1L Potential Public Interest Job Search Timeline
Below are some suggestions for preparing for your public interest job search. Because most summer public interest opportunities are unpaid, it is important to consider your summer job search in light of your postgraduate career goals. Choosing to do an internship with a particular employer can help position you in a favorable way in the event an opening becomes available with that employer for a postgraduate fellow or entry-level attorney.
- Focus on classes and on acclimating to Law School.
- Utilize the assessment tools discussed in the Professional Development course to evaluate your career interests, skills, and values.
- Join student groups and bar association affinity groups (many have law student membership categories) that are related to your career interests.
- Take opportunities to get to know faculty members and administrators.
- Attend career programs and events on topics that interest you.
- Schedule an appointment to meet with your career advisor between October 15 and December 16. Wake Forest adheres to the NALP Guidelines and thus, career advisors cannot begin offering one-on-one career counseling or application document reviews to first-year students before October 15.)
- Work with your career advisor to update your resume and identify ways to explore further your career interests and to augment your relevant experience and skills.
- Discuss your summer and public interest career goals and draft a plan, with concrete steps and a timeline identified for implementing your plan. Concrete plans should include: researching summer jobs, externships, or volunteer opportunities; scheduling informational interviews in cities you will visit over the winter break; developing a system to monitor resumes sent and responses received; starting a file to keep track of networking contacts; reaching out to individuals for references; preparing cover letters for targeted employers; and developing a timeline for sending letters to those employers. (Based on NALP guidelines for 1L’s, students should not apply for positions prior to December 1.)
- Use a professional email address for all correspondence.
- Create a professional voice mail message.
- Review your Facebook information and Google your name to ensure that you present a professional image on the web; continue to update and edit your LinkedIn profile as appropriate.
- Network during Winter Break.
- Monitor, closely and regularly, summer listings on Symplicity, psjd.org, and usajobs.gov and be prepared to apply as positions of interest come to your attention.
- Organize your interview attire and consider other job search budget needs.
- Continue to monitor job postings, initiate, and follow up with prospective employers.
- Participate in a mock interview through the Professional Development course.
- Continue to monitor, research, and apply for public interest funding opportunities.
- Participate in various career fairs (e.g., the North Carolina Legal Interview Program through OCPD).
- Meet with your career advisor to continue to strategize about your job search efforts.
- Network during Spring Break.
Public Interest Employer Websites with Job Opportunities
(This is a sample list of websites with job postings)
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) – http://www.ccrjustice.org/job-internship
Center for Justice and Accountability – http://cja.org/get-involved/legal-internships/
Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) – http://cejil.org/en
Earthjustice – http://www.earthjustice.org/
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) – http://elaw.org/
Environmental Law Institute (ELI) – http://www.eli.org/About/Employment.cfm
Equal Justice Works – http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/
Environmental Law and Policy Center – http://elpc.org/category/jobs
Human Rights First – http://ejob.bz/ATS/CompanyPortal.do?refresh=true&companyGK=18191&portalGK=1127
National Legal Aid & Defender Association – http://www.nlada.org/Jobs
PSJD – http://www.psjd.org
Public Justice – http://www.publicjustice.net/
Union Jobs — http://www.unionjobs.com/index.php
To view a listing of legal services organizations that provide direct delivery of legal services to various and specific client populations, please check out the state-by-state directory at http://www.lawhelp.org/find-help.
Other Public Interest Employers
(This is not an exhaustive list of public interest employers)
ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project—California, Georgia, New York
ACLU National Prison Project—Washington, DC
ACLU Foundation of Southern California—Los Angeles, CA
ACLU National Headquarters—New York, NY
ACLU of Alaska—Anchorage, AK
ACLU of Georgia—Atlanta, GA
ACLU of Massachusetts—Boston, MA
ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief—Washington, DC
ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project—New York, NY
Brennan Center for Justice-NYU School of Law—New York, NY
Center for Appellate Litigation—New York, NY
Center for Citizen Leadership—St. Louis, MO
Center for Justice and Accountability—San Francisco, CA
Channel 13 Public TV- Religion & Ethics Newsweekly—Washington, DC
Chicago Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights Under Law—Chicago, IL
Compassion Over Killing—Washington, DC
Connecticut Legal Services—Bridgeport, CT
Council on Foundations—Washington, DC
Fair Housing Justice Center—New York, NY
Greater Boston Legal Services—Boston, MA
Human Rights Watch—New York, NY
Immigrant Legal Resource Center—San Francisco, CA
International Crisis Group—Washington, DC
Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization—New Haven, CT
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law—Washington, DC
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights-SF Bay Area—San Francisco, CA
Legal Aid Society—New York, NY
Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia—Washington, DC
Legal Assistance Foundation—Chicago, IL
Legal Momentum- The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund—New York, NY
Louisiana Capital Assistance Center—New Orleans, LA
Ms. JD—New Haven, CT
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.—Washington, DC
National Right to Life Committee—Washington, DC
Natural Resources Defense Council—Multiple Offices
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice—Newark, NJ
New York Legal Assistance Group—New York, NY
Planned Parenthood Federation of America—New York, NY
Public Counsel—Los Angeles, CA
Service Employees International Union – SEIU Local 32BJ—New York, NY
Sierra Club—San Francisco, CA
Southern Environmental Law Center—Atlanta, GA
Southern Environmental Law Center—Chapel Hill, NC
Southern Poverty Law Center—Jackson, MS
Stewards of Affordable Housing—Washington, DC
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty—Washington, DC
The Constitutional Sources Project—Washington, DC
The Legal Aid Society Employment Law Ctr.—San Francisco, CA
United Nations Department of Political Affairs—New York, NY
Urban Justice Center, Mental Health Project—New York, NY
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts—New York, NY
1L Timeline & Resources Handout