Archive for Legal Education

SMU Law Opens New Domestic Violence, Sex Trafficking Legal Clinic

From the National Law Journal:

The Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law is launching a center for victims of domestic violence, financed by a $5 million donation from university alumni Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt.

The center will house a clinic through which law students will represent clients in matters including protection orders, divorce, child support and housing. It also will focus on victims of sex trafficking.

“As a result of this program, participating law students will enter the legal profession with a deeper understanding of the victims of exploitation, trafficking and abuse and what they need for their lives to be restored,” Nancy Ann Hunt said. “Their suffering may be hidden from sight and may be uncomfortable to acknowledge publicly. But through the availability of free legal services, we hope they will feel empowered to come forward and obtain help.”

Administrators plan to work with existing community organizations in the Dallas area, including the Genesis Women’s Shelter for domestic violence victims and New Friends New Life, which assists sex trafficking victims.

Congrats, SMU Law! Click here to read more.

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Legal Scholars Join Miami Law in 8-Part Academic Conversation on Marriage Equality

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Photo by Catharine Skipp, Miami Law Everitas

The University of Miami School of Law recently launched an 8-part series exploring the legal and practical implications of the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.

From Miami Law’s Everitas:

The post-DOMA legal landscape is complex and raises many new and puzzling questions and problems that lawyers will be asked to address and resolve. The discussions are intended to serve as a venue for faculty, practitioners, judges, and students to collaboratively explore the important and rapidly evolving set of social and legal issues.

Each session will be led by a host and co-taught by a panel comprised of academics and practitioners with subject matter expertise.

Participants for upcoming discussions include: Judges Judith Rubenstein, Marc K. Leban, and Scott Berstein from the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida; and attorneys Theodore H. Uno from Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP, and Richard C. Milstein, Akerman Senterfitt & Eidson.

In addition to the University of Miami School of Law and Miami Law’s OUTLaw, the discussions are sponsored by the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association. The conversations have been made available to students for credit or audit and are open to practitioners.

Click here to read more!

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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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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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A Notice to Public Interest Law Students and Employers: Recent Changes to Law Clerk Hiring Plan Could Affect Your Summer

Besides housing PSJD, the National Association for Law Placement, or NALP for short, is an association of over 2,500 legal career professionals who advise law students, lawyers, law offices, and law schools in North America and beyond. The NALP Judicial Clerkship Section has a special message they would like to share with the PSJD community about recent changes to the federal law clerk hiring plan. These changes will affect summer internship scheduling and could possibly create conflicts of interest and other issues for employers and participating law students.

From the NALP Judicial Clerkship Section:

Last month, the federal judges’ committee overseeing the federal law clerk hiring plan announced a modification to the 2013 hiring schedule. Instead of hiring 3Ls after Labor Day, the new application submission date for federal clerkships is Friday, June 28. Beginning June 28, judges can review applications from rising third-year students, schedule and conduct interviews, and extend offers.  This change also affects state court clerkship hiring, as some states have moved their hiring dates in response to the federal change.

Employers who are currently welcoming second-year students into your summer programs may be confronted with issues not faced since the late 1990s. Some students will be coming to their summer jobs already committed to a judicial clerkship commencing in 2014, or perhaps 2015. Some students will have applications pending with judges or will be submitting applications to judges in June, in accordance with the new hiring plan date. Judges reviewing applications during the summer are likely to schedule interviews in June or July, which may present scheduling challenges for students.

Factors employers may want to consider include:

  1. If an intern receives one or more clerkship interviews, will he/she be able to miss work to travel to interviews?
  2. Does your organization have technology such as videoconferencing or teleconferencing available to students for clerkship interviews?
  3. Who is the best person at the organization for students to talk to about questions or issues that arise surrounding clerkships, including possible conflicts of interest on cases/matters, and when is the best time to have that conversation?

Students, we encourage you to discuss the implications of this timeframe with your career services offices and with your employers, paying special attention to the questions above, where relevant to you, and to due dates for assignments that fall around late June and early July, when judges may be interviewing.

We hope this blog post will offer a starting point to frame the issues and develop responses attuned to your individual programs. Many of your law school colleagues have begun to deal with these issues and would be eager to continue a discussion with you. We encourage you to be in touch with colleagues at schools from which you hire interns, to benefit from their insights and share your perspectives with them as you both seek to provide students the best advice and opportunities.

The NALP Judicial Clerkship Section leaders and members look forward to the opportunity to talk through these issues with public interest employers. This message was brought to you by:

NALP Judicial Clerkship Section Chairs: Melissa Lennon (Temple, 2012-13); Amy Perez (Miami, 2013-14)

NALP Judicial Clerkship Section, OSCAR Work Group: Susan Staab (Chicago), Vice-Chair; Marilyn Drees (Yale); Sheila Driscoll (George Washington); Eric Stern (Berkeley)

NALP Judicial Clerkship Section, Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan Work Group: Amy Killoran (Georgetown), Vice-Chair

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Want to get a handle on educational debt? Check out these upcoming webinars from Equal Justice Works!

It pays to be smart about student loan debt, especially for public interest advocates! Take a look at this message from our friends at Equal Justice Works:

Welcome to May! Here in DC, winter has finally relented completely and the pollen counts have begun to climb relentlessly.  Despite the latter, we have a full schedule of free webinars that provide a comprehensive overview of the federal debt relief options available for students and graduates. Our May webinars are:

Drowning in Debt? Learn How Government and Nonprofit Workers Can Earn Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Thursday, May 16, 3-4 p.m. EST

Thursday, May 30, 3-4 p.m. EST

A must attend for anyone with educational debt planning to work or currently working for the government or a nonprofit, this webinar explains how you can benefit from income driven repayment plans, including President Obama’s new Pay As You Earn program, and exactly how Public Service Loan Forgiveness works.

Enter to Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

As summer approaches, it’s also time to start thinking of escaping to the beach. Which entails, of course, light summer reading. We recommend bringing our new eBook, Take Control of Your Future, which provides the in-depth information on powerful federal relief programs like income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness students and graduates need to manage their student debt and pursue the careers of their dreams.

If a comprehensive guide to borrowing and repaying student loans isn’t your preferred beach reading, make sure enter our $100 Amazon Gift Card Sweepstakes.  Just enter the promo code MAY1. And feel free to pass on information about Take Control of Your Future and the promotion to everyone on your summer vacation list.

 While you’re in the office, don’t forget to read our weekly U.S. News blog, the Student Loan Ranger. It will keep you up to date on issues such as fixing legal education, the implications of President Obama’s budget for student loan borrowers and the student debt of Members of Congress.

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Get control over your student loans with Equal Justice Works’ Educational Debt Webinars

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

It’s April already! In addition to filing your taxes and major spring-cleaning, make sure you add Equal Justice Works’ educational debt webinars to your calendar for this month. These webinars make financial literacy as easy as the click of a registration button, and EJW has a ton of student loan debt resources and news. Read on for the message from our friends at EJW:

Has your student debt become a financial burden you are struggling to deal with? Are you worried about the amount you are borrowing to pay for college or graduate school and wondering if you will be able to repay it all? If so, Equal Justice Works is here to help.

 We provide in depth information on powerful federal relief programs like income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness that can help anyone manage their student debt and pursue the career of their dreams. Our eBook, Take Control of Your Future, details the steps you need to take to manage your student debt now and in the future.

 Every month, our free, live webinars also provide a comprehensive overview of the federal debt relief options available for students and graduates and provide viewers with the opportunity to ask questions. Click here to view a schedule of our webinars and to register for an upcoming session.

 Our April sessions include:

 How to Pay Your Bills AND Your Student Loans: Utilizing Income-Driven Repayment Plans

Friday, April 12, 2-3 p.m. EST

 Saddled with high student debt? This webinar reviews income-driven repayment plans, including Income-Based Repayment, Income-Contingent Repayment and the new Pay As You Earn Plan, which allow borrowers with high debt relative to their income to reduce their federal student loan payments.

 Get Your Educational Loans Forgiven: Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Thursday, April 18, 3-4 p.m. EST

For recent graduates with jobs in government or at a nonprofit, this webinar explains how to make sure you immediately begin fulfilling requirements to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness so that your educational debt will be forgiven as soon as possible.

 Finally, make sure you keep up with the new events shaping the student debt crisis by following our weekly U.S. News blog, the Student Loan Ranger. Last month we covered the effect of the sequester on higher education funding, the role of underemployment in the student debt crisis and the decline in law school applications.

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No Big Difference in Legal Job Market for Class of 2012: Entry-Level Employment Rates Stay the Same

by Ashley Matthews

From the National Law Journal:

Employment rates held fairly steady last year, according to data from the American Bar Association. Nine months following graduation, 82 percent of graduates had secured some form of employment—the same percentage as the class of 2011.

On a more positive note, 56 percent of the graduates secured long-term, full-time jobs that required bar passage, a 1 percent increase over the previous year. (This job category is widely seen as the most desirable).

However, there also was a 1 percent increase in the number of unemployed graduates, which stood at 11 percent nine months after graduation.

The article cites a couple of reasons the legal job market may be idling out, and also points out that J.D.-Advantage jobs are on the (slow) rise:

The class of 2012 faced a tough employment market not only because legal hiring has slowed, but also because there was more competition. The most recent graduating class was the largest on record at 46,364—more than 5 percent larger than the class of 2011, according to the ABA. (That figure is expected to decline because applications and new student enrollment has fallen off.)

There was also a slight uptick in the percentage of recent graduates in long-term, full-time jobs in which a J.D. is an advantage, if not a requirement. Nearly 10 percent of recent graduates landed jobs in that category, up by 1.4 percent from a year ago. J.D.-advantage jobs of any kind, including short-term and part-time, accounted for 13 percent of new graduate employment.

Confused about what exactly a J.D.-advantage is? Check out NALP’s informational video on where exactly this non-traditional route can take law grads.

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Bar Exam Resources: Tools to Help You Get Certified (And a Public Interest Law Bar Prep Scholarship!)

by Ashley Matthews

If you’re gearing up to take the bar exam this summer, take a look at the Bar Exam Toolbox to help yourself get ready! This site was created specifically for recent law graduates who are prepping for the bar exam. It contains links to resources that will help you succeed and blog posts on everything from making sure you’re ready to take the exam, to when you should actually start hitting the books in preparation.

If you’re a public interest law student, you may also want to consider applying for BarMax’s Public Interest Scholarship. A BarMax scholarship will cover 60% of the program’s price, making the bar review course only $395 for students working in public interest/service. Student loan expert Heather Jarvis gave the BarMax prep program a thumbs up, so it may be worth a shot.

Good luck!

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Looking for Financial Assistance While Studying for the Bar? Apply for the AEF Bar Assistance Grant!

The Asian American Bar Association Educational Fund is currently accepting applications for the 2013 AEF Bar Assistance Grant!

This fellowship award grants a $1,500 stipend and a reduced-fee Barbri course to recent graduates who have taken or are planning to take a 2013 bar exam prior to embarking on a public interest legal career. The only catch is that the job must benefit either the Asian Pacific American community and/or the metropolitan Washington, DC community-at-large. AEF created the self-funded fellowship because public interest and government employers rarely provide direct financial support to their employees for bar-related expenses. With this award, grantees don’t have to take out additional loans or find part-time jobs while studying for the bar.

With that being said, the AEF Bar Assistance Grant is a great way to relieve some of the financial pressure associated with taking the bar, allowing grantees to focus on passing the bar. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2013!

 

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