Archive for Career Resources

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!


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.


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!


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 with the details.


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,  The deadline to submit  applications is Friday, February 26, 2014.

If you have any questions, contact Jennifer Thomas, the Legal Recruiting Director, at Good luck!


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:


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!



Want to know how to use PSJD’s new Fellowship Deadline Calendar?

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

Look no further – we’ve got your step-by-step instructions, including screenshots, right here!

First things first: Head over to’s Resource Center by clicking the link in the header of the site.

Deadline Calendar - Resource Center

(Click the screenshot to enlarge.)

It’s a good idea to log-in now, because you’ll need access to all the fellowships later!

The new Fellowship Deadline Calendar will be the last link in the Postgraduate Fellowships section of PSJD’s Resource Center. If you really, really like our old list of deadlines and just hate calendars, you can always click the link above it to get to the previous version:

Deadline Calendar - Main Link

After you click the link, you will see PSJD’s new Fellowship Deadline Calendar! At first, it may look like this:

Deadline Calendar Main - Grid

This is called a Grid View. You can change this by clicking Calendar View, right under the gray Search Fellowships bar and right above the Search Results.

Your Calendar View will look like this:

Deadline Calendar Main - Calendar

You can filter all the results you see in the grid or calendar by using the gray Search Fellowships bar:

Deadline Calendar Main - Search Bar

This bar will be your command center while searching for postgraduate fellowships. You can filter results by date range, fellowship type, and deadline type. There’s also an option to limit your results by Favorites! Here’s a breakdown of what you see:

Date Range: You have two ways to filter the date range of PSJD’s postgrad fellowships – by deadline, and by the date it was posted on PSJD. This is really helpful if you’re only looking for fellowships you need to apply for right now, or if you’re only looking for fellowships that were recently posted so you can get a head start on the application.

Fellowship Type: Each fellowship is posted under a category. When filtering your results, hover over the question mark next to the name of the fellowship type to get more information on what types of opportunities are listed for each:

Deadline Calendar Main - Hover Question Marks

Deadline Type: Fellowships have different types of deadlines – some may be rolling until filled, and others may be in the spring, fall or summer. Job-seekers can also view fellowships archived on PSJD with past deadlines.

You may see an entry on your Calendar View that has a plus sign and a number next to it, like this:

Deadline Calendar - Plus Number on Calendar

Depending on how you filtered your search results, this +3 just means there are 3 other fellowships that were posted on that day, or have a deadline that falls on that day.

If you’re interested in any of the fellowships you see, just click the name for application info – it’s hyperlinked right to the PSJD posting.

Got more questions about the new PSJD Fellowship Deadline Calendar? Shoot me an email at or give the PSJD office a call at (202) 296-0076. We’re happy to help you navigate this new feature!


PSJD launches the new Postgraduate Fellowship Application Deadline Calendar

Have you searched postgraduate fellowships on PSJD and wished you could see them on a calendar?  We’ve listened to your requests, and are excited to announce the Calendar is here!  Check out it and all the other great postgraduate fellowship resources in the Resource Center on PSJD.  Stay tuned for How-To’s on this convenient new resource coming later today!


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.


Just Updated on 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!