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Author Topic: equal justice job fair questions  (Read 2235 times)

observationalist

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Re: equal justice job fair questions
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2008, 01:10:51 AM »
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.
Vanderbilt University Law School Class of '10

Reaching

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Re: equal justice job fair questions
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2008, 08:04:44 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!