Archive for Career Resources

Job’o’th’Week (Internship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Publications Coordinator

The Organization

NALP houses and administers PSJD, an online public interest job database and “virtual” career services center for law students and attorney on public service career paths.  PSJD contains listings of several hundred post-graduate public interest fellowships which are offered in the U.S. and abroad.  Every year, this information is culled from the website and published as The PSJD Comprehensive Fellowship Guide.

The Position

The Publications Coordinator plays the lead role in fellowship guide’s annual update.  NALP also publishes its Federal Legal Employment Guide annually.  The Publications Coordinator is also responsible for updating the information and assisting in its production.

The Publications Coordinator’s specific responsibilities are to:

Produce the 2017 Fellowship Guide

  • Research and update all PSJD online fellowship listings for use in the print fellowship guide. This is accomplished through concerted telephone/email outreach to several hundred organizations;
  • Research and verify new fellowships to be added to the guide;
  • Compile other resources for the guide, following previous editions;
  • Edit content and layout for online publication.

Produce NALP’s Federal Legal Employment Guide

Other duties as assigned

Does this position coordinate with your career goals?  Find the full-post on PSJD.

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Resource Round-Up: State & Local Government Career Resources State by State List

Image courtesy of The Diamond Gallery

Image courtesy of The Diamond Gallery

The PSJD Resource Center has valuable information for law students, career counselors and lawyers about public service law jobs.

The PSJD State & Local Government Career Resources State by State List is a list of useful places to begin research on internships and jobs with state and local governments. Here you will find links to information about many different government employers.

 


*Career Counselor’s Corner*

 

Claudia Melo, JD, Director of the Career Center at University of Minnesota Law School says “This is a quick, handy compilation that I use in conjuction with the Gov[ernment] Honors Guide for those students interested in government careers.”

Do you have a great state resource? Send it to us in an email and we’ll do our best to get it up on the website.

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Job’o’th’Week (Entry-Level Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Staff Attorney

The Organization

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), a non-profit regional law firm that provides high-quality legal assistance to low-income persons and groups in western Ohio, seeks a bright, creative, hardworking attorney for its Dayton office.

The Position

The Attorney will work with ABLE’s Education Practice Group and the Housing and Economic Development Practice Group. The Education Practice Group provides legal representation to low-income children and parents in education cases.  The Education Practice Group advocates for appropriate and meaningful educational opportunities for children in poverty, including a focus on discipline cases and disrupting the school to prison pipeline, particularly for African American and Latino youth who are disproportionately impacted by these policies.  The Housing and Economic Development Practice Group focuses their work on improving housing conditions and choices for low income communities as well as improving eThe Attorney must have excellent interpersonal skills and be experienced in working in collaborative environments.

Are you ready, willing and ABLE to be an advocate? Check out the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

International Human Rights Clinic Fellowship

The Organization

Founded in 1892 by John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is one of the world’s leading universities, with an extraordinary history of world-renowned research and education across a broad spectrum of fields. More than 80 Nobel laureates are associated with the University of Chicago, including eight current faculty members. One former senior lecturer is currently President of the United States. The University of Chicago is known for its excellent faculty, an increasingly strong and diverse student body, and a distinctive urban campus with strong community connections. In 2016, US News and World Report ranked the University of Chicago 3rd in its annual survey of the Best Colleges.

The Position

he University of Chicago Law School is seeking qualified applicants for a full-time position training and supervising law students as a Fellow, appointed with the rank of Lecturer, in the Law School’s International Human Rights (IHR) Clinic. This position is for the 2017-18 academic year and is expected to begin on August 1, 2017. The appointment is for 12 months; re-appointment for a second term may be possible. The IHR Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally, including in the United States. The IHR Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms as well as other substantive law and strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions to those problems using interdisciplinary methodologies, and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. IHR Clinic projects include litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals, as well as non-litigation projects, such as documenting violations, legislative reform, drafting reports, and training manuals.

Is this your first class ticket to starting a career in international human rights? View the full-post on PSJD.

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Resource Roundup – Practice Area Guides

Image courtesy of The Diamond Gallery

Image courtesy of The Diamond Gallery

The PSJD Resource Center has valuable information for law students, career counselors and lawyers about public service law jobs.

The PSJD Practice Area Guides are designed to give students and job seekers brief overviews of several different legal fields. The guides include practical information regarding the types of employers and practice settings in various fields of law. The guides also include skills that would be useful to gain during law school if a student is seeking to practice in that area after graduation.

 

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*Career Counselor’s Corner*

 

Claudio Melo, JD, Director of the Career Center at University of Minnesota Law School says “I use these consistently with my 1L students. They provide a bite-size overview of common practice areas of interest. Also, if a student has an upcoming informational interview, I encourage them to review the attorney’s practice area of focus prior to the meeting.”

Couldn’t find the practice guide that you were looking for? Send us an email and we’ll do our best to create one and put it on the website.

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*Guest Blog* Liz Schultz Debriefs on the EJW Conference & Career Fair

Liz Schultz

Liz Schultz

Last Friday, I attended the Equal Justice Works (EJW) Conference & Career Fair for the first time. To be honest, I primarily went to hear Justice Kagan speak. As Co-Chairs of the EJW National Advisory Committee, Jojo Choi and I also helped out with some behind-the-scenes work. However, I was so blown away by all the amazing experiences I had while I was there, I will definitely return next year! 

As a 2L, hearing Justice Kagan speak was truly moving. I teared up hearing her talk about Justice Thurgood Marshall. She recounted that being Solicitor General was his favorite job because he loved to say “I’m Thurgood Marshall and I represent the United States of America.” (I even teared up typing that—law school has fanned an unexpected patriotic wildfire in me!) She kept the whole room laughing for the entire hour. After explaining that one of her duties as the junior justice is to serve on the cafeteria committee, she admitted that her successful advocacy for the clerks’ desired dessert earned her the nickname “the frozen yogurt Justice.”

justice-kagan-and-interviewer

I also had the opportunity to see Ralph Nader speak about access to justice. Afterward, he stayed for over an hour to sign books and meet people. As he wrapped up I got to chat with him for 10 minutes or so along with a few other nearby law students. (Just a typical Friday, right? I wish!) I told him about the “unreasonably nerdy law student field trip” my fellow interns and I undertook this summer from Philadelphia to multiple sites of famous cases we studied during 1L, which culminated in a trip to Mr. Nader’s American Museum of Tort Law. I also found out he not only knows of the small plaintiff firm I will work for this upcoming summer but thinks one of them is “a legend.” He even asked for my business card!

liz-and-nader

I got to hang with some other amazing folks as well, who are not quite as far along in their careers. I met Zaire Selden, a 1L evening student in DC. We bonded over our shared passions for racial justice, got lunch, and then ran into Mr. Nader for that 10-minute chat (after which he gave Zaire a signed copy of his book). At the Student Networking Reception I met Shana Emile, a 3L in LA. We bonded over our shared passion about the School-to-Prison Pipeline. I also had the chance to hear about her summer internship with the Southern Poverty Law Center and tell her about my work advocating for Philadelphia children in school disciplinary hearings with our law student volunteer group, School Discipline Advocacy Service.

 

It was so restorative to connect with Zaire, Shana, and other law students who are trying to forge new public interest opportunities at their law schools. I encouraged them to apply to be EJW law student reps, and maybe even to be on the National Advisory Committee. (Okay you caught me in a shameless plug…but seriously, these are two great opportunities for law students that also help connect people to EJW resources and supports, so, why not!) I got to chat with law school professionals too, like Ray English from Arizona State University Law and Norma D’Apolito from Yale. I met a Temple Law alum, Qudsiya Naqui, and we got to gush about shared professors and all things Temple. And I met Christina Jackson and Delisa Morris, who encouraged me to write this blog post! Networking with other social justice minded law students and professionals was truly empowering and encouraging. I even have a phone call scheduled for next week with another law student to discuss how to create new public interest opportunities at her law school across the country.

 

I was also able to lay more concrete groundwork for job opportunities at table talks. Though I did not have any prescheduled interviews, I got to sit down with attorneys from the DOJ, Defender Association, and Capital Habeas Unit. I also scoped out the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Brennan Center. There truly are opportunities for everyone with any inclination toward social justice; I left with many business cards and new contacts.

interview-room

There were great panels about social entrepreneurship, incubators, immigration, racial justice, debt, and more. We got to hear from successful attorneys like Lam Nguyen Ho about how they crafted opportunities to do their work. Listening to their stories enabled me to envision myself in their shoes one day soon.

 

My experience at the Equal Justice Works Career & Conference Fair is best summed up in this email I sent to someone the following day:

“Seriously, that was amazing. I’m in awe of how many awesome people I got to speak with doing such incredible work, and I am proud to just share the same space (or as Jojo said about Justice Kagan, breathe the same air!) as them.”

 

Justice Kagan said she is “a huge believer in serendipity…especially in legal careers.” Trust me when I say there are plenty of serendipitous moments at the CCF. With over 1000 students and 160 employers, how can there not be?

 

I hope to see you there next year!

 

Liz Schultz is a 2L at Temple Law. She can be reached at elizabeth.schultz@temple.edu

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DOJ hosting two informational webinars about their Attorney General’s Honors Program and Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP)

The US DOJ is hosting two informational webinars answering questions about their Attorney General’s Honors Program and the Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP).  SLIP is the paid summer internship program, and the DOJ Honors Program is the DOJ’s entry-level attorney recruiting tool.  Participants need to RSVP by August 3, 2016 to Kim.Person@usdoj.gov.  The applications for the Honors Program and SLIP open on Sunday, July 31, 2016 and close on September 6, 2016.

InvitationInvitation

You’re Invited to a Webinar Answering Questions on:
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S HONORS PROGRAM AND SUMMER LAW INTERN PROGRAM AT THE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Hosted by: Rena J. Cervoni, Deputy Director and Trisha A. Fillbach, Assistant Director Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management
During the webinars, participants will:
•Obtain a brief overview of this year’s programs;
•Receive answers to questions about the application; and
•Gain an understanding of the hiring timeline.
* Participants are encouraged to review the application prior to the webinars.

* Please RSVP to Kim.Person@usdoj.gov for one session by Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Please include your name, law school attended, and the webinar date you choose to attend. (Participation is limited to the first 100 respondents for each session.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12:00 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time) or 3:00 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time)

Below are also the links to each program’s information page.  It includes participating offices and the number of available positions. 

HP:   www.justice.gov/legal-careers/entry-level-attorneys

SLIP:  www.justice.gov/legal-careers/summer-law-intern-program

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Federal Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) Calendar Year 2014 Report

Federal Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

One of the biggest benefits of federal employment for recent law school graduates is student loan repayment assistance. Federal agencies are authorized to provide up to $10,000 in loan repayment assistance per year for federally-made, insured or guaranteed student loans with a total lifetime cap of $60,000 per employee. In exchange for each year that an employee accepts this benefit, she or he must commit to working for the federal government for an additional three years. If an employee accepts this benefit and leaves (separates either voluntarily or involuntarily) before this period expires, she or he must repay the full amount.

While not all agencies offer this benefit, many do. In 2014, 33 federal agencies provided more than $58.7 million in loan repayment assistance to their employees.  This represents a 6.5 percent increase in the number of agencies offering a loan repayment program from 2013, and a 10.9 percent increase in agencies’ overall financial investment in this particular incentive. However, the average student loan repayment benefit in CY 2014 was $6,937, a 4.1 percent decrease compared to CY 2013.

The five agencies that provided the most loan repayment assistance in CY 2014 were:

Agency Number of Employees Receiving Benefits Total Amount of Assistance Change in Number of Employees Receiving Benefits Change in Total Assistance from CY 2013
Department of Defense 1,774 $12,135,381 -23.5% -25.6%
Department of Justice 1,728 $12,897,251 105.2% 119.5%
Department of State 1,415 $11,136,296 8.7% 2.8%
Veterans Affairs 713 $4,145,654 27.5% 53.5%
Securities and Exchange Commission  

675

$6,170,327 4.6% 6.5%
Subtotal 6,305 $46,485,200    
28 other agencies 2,164 $12,261,655    
Total 8,469 $58,746,855 15.8% 11.0%

 

Most notably, the Securities and Exchange Commission used the majority of its loan repayment funds on mission critical occupations, with Attorney-Advisor being the largest category of recipients (371 attorneys received benefits in CY 14) and the JD advantage position Securities Compliance Examiner (32).  The Department of Veterans Affairs also used a large portion of funding on the JD advantage positions of Contract Specialists (116) and Human Resource Specialists (106).

Overall, departments and agencies report that the use of student loan repayment assistance as a recruitment and retention tool for highly skilled workers has been effective.  For example, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission uses its funds mainly as a retention tool, providing a majority of the benefits to mission critical occupations such as Attorney and Energy Industry Analyst.  Of special note, Housing and Urban Development provided loan repayment assistance to their Presidential Management Fellow in addition to other legally related positions.

Agencies continue to report that the primary barrier to using student loan repayments for recruitment or retention is a lack of overall funding for the program.  Other reported barriers were the corresponding three-year service agreement, the tax liability associated with the student loan repayments, and the yearly cap of $10,000 on benefits.  Some agencies reported candidates were unwilling to commit to three years of service in return for the student loan repayment benefit. Both the tax liability and the cap in relation to rising student loan debt were seen as diminishing the value of the benefit.  However, the primary impediment appears to be need — many agencies do not have hard-to-fill jobs or don’t have difficulty recruiting and retaining employees.

The following departments or agencies provided loan repayment assistance to one or more attorneys: Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Regulatory Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Government Accountability Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Postal Regulatory Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Surface Transportation Board.

The following departments or agencies provided loan repayment assistance to one or more JD advantage positions: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, Veterans Affairs, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Federal Regulatory Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Postal Regulatory Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Additionally, 9 agencies recently established student loan repayment assistance programs that they did not use in CY 2014.  These agencies include the Agency for International Development, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Government Printing Office, National Capital Planning Commission, Office of Government Ethics, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. AbilityOne Commission.

To learn more about the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program, visit opm.gov or contact human resources representatives at the federal agencies in which you are most interested. Click here to view the complete report from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for calendar year 2014.

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Finding jobs and turning heads in the federal government

Sam Halpert, PSJD Fellow (’14-’15)

The federal government is big and does a lot of stuff. [citation needed] Folks across the political spectrum approach this fact with various feelings, but it’s true. And with great scope comes great opportunity. Almost regardless of what your interests are as a lawyer, odds are some corner of the Fed might enable you to pursue them. If you’re in the midst of your job search and you haven’t taken a look around the government yet, you probably should. You never know what you might find.

USAJobs.gov handles so many different fields, it can be hard to find relevant information.

USAJobs.gov handles so many different fields, it can be hard to find relevant information.

The problem is, the federal government is big and does a lot of stuff. That means that taking a look around is far from simple. USAJobs.gov–the federal hiring portal– handles so many job notices in so many different fields, it can be hard to find relevant information. Moreover, once you find positions you want to apply to you’ll probably learn that the federal hiring process involves different conventions than most other employers.

Without help, overcoming these challenges can be slow and painful. Luckily, there are resources out there to speed things up for you:

  1. USAJobs Search/Alert Walkthrough. This winter, the PSJD Resource Center added a walkthrough to help jobseekers set up their USAJobs.gov accounts to locate positions that require or prefer candidates with legal training. (Courtesy of Georgetown Law’s Office of Public Interests Career Services) It’s your best option for getting up to speed on USAJobs and finding positions you’re interested in.
  2. Tips for Writing Federal Resumes. Last Friday, Lindy Kyzer of ClearanceJobs.com (and formerly of the DoD) published a new listicle of do’s and don’ts for your federal-government-specific resume. (Yes, you need a federal-government-specific resume.)

So check out these guides, and get out there! If you find anything unexpected in the federal government, feel free to share your surprise. If you come up with additional resources you’ve found helpful, let me know and I can pass them on.

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ABA Membership – Now FREE for Law Students

Any law students out there who haven’t yet joined the American Bar Association, you’ve officially run out of excuses. ABA membership is now free for students, and here’s what a whole lot of nothing will get you, according to the ABA’s own site:

More networking opportunities! Another job board! Monthly career webinars! Why are you still reading this!

Go get yourselves membered-up! at https://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Membership/JoinABA.aspx

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