Public Interest

Public Interest Employers and the Economic Crisis

WAMU (one of Washington DC’s public radio stations, which is based at American University) hosted a program last Thursday exploring how trends in the legal industry are affecting the public interest legal sector.

Participants included:  Jonathan Smith (Legal Aid Society of DC), Paul Igasaki (Equal Justice Works), Susan Hoffman (Crowell & Moring) and Matthew Pascocello (Washington College of Law).

Listen to the whole thing (about 1 hour) here.      

Advice from the Non-Profit Sector: Typical Day of An Effective Job Seeker

Some helpful specific job search advice from executive search consultant Sally Carlson recently appeared in Blue Avocado, an information website for non-profits. 

Nearly all of it applies to the private sector as well.

Among other things, Carlson offers practical, concrete suggestions for building your network and describes a day in the life of an effective job seeker.   


Lawyers Without Borders

The National Law Journal recently interviewed the founder of Lawyers Without Borders, an organization that connects attorneys with pro bono projects in Africa and elsewhere.  You can find it here.

How The Economy Is Impacting Public Interest Firms

The American Lawyer interviews Michael Rothenberg, Executive Director of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest about how the current economic crisis is affecting the public interest community.   

Public Interest Careers and Managing Law School Debt

Interesting exchange from Slate magazine’s “My Goodness:  Advice on How To Make the World Better” Department having to do with managing law school debt while pursuing a public interest or public sector career. 

Fellowships — Opportunity Builders

A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal highlights fellowships as a way of opening new doors on one’s career path.  The article talks about the White House Fellowship program and quotes Boalt alum (and former White House fellow) Diane Yu who talks about her own career path. 

The CDO will be hosting an informational conference call about the White House Fellows Program with Boalt alums who served as fellows   

Private Public Interest Law Firms

There are many for-profit law firms whose practices are mostly comprised of representing individuals and groups of people who are in need of help and cannot otherwise obtain representation. Identifying such firms is a difficult and somewhat imprecise task, but Harvard Law School’s Office of Public Interest Advising and Columbia Law School ‘s Center for Public Interest Law have made an attempt.

PSLAWNET gets an Upgrade

Those of you exploring public interest or government work may already be familiar with PSLAWNET, a public interest employer and jobs database containing information from over 10,000 law-related public service organizations and offices around the world and a running balance of about 2,500 job opportunities. Berkeley Law subscribes to it, so it is free for students and alums (though you have to register the first time you use it).

If you have visited PSLAWNET before, you will notice some big improvements the next time you go out there. Job seekers can now upload their resumes and submit them directly to employers. Also, you can flag and store individual job postings and organization profiles, along with entire search results, using the new “my favorites” tool.

There is also a brand new “Career Central” section containing lots of career search resources and useful links. Check it out here.