Archive for Public Interest Jobs

Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

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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)

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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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Job’o’th’Week (Internship Edition)

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Legal Intern

The Organization

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) seeks experienced second- or third-year law students or LLM students with a strong commitment to social justice to provide legal research and analysis as part of a semester-long unpaid internship or externship opportunity. CCR is a national not-for-profit legal, educational, and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

The Position

Interns will have the opportunity to work with CCR attorneys on a range of projects. Work with the International Human Rights docket is related to corporate accountability, torture, detention, suppression of dissent, anti-militarism, and violations under the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victim Protection Act, and universal jurisdiction. Some of our cases include: Challenge to abuse by private military contractors at Abu GhraibATS case in support of LGBTQI Ugandan organizersdefense of activists advocating for Palestinian human rightsadvocacy and litigation in foreign jurisdictions and international bodies in support of accountability and reparations for the Iraq War; FOIA litigation seeking information about the U.S. role in the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the coup in Honduras; and human rights advocacy to challenge Catholic Church cover-up of sexual violence by priests.

Ready to conquer constitutional cases?  Check out the full-post on PSJD.

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Job’o’th’Week (Experienced Edition)

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Assistant City Attorney – Tort Section

The Organization

The City Attorney serves as chief legal counsel for the City of Dallas, providing a full range of legal support as provided by the City Charter, including providing legal opinions and representation on all matters concerning City government; and advising the Mayor, Council, and City Manager on all proposed legislation affecting the City from state and Federal sources.

The Position

Seeking energetic, self-motivated civil litigator with a minimum of three to eight years relevant experience to fill a full-time civil litigation position in the Torts Section of the City Attorney’s Office. Applicants should have experience in federal and Texas state court civil litigation, possess excellent oral and written communication skills, and be willing to work hard as an important member of a team of outstanding lawyers and support staff. The attorney must be licensed to practice law in Texas, and be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas.

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

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Job’o’th’Week (Fellowship Edition)

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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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*Guest Post* – President Trump’s Effect on Public Interest Law by: Dylan Goll

 Dylan Goll is a Project Assistant at NALP and rising 2-L at American University Washington College of Law. He is interested in a career in public service, particularly in working with U.S. patent law.  

The Trump administration brings a lot of speculation in regards to the future of our country. The fate of the public interest sector of law is most certainly a part of that speculation. President Trump has made plenty of controversial proposals that range from his factually-lacking stance on climate change as seen through his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, his support for his vice president’s pro-life stance of limiting funding to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, to his immigration ban proposals that federal courts have determined to be unconstitutional. As Trump’s administration increasingly tries to further their success in these controversial issues, an interesting result has occurred; there has been a resurgence of interest and vigor in public interest law.

The Trump administration poses a clear threat to some sectors of the public interest world through Trump’s controversial proposals and his proposed budget cuts, a silver lining still exists. Many liberals and those potentially affected by the administration’s proposals have participated in the myriad of protests that have occurred across the country since Trump’s election, while some have fought back either with the law or through opening up their wallets to public interest organizations and non-profits. Law, particularly public interest law, is now one of the hottest ways liberals and those affected by the administration’s proposals can fight back as seen through the unprecedented turnout of lawyers and law students at major airports across the country to offer legal advice and counsel after Trump attempted to pass his travel ban as an executive order (The Hill). Furthermore, the ACLU sued Trump towards the end of January over the travel ban. Legal backlash that the President has faced illustrates the significance public interest law is playing in the fight against Trump’s administration. A whole generation of students is now inspired to turn to a legal education to fight against issues of social justice and produce positive change in the world (The Hill).

Furthermore, support for public interest organizations and non-profits have grown at a tremendous rate despite the threat of federal funding for various public interest organizations being cut. The week after the election, Planned Parenthood received 80,000 donations and it was clear that a message to the administration was being sent by the public as many of those donations were made under Vice-President Pence’s name (IndyStar). The Sierra club saw a similar increase in donations as Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreements. The support didn’t end there as ACLU’s donation page crashed due to the high number of donations they were receiving after they made a public statement to use their team of lawyers and activists to fight Trump’s agenda with its full power (FindLaw). Lastly, Trump’s proposed travel ban has also met resistance due to financial support from donors as the Council on American-Islamic Relations experienced a tremendously large increase in donations and a surge of volunteers (FindLaw).

A Trump administration means a lot of things for this country. Whatever side of the political spectrum you reside, no one can argue that the administration and its plans greatly affect the public interest sector and threaten the very existence of some public interest organizations. President Trump and his administration have already experienced severe legal backlash from those organizations and lawyers. I don’t, and nor should the American people, expect this conflict over ideology and policy to stop anytime soon. However, politics aside, I find it inspiring that a whole generation of students and lawyers are banding together in the name of public good and social justice. This resurgence in public interest law not only illustrates the strength and potential for change a legal education provides, but it also acts as a source of inspiration for a generation of kids who are looking to make the world a better place.

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Job’o’th’Week (Entry-Level Edition)

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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

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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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