After a brief hiatus, PSJD’s Job o’ the Day is back! And it’s a good one.
If you’re a recent law graduate looking for an out-of-the-ordinary fellowship, this job’s for you! The Center for Indian Law & Policy at Seattle University School of Law has partnered up with the Bristol Bay Native Association (BBNA) to develop a project providing estate planning services to BBNA members in the remote Bristol Bay, Alaska area. The 9-month fellowship will begin in September 2013, and the Fellow will travel to villages with BBNA staff to meet with clients. The Fellow will receive supervision from Center personnel and an Alaska Legal Services attorney.
Sounds perfect for you? Keep reading for more information…
Happy Friday folks! Let me first introduce myself – I am Christina Jackson, the new Director of Public Service Initiatives & Fellowships. For those of you who don’t know me, I come from a law school counseling background after many years of law practice. I was most recently at American University Washington College of Law. I appreciate Steve in so many ways, but never more so than when I would read his weekly News Digests. I think it’s going to take me a little while to get used to reading news with an eye toward what the entire public service sector may want and need, but hopefully this first installment gets it done. The News Digest will now be posted as a Discussion so that those who want to comment may do so, and we will continue the weekly format. There is a story below that rehashes what we already know – big justice gap that should be met with unemployed lawyers. Easier said than done, but it’s always good to continue exploring ways we can get lawyers where they are needed most.
New Feature: Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants. Last week was Public Service Recognition Week. Well, I think that should be every day. So in each issue (I hope), we will be highlighting great work by great people! And today we have an amazing story.
And in homage to Steve, the PSJD Fellow, Ashley Matthews, will provide us with the weekly music bonus. So here we go. . .
Here are the week’s headlines:
New York lawyers must now disclose pro bono hours;
UMMC, Center for Justice form partnership to benefit those with HIV/AIDS;
Legal Services New York staff goes on strike;
Time to put lawyers back to work in the public service – my thoughts exactly;
Another law school tries a 2-year law degree model;
Are law schools changing their admissions standards in the wrong way?;
2013 Equal Justice Conference;
Equal Justice Works announces 2013 EJW Fellows;
Legal Aid is coming to Osceola County, Florida;
New Jersey may be the next state to require pro bono;
Spotlight on Public Service Servants – John Meynink, a Coos County public defender, retiring after 30 YEARS!
Super Music Bonus featuring Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow!
May 6, 2013 – this story’s password-protected, but FYI: New York lawyers must disclose on their biennial registration forms how many pro bono hours they provided and the amount of financial contributions they made to pro bono programs during the previous two years. From the Legal Intelligencer
May 9, 2013 – “The University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Mississippi Center for Justice, both in Jackson, are forming a partnership aimed at providing free civil legal services for people living with HIV and AIDS. The Center for Justice, a nonprofit public interest law firm, will offer on-site legal assistance at the Crossroads Clinics. The assistance will focus primarily on HIV-related housing and employment discrimination.” (Story from the Mississippi Business Journal)
May 15, 2013 – from the Wall Street Journal and Thomas Reuters: The staff of Legal Services NYC, the largest civil legal services provider in the country, went on strike Wednesday morning for the first time in two decades. More than 200 attorneys, paralegals and other employees voted overwhelmingly to reject management’s proposal for a new two-year labor contract. The union has worked without a contract since July 2012. The last strike, in 1993, lasted for a month.
May 16, 2013 – “A recent report by the non-profit Legal Services Corporation cites estimates that at least 50 percent of Americans who qualify for free legal assistance because of their income or needs don’t get the help they need because legal aid organizations don’t have the funding or capacity to meet their needs. That’s a large number when you consider that 61.4 million Americans qualify for legal assistance from non-profit and government-funded programs — a number that has increased by more than 10 million since 2007.” This is something we all know, but the Huffington Post does a good job of consolidating statistics on the issue. (Story from the Huffington Post)
May 16, 2013 – Brooklyn Law School joins a few other schools in offering a 2-year JD program. It is a 24 month program with no breaks, making it a very intense program. There will be a separate admissions process for this program. The program was created in an effort to target a new group of students who may not want to take off 3 years to gain a law degree and in relation to declining enrollment. (from the ABA Journal and the National Law Journal)
May 16, 2013 – For my law school peeps – here is one example of how law schools may be reacting to lower application rates nationally. Many law schools are considering other factors (other than LSAT scores) in admissions. This was a big topic of news this week, so I leave it to you to discuss whether this is a good or bad trend. (from the ABA Journal)
May 16, 2013 - The Equal Justice Conference was held last week, and by all accounts was fantastic. Sponsored by the ABA and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, it ”brings together all components of the legal community to discuss equal justice issues as they relate to the delivery of legal services to the poor and low-income individuals in need of legal assistance.” If, like me, you were unable to attend this year, you can access the workshops and materials on the ABA website.
May 16, 2013 – Equal Justice Works announces it 57 2013 EJW Fellows with a variety of projects in 11 states. The complete list of fellows is now available.
May 16, 2013 – The Osceola County (Florida) Bar Association voted to establish the first legal aid society in the county. The organization will initially focus on family law, veteran’s affairs, and credit card mediation. (from the Orlando Sentinel).
May 17, 2013 – A committee made up of attorneys, law school officials and retired judges has recommended the NJ follow NY’s lead and adopt a 50 hour pro bono requirement in order to sit for the Bar. The proposal is based on a broad definition of pro bono, which includes a number of existing law school programs, such as clinics, internships and clerkships. The committee will accept public comments on the proposal through June 21Under the proposal, the pro bono rule would apply to anyone admitted to the New Jersey bar after Jan. 1, 2015, as is the case with New York’s requirement. (from Thompson Reuters)
Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants: John Meynink, a Coos County public defender, is retiring after 30 years on the Southwestern Oregon Public Defenders Office. For more about this outstanding individual, here is the full article from The World.
Super Music Bonus! Our PSJD Fellow Ashley Matthews is fabulous! One of the things I love about her is her wide-ranging taste in music. So to honor Steve’s tradition and to get a new voice into the conversation – here is Ashley’s first super music bonus (a double!):
Besides housing PSJD, the National Association for Law Placement, or NALP for short, is an association of over 2,500 legal career professionals who advise law students, lawyers, law offices, and law schools in North America and beyond. The NALP Judicial Clerkship Section has a special message they would like to share with the PSJD community about recent changes to the federal law clerk hiring plan. These changes will affect summer internship scheduling and could possibly create conflicts of interest and other issues for employers and participating law students.
From the NALP Judicial Clerkship Section:
Last month, the federal judges’ committee overseeing the federal law clerk hiring plan announced a modification to the 2013 hiring schedule. Instead of hiring 3Ls after Labor Day, the new application submission date for federal clerkships is Friday, June 28. Beginning June 28, judges can review applications from rising third-year students, schedule and conduct interviews, and extend offers. This change also affects state court clerkship hiring, as some states have moved their hiring dates in response to the federal change.
Employers who are currently welcoming second-year students into your summer programs may be confronted with issues not faced since the late 1990s. Some students will be coming to their summer jobs already committed to a judicial clerkship commencing in 2014, or perhaps 2015. Some students will have applications pending with judges or will be submitting applications to judges in June, in accordance with the new hiring plan date. Judges reviewing applications during the summer are likely to schedule interviews in June or July, which may present scheduling challenges for students.
Factors employers may want to consider include:
If an intern receives one or more clerkship interviews, will he/she be able to miss work to travel to interviews?
Does your organization have technology such as videoconferencing or teleconferencing available to students for clerkship interviews?
Who is the best person at the organization for students to talk to about questions or issues that arise surrounding clerkships, including possible conflicts of interest on cases/matters, and when is the best time to have that conversation?
Students, we encourage you to discuss the implications of this timeframe with your career services offices and with your employers, paying special attention to the questions above, where relevant to you, and to due dates for assignments that fall around late June and early July, when judges may be interviewing.
We hope this blog post will offer a starting point to frame the issues and develop responses attuned to your individual programs. Many of your law school colleagues have begun to deal with these issues and would be eager to continue a discussion with you. We encourage you to be in touch with colleagues at schools from which you hire interns, to benefit from their insights and share your perspectives with them as you both seek to provide students the best advice and opportunities.
The NALP Judicial Clerkship Section leaders and members look forward to the opportunity to talk through these issues with public interest employers. This message was brought to you by:
It pays to be smart about student loan debt, especially for public interest advocates! Take a look at this message from our friends at Equal Justice Works:
Welcome to May! Here in DC, winter has finally relented completely and the pollen counts have begun to climb relentlessly. Despite the latter, we have a full schedule of free webinars that provide a comprehensive overview of the federal debt relief options available for students and graduates. Our May webinars are:
A must attend for anyone with educational debt planning to work or currently working for the government or a nonprofit, this webinar explains how you can benefit from income driven repayment plans, including President Obama’s new Pay As You Earn program, and exactly how Public Service Loan Forgiveness works.
As summer approaches, it’s also time to start thinking of escaping to the beach. Which entails, of course, light summer reading. We recommend bringing our new eBook, Take Control of Your Future, which provides the in-depth information on powerful federal relief programs like income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness students and graduates need to manage their student debt and pursue the careers of their dreams.
If a comprehensive guide to borrowing and repaying student loans isn’t your preferred beach reading, make sure enter our $100 Amazon Gift Card Sweepstakes. Just enter the promo code MAY1. And feel free to pass on information about Take Control of Your Future and the promotion to everyone on your summer vacation list.
If you’re looking to take your talents to South Beach a la Lebron James, then look no further: the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office is hiring a criminal appellate attorney!
From the PSJD job posting:
MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC DEFENDER CARLOS J. MARTINEZ is seeking attorneys with criminal appellate experience. Salary commensurate with experience. A recent law graduate with significant clinical appellate experience may be considered for a starting salary of $42,000. Must be capable of producing high quality work while maintaining a heavy caseload. Excellent writing and advocacy skills required.
Position has a full range of state benefits: insurance and retirement plan; paid vacation, sick leave and holidays; free tuition for college courses. Deadline May 20, 2013.
Through an integrated advocacy program of litigation, public education, and lobbying, the ACLU of Illinois works to protect and expand civil liberties. The legal program has ten attorneys. The general civil liberties docket focuses on free speech, association, religion, privacy, criminal justice and equality issues. Special projects include Children’s Rights, Institutionalized Persons, Racial Justice, Reproductive Rights, LGBT Rights and HIV and Civil Liberties.
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School is currently accepting applications for the position of South Texas Staff Attorney to be based in Harlingen/Brownsville, Texas. The Young Center is dedicated to promoting the best interests—safety and well-being—of unaccompanied and separated immigrant children in the United States. The immediate focus of the Young Center’s work is to serve as Child Advocate (guardian ad litem in immigration proceedings) for unaccompanied and separated children pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. The Young Center is at the forefront of best interests advocacy for unaccompanied immigrant children and is the only organization in the country overseeing the work of Child Advocates pursuant to the 2008 TVPRA. This is a two-year position, with the option for renewal or transfer.
The National LGBT Bar Association is now accepting submissions for the Michael Greenberg Writing Competition, the Student Leadership Award and the International Association of LGBT Judges Writing Competition:
The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission (VIDC) Warrenton Public Defender Office has an opening for an attorney, who is committed to advocating on behalf of indigent clients. The attorney will handle trial and appellate cases. The VIDC is committed to providing quality legal services for indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses. The Assistant Public Defender reports to the Public Defender of the Warrenton Office and is employed at will. A successful candidate is subject to a fingerprint based criminal background check. Starting salary will be $54,059.
We’ve got good news for those of you looking for job opportunities within the federal government next year! The Department of Justice wants to add more attorney positions in 2014 to bolster its Criminal, Civil and Civil Rights Divisions. From the BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes:
The U.S. Department of Justice’s budget request for 2014 seeks to add dozens of attorney positions, boosting efforts to combat cybersecurity, prosecute financial and mortgage fraud and combat international piracy of intellectual property.
The $27.6 billion request is a 3 percent increase over the budget enacted two years ago in 2012, and restores the $1.6 billion in cuts in this year’s budget as part of government-wide cuts called sequestration. Released Wednesday, the budget includes additional attorneys in the Criminal Division, Civil Division and Civil Rights Division, but removes attorney positions in the Antitrust Division.
In a nutshell, the DOJ wants to add 31 attorneys to the Criminal Division, 32 attorneys to the Civil Division, and 43 attorneys to the Civil Rights Division. Ten attorneys will be removed from the Antitrust Division because of budget constraints.