Archive for March, 2013

Job o’ the Day: The New York City Law Department is Hiring Entry-Level Attorneys for Fall 2013 Class

From the PSJD job listing:

The New York City Law Department is now accepting applications from current law students graduating in 2013 for its fall entry class.  The Law Department participates in the on-campus interviewing process at more than 45 law schools and job fairs. We also accept applications through our on-line application system starting in August prior to the applicant’s final year of law school. We no longer accept applications by regular mail, e-mail or fax.

The Law Department expects to hire approximately 30 entry level attorneys for Fall 2013. The Law Department recruits law graduates nationwide. Our 650 attorneys include alumni from more than 80 law schools.

While there is no minimum GPA requirement, the Law Department generally looks for candidates who have demonstrated achievement in moot court, trial advocacy, or journal work, and who possess a demonstrable commitment to public interest or public sector work.

The deadline to submit applications is June 15, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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PSJD’s Government Career Resources for Law Students & Lawyers

The Guide offers a broad-based review of different career opportunities and paths to federal employment for law students and graduates. With tips on everything from the application process to looking for the ideal position, the Guide makes applying for federal jobs much less overwhelming.

When you’re done with the Guide, there’s even more helpful resources on PSJD’s Careers in Federal Government page. If you’re looking for information on working at any level of government practice – local, state, and/or federal – our Government Careers page contains a list of guides and links, including a state-by-state list of resources.

If you’re looking for government jobs and internships, log in or register on PSJD.org (it’s free for law students and alum!) and run an advanced search for  job postings in the Government/Regulatory Affairs practice area. Happy job hunting!

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Job o’ the Day: Entry Level Attorney with FL Children’s Legal Services, Department of Children & Families in Tampa

From the PSJD job posting:

Children’s Legal Services of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is currently seeking to fill an entry-level attorney position for our Rockledge office, which is located in Brevard County on the East Coast of Florida.

Attorneys for Children’s Legal Services  represent the people of the State of Florida, through DCF, advocating  for the best interests of Florida’s children in dependency proceedings  under Chapter 39, Florida Statutes.

The position requires a strong  interest in advocating for children’s best interests, good academic  credentials, strong writing skills, excellent communication skills, a  strong interest in courtroom litigation, excellent critical thinking  skills, the ability to work independently, a positive attitude and  membership in the Florida Bar.

The starting salary for entry-level positions is $45,000 per year, and includes a benefits package with health-care, life insurance, dental insurance, four weeks paid vacation, paid state holidays off with pay, a personal day, paid sick leave, and a state-funded retirement package.

The deadline to apply is April 16, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Call for Papers: Law Student Writing Competitions

An alternative way to help fund your summer public interest work or finance your legal education is to enter writing competitions! Listed below are a handful of opportunities with upcoming deadlines. Click on the name of the competition to go to their website:

Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition – Sponsored by Notre Dame University

Deadline: April 26, 2013

All students with an interest in legal ethics are invited and encouraged to participate. Entries should concern any issue within the general category of legal ethics, and must be original, unpublished work. Submissions will be judged by a panel of faculty at Notre Dame School of Law.

NAWL’s 2013 Selma Moidel Smith Writing Competition

Deadline: May 1, 2013

The National Association of Women Lawyers is a national voluntary legal professional organization whose mission is the advancement of women in the legal profession and women’s rights. They have established this annual writing competition to encourage and reward law student writing on issues concerning women and the law. Entrants have to submit a paper on an issuesconcerning women’s rights or the status of women in the law – the most recent winning essay was “All Things Being Equal, Women Lose. Investigating the Lack of Diversity Among the Recent Appointments to the Iowa Supreme Court,” written by Abigail Rury, Michigan State University School of Law.

American Judges Association – 25th Annual Law Student Essay Competition

Deadline: June 1, 2013

The American Judges Association is hosting its annual essay competition, open to all full-time law students. Essays submitted for the 2013 competition must be under the topic of “Comparing Hearsay Rules in Different Courts”.

2013 Jacques Leroy International Prize – Student Competition

Deadline: June 30, 2013

The Union Internationale des Avocats (International Association of Lawyers – UIA), established in 1927, is the oldest association of lawyers. Representing over 2 million attorneys, its main purpose is the defense and future of the legal profession within the national and international contexts. The 4th Annual Jacques Leroy international prize will reward a law student of less than 30 years for his or her legal work. Interested students must send a dissertation (plea, study, commentary of a practical case) before the deadline that deals with the following theme: “Fair Trade: How can we establish rules that are specific and realistic?

2013 Theodore Tannewald, Jr. Writing Competition

Deadline: July 1, 2013

Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannewald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannewald Writing Competition is open to all full- or part-time law school students. Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

2013 American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize Writing Competition

Deadline: July 15, 2013

The Warren E. Burger Prize is a writing competition designed to encourage outstanding scholarship that “promotes the ideas of excellence, civility, ethics and professionalism within the legal profession” – the core mission of the American Inns of Court. Interested authors are asked to submit an original, unpublished essay of 10,000 – 25,000 words on a topic that addresses issues of legal excellence, civility, ethics and professionalism.

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For a list of more upcoming writing competitions, check out Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s list of writing competitions for law students!

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Job o’ the Day: Immigration Law Clinic Fellow at the University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth

From the PSJD job posting:

The Clinical Fellow in the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Massachusetts School of Law—Dartmouth will work in the Immigration Law Clinic on student supervision, client representation, teaching, developing and enhancing community involvement and advocacy, and occasionally appellate work. The Fellow will work closely with experienced attorneys, clinicians, and academics at the Law School. This is a one year position, renewable for an additional year.

EXAMPLES OF PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Supervise clinical students in case work, including meeting to discuss developments in cases and provide regular, detailed feedback.
  • Help develop student clinicians’ professional skills in areas such as client interviewing and counseling, case file management and other general law practice management issues.
  • Act at the primary attorney in contact with the Clinic’s clients.
  • Assist the Director with the development of teaching and curricular materials.
  • Appear before immigration court and other related administrative and judicial bodies in both a supervisory capacity as well as, when necessary, individually.
  • Organize, coordinate, initiate, and participate in ongoing and newly-formed community based outreach, advocacy, and “Know your Rights” projects with various organizations.
  • Occasionally teach in the Clinic seminar, as requested.
  • Organize programmatic events such as conferences, workshops, and speaker series.
  • Work on research projects, appellate briefs, and/or other advocacy issues.
  • Other duties as assigned

Successful applicants will have a J.D. and the ability to waive into practice in Massachusetts; past experience in at least one semester of a law school’s in-house clinic; working knowledge of immigration law; and an aptitude for supervising and advising students, among other qualities. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2013.

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

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Gideon v. Wainwright Turns 50

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, a historic ruling establishing that all defendants have a constitutional right to an attorney – even those without the funds to afford one. This landmark case, decided on March 18, 1963, put a spotlight on the American criminal justice system and its ability to adequately ensure a fair trial for the accused. Fifty years later, tax-payer funded public defender offices are struggling to handle crippling caseloads and quality of representation is suffering. Public interest lawyers committed to indigent defense often find themselves “fixing” this broken system – struggling to ensure equality and fairness despite financial burdens and marginalization of the work itself.

If you want to learn more about the case and its modern implications, check out the documentary film Gideon’s Army, which shows the inadequacies of the indigent defense system and the underfunded public interest lawyers defending not only the accused, but the constitutional rights guaranteed in this landmark case. Gideon’s Army premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and was honored with the documentary editing award.

If you want to know even more about Gideon v. Wainwright, browse through The Atlantic’s guide to books and movies that will help you understand the case. You can also take a look at NPR’s piece on Gideon‘s anniversary.

Organizations like Gideon’s Promise  and Equal Justice Work’s Public Defender Corps have tried to combat the growing problem of underfunded indigent defense offices and insurmountable caseloads by recruiting, training and mentoring new attorneys, but funding remains an obstacle. What are some other ways of ensuring the constitutional guarantees laid out in Gideon? The U.S. is certainly having no shortage of attorneys, so could there be a solution waiting in the pools of unemployed recent law graduates?

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Job o’ the Day: Tom Steel Post-Graduate Fellowship, Sponsored by the Pride Law Fund!

From the PSJD job posting:

The Tom Steel Post-Graduate Fellowship provides funding for a new lawyer to work in the United States on an innovative, public interest law project that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. The Fellowship will help ensure that unmet legal needs are recognized and prioritized on an on-going basis, and that the next generation of legal advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community develops the critical skills necessary to secure civil rights into the future.

The Steel Fellowship is the first fellowship of its kind anywhere in the country. In typical years, the annual Fellowship is a $30,000 award for an individual to complete full-time work for twelve (12) months.

Pride Law Fund seeks to fund “cutting edge” projects with the potential to make a lasting impact. Persons are eligible to apply if they are law students eligible to graduate in the Spring semester, or are lawyers within three years of their graduation from law school. Additional requirements are set forth in the application materials. Factors considered in awarding grants include:

  • Need for the project (how under-served the issue/community is)
  • Anticipated impact of the project
  • The organization and structure of the proposal
  • Stability and supportiveness of the sponsoring organization or attorney
  • The applicant’s past community or public service activities
  • The applicant’s connection and involvement with the LGBT community.

The deadline to apply is April 2, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Looking for Financial Assistance While Studying for the Bar? Apply for the AEF Bar Assistance Grant!

The Asian American Bar Association Educational Fund is currently accepting applications for the 2013 AEF Bar Assistance Grant!

This fellowship award grants a $1,500 stipend and a reduced-fee Barbri course to recent graduates who have taken or are planning to take a 2013 bar exam prior to embarking on a public interest legal career. The only catch is that the job must benefit either the Asian Pacific American community and/or the metropolitan Washington, DC community-at-large. AEF created the self-funded fellowship because public interest and government employers rarely provide direct financial support to their employees for bar-related expenses. With this award, grantees don’t have to take out additional loans or find part-time jobs while studying for the bar.

With that being said, the AEF Bar Assistance Grant is a great way to relieve some of the financial pressure associated with taking the bar, allowing grantees to focus on passing the bar. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2013!

 

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Job o’ the Day: Migrant Farmworker Law Center Summer Intern with Indiana Legal Services, Inc.

From the PSJD job posting:

The Migrant Farmworker Law Center (MFLC) has openings for Summer Interns for Summer 2013 in the Indianapolis, IN office. Primary responsibilities include visiting migrant camps in Indiana to pass out informational literature on workers’ legal rights, discuss farmworker rights, and coordinate with Migrant Farmworker Director regarding additional activities. Additional responsibilities may include research, writing, and drafting of court documents. Interns may also attend community group meetings with other agencies who provide services to farmworkers. Must have a flexible schedule. Camp visits are primarily done in the evenings after the workers are finished working for the day. MUST SPEAK, READ AND WRITE ENGLISH AND SPANISH and have valid driver’s license and dependable car. Interns must be current law students. Pay is $13.00 /hr.

Deadline to apply is April 1, 2013. For more information, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Penn, Northwestern and UCLA Law Schools Boost Scholarship and Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

Earlier this week, NALP‘s student debt expert Heather Jarvis  led a webinar for public interest employers on recruiting and retaining the best legal talent in spite of their student loan debt. During the webinar, Jarvis explained the ins-and-outs of loan repayment options and forgiveness provisions. These programs are beacons of hope for all public interest law students with small salaries and looming debt, and they provide great relief in the struggle to finance a public interest law career.

For this reason, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Northwestern University School of Law, and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law all deserve a round of applause for recently boosting their loan repayment assistance (LRAP) and scholarship programs.

The National Law Journal reports that Penn has overhauled its LRAP to cover all student loan debt for alumni earning less than $80,000 a year. Northwestern increased spending on its LRAP and scholarships by 25%, and also cut down on its enrollment. And UCLA received a $1 million donation for student scholarships.

More from the National Law Journal article:

“The pressures created by high student debt discourage many graduates from law schools and other professional schools from pursuing vital careers and accepting job opportunities in public service,” said Penn dean Michael Fitts.

According to NALP, formerly the National Association for Law Placement, the median entry-level salary for a legal services attorney is just shy of $43,000, while new public defenders and prosecutors can expect to earn about $50,000 a year. New public-interest lawyers tend to earn between $45,000 and $47,000, NALP said. By contrast, the median starting salary at at law firms of 50 attorneys or less is about $80,000.

In addition to making its loan repayment program more generous, Penn is launching a unique program dubbed the Reward for Sustained Service. After three years working at a public-interest or government law job, Penn alumni earning $80,000 or less are eligible for an additional payment that they can apply to principal loan debt, living costs and other expenses. The amount is determined on a sliding scale based on salary and years of service, but participants can receive as much as $22,800 between the third and tenth years of their careers, said Tory Messina, associate director for public interest and government counseling. She did not know of any similar programs elsewhere.

“I’m really proud of the program,” Messina said. “It really expands the amount of loan repayment that’s available to our graduates.”

Participation in the school’s loan-forgiveness program has doubled since 2010, Messina said.

Click here for the full article.

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