Archive for January, 2013

Job o’ the Day: Staff Attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF)

MALDEF – otherwise known as the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund – is one of the leading nonprofit Latino litigation, advocacy and educational outreach institutions in the United States. Their mission is the foster sound public policies, laws, and programs to safeguard the civil rights of 35 million Latinos living in America, and to empower the Latino community to fully participate in American society. MALDEF focuses on employment, education, immigration, political access, language, and public resource equity issues.

Sounds awesome, right? Wanna join them in fighting for Latino civil rights? Check out the job description below for a vacancy in San Antonio:

We currently seek a Staff Attorney to serve as lead counsel or co-counsel in state and federal court litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrants rights and/or voting rights.

In consultation with co-counsel inside and outside of MALDEF, [the staff attorney] devises and executes strategic plans in complex litigation through the following activities: conducts depositions and discovery, negotiates and monitors settlement agreements, and pursues attorney fee awards in civil rights litigation; conducts legal research and drafts pleadings, briefs, and administrative complaints; devises investigation plans and investigates potential legal claims; prepares memoranda on budget and legal theory for approval of litigation by MALDEF management; responds to media inquiries, makes public presentations, and prepares community education materials regarding Latino rights; participates in the development of long-term strategic goals and objectives for the assigned program areas and also for the regional office; supervises volunteer and professional support staff assigned to assist litigation programs.

Successful applicants must be eligible to take the Texas bar and a background in public policy is desired. Experience with federal and state court litigation is preferred, along with the ability to write and speak Spanish. The deadline is TODAY, so hurry and apply now before it’s too late (all that is required is a cover letter, resume, and writing sample).

For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Job o’ the Day: Entry-Level Appellate Attorney with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender

If you’re inspired by the film Gideon’s Promise (which recently won the Sundance award for Documentary Editing – congrats!) or you have a demonstrated passion for indigent defense, today’s Job o’ the Day could just what you’re looking for.

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender, located in Baltimore, has been providing counsel to those unable to afford an attorney since 1972. Their mission is to provide superior legal representation to indigent defendants in the State of Maryland by safeguarding fundamental individual rights and ensuring access to the guaranteed protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Maryland Constitution and Declaration of Rights, and the laws of Maryland.

They currently have a vacancy for an Appellate Attorney. From the PSJD job listing:

An attorney in the Appellate Division provides representation for indigent clients during the appellate process before both the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. An Assistant Public Defender combines his/her demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with his/her strong research, writing, and litigation skills to provide exceptional representation. This position will commence September 1, 2013 and will be located at 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated commitment to zealous and comprehensive public defense
  • No prior litigation experience required, but prior judicial clerkship strongly preferred.
  • Strong issue spotting, research, and writing skills.
  • Ability to work independently, and efficiently manage an active caseload.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
  • Effective communication and advocacy skills.
  • Active membership in good standing with the Maryland Bar or the Bar of another state.

The application deadline is February 28, 2013. For more information on how to apply, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Job o’ the Day: Turner Environmental Law Clinic Fellow at Emory University School of Law!

Hey, recent grads: did you graduate within the last 3 years with a proven commitment to public service in the area of environmental law? Are you interested in pursuing an academic career in the future? If this sounds like you, check out today’s Job o’ the Day:

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law offers a one-year post-graduate fellowship to provide a recent law school graduate the opportunity to learn to be an effective environmental advocate while working with the Clinic to address some of the most difficult and cutting-edge environmental issues of the day, including: sustainable energy and climate change, urban agriculture and farming, water resource protection, conservation and land use, and citizen enforcement and participation in regulatory and judicial proceedings. The fellowship focuses on building the next generation of influential attorneys, judges, and academics specializing in public interest environmental law. The fellowship also provides intensive opportunities to develop clinical education skills. The next Turner Environmental Law Clinic Fellowship will begin mid-August 2013 and continue through August 2014.

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic fellow will work under the supervision of Clinic faculty on a variety of projects that will include, at a minimum, the following:

  • Supervise students in the Turner Environmental Law Clinic and assist with teaching in the Clinic’s seminar class.
  • Represent the Clinic’s clients in complex civil litigation and transactional matters, while working closely with co-counsel, expert witnesses, and municipal leaders.
  • Collaborate with Clinic faculty on environmental law and research projects.

The fellow may also choose to research and write at least one article, policy paper, or other approved project of publishable quality on a topic relating to environmental law.

The application deadline is February 28, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required)!

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Job o’ the Day: Civil Rights Attorney in Birmingham, Alabama

With nine offices throughout the state, Legal Services Alabama (LSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to justice and free quality civil legal assistance to educate and empower Alabama’s low-income communities. LSA handles civil cases only, and issues span family law, public benefits, elder law, disaster relief, and more.

The Birmingham office currently has a vacancy available for a staff attorney to help provide legal representation to low-income citizens in judicial and administrative proceedings. Qualifications include admission to the Alabama State Bar, computer proficiency and experience working with low-income populations. Bilingual applicants are encouraged.

For more information on salary and application instructions, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Be a Professional Tweeter! Tips on Using Twitter in a Job Search

Feeling uninspired by your public interest job hunt? PSJD has a tip: try using social media to liven things up. Sure, social media is a great way to stay connected with friends, but it can also be a powerful career development tool!

Most people know the basics of using LinkedIn to advance their careers, but many may not know about using Twitter for professional purposes. Twitter provides a digital platform to expand your network, display a working knowledge relevant to a specific field, share news and developments, and cultivate your very own personal brand.

So you want to learn how? Start by checking out these “3 Bite-Size Tips for Using Twitter in a Job Search” from U.S. News & World Report (which we’ve “bitten” down even more):

Tip No. 1: Create a Twitter handle that articulates your value. This may simply mean using your name, particularly if your personal brand and unique value are highly connected to your name. So, @JaneDDoe may just be the perfect draw to brand you. However, if your brand is better exuded through a descriptive representation of what you do, whom you serve, how you serve, and so forth, then consider drawing a visual word picture. The challenge: Creating this handle to represent your brand in just a 15-character limit. But you can meet that challenge. It just takes thought and brainstorming.

Tip No. 2: Follow a couple dozen people and begin sharing their content. This can start as simply as researching four or five of your favorite colleagues on Twitter and then following them. Tag along a few of the people they follow. Read through their tweets. Select a resonating tweet and share it using the “retweet” button. Or, better yet, create a personal introduction to the tweet and customize your share.

Tip No. 3. Tweet your own content. Once you get the hang of tweeting, consider developing your own original tweets. If you author a blog or guest post on other blogs, then it would be natural to share that content. If this isn’t the case, then create 140-character tips that apply to your area of expertise. So, for example, if you are a sales professional, you may want to prepare a sales tip to help your followers sell better, or you could share one thing not to do when trying to close a deal. In other words, consider what’s in it for the follower before composing a tweet, then offer practical advice they can immediately implement.

Click here to read the full article. If you’re still looking for more info on using social media during the public interest job hunt, you can also check out our #PSJDChat on the same topic. Happy job hunting!

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Job o’ the Day: Farmworker Staff Attorney with Oregon Law Center

Headquartered in Portland, the Oregon Law Center provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals. Their mission is to achieve justice for low income communities of Oregon by providing a full range of the highest quality civil legal services.

Their office currently has a vacancy for a staff attorney. From the PSJD job listing:

Oregon Law Center (OLC) seeks a bilingual (Spanish/English) staff attorney for its Farmworker Program to focus on issues affecting employment and other priority issues for agricultural workers in Oregon including health and safety and unlawful discrimination.

OLC does not receive funding from the federal Legal Services Corporation.

The Farmworker Program of the OLC consists of attorneys and community educators whose focus is statewide and who specialize in representing farmworkers. The client-based priorities are employment, housing for farmworkers, individual rights and occupational health and safety. The majority of our clients speak Spanish or one of the indigenous languages native to the southern states of Mexico, such as Mixteco, Triqui or Zapoteco. They experience a wide variety of legal problems, including unpaid wages, poor working conditions including exposure to pesticides, unsafe housing, sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination, and retaliation for the exercise of their legal rights.

The attorney in this position is expected to engage in a combination of impact litigation and service cases, with a significant emphasis on impact work in state and federal courts. An important aspect of this position is to engage in intensive community outreach together with community educators involving educational presentations to groups of farmworkers and visits to migrant labor camps. The practice requires the ability to handle irregular hours, travel, and to work creatively and collaboratively both internally and with other community partners. The attorney in this position is expected to handle cases originating from all agricultural areas of the state.

Recent law graduates are welcome to apply. The application deadline is February 25, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Register to attend the 25th Anniversary Lavendar Law Conference & Career Fair!

Want to talk to LGBT-friendly recruiters from law firms, government agencies and LGBT rights groups? Check out this information about the upcoming Lavendar Law Conference & Career Fair in San Francisco:

The National LGBT Bar Association’s annual Lavender Law® Career Fair is designed to achieve a sense of community and inclusion for LGBT candidates within the legal profession’s recruiting efforts. By participating in this career fair, candidates will talk directly to LGBT-friendly recruiters from law firms, government agencies, LGBT rights groups, and corporate legal departments.

  • Candidates are encouraged to discuss their identity and their aspirations to become part of a bias-free work environment.
  • Sponsors are encouraged to take this opportunity to showcase their diversity efforts to top level law students and lateral candidates from around the country.

Please note that the National LGBT Bar Association will be hosting two webchat sessions in advance of the Career Fair.  These live, interactive web-based discussions are designed to help law students efficiently and effectively navigate the Career Fair and Conference.  During the chats students can ask questions of experienced Lavender Law career advisors and LGBT Bar staff.

The Lavender Law® Career Fair kicks off with a panel of legal practitioners with experience working in government, non-profit, small and large firms. The panel will be guided by a law career services professional will discuss the tools, considerations and critical aspects to find, research and evaluate LGBT-friendly employers in each of these legal arenas.

Over 450 candidates and 160 recruiters representing law firms, government agencies and non-profit organizations interested in diversity were present at the 2012 career fair in Washington, DC.

Visit the Lavendar Law Career Fair website for more information on registration and recruitment, including tips on how to get the most out of your experience!

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Job o’ the Day: Consumer Housing Unit Attorney with Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) is the federally funded legal services provider for Philadelphia County. They provide a wide range of legal services to Philadelphia’s indigent community, including community education, advice, referral, pro se assistance, and representation at administrative hearings and at all levels of state and federal courts.

PLA is currently accepting applications for a Consumer Housing Unit Attorney. From the PSJD job listing:

PLA will consider applications from experienced attorneys who will be immediately available, as well as from recent or prospective graduates who will be available no later than September 2013.

PLA is a no profit legal services organization primarily funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation. PLA serves approximately 7,500 clients each year in the areas of family law, public benefits and consumer housing.

PLA is looking to add an attorney to a unit that presently consists of three attorneys and eight paralegals – six of whom are dedicated to the Save Your Home Philly Hotline, which PLA runs with funding from the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development. The Unit primarily represents low income homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. We are looking for an attorney who will help us expand our ability to bring affirmative litigation on behalf of such homeowners and to devise more efficient models for representation. Part of the attorney’s responsibility may include supervising a housing clinic sponsored by one of the area law schools.

Recent and prospective law school graduates as well as experienced attorneys are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will have an exemplary academic record and a commitment to excellence, as well as a demonstrated commitment to the legal services and to protecting and advancing the rights of the most vulnerable members of society. Excellent litigation skills, including trial skills, writing ability, oral advocacy and appellate advocacy, are essential. Creativity, tenacity, compassion, empathy, the ability to work long hours, learn quickly and work well with co-workers and with clients are qualities that will be highly regarded in the selection process. The ability to speak and write Spanish effectively is an advantage, though not essential.

A working knowledge of bankruptcy law, consumer protection law, contracts law, property law and the UCC will be helpful.

The application deadline is February 18, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Applications Now Open for the Mental Disability Law in Practice Summer Program in Budapest!

If you are a lawyer or law student interested in learning from world-renowned experts of mental health and law, this one’s for you!

For four years, the Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC) in Budapest, Hungary has hosted the Mental Disability Law in Practice summer school, a two-week program organized to broaden knowledge on legal advocacy and connect an international network of disability-focused human rights leaders. Participants include attorneys, non-practicing lawyers, NGO staff and board members, legislators, activists, policy experts, PhD candidates and law students. Those with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply, with a focus on those with experience of intellectual or psycho-social disabilities.

The program will focus extensively on mental disability law in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and India, and applicants from all over the world are welcome to apply. Participating faculty in human rights advocacy, teaching and programming specific to these regions.

Deadline to apply is February 15, 2013. Click here to visit the MDAC website for more information!

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Job o’ the Day: Environmental Justice Attorney in the Big Apple!

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest is a nonprofit civil rights law firm committed to advancing equality and civil rights through community lawyering and partnerships with the private bar. If you have an interest in coalition-building, organizing, environmental issues and legal, policy, and administrative advocacy, keep on reading:

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) is seeking applications for a staff attorney in its Environmental Justice Program.

The Environmental Justice Program takes on issues ranging from the systemic overburdening of low income communities of color with polluting facilities, to the presence of dangerous toxins in public schools, to environmentally just community development. The attorney will take on existing campaigns, including advocacy related to the siting of schools on contaminated land. The attorney also will have ample opportunity to lead and collaborate on new campaigns.

NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in the five boroughs of New York City. With every case and every campaign, we continue to develop an ambitious, participatory, and dynamic approach to working with marginalized communities. Our work draws on a range of strengths: firm community partnerships; effective organizing; media savvy; effective legislative advocacy; and bold, creative approaches to litigation. The attorney will work both independently and in collaboration with other attorneys, community organizers, and media and lobbying consultants.

Successful applicants will have excellent strategic judgment and experience working with community members and community based organizations, along with a commitment to environmental justice or racial justice work. The application deadline is February 20, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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