Archive for Legal Education

Job’o’th’week (Internship Edition)

Help Wanted

Photo: Brenda Gottesman – CC License

Summer 2018 Legal Intern

Western Environmental Law Center

The Organization

Western Environmental Law Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public interest environmental law firm. We use the power of the law to safeguard the public lands, wildlife, and communities of the American West in the face of a changing climate. To learn more about the Western Environmental Law Center, please visit our website at www.westernlaw.org..

The Position

The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is accepting applications from law students currently in their second or third year of law school (2L or 3L) for summer 2018 legal internship positions to work with our attorneys in these locations: Helena, Montana; and Taos, New Mexico. We are looking for bright and motivated individuals committed to public interest environmental law.

Under the supervision of a staff attorney in the office location in which they are hired, the selected interns will assist our attorneys with case development and strategy, conduct legal research, and draft pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents. The internships are unfunded positions. We will provide assistance to the selected applicants in seeking outside funding or law school credit, and in finding free or inexpensive housing. We offer a flexible summer work schedule to allow for outdoor recreation and travel.

Ready to be an environmental crusader?  Check out the full-post on PSJD.

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PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award Finalists Announced!

 

This past week the PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award Committee made some tough decisions regarding which of the many exemplary nominees would advance as finalists. These choices were difficult to say the least, as the pool of applicants was particularly talented this year. The committee is proud to announce that the following finalists:

Congratulations to every law student who was nominated by their school. The applicant pool was full of talented nominees doing meaningful public interest work within their communities. The committee greatly enjoys being tasked with the opportunity to learn about the exciting Pro Bono work these exceptional students are doing all across North America. We look forward to announcing the Pro Bono Publico Award winner and the merit distinctions at the 2017 NALP PSJD Public Service Mini-Conference.

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EXTENDED DEADLINE: Call for nominations for the 2017 Pro Bono Publico Award

2017 Pro Bono Publico Award Call for Nominations! 

It’s that time of year again. We are seeking nominations for the 2017 PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award. Information is below. You can find additional information and the nomination form on PSJD. The deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday, September 8th by 5:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please email psjd@nalp.org.

Purpose

To recognize the significant contributions that law students make to underserved populations, the public interest community, and legal education by performing pro bono work.

Eligibility

The Pro Bono Publico Award is available to any second- or third-year law student at a PSJD U.S. or Canadian Subscriber School.  Each Subscriber School may submit up to 2 nominees.  The recipient will be announced during National Pro Bono Week – usually held in October – and honored during an Award Ceremony at the recipient’s school thereafter.  The award recipient will receive a commemorative plaque and a monetary award of $1,000.

Award Criteria

Selection is based on the extracurricular commitment the nominees have made to law-related public service projects or organizations; the quality of work they performed; and the impact of their work on the community, their fellow students, and the school.  Actual pro bono work will be the primary consideration.

Nomination Deadline & Packet Contents

Initial nominations must be received by Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 5pm Eastern Time, by fax, mail, or email (see contact information at bottom).  Along with the nomination form and a résumé, nomination packets should include a two-page statement detailing the work the nominee has done, the impact it has had on the nominee’s community, and why this nominee is deserving of the award.  Input or quotes from those involved in the work or from impacted community members may be included and are strongly encouraged. PLEASE SUBMIT ONE PDF CONTAINING ALL THE NOMINATION MATERIALS.

Need an idea for your nomination? Check out the 2016 Pro Bono Publico Award winner Gabrielle Lucero’s blog post at the link below.

Pro Bono Publico Award Winner Gabrielle “Gabs” Lucero

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“Civil Rights in the 21st Century”: University of California’s Upcoming Public Service Conference

The Place: On September 23rd and 24th, University of California will again host its inaugural Public Service Law Conference at UCLA’s Luskin Center.

The Event: “In partnership with the UC Office of the President, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Berkeley School of Law, UCLA School of Law, UC Davis School of Law, and UC Irvine School of Law, the conference will bring together more than 500 law students, faculty members, lawyers, and nonprofit professionals committed to advancing civil rights and the public good. Panels and speeches will focus on the people, organizations, and systems working on the legal aspects of vital issues like immigration, homelessness, police accountability, water rights, and veterans’ issues during a day-and-a-half long conference.

Keynote Speakers and Panelists Include: Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California; Peter Neufeld, Co-Founder of the Innocence Project; Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director at the National Immigration Law Center; Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean at UC Berkeley School of Law; Jennifer Mnookin, Dean at UCLA School of Law; Kevin Johnson, Dean at UC Davis School of Law; L. Song Richardson, Interim Dean at UC Irvine School of Law; and more.

Registering: Individuals interested in attending the conference may register here. Registration is $150 and includes a lunch and evening reception on the first day with speakers and sponsors, breakfast on the second day, and all CLE costs (if applicable).”

Why We At PSJD Would Go: Due to University of California’s large network of schools and outreach within the state, the speakers at this event are among the best attorneys in the Public Sector and in their respective fields. Each is an expert on the topic they will be lecturing on and could potentially offer a plethora of insights into their specialties. In addition, the conference has particular workshops focused on furthering your own career in public service, including a panel entitled “How to Get a Job: Panel of Experts.” Plus, who doesn’t want a good excuse to soak up some Southern California sunshine?

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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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Newer Professionals’ Forum Debrief

 

The NALP Newer Professionals’ Forum (NPF), is a two and a half-day conference focused on the development of newer legal recruitment and career services professionals.  It is a mega networking and education event.  I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 NPF in Houston, TX.  I had a wonderful time, learned a lot, and had the opportunity to meet new colleagues and fill my networking spreadsheet.  By the way, if you aren’t using the Networking Contacts Spreadsheet available on PSJD, you’re really missing out.

NPF took place March 2-5 in Houston.

The first night attendees got a brief introduction to NALP and a conference overview.  The plenary was followed by a networking reception, where I had the opportunity to speak with members from across the country, who were both legal recruiting professionals and law school career advisers.  Somehow, I managed to run into almost all of the attending mid-westerners during the networking event.  Since I am a Chicago native, we had a lot to chat about.  After networking, we split up and went to dinner in separate locations where I had the opportunity to connect with several recruiting professionals from law firms with offices in the Washington, D.C. area.

The second day was all about learning.  For breakfast there were faculty leaders at separate tables facilitating open discussions around various legal topics.  Afterward, I attended sessions around management foundations, how career counselors can build relationships with employers and finally a plenary session on recruiting ethics.  By the end of the day Saturday, I only had three of my business cards left.  I’m an introvert, so I was very impressed with myself.

On Sunday, there was a session on the recruiting numbers, which was extremely eye opening.  There have been several calls and initiatives to improve diversity in the legal profession, but the numbers do not show many changes, especially at the partnership and senior associate level.  Even looking around the room at the NPF attendees, they were overwhelmingly women.  Work-life balance was one of the top advantages cited in the Emerging Legal Careers session for why people pursue JD advantage positions.

Attending NPF was a great experience, and I strongly recommend it for all career counselors, law firm recruiters, and subsequent PSJD Fellows.

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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.

 

resource-roundup-pag


*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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Spring Break at the 2016 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 Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia is pleased to present the 2016 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 District of Columbia Superior Court judges.

The Institute is designed to support law students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups, students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, and/or students from law schools that lack criminal defense and trial advocacy training opportunities.

The Institute will be held March 13 March 18, 2016.  Each student is expected to commit to participating in the entire program, which also includes daily evening sessions.  The program is free of charge to students, although students are expected to provide their own transportation and lodging.

For more information on how to apply, click here. (Application Deadline: January 30, 2016).

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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

DOMA2

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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