Archive for December, 2013

PSJD Public Interest News Digest – December 20, 2013

by Christina Jackson, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives & Fellowships

Happy Friday and Happy Holidays! The News Digest will take a break until after the new year.  I appreciate all of you reading the digest and contributing such amazing content.  I love getting the heads up about great work going on out there.  Keep it coming!

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants: If you know someone we should honor, drop me a line.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • Ontario lawyers call for reforms of legal aid;
  • 2014 White House Fellows program accepting applications;
  • MA Bar forms task force to review prosecutor/defender salaries;
  • Canadian Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters releases final report;
  • Donation saves Pro Bono Students Canada;
  • NY judge sets trial on legal aid for poor;
  • Northwestern Law receives large donation for LRAP;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants: Tom Buckel, Kevin Harrigan, Sherry Kline, Raymond Presley;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

December 11, 2013– “Two groups of Ontario lawyers are calling for changes to the legal aid system that they say would make it easier for low-income Ontarians to hire counsel.  The Criminal Law Association and Ontario Legal Aid laywers offered a united front Wednesday as they put forward the Criminal Justice Protocol Agreement — their collective bid to bring the premier, the ministry of the attorney general, Legal Aid Ontario and the Department of Justice to the table to address what the attorneys say are serious problems with legal aid.  The lawyers want to see greater eligibility for legal aid, increased funding for programs, and reforms to the way Legal Aid Ontario delivers basic legal information.”  (Ottawa Citizen)

December 11, 2013 – “Applications are invited for the White House Fellowship Program, a one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Fellows typically spend a year as full-time, paid assistants to senior White House Staff, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows receive a salary and benefits from the agency for which they work. Fellowships are awarded on a strict non-partisan basis and encourage balance and diversity in all aspects of the program. Application deadline is January 15, 2014.”  (Scholarship Positions)

December 12, 2013 – “The Massachusetts Bar Association has formed a task force to report on salary levels for state prosecutors and public defenders and the potential effects those pay scales have on the criminal justice system.  The salaries in Massachusetts are lower than in some other New England states, according to research undertaken by the Committee for Public Counsel Services. However, the jury is still out on how Massachusetts compares nationally or whether it in fact offers above- or below-average starting salaries compared to most other states.”  “A big concern among bar members is whether Massachusetts salaries discourage many talented lawyers from seeking working in the public sector and force existing public defenders to wonder “how they’re going to pay their rent this week,” said Douglas Sheff, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association.”  (Boston Business Journal)

December 13, 2013 – “Canada has a system of civil courts that would be the envy of many countries. We have a large, well- trained and dedicated legal profession. The legal aid system in Canada provides more service in civil matters than is available in many places throughout the world. Yet, with all this and all that it costs, we are not meeting the legal needs of the Canadian public. The final report of the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, A Roadmap for Change, tackles the difficult problem of why this is the case and lays out recommendations for what can be done to bring full access to justice to Canadians. The final report and four subcommittee reports on early stage resolution of civil justice problems, legal services, court simplification and family law are available on the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice website.”  (Slaw)

December 16, 2013 – “A $150,000 donation is bringing Pro Bono Students Canada one step closer to a fundraising goal that will allow the organization to preserve — and eventually expand — its Family Law Project.  The Family Law Project gives law students the opportunity to support low-to-middle income earners who do not qualify for legal aid. The students assist clients with court forms and help navigate the court system.  The donation is a combined gift from Toronto-based family law firm Epstein Cole LLP and its founder Philip Epstein to PBSC’s Campaign for Family Justice, which has now raised $320,000 of its $400,000 shortfall.”  PBSC is looking to expand the Family Law Project to law schools that don’t currently have the program, as well as courts that do not have student placements.  Family law is an area of greatest need, and these students are often the only help available.  The students fill the gaps and the experience gives them the opportunity to gain real experience.  (4Students)

December 17, 2013 – “A trial is needed to determine whether the state systemically provides inadequate staff and money for the constitutionally required defense of poor people charged with crimes, a state Supreme Court judge said.”  “The lawsuit was filed in 2007 on behalf of 20 defendants in Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Suffolk and Washington counties.  The judge said the testimony from attorneys serving in the defendant counties shows indigent criminal defendants consistently are arraigned without being afforded their right to counsel.”  (The Wall Street Journal)

December 18, 2013 – “The law school announced that it has received a $15 million gift from one of its wealthiest alumni, real estate and casino magnate Neil G. Bluhm.”  Part of the grant is unrestricted, but “Mr. Bluhm instructed that another $5 million be earmarked for the law school’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which helps recent graduates who take lower-paying government and non-profit jobs reduce their monthly payments on federal student loans for up to 10 years.” (Wall Street Journal Blog)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:  A Christmas miracle.  That’s what I thought when Sam (Kasmarek at Syracuse Law) sent this to me.  People in the right place at the right time.  But, it’s the spirit of serving that makes this story so wonderful.  Several individuals, on their way to other business, didn’t think twice about stopping.  They just knew they had to help.  At 8:20 am on Monday, a pick up truck veered off the NY Thruway into a bridge at full speed, trapping its driver, Capt. Timothy Neild.  Tom Buckel, managing attorney for Legal Services of Central New York, saw it happen.  He parked on the median and raced to get the driver out.  Others followed, including Kevin Harrigan, a Syracuse adoption lawyer and his legal assistant, Sherry Kline.  They were on their way to an adoption. Raymond Presley, a truck driver and a sergeant first-class in the National Guard, who had served with Neild, would soon join them.  Flames were now shooting up from the dashboard, and all rescuers were in danger, but no one thought to leave the scene or cease pulling on the crushed door.  All anyone could think about was saving this unknown person.  What comes next is the miracle part – the door gives about 30 seconds before the first explosion;  Capt. Neild is saved; no one else is hurt.  That instinct – to help regardless of personal peril is inherent in all those who are public servants.  This holiday season and every day, let us give thanks and celebrate those who go the extra mile for someone.  And Merry Christmas to the Captain and his family (young daughter and expecting wife) who will be able to celebrate instead of mourn because there are good people in this world.  (The Post-Standard initial article) (The Post-Standard follow up article)  

Super Music Bonus!  Happy Holidays!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuczsqBkZBI

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Expert Opinion: Top 10 Tips for Government Job Applicants (Illinois Attorney General’s Office)

Editor’s note: Our “Expert Opinion” series offers thoughts, insights, and career advice from public interest lawyers, law students, and others who work for the public good.  PSJD’s current Expert is Ruta Stropus, the Director of Attorney Recruitment and Professional Development for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Stropus has graciously agreed to offer some much-needed tips and advice on applying for government jobs. This edition, Ruta breaks down her top 10 tips for graduates applying to jobs within the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

If you are new to the practice of law and are interested in our Office, the following guidelines might help explain our hiring process:

1)     We only hire by vacancy.  Due to budget constraints, we only hire by vacancy.  Hence, the positions that are listed on our website today might not be those listed tomorrow.  We modify our listings daily to reflect our open positions.  Positions are listed on the website until they are filled.  There is no other deadline or timeline in terms of the posting.

2)     Always go to our website to check on open positions.  Various sites can cut and paste our postings and make them available.  However, to get the most accurate and current information, visit our website.

3)     Read the posting carefully.  Each one of our vacancies is different in terms of experience and minimum qualifications.  Therefore, although you might be interested in a number of positions, it is unusual for any one candidate to qualify for all of our open positions.  Make sure your cover letter is specific in terms of your qualifications and your interests.  Instead of sending multiple cover letters for each position, just send one cover letter.

4)     Consider geography.  Chicago is a saturated legal market.  We are inundated with resumes every time we post for an open position.  Therefore, newly licensed attorneys are often outmatched by experienced attorneys.  However, our Springfield office often seeks out candidates and struggles to find the right person for the job.

5)     Be honest.  For example, if you are a native Chicagoan and have never visited Springfield, Illinois, we question your commitment to remain in central Illinois.  We do consider candidates for our Springfield positions that hail from the northern part of the State, but we also want to make sure that an attorney who fills our Springfield position is not going to flee at the first opportunity.

6)     Get a license.  Because our vacancies and hiring needs constantly change, we need someone already licensed in Illinois at the time of application.  We do not hold positions for 3L’s.  Although other agencies employ licensed attorneys as “law clerks”, our clerkship program is limited currently enrolled law students.  We have participated in some fellowship programs, but fellowships are limited to our Springfield office and are available only through the law schools that participate in the fellowship partnership agreement with us.

7)     Do your homework.  On average, we review upwards of 50 resumes a week.  I am constantly reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, checking references, etc.  We have tried to provide quite a bit of information about our recruiting process on our website.  And, although we are available to answer questions, we appreciate those candidates who have taken the time to read and review the information first.

8)     Be patient.  Given our volume, it takes some time for candidates to hear back about their application.  Typically, we receive your information and enter it into the recruiting database.  Then, I review the resumes and decide which resumes meet the minimum qualifications listed in our job postings.  If the resume does meet the minimum qualifications of any available posting, it is sent on for further review.  Individuals at the bureau and division level decide if candidates merit an interview.  Usually, you will hear back from us in a 2-3 week period regarding your candidacy.  If you do not, then feel free to email or call to check on status.  We use three stages of interviews, weeding out candidates at all stages until we have a finalist.  Hence, the process is lengthy.

9)     Respect the process.  I do not meet candidates informally to discuss positions.  Please do not be offended if I decline an invitation to meet for coffee or do not meet you at reception if you are there to drop off a resume.  I respect the process  because it is the best means to provide fairness to all applicants.  My task is to make sure I find the best candidate for the position, not vis versa.

10)  Know what you are in for.  We have had a long-standing salary freeze.  Our pay is very modest, and the work is sometimes tedious and overwhelming.  Government service is challenging in many ways.  The candidates who impress us are those who have a commitment to public service, an amazing work ethic and who are willing to work independently and as part of a team.  During the interview, I ask candidates about their past – I want to know about those times in your life when things did not go as planned, when you had a disagreement with a colleague or supervisor, when you had to manage multiple and overlapping deadlines, when you had to enforce an ethical boundary.  In addition to the qualifications listed on a job posting, I want to know if your past performance or actions have prepared you for the future challenges of a position as an Assistant Attorney General.

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Deadline Extended! The Center for Reproductive Rights/Columbia Law Fellowship is Still Accepting Apps

Did you miss the deadline for Columbia Law School’s Center for Reproductive Rights Academic Fellowship? Not to worry, because they just extended the deadline! *cue applause*

Originally closing in November, the powers that be have re-opened the search for a two-year academic fellow to focus on reproductive health and human rights. The Fellow will receive a $55,000/year stipend.

So don’t delay this time – applications will close on February 28, 2014. Check out the full job description on PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Interested in Foreign Affairs and Diversity Issues? Apply for the Humanity in Action Diplomacy & Diversity Fellowship in D.C. and Paris!

Humanity in Action is now accepting applications for their 4-week Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship!

The Fellowship, which is open to all master’s, doctorate, MD, JD and MBA students, is an educational program for 24 American and European graduate students about the changing international dynamics of diplomacy and diversity. From the website’s overview:

In Washington, DC and Paris, the Fellows will explore how American and European governments and societies are responding to a wide range of international and national diversity issues. The program’s guiding mission is to increase awareness of the importance of diversity in diplomacy and other international fields and to encourage the careers of professionals from minority backgrounds in foreign affairs.  The four-week program will take place from May 17 to June 14, 2014.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2014. Click here for application information.

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PSJD Public Interest News Digest – December 6, 2013

by Christina Jackson, NALP Director of Public Service Initiatives & Fellowships

Happy Friday and welcome to December!  Happy St. Nicholas Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Hanukkah filled with light, food and family.  Also a big hello to all our Canadian members at their Winter Meeting.  And finally, tomorrow is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  Remember a vet and say thanks.

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants: If you know someone we should honor, drop me a line.

Here are the week’s headlines:

  • UNLV Law School clinic reports on alleged detainee abuses;
  • Echoing Green Fellowship applications opens December 3;
  • National Association of Attorneys General expands their Bridge to Practice program opportunities;
  • Governor Cuomo announces $1 million for legal aid for Sandy victims;
  • Elon opens its fourth clinic;
  • Proposed FL bill would provide loan relief for young prosecutors and defenders;
  • New organization in Hattiesburg, MS to offer free legal services;
  • Legal Aid Ontario accepting applications for funding;
  • BC Law School launches new experiential learning center;
  • Pitt Law clinic celebrates 25 years;
  • NY – rule change allows in-house attorneys to do pro bono work;
  • CFPB will supervise large student loan servicers;
  • Legal Aid Ontario signs historic GTA Clinics’ Transformation Project Framework Agreement;
  • Washington judge finds defender programs deficient;
  • Southeastern Ohio Legal Services to close 3 offices;
  • ASU plans to open largest non-profit law firm in nation;
  • Spotlight on Public Service Servants: Chief Justice of Ontario, Warren Winkler;
  • Super Music Bonus!

The summaries:

November 21, 2013– “People held at the Henderson Detention Center as immigration detainees have been subjected to mistreatment, according to a UNLV Boyd School of Law Immigration Clinic report released on Nov. 19.”  So far ICE and the Detention Center have not discussed the report.  “Fatima Marouf, co-director of the Immigration Clinic at the UNLV Boyd School of Law, addressed Henderson City Council.”  For the article, Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul said, “We’re reviewing the report and are speaking with ICE about it.” He noted that the center has remedied problems revealed by past inspections regarding immigration detainees.  (The Henderson Press)

November 21, 2013 – Echoing Green is one of the many “non-legal” fellowships that greatly appeal to law students.  “The 2014 Echoing Green Fellowship application will be open from December 3, 2013 to January 6, 2014.  Echoing Green’s Fellowship Programs will offer more than $3.8 million in seed-stage funding and support this year to emerging leaders working to bring about positive social change. From thousands of applicants, only about 1 percent are ultimately awarded a Fellowship. During their first two years, Fellows receive up to $90,000, participate in leadership development gatherings, and have access to the powerful network of Echoing Green Fellows, partners, and friends. We continue to support our Fellow community long after their initial funding period with ongoing programs and opportunities at critical inflection points in their organizations or careers.”  Echoing Green manages three fellowship programs including the new climate fellowship for 2013.  (Echoing Green)

November 25, 2013 – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is pleased to host bridge-to-practice fellows from the Class of 2014.  NAAG is the professional organization for the Attorneys General Offices of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five territories.  Through its training and research arm, the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute, it conducts training in both professional skills and substantive issues for the Attorneys General and provides research assistance.
Our law school graduate fellows whom we have been privileged to host have been invaluable members of our staff and have experienced a wide variety of activities.  They have conducted research and authored manuals for the Attorneys General offices; attended meetings with White House, congressional, and international organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Association of Prosecutors; assisted with the editing of Supreme Court amicus briefs; conducted research and assisted in the writing of briefs for NAAG’s Tobacco project; helped provide legal research for our substantive trainings, such as intellectual property theft and human trafficking; developed articles for the NAAGazette; assisted with our International Fellows program; and attended NAAG professional trainings and meetings.  Several have gone on to full-time jobs with Attorneys General offices; all have subsequently found full-time jobs in their areas of interest in the law.

We would encourage you and your graduates to consider NAAG as a host for your bridge-to-practice fellowship program.  If you have any questions, please contact Chris Toth, Executive Director, National Association of Attorneys General at 202-326-6021 or ctoth@naag.org.

November 22, 2013 – “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $1 million award to the Disaster Recovery Clinic at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University to help families and small businesses in Nassau and Suffolk Counties affected by Superstorm Sandy. The award will expand the pro bono counseling services at the clinic to an additional 250 homeowners and businesses.”  “The funds were made available through the State’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The award to Hofstra Law’s Disaster Recovery Clinic will allow for continuing services until at least May 2015.”  (LongIsland.com)

November 25, 2013 – “The Elon University School of Law said last week it will open a Small Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic in January at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. It will be the Greensboro law school’s fourth public clinic and its first aimed at business.  This small-business center will operate like Elon’s other clinics: It will be staffed by law students — and it’s free. John Flynn, a Greensboro attorney and a distinguished practitioner in residence at the Elon law school, will oversee the clinic.”  (News & Record)

November 25, 2013 – “A bill pending in the Florida House and Senate could provide some relief for young attorneys who want a career as a state prosecutor or public defender. Under it, the state would pay up to $44,000 toward the law-school debt of any attorney who works in those public-sector jobs for a set number of years. It has the support of the Florida Bar , Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Florida Public Defender Association . And last year, the Florida Innocence Commission included it in a list of recommendations on how to strengthen the criminal-justice system and help prevent innocent people from being sent to prison for crimes they did not commit.”  (Hispanic Business)

November 28, 2013 – “Pine Belt attorneys will soon have the opportunity to help low-income community members turn their lives around.  Beginning in January, local law experts willing to donate their time and expertise for a good cause will be participating in Mission360, an offshoot program of PineBelt360 that will help provide people with the legal services they need for free.  With services being cut back for people who fall within the socioeconomic area of not being rich or poor enough to seek out legal counseling, Chancery Court Judge Deborah Gambrell said Mission360 members hope to be able to provide legal services to those who fall within the gap.”  (hattiesburgamerican)

November 29, 2013 – ” Legal aid clinics and community partners can now apply to Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO’s) $2 million Fund to Strengthen the Capacity of Community and Legal Clinics, which supports innovative and enhanced services that increase the number of clients served in a cost-effective manner.  nterested organizations can apply for this fund by completing the fund application form that can be found on LAO’s website: http://legalaid.on.ca/en/news/newsarchive/1311-07_newfundapplications.asp.  The deadline for submitting an application is January 15, 2014.”  (Digital Journal)

December 2, 2013 – “In an effort to get law students ‘lawyering’ before they graduate, the Law School will combine its clinical and experiential programs into a new unit that will serve as a ‘law firm within a law school.’ The new Center for Experiential Learning will serve clients seeking legal aid for cases ranging from civil litigation to wrongful criminal convictions.”  “The center will fold current offerings such as in-house clinics, internships, semester-in-practice and short-term externship programs into a clearinghouse designed to give students real-world experiences required by the profession.”  (The Boston College Chronicle)

December 2, 2013 – For 25 years the students of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid Services had provided low-income clients valuable family law services.  Washington County Judge Gary Gilman “noted that the family law cases are especially important and sometimes more difficult than trial or civil cases because they are “very personal and sensitive.” He pointed to child custody cases that can have long-term consequences for families.”  The clinic has served some 13,000 clients.  Congratulations!  (Observer-Reporter)

December 2, 2013 – “New York state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced a rule change that will allow attorneys who work in corporate law departments here, but who are not admitted to practice law in the state, to do pro bono work (so long as they are admitted to practice elsewhere, and are in good standing).  Previously, only lawyers who were admitted to the New York state bar were permitted to volunteer their services to work on behalf of poor or underserved clients. Those admitted elsewhere had to work under the supervision of a locally-licensed attorney or approved organization. The new rules are set to take effect on Wednesday, Dec. 4.”  (WSJ LawBlog)

December 2, 2013 – “Companies operating outside of the banking system that process student loan payments will be subject to federal examinations for the first time, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Monday.  Starting March 1, the government watchdog will regulate the seven largest student-loan servicers that process payments for more that 49 million borrower accounts — representing a majority of the market. Sallie Mae, Nelnet, Great Lakes and Ed Financial are some of the firms that will come under the new supervision rule.”  (Washington Post)

December 4, 2013 – “Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has signed a framework agreement with the GTA Legal Clinics’ Transformation Project Working Group that allows clinics to make important progress in how they deliver poverty law services. The agreement includes provisions for predictable clinic funding from LAO over the next two years.  With this agreement in place, GTA clinics will be able to reduce administrative costs and reinvest the resultant savings into enhanced client services.”   This is a win-win for clinics and clients.  (Digital Journal)

December 5, 2013 – In a case closely monitored by public defenders and the Justice Department, “U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik agreed with the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union that Burlington and Mount Vernon had not provided adequate representation to indigent defendants.”  So, the question now is whether the Judge will order federal oversight.  “If Lasnik appoints a federal monitor, this could give the DOJ leverage to pressure jurisdictions throughout the country to improve substandard public defender systems elsewhere, Jessica Eaglin of the Brennan Center for Justice told the newspaper. She serves as counsel for justice programs at the nonpartisan policy institute, which is part of New York University School of Law.”  (ABA Journal)

December 5, 2013 – Southeastern Ohio Legal Services is set to close the offices in Zanesville, Lancaster and Marietta on Jan. 31, said Tom Weeks, executive director of the Ohio State Legal Services Association. “The association is in charge of nine field offices providing representation to low-income Ohioans in 30 Ohio counties.”  Clients will be helped remotely by other offices, but the details haven’t been finalized. (Zanesville Times Recorder)

December 5, 2013 – “Arizona State University plans to open the nation’s largest non-profit law firm within its new downtown Phoenix law complex.  University officials on Wednesday unveiled the plans for the nearly $130 million Arizona Center for Law and Society. ASU hopes to break ground on the project in summer 2014.  The complex will house the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, which is now on the university’s Tempe campus, along with a non-profit law firm called the ASU Alumni Law Group.  The privately financed firm will hire recent law graduates to represent lower-income Arizonans.  The Arizona Board of Regents must still give final approval to the project, but officials hope to open the school and the law firm in 2016. The regents are expected to approve the plan.”  (azcentral.com)

Spotlight on Outstanding Public Servants:  Chief Justice of Ontario, Warren Winkler retires next Tuesday after a long and distinguished career of serving the public and making sure the system serves the people.  “Power imbalances are a theme in Winkler’s approach to access to justice — one of the key issues he sought to improve during his six-year tenure at the helm of Ontario’s Appeal Court.”  Read about how he has consistently worked to balance the system.  Congratulations Justice Winkler!

Super Music Bonus!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HobcNkKZkg0

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Diary of a Public Interest Law Job Seeker, Entry #3: How do I find the time to look for a job?

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

This is the third blog post in a series about my job-hunting adventures (and misadventures). You all may know me as the 2012-2014 PSJD Fellow, in which position I manage PSJD’s website and social media accounts. I love this job, but unfortunately my Fellowship is almost halfway over. Aside from the regular stress of looking for a job, I – like many other public interest law grads who scour PSJD for job vacancies – have to combat a dearth of available positions, an abundance of unpaid postgraduate opportunities, student loans, the bar exam, and a majorly competitive job market.

I’m writing this public diary so other recent law graduates know they are not alone. Looking for a job, facing rejection, and dealing with stress and anxiety can be disconcerting and isolating. So if I touch on something that has happened to you or someone you know, feel free to leave a comment! We’ll get through this together. So, without further ado…  

Entry #3: How do I find the time to look for a job?

This past Monday, I officially started prepping for the bar exam. It’s been everything I thought it would be: time-consuming, a tad bit stressful, and, at times, more than a little boring.

Since I’m working full-time while studying for the bar exam, I chose to take an online bar prep course to meet the needs of my lifestyle. Between viewing my classes online and flash-carding like nobody’s business, I usually spend roughly 4-6 hours a day on bar prep alone. The hours of 9am and 5pm belong almost exclusively to PSJD (no complaints here!). By the time my day is over, I am mentally exhausted.

And then, right before I shut my eyes, I remember that I still need to find a job. As I drift off to sleep, I know it’s too late to pop open my laptop and go job hunting. The mere thought gives me a headache.

This first week of working full-time, studying for the bar and job searching has opened my eyes once again to the importance of time-management. I haven’t felt pulled in this many directions since law school.

I’ve quickly realized that if getting the right job is a high priority for me, then I have to treat it like one.

Under this new time-crunch, I’ve created a weekly schedule that I try to stick to as much as possible. Now, sandwiched in between work, bar prep and necessary hobbies that help maintain my sanity, there’s about 30 minutes to an hour of job-searching a day.

I debated on looking for jobs only a couple of times a week, but I have learned the hard way that deadlines come and go very quickly. I use PSJD to add Employer Favorites or set up daily email alerts that send filtered jobs straight to my inbox every morning. (If you want to learn how to set up your own email alerts or add Favorites, email me at amatthews@nalp.org or check out this old blog post.) I also have a few go-to websites that I mentioned last week.

In terms of maximizing my job hunt, it also helps to have friends in high places. I’ve contacted a few old internship supervisors to let them know I’m looking for work. Previous connections may have internal leads on jobs that may not be circulating online. By the time most of us graduate, we have formed a pretty solid network of mentors, supervisors, colleagues and peers. These people may be our best bet to finding a job that is just right.

Be sure to check back next week for the next entry in the Diary of a Public Interest Law Job Seeker!

Ashley Matthews is the 2012-2014 PSJD Fellow. She is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and has a background in multimedia journalism, political science, and digital media management. She is very passionate about access to justice issues, global social entrepreneurship, and legally empowering low-income and marginalized communities.

 

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Just Updated on PSJD.org: 2014 Summer Funding Resource List

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

Landed an awesome internship this summer, but in desperate need of funding? PSJD is here to help!

We just updated our Summer Funding Resource pages, available in the Funding & Debt section of the site’s Resource Center. Click here for a list of organizations that offer funding for internships located anywhere. For summer funding resources for work in a specific geographical region, click here.

These lists are continuously updated as the organizations renew their application cycles. PSJD is always checking for new deadlines, so stay tuned to the site for new updates!

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New ‘Blawg’ on the Block: Albany Law School Launches “Law, Innovation and Entrepreneurship” Blog

From PR.com:

Albany Law School’s Government Law Center has launched the blog Law, Innovation and Entrepreneurship to enrich New York’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with informative, accessible posts on such topics as forming a business, intellectual property and trademarks.

“One of the Government Law Center’s priorities is focusing on economic development and the law to help launch new ventures, bolster existing companies and create new jobs throughout the region and across the state,” said GLC Director Ray Brescia. “Through the Law, Innovation and Entrepreneurship blog, we will provide the business community with a steady stream of useful legal information.”
The blog will be maintained by GLC Staff Attorney Emily Ekland, who also works on the center’s Legal Handbook for Early Stage Business and white paper series on entrepreneurship, alternative energy systems and business startup issues.

Click here to read the full press release.

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