Archive for Public Interest Jobs

Job’o’th’Week (Internship Edition)

Help Wanted

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Internship

Legal Services of Southern Piedmont

The Organization

Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP) is a non-profit agency that provides legal assistance in civil matters to low-income persons in Charlotte and mid-western North Carolina.

LSSP provides an intense, practical, and worthwhile internship for students interested in providing legal services to low-income people. LSSP has a long tradition of aggressive and effective advocacy, including individual cases, complex litigation and other advocacy projects. Our interns work with staff attorneys on routine cases, handle administrative cases as the primary advocate under the supervision of an attorney, and participate in significant client advocacy projects, as described in the job description below. You can find more information about our organization and our work on our website at www.lssp.org.

The Position

Help LSSP Attorneys Represent Clients

Assist attorneys as directed on specific cases, including interviewing clients and witnesses; collecting, evaluating and preparing evidence for presentation; performing legal research; drafting pleadings, briefs and other legal documents; consistent with LSSP standards for representation. Interns are generally assigned to one attorney supervisor for each half of the summer, and work primarily with that attorney on routine cases such as eviction defense, public assistance and social insurance eligibility, protection from domestic violence and predatory lending. Interns have the opportunity for extensive client contact, participate in all stages of case development, and accompany the staff attorneys to court hearings.

Handle Administrative Cases

As primary advocate under attorney supervision, handle limited number of administrative cases such as Unemployment Insurance appeals, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid disability appeals, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamp or other administrative cases; attend to cases on a timely basis; keep clients notified of progress on cases; maintain case files in accordance with program policy; maintain tickler system, prepare periodic case reports as required; close cases promptly upon completion of representation. Interns will be primarily responsible for at least one administrative hearing and generally will handle between two and five hearings during the summer. Although opportunities are presented to watch one or two hearings and close attorney supervision is provided, the interns will actually make the presentation of cases.

Participate in Significant Client Advocacy Projects

Under the supervision of a staff attorney, participate in significant client advocacy project such as major litigation, community education, outreach, and other non-case related program activities. Interns will participate in a major advocacy project to permit them to see how broad problems affecting many individuals can be addressed through the legal process.

Ready to make a difference?  Check out the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Experienced Edition)

Help Wanted

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Assistant State Public Defender

The Office

SPD’s mission is to enhance the quality of justice throughout Wisconsin by providing high-quality cost-effective representation to indigent clients, protecting the rights of accused individuals, and by serving as advocates for effective defense services and a rational criminal justice system. The SPD is extremely proud that its system of indigent defense is considered a model for public defender programs around the world. The SPD serves indigent clients in all 72 Wisconsin counties as authorized by the state legislature. Please visit our website at www.wispd.org.

The Position

This position requires experience representing criminal cases or an emphasis on criminal course work in law school. An ASPD must possess a strong sense of commitment and dedication to indigent defense. Requirements include the ability to manage a deadline driven caseload; strong litigation skills; strong writing skills; effective communication skills; and the ability to interact professionally with co-workers, justice officials, clients and others in the office and court system. Fluency in a foreign language is a plus.

Know you have what it takes? Apply here on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

Help Wanted

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Veteran Legal Corps Fellow

The Organization

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides free legal services to eligible clients in civil cases through five regional offices. Land of Lincoln is funded by numerous partners, including the Legal Services Corporation, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, CNCS AmeriCorps and Equal Justice Works, United Way, Area Agencies on Aging.

The Position

Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps have partnered together to provide the Veterans Legal Corps Fellowship opportunity to aid the legal needs of veterans and military families across the nation. The Veteran Legal Corps (VLC) Fellow will provide civil legal assistance to veterans and military families.

One Fellowship is available in the Eastern Regional office, in Champaign, Illinois. Based on Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps guidelines, the term of service will begin in September 2017 for one year (with a possible renewal contingent upon continued AmeriCorps funding). Position requires completion of NSOPR, state(s), and FBI Fingerprint criminal background checks and compliance with all CNCS Federal Regulations throughout the fellowship program.

Is this your dream opportunity?  See the full-post on PSJD.

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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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Job’o’th’Week (Experienced Edition)

Help Wanted

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Assistant/Associate Professor of Law

The Organization

The University of Oregon is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and is a major research university committed to combining high level research with strong undergraduate and graduate teaching. Founded in 1876, UO enrolls almost 24,000 students from all 50 states and more than 95 countries; and offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. There are also 30 research centers, institutes, and core research facilities. Since July 2014, the University has been governed by an independent Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon. One of two AAU institutions in the Pacific Northwest, the University is widely known for a mix of highly ranked departments and innovative interdisciplinary programs; a strong commitment to research and education; and a collaborative, non-hierarchical institutional culture.

The Position

Seeking an individual who has demonstrated academic excellence, demonstrated success or the potential for success in scholarship and teaching, and a JD from an accredited law school or its equivalent. Successful candidates must have strong interpersonal skills sufficient to inspire and work effectively with diverse groups of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and members of the bar. Preference will be given to applicants with scholarship, teaching, or practice expertise in criminal law and related fields.

Is this the position for you? See the full-post on PSJD.

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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

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NYC Social Justice Post-Graduate Fellowship

The Organization

The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) ensures that City agencies have the critical resources and support needed to provide the best possible services to the public.

The Position

Fellows will be placed within City agencies, offices, or the City Council in roles that complement their skill sets, interests, and expertise. The work will be legal in nature. Fellows will work on projects that foster equity for under served and under resourced communities, and engage in issue areas that impact communities that experience disparate outcomes across the five boroughs. In this capacity, Fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate with senior level policymakers, elected officials, and participate directly in the work of policy making and governance.

Ready to embark on your social justice crusade? See the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

Help Wanted

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2018 – 2019 Law Fellow 

The Organization

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is one of the nation’s leading progressive legal organizations. Founded in 2001, ACS is comprised of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges, policymakers, activists and other concerned individuals who are working to ensure that the fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice are in their rightful, central place in American law.

The Position

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) seeks a talented graduating 3L or recent law school graduate to fill a position in ACS’s national headquarters. The Fellowship will begin in September 2018 and end in August 2019. The Fellow will serve as part of ACS’s Department of Policy Development and Programming staff, which is led by a group of experienced attorneys who coordinate and facilitate ACS’s rapidly expanding output of innovative, highly relevant legal and public policy work. He or she will work with the Department staff to engage scholars, practitioners, public officials, and law students in the articulation and dissemination of a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy.

Is this your dream opportunity?  See the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Entry-Level Edition)

Help Wanted

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Assistant Attorney General 

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 seeks an attorney to represent the State of Wyoming in natural resources litigation in the Water & Natural Resources Division. The natural resources cases handled by this position are brought at the direction of the Governor, and the majority of these cases involve litigation either challenging or supporting actions taken by federal agencies on a diverse array of resource, energy, and environmental issues. Relevant statutes include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Ready to protect the planet in Wyoming?  See the post on PSJD.

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*Guest Post* – The Benefits of Working in Public Service by: Brittany Hamner

Brittany Hamner is a Project Assistant at NALP and rising 2L at Howard University School of Law. She is interested in a career in public service, and is currently interning with the D.C. Housing Authority.  

Benefits of Working in Public Service

It’s the time of year where law students entering their second year (2L) participate in what is known as “On Campus Interview” or OCI process.  During this time, employers largely from the biggest private sector law firms in the nation come to the top law schools and interview certain students from the incoming 2L class.  Students at the top of their class in these top law schools will receive offers from these big law firms and go on to make six figure salaries right out of law school.  For those students who do not make the cut, or are not at top tier schools where OCI may not even exist, all hope is not lost.  Although there is a huge gap between private sector and public interest salaries, public interest jobs offer several key advantages over private practice.  Below are some advantages to public service work.

Furthering the Public Good

Most importantly, the primary reason to undertake public interest work is to further the public good.  The opportunity to help underserved people, effect societal change, or provide equal access to justice for individuals is work that a dollar amount cannot be placed on. In fact, the lowest paid lawyers (typically those doing public interest work) report the highest levels of happiness. (NY Times).  There is the opportunity to do pro bono work at most firms; however, this work will comprise of a fraction of the number of hours spent defending large corporations, which may not provide as much personal satisfaction.

Better Work-Life Balance

Public service offers a more relaxed culture because the focus is on service rather than profit.  Unlike the private sector, there isn’t the pressure to meet billable hour quotas, gain face-time with partners, or spend free time on client development activities and thus allows for more flexible schedules, and 9-to-5 work days.

Valuable Work Experience

In a recent article posted by the ABA Journal, dissatisfaction with work quality was cited as the top reason associates leave their firm. (ABA Journal).  Law students, new lawyers, and paralegals work on urgent issues all the time in the public interest sector.  “That’s the very nature of public interest work: it is law reforming, a challenge to the status quo.” (Equal Justice Works).  Where some law firms assign new attorneys to a specific practice group, public service allows new attorneys to explore a variety of practice areas while performing substantive work.

Job Security

The public sector offers job security that the private sector simply cannot match.  After the recession in 2008, many students who had accepted offers into big firms were deferred and instead went into careers in public service.  Upon the end of the deferral, many chose to stay with their public interest organization citing job security, as well as the other reasons listed here, as their reasons.  (NY Times).

Money

Finally, as mentioned, there is a huge gap between private sector and public interest salaries; however, senior lawyers at nonprofit organizations tend to earn a comfortable living.  Among public sector jobs, there are also government jobs, both state and federal, which tend to pay more than nonprofit organizations.   Further, legislation such as the College Cost Reduction & Access Act provides public service loan forgiveness and income-based repayment options, which can make entering public service quite easy.  (Equal Justice Works).

 

Opportunities in the public sector are both plentiful and diverse and the skills and training you receive are easily transferable no matter where your legal career takes you.  For information on Public Sector Career Paths, visit the PSJD Resource Center or search Public Service Jobs with the PSJD search tool.

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