Archive for Career Resources

What Exactly Is a Split Summer?

By: Brittany Swett, J.D.

A new trend known as the “split summer” is gaining popularity among large law firms across the country. Despite the growing popularity of the split summer, a lot of law students and legal professionals have never heard of it. Today at PSJD, we are taking a quick look at what a split summer is and what some of the benefits and drawbacks are.

What a Split Summer Is:

Split summers come in a variety of forms. Most commonly, a split summer allows a law student who has secured a summer associate position for their 2L summer to spend the first half of the summer working at a law firm and the second half of the summer working for a nonprofit organization. Under this basic model, the law firm will then continue to pay the salary of the summer associate during the second half of the summer while they are at a non-profit. Some firms have taken this basic idea and added their own twist. Firms may require that the summer associate remain at the law firm for more than half of the summer and spend less time at the non-profit. Others have specific requirements about the non-profit chosen by the summer associate, while still others will only pay the summer associate for the time spent working at the firm. Each program is unique, but overall there are benefits and drawbacks to consider regarding a summer split.

Benefits to Splitting Your Summer:

Splitting a summer allows for a law student who is torn between the private sector and non-profit world to explore careers in both. The law student still gets to complete a summer associateship and enjoy all the benefits that come along with doing so, such as writing experience, the salary, professional contacts, and a potential offer at the end of the summer. In addition, the student gets to explore the non-profit sector, potentially working more closely with the public and for a cause they feel passionately about. In addition, if the student is someone who likes new experiences, two jobs in a short time span will keep them on their toes. Split summers also allow for a student to make a larger number of professional contacts in both fields. In addition, some split summer programs allow for their summer associates to work in two different cities over the course of the summer.

Drawbacks to Splitting Your Summer:

While eight or ten weeks can sound like a long time, it will fly by. One potential drawback of a split summer could be that the student is spreading themselves too thin. It may be more difficult to gain all the benefits of the experience at a law firm or at a non-profit organization if the student only spends a short time at each. In addition, forming meaningful professional connections with employees at each place may be more difficult due to the shortened length of time. Additionally, some law firms will give summer associates the time off to work at a non-profit, but will not compensate the summer associate for this time. Finally, the non-profit law world is also becoming more competitive in terms of job placement after graduation. If a law student knows that this is the field that they ultimately want to go into, spending a full summer at an organization ultimately may be more beneficial.

The split summer is an interesting new trend definitely worth exploring. To further research specific split summer programs, visit PSJD’s resource guide.

Sources:

https://law.yale.edu/student-life/career-development/students/career-guides-advice/what-are-firm-sponsored-split-public-interest-summers

http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/2008/06/pi-summers.pdf

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Fellow Field Trip! – USPTO

By: Delisa Morris, Esq., M.S.

Last week I, Delisa Morris, former PSJD Fellow, had the opportunity to visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for educational programming about the office, and its internship and job opportunities. The audience got to hear from six offices inside the USPTO: Office of the Chief Communications Officer (OCCO), Office of Equal Employment and Opportunity and Diversity (OEEOD), Trademarks, Office of Human Resources (HR), Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) / Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) and Patents. Each office representative shared a little about what she does day-to-day, the initiatives the office is pursuing, the type of jobs the office has and what hiring managers in each office look for in applicants.

The USPTO was listed as the Best Place to Work in Government in December 2013.  The agency is self-supported, which allows it to be insulated from government shutdowns.  Additionally, the USPTO allows for alternate work schedules and full-time work from home capabilities. Sounds like a great agency to start a career right?  It’s also a great place to work for the long haul!  Many of the presenters commented that they had been with the agency for decades.  They contribute their longevity with the USPTO on their ability to do ‘Details’ (a stint with another office or agency entirely for a period of time).  Some Details have lasted for years.

Below, I’ve pulled out a few key facts from what I learned about the USPTO.

Patents

  • There are 9,000 patent examiners (electrical, mechanical and physics)
  • 35 to 40% of the people who apply to become patent examiners receive full-time offers and 50% of those are JD holders
  • Fall externships are open now
  • There are opportunities to shadow employees on a case by case basis

OCCO

  • Always searching for strong writers
  • Accepting interns, but no full-time opportunities upcoming
  • Interns get ‘a run at the salad bar’
  • Hiring officials look favorably at applicants who were previously interns

OEEOD

  • Helps make USPTO diverse
  • 18 staff members (Directors are attorneys)
  • The formal team has three attorneys
  • The hiring manager is looking for:
    • Passion for EEO & Diversity and Inclusion
    • Prior education/internships in the area
    • work with affinity groups (i.e. NAACP)
    • solid writing skills
    • proven use of alternative dispute resolution skills
  • No internship program currently

Trademarks

  • Attorneys are the bulk of the workforce. 860 employees, 555 attorneys
  • 1,000 applicants per 50 jobs
  • The hiring manager is looking for:
    • Detail oriented and decisive
    • Works well independently, most of the time it will be just you and your computer
    • Soft skills: staying abreast of pop culture/current news, well rounded knowledge from art to sports to history
  • 80 attorneys telework across the USA and Puerto Rico
  • Legal internships (paid and unpaid) are available, and they are very competitive

HR

  • Wants the USPTO to be considered the Google of Government
  • Using storytelling to reach applicants starting with a new campaign #ChooseGov
  • 19% of recent grads are looking for government jobs, 74% of those seeking a government job are looking for work with the federal government
  • They understand the USAJobs is a tough system to work with, but working at the USPTO is wonderful and worth the application process
  • Veteran Hiring Program
    • Visit veteran recruitment fairs
    • Disabled veterans >30% are referred up to GS-15
    • Veterans with campaign medals are referred up to GS-11
    • Use the ‘Hire Vets’ mailbox to be matched before a position is broadcast to the public
      • Send an email to the veteran hiring coordinator and ask what’s available and if you qualify
      • Go through Recruit Military or Hiring Out Heroes

OCE/OPIA

  • A 2010 startup
  • Works on European trademarks, economic & legal literature updates
  • Trademark registration is a leading indicator of economic ups and downs (The base of IP is econ)
  • Hiring manager is looking for:
    • PhD’s
    • Open to different communication styles
    • Team oriented
  • Office has unpaid externs that work on specific programming projects

Bonus: The cafeteria at the USPTO is amazing! I had a delicious made-to-order salad from the manifold of food stations including a pop-up BBQ.

Thank you Tanaga Boozer for giving us an inside look at your great agency!

 

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The 2017- 2018 Comprehensive Fellowship Guide is live!

Fellowship Guide word cloud

The 2017-2018 Comprehensive Fellowship Guide is now available on PSJD. The Guide is your first stop in the search for post-graduate fellowships. An exclusively online Guide allows you to search in real time for the most current information. The Guide provides a portal to the database, which features over 300 fellowship opportunities. The database is continually updated, and we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the Guide. PSJD also provides tips on applying for fellowships as well as a primer you can pass directly to students, including how to search by fellowship type, geographic location, or deadline. Check it out now; many fellowship application deadlines are quickly approaching.

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Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Legal Clinic Fellow

The Organization

TIRN is a legal services program operated through the TU College of Law Legal Clinic and funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. TIRN was launched in 2008 to address the shortage of attorneys working on behalf of the traditionally underserved noncitizen population of the greater Tulsa area. TIRN has three primary goals: 1) create and train a network of local attorneys to provide pro bono representation to vulnerable immigrants; 2) provide community education on legal rights and immigration remedies; and 3) provide direct legal representation in immigration proceedings to the greater Tulsa area noncitizen population. TIRN complements the work of students and faculty of the Immigrant Rights Project, a clinical legal education program of the College of Law.

The Position

The Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network (“TIRN”) seeks a Legal Clinic Fellow to begin October 1, 2017. The Legal Clinic Fellowship is a full-time, paid, two-year attorney position which serves as a bridge from academic studies to the practice of law by providing training and mentoring to a new attorney in a law firm setting. Under the supervision of the TIRN Director, the Legal Clinic Fellow will represent Tulsa-area noncitizens in immigration proceedings, present at community education events, participate in law and practice trainings and assist in building a pro bono network of Tulsa-area attorneys committed to representing non-citizens in immigration proceedings.

Ready to become a jolly good fellow? See the post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Entry-Level Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Assistant Attorney General

The Organization

The Utah Attorney General’s mission is to uphold the constitutions of the United States and of Utah, enforce the law, and protect the interests of Utah, its people, environment and resources.

The Position

The State Agency Counsel Division of the Attorney General’s office seeks a dynamic attorney to represent the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS). This attorney will advise DHS on Juvenile Justice issues, civil rights compliance, and pending legislation, and will represent the DHS in matters before the juvenile courts and district courts and in administrative hearings. This is a one year, non-merit, entry to mid-level position. Preference will be given to an attorney with human services experience, experience with GRAMA, or HIPAA issues, or experience drafting and negotiating contracts on behalf of the State. Two to five years experience in juvenile or criminal justice preferred. This attorney will be co-located with the Department of Human Services, but will report to the State Agency Counsel Division. Must be an active member in good standing of the Utah State Bar. Some travel may be required.

Is this the perfect opportunity for you? View the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Internship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Summer just started, but it’s never too early to start thinking about next semester and academic year internships!

Volunteer Legal Internship/Externship – Fall, Winter, or Spring 2017-18

The Organization

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is an innovative partnership among the Microsoft Corporation, Angelina Jolie and other interested philanthropists, law firms and corporate supporters. KIND is dedicated to providing both pro bono representation and positive systemic changes in law and policy to benefit unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children. Launched in fall 2008, KIND is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has ten field offices across the country.

The Position

KIND’s Seattle field office is seeking volunteer legal interns who want to develop their lawyering skills while assisting KIND’s Seattle office’s direct representation and pro bono programs, which matches volunteer lawyers with unaccompanied children needing representation in immigration court.

Projects may include:

  • Legal Screening: Assist with the initial screening of unaccompanied minor children, conduct communication with child clients, adult sponsors, and other agencies, including making psycho-social and other referrals as needed.
  • Legal Research: Research current trends in immigration law and family law, country conditions, and other federal laws to assist in case preparation.
  • Legal Writing: Draft legal briefs, declarations, and memoranda of law to assist in client cases.  Draft immigration forms to support in-house cases.
  • Case Management: Update case summaries, track important court dates and deadlines, process referrals and communicate with clients.

Are you interested in this internship? See the full-post on PSJD.

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Resource Round-Up: National Security Practice Area Guide

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 National Security Practice Area Guide is designed to give you a brief overview of the legal field in National Security Law.  It provides practical information regarding the types of employers with which you can pursue a career; steps to take during law school to help a future career in the field; security clearances; and resources to further research this rewarding field.

 


*Career Counselor’s Corner*

 

Lindsay McCaslin, Esq., Assistant Dean, Office of Career Services William & Mary Law School says “As more of my students become interested in national security work, I recommend this Guide to give them an idea of employers who work on national security issues, from various federal agencies to nonprofits. It also gets students thinking about the security clearance, which can be a lengthy process.”

Have a national security question not answered in the Guide? Send us an email and we’ll do our best to put it in the National Security Practice Area Guide.

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Job’o’th’Week (Experienced Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Staff AttorneyThe Organization

Nevada Legal Services is a legal service corporation funded non for profit with the mission of strengthening the community by providing equal access to justice for low income Nevadans.

The Position

Nevada Legal Services is dedicated to providing legal help to low-income people across Nevada.  NLS has received a grant that is allowing us to significantly increase our attorney staff.  Staff attorney positions are available to fill multiple office locations (Elko, Yerington, Pahrump, and Reno).

Requirements:

  • Applicants should be licensed to practice in Nevada or in another state and eligible for admission pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 72.1.
  • Applicants must have an interest and passion for helping low-income Nevadans, seniors and veterans.
  •  J.D. from ABA accredited law school.

Settle in the silver state. Check out the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Sidley Austin Appellate Advocacy Fellow

The Organization

Legal Aid was formed in 1932 to “provide legal aid and counsel to indigent persons in civil law matters and to encourage measures by which the law may better protect and serve their needs.” The largest part of our work is individual representation in housing, family law, public benefits, and consumer law. From the experiences of our clients, we identify opportunities for law reform, public policy advocacy, and systemic reform litigation.

The Position

The Sidley Austin Appellate Advocacy Fellow will be responsible for conducting legal research and writing; drafting legal and factual memoranda and briefs; conducting applicant and client interviews and meetings; reviewing and analyzing court filings and records; assisting with the maintenance of Legal Aid’s appellate case files, records, and dockets; engaging in oral advocacy, as appropriate; and other tasks as assigned to him/her by the Appellate Project Director, the Legal Director, or the Executive Director.

Take the lead with this new fellowship.  See the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Entry-Level Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Assistant Attorney General – Human Services Division

The Organization

The Attorney General of the State of Wyoming is appointed by the Governor, pursuant to Wyo.Stat. § 9-1-601 . The primary duties of the Attorney General are outlined in Wyo.Stat. § 9-1-603. The Attorney General’s office, by law, provides legal opinions only to elected and appointed state officials and represents the state agencies in actions in courts of law. The Attorney General’s office is prohibited from offering legal advice to private citizens or organizations.

The Position

The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office is seeking an attorney to represent the Secretary of State, Department of Revenue, Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Public Service Commission, Division of Banking, various licensing boards, and other state agencies as assigned. This position will also assist and advise other clients on legal matters on a day-to-day basis, represent clients in litigation and appeals, provide legal advice, review contracts, draft legal opinions, attend client board meetings, and review administrative rules.

Why not make a home in Wyoming? See the full-post on PSJD.

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