Posts Tagged public service

Mandatory Pro Bono? Be Part of the Conversation!

From the New York Times’ Opinion Pages:

In “Rethinking Pro Bono” (Op-Ed, May 14), Ben Trachtenberg casts Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s new legal public service requirement as bad policy, saying students and graduates can’t afford it, can’t do it and shouldn’t be asked to do it since better ideas abound. Starting in 2013, candidates for admission to the New York State Bar must complete 50 hours of public service.

Contrary to Mr. Trachtenberg’s argument, 50 hours of pro bono work will not mire law students and graduates in poverty. Moreover, volunteers can make a difference while gaining skills, confidence and links to jobs. . . .

The pro bono requirement may have hidden virtues. Over time, schools, firms and the courts may guide more resources toward public service, helping to improve its quality. The first opportunity to do pro bono can also make the second easier, instilling in many a commitment for life.

Alternative approaches may also have merit, but credit the chief judge for acting in urgent times to make this good idea a reality.

Read the rest here and respond to this letter for NYT’s Sunday Dialogue.

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The Yellow Brick Pathway to Federal Employment

By: Maria Hibbard

Since it’s intern season here in Washington, D.C., many bright-eyed and bushy tailed students with hopes of potentially working for the federal government are streaming into the city.  I may or may not be one of them!  My name is Maria Hibbard, and I’m the resident PSLawNet Intern and Publications Coordinator for the summer. I’m a rising second year law student at Case Western Reserve University. Since I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and am now in Cleveland for law school, D.C.’s vast system of public transportation and plethora of free summer activities (see the Having Fun on the Cheap page!) definitely has a big-city allure for me as well. I’ll be blogging throughout the summer here while avoiding the D.C. heat in the air conditioned office, of course.

Until recently, the path to employment at a federal agency or department has been a mystical jumble of various opportunities only found through a great degree of research: volunteer internships, compensated internships, fellowships, short-term and long-term programs. Hopefully, this jumble will soon become clearer–when President Obama’s Executive Order 13562 takes effect on July 10, 2012, current students and recent graduates will have three clear paths to federal employment via The Pathways Program. To break it down, everyone loves a list:

  • Some aspiring federal employees may have heard of the Student Career Experience program (SCEP) and the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP); both of these programs are being replaced by the all-encompassing Internship Program. While the program is still administered primarily by the hiring agency, students can possibly earn conversion into a permanent position after the completion of 640 hours of work experience.
  • The Recent Grads program is a new opportunity for recent graduates within two years of obtaining any degree. Like the internship program, it is administered individually by the federal agencies, but the one year program provides structured mentorship opportunities, 40 hours of formal training, and the creation of an individual development plan. After 1 year, the graduates of the program can be eligible for conversion to permanent employment at the selected agency.

Starting in July, agencies will have to provide information about both of these programs, their specific opportunities, and application procedures on

  • Finally, the Presidential Management Program, while obviously not new, has been reworked to provide for a more seamless application process and administration (especially after last year’s acceptance snafu). This prestigious program, for professionals of all disciplines, places fellows at the center of federal policy making, provides at least 80 hours of formal training, and encourages the development of a performance plan.

We’ll remind you in July to start looking for opportunities on the reworked federal website; hopefully, the Pathways Program will lead more aspiring students and recent grads down the yellow-brick-“pathway” to federal employment.

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Check Out PSLawNet’s Summer 2012 Reading List!

by Kristen Pavón

Summer is finally here! What better way to celebrate than by sipping Piña Coladas poolside reading?! For pleasure! Imagine that.

Last year, after graduation and the bar exam, I went on a leisure-reading binge — I must’ve read 10 books in less than 6 months! I had forgotten how colorful the world of non-case law books could be!

Well, now we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of 35 fiction and non-fiction books for the public interest-minded crowd. You can check them out here.

Enjoy! Let us know what you think!

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California and Other States Challenge Arizona Immigration Law

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined officials from 10 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Arizona’s immigration law, saying the law exceeds state authority, conflicts with national policy and would drive illegal immigrants into other states.

The law would require police to demand proof of legal status from anyone in their custody whom they suspect of being in the country illegally. Largely blocked by court order since its passage two years ago, it is scheduled for a Supreme Court hearing on April 25, with a ruling due by the end of June.

Harris said Tuesday that the Arizona law would disrupt a “cohesive federal immigration policy” that is particularly important in California. She cited a 2011 report by the Pew Hispanic Center that said California has more undocumented immigrants – 2.5 million – making up a greater share of the workforce – 9.7 percent – than any other state.

. . .California and other states opposing the law told the Supreme Court that the Arizona statute goes beyond federal law in several respects – making it a crime, for example, to be in the country illegally and to seek work – and would interfere with a uniform national approach to immigration.

“Arizona is impermissibly attempting to chart its own course in the identification, apprehension and detention of undocumented immigrants for purposes of expelling them from the state,” said the brief, drafted by the New York attorney general’s office and signed by Harris and her counterparts in nine other states.

Read more here.


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Job o’ the Day: Summer Internship at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in DC!

The ATF is a unique law enforcement agency in the United States Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.

ATF partners with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research, and use of technology.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is responsible for administering and enforcing the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Federal explosives laws, the National Firearms Act, and the Arms Export Control Act.  With regulatory, law-enforcement, counterterrorism, and homeland-security-related missions, ATF affords one of the most dynamic and interesting work environments in the Federal government.

Interns will work alongside ATF personnel conducting research and performing special projects designed to protect the public, while not imposing unnecessary burdens upon industry.  Additionally, interns may perform work within the Directorates various divisions.

Interested? Check the listing at PSLawNet for more information!

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Job o’ the Day: Paid Summer Internship at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA!

The United States Patent and Trademark Office – Commissioner for Trademarks offers a paid summer internship program for Law School students at our Alexandria, VA campus.

As a Student Trainee (Law) you will be responsible for, but not limited to, providing the following legal and administrative support activities:  handling research requests for examining attorneys, senior attorneys and managing attorneys to determine the registrability of trademarks under §§ 1, 2 and 45 of the Trademark Act (Lanham Act) and conducting research into ownership, disclaimer, identification and specimen issues.  The majority of the research is conducted on Lexis/Nexis, the internet, and other electronic databases.  Research is also conducted in trade publications, dictionaries and other paper-based sources.

Additionally, participants may be given the opportunity to draft an appeal brief for an ex parte appeal concerning a trademark application.

For more information, see the full listing at PSLawNet!

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Check Out EJW’s February Educational Debt Webinars!

Did you miss last month’s educational debt webinars? Have no fear, EJW is hosting 3 more this month! Learn about the upcoming sessions below and register here!

Here are the deets:

Plan Before You Borrow: What You Should Know About Educational Loans BEFORE You Go to Graduate School

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2-3 p.m. EST

Interested in government or public interest work after graduating? This webinar will help you plan ahead and make sure you can take full advantage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the most significant law affecting public service in a generation.

The webinar will teach you about:

– Taking out the right kind of loans

– Consolidating or reconsolidating your previous student loans

– How the College Cost Reduction and Access Act can free you to pursue a public interest career


How to Pay Your Bills AND Your Student Loans: Utilizing Income-Based Repayment

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2-3 p.m. EST

Saddled with high student debt? This webinar reviews Income-Based Repayment, a powerful provision of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act that allows anyone with high debt relative to their income to reduce their federal student loan payments.

This interactive webinar will teach you:

– How to understand your federal loans

– How Income-Based Repayment works and if it is right for you

– How to sign up for Income-Based Repayment


Get Your Educational Loans Forgiven: Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2-3 p.m. EST

For recent graduates with jobs in government or at a nonprofit, this webinar explains how to make sure you immediately begin fulfilling requirements to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness so that your educational debt will be forgiven as soon as possible.

You will learn about:

– The importance of having the right kind of Federal Loans

– What you need to do to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

– How long it will take to have your educational debt forgiven


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Job o’ the Day: Legal Internships at 1Miami in… well, Miami!

Here’s a chance to work and make a difference in the 3-0-5!

1Miami is a non-profit advocacy organization that aims to educate and organize low-income residents in neighborhood committees throughout Miami-Dade County.

1Miami helps residents learn about their rights and advocate for policies to support job creation, to strengthen labor and employment rights, and to combat income inequality. Interns will research local, state, and federal policy proposals related to employment and tax issues. Interns will prepare interactive know-your-rights and policy-focused trainings and will work with field staff to present those trainings to low-income residents in Little Haiti, Little Havana, Miami Gardens, Liberty City, Allapattah, North Miami, and Hialeah, as well as to identity-based committees made up of mobile home park residents, domestic workers, youth/students, or others. Interns also will assist with interviewing individuals with housing, healthcare, or employment problems, research legal issues, make referrals, and analyze the likely impact of policy proposals on low-income neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County.

Interns will assist with preparing for and monitoring direct actions, such as candidate forums, rallies, and other activities.

Interested? Learn how to apply at PSLawNet!

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Consider This: The Pros and Cons of a Federal Legal Career

by Kristen Pavón

Here at NALP we have a bookstore filled to the brim with incredibly helpful books on the legal market and career development. One of particular interest to us at PSLawNet is Landing a Federal Legal Job: Finding Success in the U.S. Government Job Market by Richard L. Hermann.

In addition to going into great detail about … well, almost every facet of federal legal jobs, the author lays out over 20 pros and cons of getting into the fed biz. Here are a few of the highlights:

The Pros

  • The Inevitable Exodus of Retirees.

The average federal employee is 50 years old. In the next several years, the government anticipates a demand for new hires.

  • Work/Life Balance

The majority of federal government attorneys enjoy 35-40 hour work weeks. Also, the government’s vacation policy and benefits are generous.

  • Transferability

Once you get your foot in the door, you’re in a good position to move around laterally within your agency and even other agencies.

The Cons

  • Promotion Ceilings

I like this quote on the subject; it says it all — “If you are consumed with ambition, the federal government may leave you somewhat frustrated.”

  • Marketability

Oftentimes, government attorneys practice within a very narrow field, which makes it difficult to move into the private sector. However, there are exceptions.

  • Drug Testing

LOL. I’ll say no more.

Also, unofficially — I’d add the ugly job market and its effect on landing government positions to the con list.

So, now I want to know — are you interested in federal jobs? Have you applied to some already? What were your considerations before applying?

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Job o’ the Day: Associate General Counsel at Rutgers in NJ!

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Assistant or Associate General Counsel in the Office of Senior Vice President and General Counsel. The level of this position will be determined based upon the experience of the selected candidate.

The practice areas in which this attorney may work include commercial transactions, contracting and procurement, regulatory and compliance, and litigation. Experience in a higher education or health care environment is desirable.

Chartered in 1766, Rutgers is New Jersey’s flagship public research and land-grant University with a budget of approximately $1.9 billion and in 1989 was invited to join the Association of American Universities (AAU), an association of the nation’s leading research universities.

Interested? Check out the listing at PSLawNet!

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