Posts Tagged public interest law

Job o’ the Day: Program Director at the Urban Alliance Foundation in Chicago!

Urban Alliance, founded in Washington, DC in 1996, is seeking its first Chicago Program Director to implement a proven program model during an exciting expansion into Chicago, IL.

The mission of Urban Alliance is to empower under-resourced youth to aspire, work and succeed through paid-internships, formal training, and mentoring. Urban Alliance provides high school students with long-term, paid internships in professional settings where each student’s supervisor also serves as his/her mentor. Additionally, we provide job readiness, life-skills, and financial literacy workshops, as well as assistance with college and vocational planning. Over the last decade, Urban Alliance has served over 10,000 youth, maintained a 99% high school graduation rate, and facilitated 88% of program alumni enrolling in college.

As the focus of the non-profit and foundation community has shifted to evidence-based practices, Urban Alliance has been consistently recognized for measuring and delivering outcomes that make a difference in the lives of youth, and the results have led to increased funding and rapid growth. Urban Alliance opened its first Program Office outside of Washington, DC in 2008 in Baltimore, Maryland. Building on that successful expansion, Urban Alliance is currently opening a Chicago Office and will serve Chicago Public School students in the fall of 2012.

Urban Alliance is looking for a youth development professional to implement its proven program model and establish Urban Alliance as the standard for excellence in youth employment in Chicago. The position will report to the Chicago Executive Director as well as to the Chief Program Officer. The Program Director is charged with ensuring that program fidelity is maintained while the Urban Alliance core values are followed in the new office. Urban Alliance is seeking a youth expert, who is as comfortable speaking with youth as speaking with business and community leaders in all sectors. The individual must be committed to Urban Alliance’s mission and values and willing to put youth first while working to realize the larger organization’s goals.

Find out how to apply at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Community Law and Policy Intern at the Center for Collaborative Change in Newark, NJ!

The Center for Collaborative Change is seeking an energetic, dedicated graduate student or recent graduate with inter-disciplinary skills and a passion for collaboration to join our team as a Summer 2012 Community Law and Policy Intern.  Current projects that interns could be involved with include a community wide needs assessment for Newark, community input portions of the Newark Master Plan, and a non-profit community organization incubation summit.

The Center for Collaborative Change is a community-based nonprofit that brokers collaborative solutions to make Newark thrive. Our mission is to engage community and civic leadership in policy and program development in order to accelerate Newark’s revitalization while ensuring that the process includes and responds to the priorities of its community members. The Center is committed to restoring trust between Newark’s decision-makers and residents, realigning them to be on the same team, and using the knowledge and resources of that alliance to establish a critical mass of reforms that will bring Newark to a tipping point where a positive cycle of health, abundance and opportunity can achieve momentum. For more information about the Center, please visit our website:

See the full listing at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Staff Attorney at Prairie State Legal Services in IL!

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., a 65-lawyer legal services organization, serving 36 counties in northern and central ILLINOIS outside of Cook County,

is seeking applicants for a STAFF ATTORNEY position in our community legal services office located in BLOOMINGTON.  The successful applicant will participate in a full range of legal activities, including the preparation and
Prairie State Legal Services offers free legal services for low income persons and those over 60 who have serious civil legal problems and need legal help to solve them.conduct of administrative hearings and trials of cases for elderly and low-income persons.

Learn more at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Associate Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill, NC!

The Southern Environmental Law Center is accepting applications for a two year associate attorney position in its Chapel Hill, North Carolina office to work on a range of transportation advocacy and policy issues. This is an excellent opportunity to be part of an organization that is successfully addressing some of the most important and challenging environmental issues in the Southeast. Associates gain valuable experience and knowledge working with senior attorneys on litigation and policy advocacy in a range of venues in all three branches of government.

SELC’s Land & Community Program uses legal advocacy, policy reform, and public education to promote sustainable transportation polices and land use outcomes in our fast-growing region. Our Transportation Initiative constitutes a major aspect of this program area, and includes a mix of project specific advocacy, as well as administrative and legislative policy initiatives.

Learn more about SELC and the associate attorney position at PSLawNet!

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Happy Law Day!

by Kristen Pavón

Today’s the day we celebrate our commitment to the rule of law! President Dwight Eisenhower established Law Day in 1958 and 3 years later, Congress made it official.

I never celebrated Law Day while in law school (probably because it lands during finals high-time), but today, I will take a step back to think about the current state of the legal profession, public interest law, and my role in it all.

How are you celebrating Law Day 2012?

If you’re looking for some Law Day fun, check out the ABA’s Law Day page.

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Job o’ the Day: Assistant Public Defender in Maryland!

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is an independent state agency with over 800 employees dedicated to providing superior legal representation to indigent defendants in the State of Maryland.  The Office of the Public Defender seeks dynamic and dedicated litigators to serve as Assistant Public Defenders in District Court locations throughout the State of Maryland. 

Assistant Public Defender I Responsibilities:

  • Represents indigent defendants who are charged with misdemeanor criminal and traffic cases in district courts throughout the State of Maryland.
  • Prepares for and handles bail review hearings, district court trials, preliminary hearings, violations of probation hearings, sentence review hearings and modification of sentence hearings.
  • Handles telephone inquiries and correspondence from clients and the public.
  • Participates in Office of the Public Defender trainings.

Assistant Public Defender I positions are located at OPD offices throughout the State of Maryland.

Learn how to apply at PSLawNet!

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Human Rights USA to Close at End of Month

Another sad story from within our public interest sphere.

From Human Rights USA‘s Board of Directors:

Human Rights USA’s Board of Directors is sad to announce that the organization will be closing down on April 30, 2012, and our clients placed with other organizations and law firms who will continue their representation.  The Board’s decision comes primarily as a result of the difficult funding landscape facing public interest organizations at this time.  We would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Human Rights USA’s staff, clients, current and past funders, the countless pro bono attorneys and law student volunteers who have worked with us, and all of the organizations that have partnered with us over the years.

Human Rights USA was founded in 1996 as the World Organization Against Torture USA.  Under its founding director, Morton Sklar, the organization began by reporting to the United Nations on U.S. compliance with human rights treaties and litigating cutting-edge asylum cases on behalf of women fleeing female genital mutilation.  Our asylum work gradually expanded to cover other forms of gender-based violence, including human trafficking and forced marriage, forms of harm that at one time were not considered to establish eligibility for refugee protection.  Human Rights USA has also litigated ground breaking federal court cases, winning the first direct legal challenge to the policy of rendition to torture, and helping many survivors of torture, human trafficking, and other human rights abuses hold the perpetrators accountable and recover compensation for their suffering.

Throughout all of this, Human Rights USA continued to produce reports on critical human rights issues, and in recent years began training other attorneys to utilize human rights principles in their own litigation.  Our 2011 *Guide to Establishing the Asylum Eligibility of Survivors of Human Trafficking and Forced Marriage* will continue to be available through the Tahirih Justice Center (<>), an organization that has also performed ground breaking work on gender-based asylum issues for over a decade.  Our 2012 report *Indefensible:  A Reference for Prosecuting Torture and Other Felonies Committed by US Officials Following September 11th*, produced in collaboration with the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law, will be available through the Washington College of Law ( <>).

Countless law students, staff members and pro bono attorneys have been mentored and trained in human rights law through Human Rights USA over the years, and we take great pride in the small role we have played in the development and education of part of the next generation of human rights attorneys.

Thanks to everyone for their support.


Human Rights USA Board of Directors

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Does Private Firm Work Do More Good Than Public Interest Work?

by Kristen Pavón

First, some background — this year, Harvard Law re-established their One Day’s Work fellowship program. Students who enter the private sector after their second year of law school volunteer to donate one day’s worth of their summer salary and the money collected goes to one of their classmates entering the public sector upon graduation.

Some students like the program, others don’t like the way it’s funded… But one student thinks it’s “the best possible way to fund an unworthy cause.”

From The Record at Harvard Law:

Kudos to One Day’s Work for being up-front and honest with their request for charity.  The only problem is that the purpose of One Day’s Work is highly suspect.

A brief note on the provision of legal services.  Imagine a law student named Ames Greenleaf.  He works as a summer associate at a private firm and makes quite a hefty haul.  He spends his days that summer writing research papers on civil procedure esoterica to help, say, a can manufacturer get out of a suit.  His efforts raise the probability that the can manufacturer survives the suit and can continue employing dozens of workers who would otherwise end up indigent.

Now, imagine a law student named Barry Chosenone.  He works at a public interest firm that files copyright paperwork for indigent NEA-grant artists.  One such artist gets his copyright and airs to the world his passionate magnum opus “Piss Christ.”  Barry loves this work, but he is worried because it does not pay well enough to support an uptown New York lifestyle.

Which of those two students has done more to help the community?  Who can honestly claim that Barry deserves Ames’s money?  Baldly, public interest work is more emotionally rewarding because it involves directly helping people, a fact which leads many good-hearted people to choose public interest vocations.  Private firm work does more ultimate good, however.  The clients pay more because they ultimately provide more benefit for their communities than individual down-on-their-luck litigants.

Personally, I don’t want to pay an extra couple hundred dollars to incentivize my fellow students to get a legal job at the Department of Health and Human Services that will be paid for with the tax money I already have to pay to the government anyway. . . .

Anddddd, discuss.

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Job o’ the Day: Juvenile Justice Policy/Advocacy Internship at Campaign for Youth Justice in DC!

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is accepting applications for its spring semester internship program.

CFYJ seeks interns interested in being introduced to the “nuts and bolts” of juvenile and criminal justice reform and issue campaign organization and management. This may include everything from poring through government reports, statistics, records, and data to working on the communications strategy associated with a state-based campaign/ initiative or analyzing legislation with clear policy implications.

Learn how to apply at PSLawNet!


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Free Webinar Series: The Summer Public Interest Job Search

Save these dates — January 25th and February 1st!

NALP and Equal Justice Works are bringing you a free two-part webinar series on the most important phases of the job application process — cover letters, resumes, interviewing and networking!

Attorneys with years of application review experience will highlight do’s and don’ts; explain how and why public interest application materials may substantively differ from law firm materials; and explore the dynamics of personal interactions in interviews and networking situations.


    • Steve Grumm, Director of Public Service Initiatives, NALP
    • Stuart Smith, Director of Legal Recruitment, New York City Law Department
    • Nicole Vikan, Assistant Director for Public Interest & Government Careers, Georgetown University Law Center



    • Nita Mazumder, Program Manager for Law School Relations, Equal Justice Works
    • Nicole Simmons, Career Counselor, The University of Texas School of Law
    • David Zisser, Associate Counsel, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Don’t keep it a secret, tell your friends!

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