Archive for November, 2012

Job o’ the Day: 2013 Juvenile Justice Summer Law Fellowship with Children at Risk in Houston, TX

Children at Risk is a research and advocacy group dedicated to improving the quality of life of Houston’s children through public policy analysis, innovation, community education and collaboration. They focus on childhood health, public schools, safety and children’s poverty issues. As a leading source of information on children’s issues, they have created the law center to identify and respond to the tremendous legal needs of children in our community.  The Children at Risk Houston office is now launching its 2013 Juvenile Justice Summer Institute, sponsored by the Texas Bar Foundation.

From the PSJD job posting:

The 2013 Juvenile Justice Summer Institute will provide a diverse array of professional, personal, and intellectual opportunities for law student fellows.
During the 2013 Juvenile Justice Summer Institute, six law student fellows will conduct research on juvenile specialty courts throughout the State of Texas and across the nation. Research will include compiling an inventory of courts currently in existence, the juvenile population served, and the effectiveness of each court through recidivism and cost-savings analyses.
The fellows will also research specialty court models in other states, conduct analysis of current laws, and develop policy recommendations for the next legislative session. Fellows will attend meetings with public officials, judges, collaborative partners, and other key stakeholders, conduct personal interviews with experts in the field, and attend educational site visits of juvenile detention facilities, public schools, and juvenile specialty courts. In addition, fellows will participate in three Continuing Legal Education events to be held in Houston, Dallas, and Austin to educate legal professionals and other direct service practitioners in order to promote further involvement in these issues.
This 12-week summer program will culminate in the publication of a national report on juvenile specialty courts, which will be made available as a resource for attorneys, judges, public officials, and other community stakeholders across the state over the next year.

The fellowship is for 12 weeks with a $1,500 stipend. For more information on qualifications and application instructions, view the full job listing at (log-in required).



Public Interest News Bulletin – November 30, 2012

By: Steve Grumm

Happy Friday, folks.  Before the public interest news, here are some items related to legal education and student debt:

Taken together, I’m intrigued by a batch of law-school news stories reported this week by the National Law JournalFirst, according to preliminary ABA data, law school enrollment has dropped by 15% in the past two years.  Second, two law school deans have been hired out of law firm practice management positions this year.  Third, Vermont Law School (which some are surprised to learn is a stand-alone and not part of the state higher-ed system) is facing a “looming $3.3 million budget shortfall brought on by declining enrollment.”  The school is offering buyouts to staff, and future faculty buyout offers appear likely.

What could this mean?  First, a caveat: the cliché about news being history’s first draft is important.  It’s dangerous to wrongly connect discrete occurrences which are driven by unique circumstances.  But I’m not too far out on a limb to suggest that legal education is about to confront big, big changes.  It’s more a matter of guessing at the magnitude of the changes, and how much tumult will attend them.  Some questions to think about, inspired by the NLJ stories:

  1. Are law school classes going to be considerably smaller for the foreseeable future? Letting alone quantity, will there be any impact on the academic/professional quality of matriculating law classes?
  2. Do we see the beginning of a trend toward law schools hiring deans with law-practice management experience, and not necessarily academic experience?
  3. How could decreased law-school revenue streams impact legal education’s pedagogy?  Schools have been expanding online offerings of late.  They are relatively cheap to run.  Clinical-type programs, on the other hand, are relatively expensive, but they provide invaluable hands-on training.  Could they be threatened?  Or could they be supplemented by other experiential learning opportunities that allow students to, as Vermont Law School’s incoming dean put it, “earn and learn at the same time”?  To say nothing of the possibility of two-year degree programs becoming more popular….

On the education debt front there was an interesting WSJ article this week about how wide and deep are the federal government’s roots in higher-ed lending.  Regardless of where one comes down on the policy debate about the government being the key higher-ed lender, the debate itself is likely to pick up as elected officials look to long-term budget and debt reduction efforts.  Speaking of lenders, also interesting is this Philadelphia Business Journal article about a just-launched venture, CommonBond, that “…plans to use crowdsourcing to raise money from a college’s alumni base to provide education loans to the college’s current students. It intends to provide loans to more than 50 Wharton MBA students in December and expand nationally next year. The company said the loans will have a fixed rate of 6.24 percent and the alumni who supply the money for the loans can expect an annual return of more than 4 percent on their investments.  CommonBond has raised $3.5 million — $2.5 million from alumni to fund loans and $1 million from a super angel to fund its operations.”  My friend Heather Jarvis, who’s a sharp analyst of education lending policy, mentioned recently that she’s seeing new innovations from private lenders.  I think that’s likely to keep happening. 

Okay, the public interest and access-to-justice news in short:

  • ABA ATJ grant deadlines;
  • higher pay for CT prosecutors/defenders;
  • Birmingham’s new PD office getting off the ground (and maybe hiring);
  • Seattle’s PD program may get a big overhaul;
  • what to look for in the DOJ’s next ATJ director;
  • a legal aid office closure outside Philly;
  • pro bono abroad;
  • Music! 

 The summaries:

  • moments before publishing the Bulletin I got an email announcing 2012 recipients of ABA access-to-justice grants and, more importantly, announcing the application process for 2013 grants.  Applications for grants to promote creation of new state ATJ commissions are due on Feb. 15, 2013.  ATJ “Innovation” grant applications (to promote new work from existing ATJ commissions) are due on May 1, 2013.  Details here.
  • 11.30.12 – this came up in a prior Bulletin edition, but I’m happy to repeat good news:  “A recent national study has found that pay for prosecutors and public defenders has barely budged since 2004. The situation is only a little better in Connecticut, where the public sector attorneys last got a raise in 2009.  But that’s about to change. Next summer, Connecticut prosecutors and public defenders are slated to receive a 3 percent raise, adding about $1,850 annually to the current entry level salary of $61,900. Veterans with 10 years experience will see salaries increase from about $91,600 to about $94,000.”  (Story from the Connecticut Law Tribune.)
  • 11.29.12 – “Jefferson County’s [i.e. greater Birmingham, AL’s] newly created Public Defender Office will be led by Birmingham attorney Kira Fonteneau.  According to, a team of lawyers under Fonteneau will be responsible for representing poor criminal defendants charged in the Birmingham division of Jefferson County’s court system and who otherwise can’t afford an attorney.  Fonteneau said as many as 35 lawyers could be hired as assistant public defenders for that office.”  (Story from the Birmingham Business Journal.)
  • 11.29.12 – King County’s [i.e. greater Seattle’s] complicated public-defense system of four separate nonprofit agencies representing about 30,000 defendants annually has been praised by legal scholars….  But the county is pushing a plan that would dissolve the independent agencies and make public defenders county employees, a move proponents say is in response to a lawsuit filed by a public defender. Under the plan, the nearly 400 employees of the four agencies — The Defender Assocation [sic], Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons, Associated Counsel for the Accused and Northwest Defenders Association — could potentially become King County employees by July 1….”  (Story from the Seattle Times.)
  • 11.28.12 =- Access-to-justice blogger Richard Zorza reminded me that the U.S. DOJ is looking to fill the captain’s chair in it’s Access to Justice Initiative office: “With the election over, its time to reflect on what kind of person we need to take on the crucial mantle of Larry Tribe and Mark Childress at the DOJ Access Initiative.  It’s a very important job, and needs a strong leader.  There seem to be three areas of needed skill: Knowing the DC Levers…Ability to Draw Public Attention to the Issue…[and] Ability to See the Big Picture and Advance Transformative Agendas.”  (Here’s the full blog post.)
  • 11.27.12 – it’s noted in passing in this article about budget cuts in suburban Philly, but “Legal Aid of Southeast Pennsylvania is closing its Pottstown office and laying off at least two employees.”  (Full article from the Philadelphia Inquirer.)
  • Two pieces concerning pro bono abroad:
    • PSJD blog readers clamor for updates on English and Welsh pro bono happenings.  So here, from the UK-based Access to Justice Foundation, is the “The Pro Bono Yearbook of England and Wales 2012.”
    • 11.22.12 – an interview with Hogan Lovells international pro bono manager, from the TrustLaw website: “Global economic woes have sharpened the need for pro bono work in both low-income and developed countries, according to law firm Hogan Lovells.  In a written interview its international pro bono manager, Yasmin Waljee, tells TrustLaw about the firm’s pro bono work and why it makes sense for law firms to support social enterprises.”  


Job o’ the Day: Community Justice Project Graduate Teaching Fellowships at Georgetown University Law Center

Interested in helping marginalized communities through advocacy, public relations, media communications, lobbying, legislative/policy drafting and community organizing? Want to share your commitment to social justice with current law students through training and practice? Check out today’s Job o’ the Day with the Community Justice Project at Georgetown Law:

The clinic embraces a focused and explicit use of clinical education to enhance the students’ commitment to social justice. In short, in addition to specific traditional legal skills, The Community Justice Project teaches students about the commitment that will sustain and energize people over the long haul, the tactics that can produce success in particular cases, and the sense of strategy that looks to long-term (perhaps very long-term) success, and participation in a protracted struggle for justice.

Students represent individual clients in Unemployment Insurance Appeal cases, starting with an initial interview and ending with an administrative hearing two weeks later. In addition to their direct representation cases, students are also assigned to a Project Team for the semester. The Projects vary in their substance, size of Project Team, type of client, type of responsibilities, and timelines. Through these projects, students are able to engage in a breadth of lawyering and creative advocacy skills. These Projects provide a platform for students to think strategically about the project of justice and redefine what “winning” means. Our students have done work in the community to provide justice in many areas. For more detail on specific projects, please see the descriptions of our past projects.

Description of the Fellowship

The Community Justice Project hires one individual to serve as a clinical teaching fellow and supervising attorney each year, for a two-year term. Fellows have several areas of responsibility, with an increasing role as the fellowship progresses. First, fellows supervise students in direct representation cases, as co-supervisors with experienced fellows and faculty and then on their own. Second, fellows co-supervise one or more Project Teams of students. Third, the fellows and faculty share responsibility for teaching seminar sessions. Fourth, fellows share in the administrative and case handling responsibilities of the clinic. Finally, fellows participate in a clinical pedagogy seminar and other activities designed to support an interest in clinical teaching and legal education.

The Community Justice Project will only consider applicants with at least 1 year of post-J.D. legal experience. The deadline to apply is December 3, 2012. For more information, view the full job listing at (log-in required).


Stress-Relieving Tips, Just in Time for Finals Season

It’s finals season! Between studying and looking for summer jobs, this time of year can be very stressful for any student. Check out these tips from on how to avoid stress and frustration while studying:

Listen to classical music
Why? Think classical music is just for band geeks and grandmas? Think again. Yes, listening to piano pieces versus loud rap music has been suggested by “The Doctors” TV show to improve a person’s focus and help with relaxation. Just sit down, breathe deeply and play some Mozart.

“When I listen to classical and contemporary I feel relaxed and motivated,” says Huntley senior Yaresti Pena. “It is slow, soothing and lovely music.”

Why? Going for a run or walking your dog around the neighborhood doesn’t sound appealing in this chilly weather. But sitting for long hours at a time staring your notes calls for a break. Your body will eventually need some form of exercise. Short 10-minute exercise breaks are beneficial periodically when studying. You can jog up and down your stairs or get zen with some yoga poses. You can also check out On Demand workouts on TV or free exercise videos on YouTube.

Snack on bananas and blueberries—away from your books
Why? It’s difficult to focus when your stomach is grumbling. Dropping the books and heading to the kitchen for a fruit or vegetable snack can help your concentration—something that is essential when studying. While eating junk food may seem like the easiest alternative to quiet your stomach, eating blueberries ranks among the top-10 healthiest foods to eat during exams according to According to, bananas supply potassium to make you more alert. Both fruits are recommended for learning and retaining information.
“They help me when I’m studying for a big exam,” says Vernon Hills senior Thalia Uriostegui.

Clean up
Why? Cleaning is probably the last thing on your mind while studying, but besides having a shiny, clean room, cleaning serves as a stress management technique, according to Prevention magazine. All that stress accumulated by intense studying has to let out in some form and moving around will serve both as light exercise and a way to reduce anxiety by getting those endorphins going.

If a full night’s sleep isn’t an option, try short naps throughout the night
Why? If you’re studying for various subjects on the same day, you might be thinking about pulling an all-nighter. A study by the National Sleep Foundation estimates that only 20 percent of teenagers get the recommended nine hours of sleep. While not recommended, sometimes all-nighters simply can’t be avoided. The best way to still get some form of sleep is to take 30-minute naps every two to three hours throughout the course of the night. Set an alarm to wake yourself up.

Meditation is also a great way to relieve stress, as well as taking a few hours of “personal time” to catch up with friends or relax. For more tips on beating the law school blues, check out this National Law Journal special report on law students and stress. Good luck with finals!


Job o’ the Day: Entry-Level Staff Attorney at the Eviction Defense Network in Los Angeles!

Interested in advocating for low-income tenants in eviction proceedings? The Eviction Defense Network, a nonprofit law corporation that defends low-income communities in civil proceedings, is now hiring a staff attorney to join its office in Los Angeles, California.

From the PSJD job posting:

EDN was created in 2003 to widen access to legal representation in the face of increasing evictions in Los Angeles, particularly to underserved immigrant communities. EDN increases access to justice access to justice by providing legal representation to low-income tenants through sliding scale and below market fees based on income.
Staff Attorney responsibilities: defend tenants in eviction proceedings in all stages of the proceeding, pretrial, trial, and post trial with a heavy emphasis on jury trials.

Successful applicants must be active members of the California bar with 0-2 years of legal experience and a demonstrated commitment to public interest law and serving the needs of low-income people. For more information, view the full job listing at (log-in required)!


Law School Dean Watch: Will Schools Hire More Deans from Private Practice, not Academia?

By: Steve Grumm

Catholic Law just hired Kirland & Ellis’s DC-office managing partner as its new dean.  Brooklyn Law did something similar recently.  It’s only two hires, but it’s interesting to wonder whether pressures on the law-school business model will lead to more schools bringing in deans who’ve got law practice management skills.  Here’s the latest from the National Law Journal:

For the second time in the past year, a law school has tapped a new dean directly out of private practice. 

The Catholic University of America on November 27 named Daniel Attridge as the future dean of its Columbus School of Law. Attridge has been the managing partner of Kirkland & Ellis’ Washington office since 1998.

In March, Brooklyn Law School chose Nicholas Allard, then chairman of Patton Boggs’ lobbying, political and election law practice, as its new dean. Leaders at Saint Louis University also named local trial lawyer Tom Keefe Jr. as dean in August, but only on an interim basis.

Attridge’s appointment could signal an increased willingness among university and law school leaders to look beyond the scope of academia, politics and the bench for dean candidates, particularly at a time when the traditional law school business model is under enormous pressure. Catholic University President John Garvey, who previously headed Boston College Law School, said that Attridge will bring something different to the table.

There are just over 200 ABA-accredited schools.  And, again, these are just two hires.  But it’s still worth considering whether schools will look to lawyers with law-practice management skills as they choose current deans’ successors.


JobS o’ the Day: Attorney Hiring at the Illinois AG’s Office!

We’ve just posted several attorney listings from the Illinois attorney general’s office – in both her Chicago and Springfield branch offices.  Go to PSJD to check them all out (login required), but here’s one teaser:

Assistant Attorney General – Environmental Crime

The Environmental Crimes Bureau is seeking candidates for the position of Assistant Attorney General. Responsibilities include the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes in state court. Interested candidates must be able to work closely with local, state, and federal environmental agencies, as well as local and state police. Specific duties include: conducting all aspects of criminal prosecution, including case management, legal research, drafting and arguing motions, preparing witnesses for testimony before the grand jury and all phases of the criminal trial process to include jury selection, opening statements, witness preparation, witness examination, cross-examination, and closing arguments.

View the full listing on PSJD.



Deadline Extended to 12/7: NALP Public Interest Job Market Snapshot Survey

Please spread the word.  We’ve extended the deadline on our 2012 Public Interest Employment Market Snapshot Survey.  The new response deadline is Friday, 12/7.  U.S.-based nonprofit and government law offices should participate in this unique survey effort.  Here’s more info and a link to the online survey:

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) is conducting a brief, anonymous survey of U.S.-based nonprofit and government public-interest law offices about 1) recent law student and attorney hiring and 2) hiring expectations for the immediate future. We will use the data to produce a report about what the public interest employment market looks like now and how it may change in the near future.

NALP will release the report in January 2013. The report will be made freely available online. The report will NOT identify any responding organizations by name. We hope the report will benefit the public interest legal community as well as law students and attorneys who are on public interest career paths.  Please participate in the short survey by clicking here.  The (new) survey deadline is Friday, 12/7/12.  If you have questions please contact Steve Grumm, NALP’s director of public service initiatives, at or 202.296.0057.


Job o’ the Day: Street Law’s “Law Student in Residence” – Summer 2013

Interested in Con Law? Interested in helping high-school students to learn about Con Law and civics principles?  Here’s a great summer 2013 opportunity.

Street Law, Inc. is an international leader in programs that teach non-lawyers about law, democracy and human rights.  Founded in 1972 at Georgetown University Law Center, Street Law has helped more than 100 law schools (70 in the U.S. and 30 more around the world) develop and implement programs in which law students teach practical law in schools, communities and correctional settings.  Street Law has also worked with democratizing countries throughout the world.  Information about the organization’s programs and materials are available online at

There are several components to the Summer Law Student in Residence Program for 2013.  There will be sufficient work for one law student in the summer of 2013.

US Supreme Court Summer Institute

Street Law, in cooperation with the Supreme Court Historical Society, conducts two six day institutes in late June about the Court and its cases for high school government, civics and law teachers.  Sessions are held at Georgetown Law Center and at the Supreme Court of the United States.  Our law student assists in the development of the materials for the institute, participates in all sessions, helps teach one session, and assists with the institute follow-up.  A justice participates in each of the two institutes. Street Law staff and participants are also in Court for the announcement of the final cases of the term. (

Legal Updates to Street Law Web Sites

Street Law has produced a high school curriculum (Street Law: A Course in Practical Law) which is the most popular practical law book used in high schools today. We will be providing a legal update to the web materials that complement the 8th edition of the text (2010 edition).

In addition, Street Law has developed a popular web site for high school teachers and students who want to learn about Supreme Court decisions mandated in state history and social studies standards.  Our summer law student in residence will assist in expanding and updating this web resource,

Our law student will assist with research, writing and editing tasks.

View the full job listing on PSJD (login required).


Tips on Getting into Leadership Positions in Government

Interested in climbing the government career ladder?  From the FCW website, here are insights from a group of distinguished management and public policy professionals who interact with government workforces.  Empasis is placed on career mobility (but not serial job-jumping so that it looks like you can’t stay anywhere too long), developing leadership skills, and viewing a career as a lifelong learning opportunity.

This is geared toward folks in government but the advice is great for anybody looking to develop leadership skills.