress Reports annually on the status of the project. In addition, we expect host organizations to maintain open and frequent communication with Equal Justice Works staff and notify us about changes in AmeriCorps Fellows’ responsibilities or other issues of concern.

F. Match Requirements

All host organizations are required to raise matching funds from the private sector, e.g., corporations, foundations, individuals, local businesses and nonprofit organizations. The match for member support costs (excluding health insurance) must be in non federal cash. Host organizations may provide their share of host costs in cash or in kind, and may use non CNCS federal funds as a match if permitted by the rules governing those federal funds.

G. Prohibited Activities

As an AmeriCorps program, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps is subject to federal restrictions and AmeriCorps Fellows are prohibited from performing certain activities during their service hours. For example, AmeriCorps Fellows may not engage in:

Lobbying;

Protests;

Promoting or deterring union organizing; or

Voter registration drives during the course of their service.

The complete AmeriCorps regulations concerning prohibited activities may be found at on the CNCS’s Resource Center Website at: http://nationalserviceresources.org/ .

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H. FullTime Terms of Service

Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps program will engage AmeriCorps Fellows in full time terms of service, which are at least 1700 hours in 11 or 12 months (at the discretion of the host site, and as delineated in the AmeriCorps Fellows’ contract). Upon successful completion of their term of service, AmeriCorps Fellows will receive an education award from the National Service Trust in the amount of $4,725.

I. Member Living Allowance

Equal Justice Works requires all participating programs to provide the maximum AmeriCorps living allowance ($22,800 in 2009 2010) for a full time member. AmeriCorps Fellows also receive the health care coverage offered to employees of the host site.

J. Supplemental Benefits

Host organizations must supplement the living allowance of their AmeriCorps Fellows, up to the starting salary of new staff attorneys in the organization. Supplemental benefits may be paid to the Fellow (with completion of the Supplemental Benefits Agreement Form) or to a third party. The most common supplemental benefit is monthly housing assistance paid to a landlord or mortgage company. Some host organizations provide other benefits including loan repayment assistance and help with transportation costs. Our current host organizations provide between $7,200 and $22,800 per AmeriCorps Fellow in supplemental benefits, depending on location and whether the Fellowship is funded through the Recovery Act.

K. Fellow Recruitment and Selection

Host organizations are responsible for recruiting AmeriCorps Fellows. Program applicants must be third year law students or graduates from an Equal Justice Works member law school. A list of current member law schools can be found here: http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/ communities/lawschools/members

As a national organization, Equal Justice Works will assist programs by marketing opportunities for the program to our law school membership, national public interest listservs, and through the AmeriCorps online recruitment system. We also promote your program and service opportunities on your organization’s Equal Justice Works microsite found at http://www.equaljusticeworks.or g/programs/americorps/general.

Applicants should discuss their plans for recruiting AmeriCorps Fellows in their application. To improve recruitment, applicants are strongly encouraged to independently supplement AmeriCorps Fellows’ benefits by, for example, paying bar dues and/or providing a cash match to the AmeriCorps Fellows’ education award upon completion of the service term.

L. Child Care and Health Insurance

1. Child Care

AmeriCorps directly funds child care for any full time member who is income eligible and who needs such assistance to participate in the program. CNCS will pay 100% of the allowance as defined by payment rates of

the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).

2. Health Insurance

Host organizations must provide full time AmeriCorps Fellows with health insurance at the time of acceptance into the program if the member is not otherwise covered by a health insurance policy.

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II.

Fiscal Guidance

OVERVIEW

Over the course of the grant term, the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps operating sites are required to prepare several financial reports on their AmeriCorps project. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps, requires AmeriCorps programs to complete these reports as part of a broader set of fiscal management systems and procedures. Equal Justice Works, the grantee and fiscal administrator, considers these reports and systems extremely important in ensuring compliance and accountability at both the national program and local operating site levels.

GRANTS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Sites will submit and manage program budgets in the Equal Justice Works Grants Management System:

http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/comm unities/participants/americorps/gms

The following guidance is designed to help project directors and financial managers understand and prepare the required fiscal reports. As the grant term progresses, CNCS may require additional fiscal reports or may make modifications to existing reports.

Sites enter budgets at the start of the grant. The budget outlines the funding charged to CNCS and the match provided by the host site in support of the Fellows.

Sites maintain supporting documentation for costs billed to the grant and to the match each month, and report these expenses on Periodic Expense Reports

It is essential that operating sites maintain the correlation between these fiscal reports. An adjustment to any of the reports triggers a corollary adjustment to other reports. Site financial and accounting staff should be familiar with the required fiscal reports, as they are comparable to financial reports required by other funding sources.

The sections that follow address the reading, financial reporting and timekeeping requirements necessary to effectively fulfill the fiscal and programmatic responsibilities. Project directors and fiscal managers should be thoroughly familiar with the fiscal management and reporting requirements of the AmeriCorps grant. Each site is responsible for compliance with all of these requirements and will be responsible for any noncompliance findings or recommendations determined by CNCS.

F INANCIAL AND T IMEKEEPING R EPORTING R EQUIREMENTS

This section contains fiscal reporting instructions. The instructions identify how each form is connected to other fiscal reports. Fiscal reporting forms and instructions are subject to change by CNCS.

1. Site Operating Budgets Site Operating Budgets are prepared annually when sites submit their grant application to Equal Justice Works. Operating site budgets are based on the forms and instructions contained in the CNCS Application Guidelines. Sites should be aware that CNCS modifies these guidelines from year to year.

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2.

Periodic Expense Reports Periodic Expense Reports (PERs) are prepared by operating sites at the end of each month and show cumulative expenditures of CNCS and non CNCS funds, or grantee share of funds commonly referred to as match . The expense categories for the PER are the same as those from the operating site budget.

Most importantly, the PER serves as the basis for issuing monthly grant checks to projects and for preparing the quarterly Federal Financial Reports. Checks are issued on a reimbursement basis.

Beginning with the start of the 20092010 grant year, Equal Justice Works will not require quarterly financial reports, and will use the PER for this function.

IMPORTANT P OINTS TO R EMEMBER :

For 20092010, sites much allocate all CNCS funds to Section 2, Member Support Costs (specifically for Line A, Living Allowance). No CNCS funds may be used for supplemental benefits.

CNCS funds may not be reallocated to other categories or line items.

The program calendar outlines reporting deadlines for the regular and Recovery grants for the duration of the service year. If you have a question about these deadlines or do not have access to them, please contact Equal Justice Works staff.

Equal Justice Works strongly discourages billing non Fellow staff time to the match (and prohibits billing staff time to the grant). Staff time that is billed to the match must be supported by grant allocation time sheets and payroll ledgers and submitted to Equal Justice Works upon request.

Note about supporting documents and retention of records: Sites are required to maintain all supporting documentation of expenses charged to the grant including CNCS and non CNCS match share. Documentation must be retained for a period of 3 years after the official closeout of grant award by CNCS.

III. Fellow Information and Documentation

The following is general guidance regarding the types of actions, oversight and support sites need to provide each AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at their site over the course of the program year.

AmeriCorps Legal Fellow File Checklist All sites are required under the AmeriCorps grant to keep certain forms and records on file for each AmeriCorps Legal Fellow. The checklist has been designed to assist you in maintaining complete records for each AmeriCorps Legal Fellow. The required items are noted with an asterisk. There is space on the checklist to add additional items that your site may keep in Fellow files.

For the purposes of grant compliance, host sites will maintain the documents of record required in member files by CNCS. In addition, host sites will send electronic or paper copies of specified forms to Equal Justice

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Works. In the first quarter of the program year, Equal Justice Works will review submitted materials and verify compliance, and request submission of any missing materials.

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Member Enrollment and Exit Instructions These instructions will direct sites through the enrollment and exit processes for each Fellow. Fellows must be enrolled in the new My AmeriCorps Portal within 7 calendar days of the Fellow’s start of service . Likewise, exit forms must also be entered into The Portal within 7 days of the Fellow’s completion of service . Enrollment and exit forms are available in the appendix of this guide and for downloading on The Corporation for National and Community Service’s website at:

( http://www.nationalservice.gov/ for_organizations/tta/forms.asp ). Please complete one form for each Fellow, keep the original signed version in the Fellow’s file and send a copy to Equal Justice Works.

Proof of AmeriCorps Eligibility Resident Eligibility Requirements All AmeriCorps Legal Fellows must meet AmeriCorps resident eligibility requirements. Enclosed is a form designed to document the fulfillment of this requirement. Please have the Fellow complete this form before finalizing their enrollment, keep the original in the Fellow’s file, and send a copy to Equal Justice Works.

Background Check

Criminal Background checks are required for all AmeriCorps Legal Fellows. An individual who is subject to a State sex offender registration requirement may not serve in AmeriCorps. Host sites have the discretion to reject applicants based on other offenses. A background check for bar admission is not sufficient to meet this standard. Perform these checks on applicants:

1. National Sex Offender Public Registry (www.nsopr.gov) Must be conducted prior to service.

2. State criminal check for your state

3. State criminal check for state of Fellow’s residence at time of application

Required Procedures :

1. Verify the applicant’s identity.

2. Obtain the applicant’s written authorization to conduct State criminal registry checks and to share the results within the program.

3. Participation in the program is contingent upon the criminal history review.

4. Applicants must have the opportunity to challenge results.

5. Results must remain confidential.

Required Documentation:

1. Written verification of applicant’s identity.

2. Results of the criminal history checks must be maintained, unless prohibited by State law.

3. Written documentation that the grantee conducted the required checks and considered the results in selecting or retaining the individual.

AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Service Contract – Signed on Day 1, Must Contain a Position Description On the first day of the term of service, sites must execute a contract with each AmeriCorps Legal Fellow. The Fellow cannot receive service hours toward the AmeriCorps education award until the contract is signed by both parties. Both the site and Fellow at the onset of their service year and keep it in the Fellow’s file, along

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with any amendments. The contract must contain a position description and description of the site’s grievance procedures. Please complete the contract no later than two weeks into the Fellow’s service, keep the original signed copy in the Fellow’s file and send a copy to Equal Justice Works.

AmeriCorps Fellowship Workplan All AmeriCorps Sites must submit workplans for each Fellow. AmeriCorps Fellows will develop a work plan with their supervisor to establish project goals and to guide weekly supervisory meetings. Fellows typically balance their time on volunteer management and on providing direct legal representation. This balance capitalizes on the volunteermultiplier model, while enabling the Fellow to stay sharp as a lawyer. The workplan does not constitute an obligation on the part of the organization to complete all tasks, but it does serve to prioritize activities, increase productivity and minimize confusion of the different roles a Fellow plays in the organization and community. Please complete the workplan within the first month of the term, keep and update the original as needed, and submit a copy in the AmeriCorps Fellows Forum.

Publicity Release According to the AmeriCorps provisions, the Grantee must obtain the prior written consent of all Fellows before using their names, photographs or other identifying information for publicity, promotional or other purposes. Please have each AmeriCorps Legal Fellow sign the enclosed Publicity Release form at the outset of their service and place it in their file.

Acknowledgment of Midand EndofTerm Performance Review AmeriCorps provisions require that sites conduct at least a midterm and end of term written evaluation of each AmeriCorps Legal Fellow’s performance, focusing on such factors as completion of service hours and assignments. In the appendix, you will find forms designed to document that sites have complied with this requirement. Please sign one of these forms for each Fellow at the appropriate time intervals and keep them in the Fellow’s file .

Note that evaluations should be conducted according to each Fellow’s term, not the overall grant term. Here is an example: Site X’s grant term begins on August 1, but Fellow X does not begin serving until October 1 and her expected completion date is September 30. Fellow X’s midterm evaluation should be conducted at some point in April (6 months after October 1 st ) and not in February (6 months from start of site X’s grant term).

Time logs Accurate time logs are extremely important. The following are a few things to keep in mind:

Service vs. Training Hours Sites must keep a record of the hours each Fellow spends in service and in training ( of the Fellow, not trainings performed by the Fellow) on a weekly basis. No more than 20% of the aggregate of all Fellow service hours may be spent in education and training activities.

Signatures Each time log must be signed by both the Fellow and their supervisor, e.g., an individual in the AmeriCorps Attorney’s office rather than someone with no personal knowledge of the Fellow’s service. In addition, the signing supervisor should remain consistent and not change week after week of course, another staff member should step in when the regular supervisor is out of the office.

What Hours Count Service hours are those hours actually worked. AmeriCorps Fellows do not receive extra hours over and above those worked under any circumstances, such as “comp time” or “time and a half.” Holidays, leave time and other absences may not be counted toward hours served but should be included in the programmatic year. Fellows and sites should maintain on going tallies of the number of hours serve to

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date, hours remaining to earn the education award, and average weekly hours needed to receive the award. Equal Justice Works will request periodic updates on Fellow hours.

Prohibited Program Activities Certification Certification of non participation in AmeriCorps prohibited activities is included in the exit form. This must be completed by all Fellows, even those who do not successfully complete terms of service. Please have the Fellow complete the exit form at the conclusion of their service, submit a copy to Equal Justice Works and place it in the Fellow’s file.

Loan Forbearance Request and Interest Accrual Request All participants in AmeriCorps programs are eligible to place their qualified student loans in forbearance during the term of their service. The government will also pay the interest that accrues on these loans as a benefit of AmeriCorps service. The national service legislation defines a qualified student loan as a loan backed by the federal government under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Unfortunately, some private loans do not fall within that definition, so please inform your Fellows that privately funded loans through lenders such as Law Access are typically not eligible for loan forbearance during AmeriCorps service . If your Fellow is uncertain about whether a particular loan will qualify, please advise them to contact their lender or call the National Service Trust Help Line at (888) 5075962. If a particular loan is not eligible for national service forbearance, the Fellow is encouraged to call the lender to inquire as to whether they will voluntarily provide forbearance during the term of service on the basis of national service or financial hardship.

The Fellow may log into the My AmeriCorps Portal to place their loans into forbearance . Equal Justice Works will provide an introduction to the My AmeriCorps portal at the beginning of the Fellow’s term of service.

The Fellow may log into the My AmeriCorps Portal and request that the National Service Trust pay the interest that has accrued on qualified loans placed into forbearance during the term of service. Equal Justice Works will provide an introduction to the My AmeriCorps portal at the beginning of the Fellow’s term of service.

IV. Equal Justice Works Support and Monitoring Protocols

Equal Justice Works prides itself on managing the most effective and efficient AmeriCorps program possible. We are committed to effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars and full compliance with federal regulations. These monitoring procedures ensure rigorous adherence to AmeriCorps and OMB rules and regulations in all aspects of the grant, including host site management. The following steps describe site support and monitoring as conducted by Equal Justice Works throughout the life cycle of the program.

Application and Selection Process For 20092010, Equal Justice Works conducted two grants processes, for recomplete funding through the AmeriCorps*National process, and for Recovery Act funds. In future years, Equal Justice Works anticipates combining these programs into one application. Current sites will submit Annual Progress Reports and Grant Renewal applications in December 2009 and 2010. Submission of organization and A 133 audits are required as part of the application. Equal Justice Works will release an RFP in October 2009 and 2010 for potential host organizations to apply for funding. Equal Justice Work’s staff members will conduct a Technical Review and Grant Review in December, and submit an application to CNCS in January 2010 and 2011.

In some instances, Equal Justice Works identifies potential host sites and funds Fellowships outside of the above application process. These cases generally involve a crisis, and may require Equal Justice Works to help

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raise matching funds for the positions. In response to Hurricanes Katrina, Ike and the recent foreclosure crisis, Equal Justice Works selected host sites and funded AmeriCorps Fellowships outside the application process. In these cases, host sites are expected to apply for funds in the standard process for their second year.

Site Staff Training and Strategy Meeting

In August (the first month of the grant cycle), Equal Justice Works convenes sites for a 2 or 3 day training and working meeting.

Each year the training covers these program management topics:

1. Financial Management, including: Creating adequate AmeriCorps financial management systems, OMB allowable costs for the grant and match, accounting for and reporting expenditures, rules for staff and member time keeping, member files, member eligibility, unemployment insurance, supplemental benefits, taxability of living allowance and benefits, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act and living allowance payments

2. AmeriCorps Program Management, including: Compliance case studies, a review of EJW audit findings and other common audit findings

3. Programmatic Impact , including: new program design, capturing data on volunteers and clients served, reporting procedures and communicating results to stakeholders

4. Fellow support and supervision , including: work planning, orienting and training Fellows, stating strong, bringing out the best in new attorneys, managing law students and sustaining projects beyond the term of service

AmeriCorps Fellow Training and Support

Member development is a primary goal of AmeriCorps programs and is mandated by AmeriCorps statute. AmeriCorps host sites are required to provide orientation at the start of the term and training throughout the year to all Fellows (including those entering a second term). Training hours must be tracked separately in the host site’s time keeping systems. Equal Justice Works will verify that orientations were conducted by checking timekeeping records for Fellows as part of desk audits and site visits.

Equal Justice Works provides two major training opportunities to AmeriCorps Fellows. (LDT): Each October, the Leadership Development Training (LDT) is the AmeriCorps Fellows’ orientation to the national program. The training builds upon Equal Justice Works Leadership Principles that focus on communication skills, problem solving, building cultural competence, mentoring, risk taking, relationship building, and effective management. During the three day training, Fellows practice these competencies through facilitated discussions and interactive workshops. Several alumni participate in a networking session with the current Fellows. They offer their collective expertise and practical advice to the incoming class of public interest attorneys.

In the spring, AmeriCorps Fellows convene a second time to attend the annual ABA Equal Justice Conference, which is the national conference for the pro bono legal community. At this event, Fellows have the opportunity to speak on panels about their service, network with national leaders in the pro bono community, and reflect on their service.

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Equal Justice Works will verify participation in national trainings using sign in sheets.

Member File Maintenance For the purposes of grant compliance, host sites will maintain the documents of record required in member files by CNCS. In addition, host sites will send electronic or paper copies of specified forms to Equal Justice Works. In the first quarter of the program year, the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Assistant will review submitted materials and verify compliance, and request submission of any missing forms required to enroll the Fellow. As part of this process, Equal Justice Works will

confirm Fellow start dates are aligned with dates on the contract

confirm Fellow position descriptions do not include activities that are inconsistent with the regulations and grant terms

confirm the Fellow was enrolled in the National Service Trust within 30 days from the start of the term

Prior to approval of the new grant award, Equal Justice Works will verify completed exit paperwork for the prior year’s Fellows. In the last quarter of the program year, the Equal Justice Works Fellow will review submitted materials and verify compliance, and request submission of missing forms required to exit a Fellow. As part of this process, Equal Justice Works will

verify Fellows did not serve beyond the end date of their contracts

verify that mid year and end of term evaluations were conducted

verify certification of member hours and non participation in prohibited activities

confirm the Fellow was exited from the National Service Trust within 30 days from the end of the term

Financial and Progress Reporting

Important! Fellowships funded through the Recovery Act require separate accounting, and separate reporting timelines and systems.

Financial Reports

Periodic Expense Reports: Sites will submit all financial reports in the Equal Justice Works on line financial reporting system. Periodic Expense Reports (PERs) for all sites due on or before the 15 th of the following month. Equal Justice Works staff will review reports for accuracy and investigate allowability of costs as necessary. Reimbursements for costs charged to the grant will be made by the 25 th of each month. Sites that submit PERs after the deadline will be reimbursed the following month.

Recovery funds will be reported by Equal Justice Works on or before the 10 th of the month following the end of the quarter. Equal Justice Works will prepare and submit an FFR for non Recovery funded fellowships on or before the 30 th of the month following the end of the quarter.

Progress Reports A complete calendar of events and reporting deadlines can be found here:

http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/communi ties/participants/americorps/calendar

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Site Technical Review Each December, Equal Justice Works conducts a technical review of all sites. Using both objective criteria and expert opinions, Equal Justice Works staff assigns scores in categories, which are compiled into a rating system. The results are used as one element of the site selection process, and as the basis for determining which sites require site visits,