Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: dinsosaur junior on September 21, 2008, 10:17:50 AM

Title: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: dinsosaur junior on September 21, 2008, 10:17:50 AM
anyone know much about this?  how many people really get anything from this?  when will i even find out if i get interviews?  is it on a rolling basis, or will the symplicity system send all the applications to the organizations on the last day to apply?  i am trying to make travel plans fo the week and keep thinking, i don't even know if i am going to have any interviews.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: Reaching on September 21, 2008, 10:32:38 AM
anyone know much about this?  how many people really get anything from this?  when will i even find out if i get interviews?  is it on a rolling basis, or will the symplicity system send all the applications to the organizations on the last day to apply?  i am trying to make travel plans fo the week and keep thinking, i don't even know if i am going to have any interviews.

Last year, students applied to employers directly instead of through Symplicity, so there is no precedent on how interviews are doled out.  It's probably best to direct that question to the organizers of the EJW job fair.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: dinsosaur junior on September 22, 2008, 07:00:03 PM
okay, thanks.  i looked more closely at the website and it does seem that the apps and interviews will be rolling in. but i am wondering if that is really the case.  has anyone out there already been given an interview?  or did anyone go last year, and if so, could you give me a sense of how many interviews you had, how competitive it is to even get n interview, etc.?

much thanks.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: pdist on October 01, 2008, 07:34:04 AM
Hey - just a follow up to this...did people have much luck getting interviews? I sent out about 15 cover letters and got rejected everywhere. Are these employers way more selective than I thought? Or are other people having luck? I just don't get it.

NY T2, just out of top 1/3 with a secondary journal.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: Spiron on October 01, 2008, 07:53:05 AM
No luck here.
Applied to 5 organizations, and didn't get any.

About median at T20, secondary journal.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: dashrashi on October 01, 2008, 10:18:25 AM
I only applied to three, and it looks like I didn't get any either. HLS, secondary journal, top thirdish. So, I don't really know what's up.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: observationalist on October 05, 2008, 11:14:38 AM
Hey - just a follow up to this...did people have much luck getting interviews? I sent out about 15 cover letters and got rejected everywhere. Are these employers way more selective than I thought? Or are other people having luck? I just don't get it.

NY T2, just out of top 1/3 with a secondary journal.

I applied to the environmental outfits and got a few pre-selects, but I thought you can just go and resume drop during table time.  Vanderbilt is paying for about 10 of us to head up to DC next week for the fair but we had to show we received interviews before they'd provide funding, so we're going to resume drop for other 2Ls that aren't making the trip.  To benefit our Law Students for Social Justice 1Ls I'm also going to spend some time just walking around talking with employers about my school's program and seeing if their summer hiring has been readjusted in the same manner as firms (which I read somewhere are averaging about a 20% reduction in spots).  My guess is that most of the non-profits/gov'ts are still taking the same number since positions are mostly unpaid, but competition could still be up due to the firm crunch. 

If you're really gunning for a particular organization you might benefit from emailing the recruiter on your own and letting them know you'll be in town and would like to be seriously considered for a position.  I'm sure a lot of people probably bid, then wait to see what they get and end up canceling if they don't get what they want. If nothing else, you'll get some face time at the tabling portion and could pitch your interest in a particular employer personally, thus distinguishing you from all the other cover letters and resumes they were slammed with.  For anyone who's going, the Vandy crew will probably be heading out to happy hour on Friday, so if anyone's interested in meeting up feel free to PM me.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: Reaching on October 05, 2008, 12:51:12 PM
Good luck for you guys!

A tip: You should definitely take advantage of the table talk time.  It can be kind of awkward walking up to individual employers, but it will be worth it to find a couple of organizations you'd love to work for that you didn't even know about before. I wouldn't be interning at my current organization if I didn't talk to them during a table talk session.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: observationalist on October 05, 2008, 03:41:25 PM
Good luck for you guys!

A tip: You should definitely take advantage of the table talk time.  It can be kind of awkward walking up to individual employers, but it will be worth it to find a couple of organizations you'd love to work for that you didn't even know about before. I wouldn't be interning at my current organization if I didn't talk to them during a table talk session.

Thanks for the tip.  I scheduled morning interviews so I'll have plenty of time for table talking. I will pass along the recommendation to my fellow classmates.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: Reaching on October 05, 2008, 04:07:48 PM
Also, feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the conference.

Last year, I applied to 8 public interest employers (legal aid, PD offices, private civil rights firms) for interviews at the career fair. I received 5 interviews from legal aid offices and PD offices. None from civil rights firms.

Another piece of information: some employers may not follow up after the EJW fair until fairly late. For instance, I didn't hear back from two organizations until January, 3 months after the conference.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: observationalist on October 06, 2008, 11:10:51 PM
So we had an LSSJ meeting today and the people who bid but didn't get anything were looking at either 1) Public Defender's outfits in cities they had no connection to or b) women law associations (like Immigrant Women's Legal Services).  Anecdotally, it seems like those two types of employers received a much larger number of apps than they had interview slots... but I still agree that anyone who's really interested should do their very best to get to DC and push for some face time during table talk.  Hey Reaching: I spoke with some of our 3L members today and they said the same thing you did: it seems like table talk is a valuable opportunity to express interest in an organization that likely would've interviewed more candidates if they had the time for it. Thanks for alerting me to this... hopefully it helps land more of us some gigs. 

We had the staff attorney from the TN ACLU (there's only one attorney for the entire state.. definitely hiring opportunities in Nashville) to speak today, and she definitely extolled the virtues of going to the fair.  Granted she's a GW Law grad and it wasn't that much of an effort for her to attend, but she said it's worth it for anyone serious about this line of work.  She also claimed they tend to weed out people who (at least on paper) don't appear to actually be interested in public interest/govt work after they graduate.  I think I got lucky with the enviro groups because I have a pretty cool public interest job on my resume from 1L summer, and I was able to tailor cover letters to mention that experience in particular.  I don't think gpa matters as much for these jobs as with firms, though I probably shouldn't claim that until after the interviews.
Title: Re: equal justice job fair questions
Post by: Reaching on October 07, 2008, 06:04:44 AM
Great! It seems like you've done your research.

I'd modify your last observation a bit.  For public defender/legal aid offices, grades don't matter as much b/c client service and advocacy skills are much more important in those environments than legal research and writing.  However, in impact litigation outfits like ACLU, grades do matter.

As you may be able to tell from who I interviewed with, I have very little knowledge about environmental, so I don't know how grades work with them. 

A public interest job search is difficult, but the end result can be extremely rewarding.  This is regardless whether you work at an impact place where you can save the health insurance of 10,000 poor families or at a direct services organization where you just saved a single mother from homelessness.  Even when your classmates have 5 offers from law firms, don't be discouraged!