Law School Discussion

Help me with my career dilemma!

Help me with my career dilemma!
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:13:58 PM »
I'm a 2017 JD grad who is currently clerking for a judge. In late spring 2017, I procured a host organization for project-based public interest fellowships (Equal Justice Works, Skadden, etc.) in my desired state (one of PA/NJ/NY). I spent summer 2017 working closely with with the host organization to develop a very detailed proposal. I submitted the application in September 2017.

In January 2018, I was interviewed by a potential corporate sponsor for Equal Justice Works, and unfortunately, I found out today that the sponsor did not select to fund my project (I thought the interview went very well...I guess not). Apparently there were over 400 applications fo ~77 spots. I was informed that I have the opportunity to interview with different sponsors in the coming months, should one of Equal Justice Works' additional sponsors be interested in funding my project. All fellows will be selected by May 2018...time is running out to be picked up by sponsors. This position is for two years and pays ~$57,000 a year plus good benefits.

Yesterday I had a phone interview for another fellowship in rural Alaska, and at the end of the interview, the managing attorney told me on the spot that the position is mine and that she'd love to have me at the organization. This is a one-year fellowship but can be extended to two more terms. While I was thrilled to get an acceptance, I'm not too keen on moving across the country and re-starting my life from scratch in a state I've never stepped foot in, let alone have family/professional/school ties to. I'm not sure about the exact salary, but it's in all likelihood lower than the EJW fellowship.

The host organization for my Equal Justice Works project-the one in my desired state where I am sitting for the bar-has invested a lot of time and energy into me as a candidate (i.e. reviewing and helping to draft parts of my project application, critiquing my personal statement and so on), and I don't want to screw them over after building a relationship. I want to practice in that state for the long-term, and the legal community is small and close-knit and it would be unwise to burn bridges. However, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Should I continue to wait until May 2018 and see if another corporate sponsor decides to interview me for Equal Justice Works, or should I swallow my pride and accept the job in rural Alaska and move on, even though I don't really want to live there in the long run?