Archive for Career Resources

Building Networks and Expertise: PSJD helps keep you up-to-date on legal conferences in your area.

by Sam Halpert, PSJD Fellow (2014 – 2015)

PSJD is about legal careers. And legal careers are about networking. (I know you know, but if you’re at all like me you need frequent reminders.) For that reason, we changed one of our key resources last May.

PSJD’s “Public Interest Career Fair Calendar” is now PSJD’s Public Interest Career Fair and Events Calendar. Traditionally, this resource was for helping students find traditional career fairs in their area, such as (for example) the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair happening next month in Bethesda, Maryland (register by October 10th!). Now, the calendar also includes events covering substantive issues in public interest and government law that are open to the general public, such as the Emory Public Interest Committee’s 11th Annual Public Interest Conference happening in Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday, September 27th (the topic is “Legal Issues in Fostering & Adopting”). In the future, we hope to migrate the calendar to a more expected calendar layout. For the time being, at least, we’ll also promote these events through the PSJD Facebook page shortly before they occur.

Unlike our previous system, this means that not every event in the calendar may be meaningful to you. While career fairs often appeal to a wide slice of the public interest pie, these substantive events are narrower. However, we hope you’ll find this shift helpful. Remember: You can’t just look for work by answering job postings and attending career fairs. You need to meet the people in your field and familiarize yourself with their attitudes and issues. Become knowledgeable. Become known. Substantive conferences—especially ones that happen off your campus or outside your city—can help with that. And PSJD, with the help of its law school subscribers, can help you hear about them.

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TWO New Government Careers Resources on PSJD!

2 New Resources

in the Government Careers Section of PSJD’s Resource Center!

The 2014-2015 Federal Legal Employment Opportunities Guide (FLEOG) is now available for download on PSJD!  FLEOG offers a broad-based review of different career opportunities and paths to employment for law students and graduates who are interested in federal legal careers.  A big thank you to our Publications Coordinator, John Bain, for all his hard work on this very valuable resource.

The 2014 Public Defender Handbook is now available. This publication is ideal for students looking for public defender internships and postgraduate jobs.  The Handbook is divided into three main sections, (1) Frequently Asked Questions about public defender careers (2) a listing and brief descriptions of the major public defender offices that regularly hire post-graduate attorneys and (3) a listing of capital defense offices that hire entry-level attorney. The Handbook also includes an appendix with very specific examples of hypothetical interview questions and interviews with leaders at public defender agencies.

Thanks to our friends at NYU, and especially Rachel Peckerman, Esq., Associate Director, Public Interest Law Center, NYU School of Law. for sharing the Defender Handbook.

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Disability hiring in the federal government.

Even with unemployment still running high, the Federal Government is having difficulty hiring qualified employees.  In particular, the Federal Government is actively recruiting and hiring persons with disabilities.  If  you are such a person seeking federal employment, here is some specific guidance.

The Federal Government has a special (excepted) hiring authority for persons with disabilities called Schedule A.  You are eligible for Schedule A if you are a person with severe physical disability, a psychiatric disability or an intellectual disability.  You can find out more, including sample Schedule A letters and a training video on applying for Schedule A jobs, on OPM’s website.

Additionally, most Federal agencies have a Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) who helps management recruit, hire and accommodate people with disabilities. SPPC’s have many roles and responsibilities, including helping people with disabilities get information about current job opportunities, types of jobs in the agency and how these jobs are filled, and reasonable accommodation.  There is a nationwide SPPC Directory to help you get started.  Also, check out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s LEAD (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities) initiative to address the declining number of employees with targeted disabilities in the federal workforce. The goal for this initiative is to significantly increase the population of individuals with severe disabilities employed by the federal government.

The Federal Government has made hiring candidates with disabilities a priority.  If you are eligible, take advantage of their recruiting resources.  Federal agencies can be a great place to work.

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Top 6 Career Mistakes Made by Law Students

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The Canadian Lawyer magazine recently posted a list of blunders law students make while trying to get their legal career off the ground. Here are few key mistakes that were mentioned:

“Mistake #3 – Not choosing a practice area before you complete your studies“: This is incredibly important! Employers want to see that you’ve made a demonstrated commitment to their practice area. It will also be pretty hard to compete against other law students who have experience directly related to a particular legal field.

“Mistake #5 – No legal web site or legal blog, only Facebook“: These days, it’s easier than ever to start your own website. You can use blogging platforms like WordPress or Tumblr for a free and user-friendly experience, with the option to upgrade to a more costly but customizable site. It’s a great way to set yourself apart from other applicants and provide easy access to your resume and legal writings.

Click here to check out the full list on the Canadian Lawyer website!

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Deadline Extended to 04/25: NALP/PSJD Summer 2014 Publications Coordinator in Washington, DC

If you are a law or graduate student with a background in journalism and/or publishing, this one’s for you!

We just extended the deadline for our Summer 2014 NALP/PSJD Summer Publications Coordinator position. We’re looking for an awesome intern who can work with us for 10 weeks to produce the 2014 Postgraduate Fellowship and Federal Legal Employment Opportunities guides.

The selected Publications Coordinator will be joining our Washington, DC office for the summer. The stipend is $675/week for a 40 hour work week.

Still interested? The new deadline is April 25, 2014. Click here for more information.

If you already know you’ll be in Washington, DC for the summer but still looking for funding, you still have time to apply for one of PSJD’s part-time Project Assistant positions!

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International Bridges to Justice Launches the 2014 JusticeMakers Competition

International Bridges to Justice, an international nonprofit dedicated to protecting the basic legal rights of ordinary citizens in developing countries, recently launched the 2014 JusticeMakers Competition.

Members of the legal community are invited to submit their innovative ideas for projects directed towards ending torture as an investigative tool. Winners will receive seed grants of $5000.

The application deadline is June 26, 2014 (which is also International Day in Support of Victims of Torture). Click here for more information.

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Still Need to Fund Your Summer Public Interest Work? PSJD’s Got You Covered!

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.

Most of the deadlines fall in March and April, so head over to the Resource Center right away! These lists are continuously updated as the organizations renew their application cycles. PSJD is always checking for new deadlines. Stay tuned to the site for new updates!

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JUST ADDED: Two New Public Interest Law Happenings on the PSJD Career Fair & Events Calendar

Looking for the latest public interest law conferences, career fairs and events? PSJD has got you covered!

We just updated our Public Interest Career Fair and Events Calendar – look for upcoming dates in bold. The two most recently added events are the Washington Council of Lawyers’ “Meet the Jolly Good Fellows: Tips on Public Interest Fellowships from Current & Former Fellows” coming up on March 18th, and “Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector,” an April event hosted by the LSU Law Center and the Institute for Energy Law (IEL).

Do you have an upcoming event that you’d like to post to the PSJD Events Calendar? If so, we’d be happy to help! Just shoot us an email to psjd@nalp.org with the details.

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BLSA & DC Public Defender Service Partner Up for 2014 Criminal Defense Trial Practice Institute

Want to spend your spring break brushing up on your lit skills? The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia has got you covered:

The Black Law Students Association Alumni Committee of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia is pleased to present the 2014 Spring Break Criminal Defense Trial Practice Institute (Institute).  The Institute seeks to help students cultivate effective trial advocacy skills and explore indigent criminal defense work.  The program consists of a week of workshops on how to conduct opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, and closing arguments.  In addition, students will learn how to develop theories of defense, master the rules of evidence, and impeach witnesses at trial.  At the end of the program, students will participate in full-length mock trials presided over by Superior Court judges.

The Institute will be held March 10 - March 14, 2014.  The program is free of charge to students, although students are expected to provide their own transportation and lodging.

To apply, students must be a member of the school’s Black Law Students Association and commit to the entire program. Students should submit their applications electronically by clicking the link under the ‘events’ tab of the PDS website, www.pdsdc.org  The deadline to submit  applications is Friday, February 26, 2014.

If you have any questions, contact Jennifer Thomas, the Legal Recruiting Director, at JenThomas@pdsdc.org. Good luck!

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Is Your Legal Start-Up Strapped for Cash? Yale Law Wants to Help!

The Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale is providing start-up money for projects that protect the legal rights or interests of inadequately represented groups. If you have an innovative project that is having some difficulty getting funded because of the subject matter or approach, this one’s for you:

We fund cutting-edge projects whose successful execution might be a model for other organizations seeking new and better ways to represent clients. Please visit the Initiative website for more information about our grants: http://www.law.yale.edu/stuorgs/initiative.htm.

Qualifications

The most important selection criterion for projects is that they that protect the legal rights or interests of inadequately represented groups. The Initiative generally funds projects on which the applicant will work full time, after graduation from law school. Although a wide variety of projects are selected for funding, the Initiative gives priority to projects that:

  • Might provide a model for similar projects around the country;
  • Would be performed in coordination with a sponsoring organization;
  • Could be completed in a single year, or that demonstrate potential to become self-supporting or to receive support from alternative sources within the year (we will also consider projects that can be completed in less than a year);
  • Are submitted by graduates of Yale Law School;
  • Would operate in the state of Connecticut.

Priority criteria are not requirements. For example, the Initiative has frequently funded proposals from non-Yale Law students, as well as projects that operate outside the state of Connecticut. Please see our list of Past Grant Recipients.

The Initiative welcomes applications for both domestic and international projects.

The salary is up to $35,000 and the application deadline is March 1st. See the website for more information!

 

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