Archive for Public Interest Jobs

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: http://www.law.yale.edu/stuorgs/initiative.htm.

Qualifications

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!

 

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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!

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Class of 2013 Skadden Fellows again a mixed group

The Skadden Foundation has listed its Class-of-2013 fellows.  Twenty-nine fellows, hailing from 16 law schools, will begin their projects next year.  Six schools had multiple fellowship awardees: Columbia (2); Harvard (6); NYU (4); Stanford (2); Georgetown (2) and Yale (3).  Other schools from which fellows come include Penn, Michigan State, University of Washington, Boston College, UCLA, UC Irvine, Washington & Lee, Vanderbilt, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois.  The 2013 Class includes four additional fellowships funded in memory of Joe Flom and Peter Mullen.  The Fellows will work in 10 states and the District of Columbia, focusing on issues ranging from the harassment of LGBT students in rural, impoverished regions of New York State to the foreclosure of homes of working poor Los Angeles families.

For comparison’s sake, here’s how previous Skadden Fellowship classes looked:

  • 2012:  28 fellows from 16 law schools;
  • 2011:  29 fellows from 21 law schools;
  • 2010: 27 fellows from 20 law schools;
  • 2009: 28 fellows from 14 law schools;
  • 2008: 36 fellows from 16 law schools.

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!  The Fellowship is such a extraordinary honor, and we look forward to seeing the great things you will accomplish.

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Deadline Extended! The Center for Reproductive Rights/Columbia Law Fellowship is Still Accepting Apps

Did you miss the deadline for Columbia Law School’s Center for Reproductive Rights Academic Fellowship? Not to worry, because they just extended the deadline! *cue applause*

Originally closing in November, the powers that be have re-opened the search for a two-year academic fellow to focus on reproductive health and human rights. The Fellow will receive a $55,000/year stipend.

So don’t delay this time – applications will close on February 28, 2014. Check out the full job description on PSJD.org (log-in required).

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Job of the Day (Repost): EJW/AmeriCorps JD – Disaster Legal Corps Spring 2014 Internships

Just posted! With funding from AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works and Colorado Legal Services have teamed up to offer spring internships for students interested in helping victims of Colorado’s recent flooding disaster. Participating interns will receive a $1,175 education award for their efforts. The deadline is December 1st, so act fast:

Through funding provided by AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works is excited to offer three AmeriCorps JD positions for law students. These individuals will serve the legal needs of victims of the nationally declared Colorado flooding disaster.  The positions will be hosted at the Colorado Legal Service’s offices in Fort Collins and Boulder, with the Fort Collins office accepting two AmeriCorps JD members(*update: the Fort Collins Office encourages Spanish speakers to apply!) and the Boulder office accepting one AmeriCorps JD member.

As AmeriCorps JD members, students will serve a minimum of 300 hours of service starting the beginning of January 2014 and completing service no later than August 31, 2014.  For more information about the AmeriCorps JD program, please visit http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/americorpsjd.

For application instructions and information on how to apply, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

If you have an internship, job or fellowship you would like posted on the PSJD Blog, send us an email at PSJD@nalp.org.

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Job o’ the Day: 2014 NAAG Legal Fellowship (Bridge-to-Practice)

The National Association of Attorneys General is looking to host bridge-to-practice fellows from the class of 2014. From the PSJD job posting:

NAAG is the professional organization for the Attorneys General Offices of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five territories.  Through its training and research arm, the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute, it conducts training in both professional skills and substantive issues for the Attorneys General and provides research assistance.

Our law school graduate fellows whom we have been privileged to host have been invaluable members of our staff and have experienced a wide variety of activities.  They have conducted research and authored manuals for the Attorneys General offices; attended meetings with White House, congressional, and international organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Association of Prosecutors; assisted with the editing of Supreme Court amicus briefs; conducted research and assisted in the writing of briefs for NAAG’s Tobacco project; helped provide legal research for our substantive trainings, such as intellectual property theft and human trafficking; developed articles for the NAAGazette; assisted with our International Fellows program; and attended NAAG professional trainings and meetings.

Several have gone on to full-time jobs with Attorneys General offices; all have subsequently found full-time jobs in their areas of interest in the law.

To view the full job listing, click here (PSJD log-in required).

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Job(s) of the Day: EJW/AmeriCorps JD – Disaster Legal Corps Spring 2014 Internships

Just posted! With funding from AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works and Colorado Legal Services have teamed up to offer spring internships for students interested in helping victims of Colorado’s recent flooding disaster. Participating interns will receive a $1,175 education award for their efforts. The deadline is December 1st, so act fast:

Through funding provided by AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works is excited to offer three AmeriCorps JD positions for law students. These individuals will serve the legal needs of victims of the nationally declared Colorado flooding disaster.  The positions will be hosted at the Colorado Legal Service’s offices in Fort Collins and Boulder, with the Fort Collins office accepting two AmeriCorps JD members(*update: the Fort Collins Office encourages Spanish speakers to apply!) and the Boulder office accepting one AmeriCorps JD member.

As AmeriCorps JD members, students will serve a minimum of 300 hours of service starting the beginning of January 2014 and completing service no later than August 31, 2014.  For more information about the AmeriCorps JD program, please visit http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/americorpsjd.

For application instructions and information on how to apply, view the full job listing at PSJD.org (log-in required).

 

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Diary of a Public Interest Law Job Seeker, Entry #1: The First Rejection Letter

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

This is the first blog post in a series about my job-hunting adventures (and misadventures). You all may know me as the 2012-2014 PSJD Fellow, in which position I manage PSJD’s website and social media accounts.

I love this job, but unfortunately my Fellowship is almost halfway over. Aside from the regular stress of looking for a job, I – like many other public interest law grads who scour PSJD for job vacancies – have to combat a dearth of available positions, an abundance of unpaid postgraduate opportunities, student loans, the bar exam, and a majorly competitive job market.

I’m writing this public diary so other recent law graduates know they are not alone. Looking for a job, facing rejection, and dealing with stress and anxiety can be disconcerting and isolating. So if I touch on something that has happened to you or someone you know, feel free to leave a comment! We’ll get through this together.

So, without further ado…

Entry #1: The First Rejection Letter

We’ve all been there.

You’re looking on a website (more than likely PSJD.org) and we see what looks like the perfect job. You read the job description, and each bulletpoint seems to describe you more and more. You’re already formulating your cover letter before you get to the application instructions.

But two weeks later, you still haven’t heard anything back. You twiddle your thumbs, you feverishly check your email. You tell yourself, “It’s okay – they were probably flooded with applications. I’ll hear from them soon.”

One month later, and the dread has numbed itself into a little ball of anxiety in the pit of your stomach. You sluggishly start looking at other jobs, but still hold out hope. And then, it happens. One morning, the potential dream employer’s email pops up in your inbox. Based on the non-descript subject line, you already know it contains bad news. You open up the email, and there it is: a cold, hard rejection letter staring you right in the face.

It happens to the best of us. No one is exempt from a rejection letter or two during their job-hunting career, but for some reason this doesn’t really take much of the sting away.

Earlier this month, I stared into my laptop at my very own little slice of reality. I had to take a couple of deep calming breaths. I needed to get myself together instead of replying with a snarky “It’s your loss!” e-mail before slinking off into the desert of legal unemployment and licking my wounds.

“Thank you for the opportunity,” I type. “If there’s anything I can ever help out with in terms of volunteering, let me know.”

A special note about public interest employers: It’s incredibly difficult to stay grumpy about rejection. The work that these organizations do is so important, I feel awful and selfish being angry about not getting hired. This is why I always offer to volunteer, even if not accepted for a certain position. It’s really about the clients, and  they are the ones who suffer by new attorneys swearing off public interest work just because of a rejection letter (or two… or three…). You gotta keep your eyes on the prize.

Anyway, after a couple of deep breaths, I wrote down a few principles I promised to stick by during my job-hunting adventures:

  1. If it was easy, everyone would do it. And very rarely are things worth it when they’re easy. When we work harder for something (and in some cases, for a longer time), it will mean that much more when we finally get it – and we will. It’s only a matter of time.
  2. Focus on the why and how. After a rejection letter, it’s very easy to sweep the entire ordeal under the rug and just pretend it never happened. Ignoring the rejection is a natural coping mechanism, but this was the best time to look at my cover letter or writing sample again – I may have missed something very important the first go round that, when fixed, could be helpful in landing the next job.
  3. Don’t mope. This is the easiest thing to do after a rejection letter. Go grab some ice cream (or a glass of wine), talk to a good friend (or another glass of wine) and keep it moving (but no more wine!). After my first rejection letter, I just kept looking for more jobs – preferably more jobs just like the one I applied for but didn’t get. Job-hunting is a marathon, and we can’t get tired after rejection.

And with that, I say goodbye (for now) to that old rejected application and am now pointing my resume towards greener pastures.

The Diary of a Public Interest Law Job Seeker will be a weekly blog series. Check back next Tuesday for the next installment!

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New Resource Added: PSJD Job-Seeker User Guide

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

Do you feel lost while searching for jobs on PSJD? Are you a career counselor struggling to inform law students about using PSJD to find public interest jobs, internships and fellowships?

If so, listen up: we just added the perfect resource for you!

Our new Job Seeker User Guide has step-by-step directions that will walk you through registration, finding resources, running simple and advanced job searches, setting up Email Alerts and Favorites, and more.

The guide is housed under the “About PSJD” section. Click the “How To Use PSJD” option and select “Job Seekers”. A link to the User Guide will be at the very top of the page. (Click the image below for a larger screenshot.)

We hope this makes it easier to navigate PSJD.org. If you have more specific technical questions on using the site to find public interest law opportunities, or just want to share a suggestion, give me a call at (202) 296-0076 or email me at AMatthews@nalp.org.

Thanks for using PSJD!

 

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New Indigent Defense Fellowship Partners with Law Schools to Train Entry-Level Southern Public Defenders

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

Gideon’s Promise, an innovative program that supports and trains public defenders across the South, has partnered with the Department of Justice to initiate the Law School Partnership Project.

This new program will give law schools an opportunity to join Gideon’s Promise and southern public defender offices by contributing to the training and support of their graduates for up to one year, or help Gideon’s Promise identify sponsors for their graduates. Gideon’s Promise places the law graduate in a southern public defender office and provides three years of invaluable training and mentorship.

The public defender office will guarantee permanent, full-time employment within the graduate’s first year of the program. (I put that in bold because it is AWESOME, especially in today’s shaky legal job market.)

The right to counsel is a basic human and civil right, but it continues to have difficulties being implemented within the American criminal justice system. As public defenders continue to face crushing caseloads and funding crises, programs like this are greatly needed to ensure the enforcement of our constitutional rights and fulfill the promise of equal justice.

Check out this Information Packet from Gideon’s Promise for more information. If you have questions, contact Jonathan Rapping at jon@gideonspromise.org or Ilham Askia at ilham@gideonspromise.org.

 

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