Listen Up! Gender Justice, Salaries, and Democracy Essay Contest

Note to Our Readers: To serve you better, the Common Good blog is trying out a new blogging schedule. Center for Public Service Law staff will post at least three times per week: Jobs on Mondays, Announcements on Wednesdays, and Events on Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be reserved for time sensitive announcements and updates. Today’s theme is Announcements. 

1. New Gender Justice Guide: “Women and Justice Collection” Launched by Cornell Law School

Cornell Law School’s Avon Global Center for Women and Justice is announcing the launch of the Women and Justice Collection, an online library of legal and other resources relating to gender-based violence and gender justice.The collection offers a free searchable database of case law from more than forty-eight countries and eight international and regional human rights bodies. It offers unique access to judicial decisions from around the world that apply international or domestic law to protect women’s rights and prevent and punish gender-based violence. The database can be searched by country, gender-justice-related topic, and keywords, and search results include both case summaries and links to full-text decisions.

In addition, the collection provides a valuable overview of international law on gender-based violence through its annotated and hyperlinked reference lists of relevant international and regional human rights instruments. It also makes available articles, reports, reference guides, and other secondary sources that address gender-justice-related topics.

We hope that you find the Women and Justice Collection useful to you in your studies and your work.

2. 2012 Public Interest Attorney Salary Report Released

[Adapted from Steve Grumm’s PSJD Public Interest News Bulletin – October 19, 2012.] The National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP) recently released the 2012 Public Sector & Public Interest Attorney Salary Report. The report confirms that already-low public interest law salaries, when taking inflation into account, have remained close to stagnant in the recent past. Civil legal aid lawyers start at about $43,000 annually while assistant prosecutors’ and defenders’ starting salaries hover around $50,000.

Also according to the report, “It is also evident, based on a comparison to findings dating from 2004, the first year of this survey, that salaries at public sector and public interest organizations have increased only modestly since 2004, typically by $9,000-12,000, depending on experience and type of organization. It is also the case in general that most of that increase occurred from 2004 to 2008, prior to the recession, and not since then.”

But of course the amount of debt that today’s junior attorneys carry has swollen. Thus, a public interest attorney’s income pie has stayed the same size, but a much larger piece of it now goes to debt service. Loan repayment (and in some cases, forgiveness) programs can mitigate this circumstance. Those grads positioned to maximize repayment/forgiveness options may not experience financial discomfort.

With low, stagnant salaries, with the rising cost of legal education, and with a terribly tight job market, how difficult is it becoming for tomorrow’s lawyers to pursue public service career paths? This question will not yield a simple, yes-or-no, across-the-board answer. Circumstances are different for every law student. Talk to your career coach, mentors, family, and friends for guidance. For more salary details, read a summary of the NALP report here.

3. Is Democracy for Sale? Enter Your Response in the 2013 Access to Justice Essay Contest

January 31, 2013: Intent to Enter Submissions Due
March 31, 2013: Essay Submission

The 2013 Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Contest is a $5,000 cash award given to the author of the winning essay. The 2013 topic is: Is Democracy for Sale? Any student currently enrolled in an accredited American law school may submit a legal essay for the competition. Essays can only be written during the academic year covered by the competition and may not be prepared as part of paid legal work outside of law school.

A panel of nationally known trial lawyers and law professors will judge the competition. Additional information is online here.

4. Train to be an Women’s Rights Advocate at the UN: Apply for the 2013 United Nations Practicum in Advocacy

Application Due Nov. 5, 2012

Strengthen your skill-set in advocacy, increase your knowledge of international women’s issues, and gain valuable contacts and insight into UN processes. Apply for the UN Advocate Training this March and attend the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings at the United Nations in New York from March 2–10, 2013, at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from across the nation are eligible to attend.

To attend, submit an application by November 5, 2012, at 5 p.m. EDT and then raise money to attend.

Cost: $1399 covers cost of lodging, food, program materials, registration and entrance to CSW, NGO preparatory meeting, membership to the Y-WILPF (the young women’s caucus of WILPF), and daily briefings from faculty and other experts. The fee does not include transportation to New York City. Limited Scholarships are available.

Interested? Read more: 2013 UN Practicum in Advocacy Flyer2013 UN Practicum in Advocacy Application2013 UN Practicum in Advocacy Faculty Reference Form.

Submit all materials to

Critical of Development? Attend tonight’s coffee chat with Dr. Susan Bolton

The Critical Development Forum (CDF) is a group of UW students committed to exploring the ethics of development. Tonight, the CDF is hosting its fall Kickoff Meeting/Coffee Chat with Dr. Susan Bolton @ Cafe Allegro, 2nd floor, at 6pm.

Susan Bolton, Ph.D., P.E. is a professor in the department of Environmental and Forest Sciences as well as an adjunct professor in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Global Health. She is a faculty adviser for the UW student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and sits on the board of directors for EWB-USA. She is also a member of the UW Global Health/Environmental Change group. Most recently she has been working with a landscape architect on slum improvements in Lima, Peru, and conducting project reviews for the World Water Corps.

Dr. Bolton will be hosting a discussion title “Ecology to Engineering to Development: Why I don’t sleep as well as I used to,” and will be sharing her experiences with development projects in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Peru.

CDF is very excited to have Dr. Bolton open up its academic year. Please come, drink coffee (or tea!) and participate in an informal but critical discussion. Afterwards, CDF will be holding a planning meeting at 7pm. If you have been wanting to get involved in CDF, now is the chance! We will introduce the many committees you can join next Tuesday. Hope to see you!

Note to Our Readers: Center for Public Service Law Staff will post to the Common Good blog at least three times per week. For now, the schedule of posts will be as follows: Jobs on Monday; Announcements on Wednesday; and Events on Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be reserved for time sensitive announcements and updates.

Apply for Jobs

Note to Our Readers: To serve you better, the format of the Common Good blog is changing slightly. We will post to the blog at least three times per week. Jobs on Monday; Announcements on Wednesday; and Events on Fridays. Today’s post is on jobs.

Current Law Students

1. International Development Graduate School Fellowship for Entry into the USAID Foreign Service

Application due January 23, 2013

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently announced the launch of a new fellowship program designed to attract outstanding young people to careers in international development. The Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship seeks to prepare young people for careers in international development as Foreign Service Officers in the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Payne Fellowship Program provides benefits of up to $90,000 over two years toward a two-year master’s degree, arranges internships on Capitol Hill and at USAID missions overseas, and provides professional development and support activities leading to employment in USAID.

Information and application materials for the program is available online at The application deadline is January 23, 2013.  The Program is funded by USAID and managed by Howard University.

2. 1Ls: Environmental Legal Internships, Trustees for Alaska

Application due January 15, 2012

For almost 40 years, Trustees for Alaska has been working to protect Alaska’s environment. Trustees for Alaska is offering Summer 2013 environmental legal internships to first-year law students who have a demonstrated consistent commitment to the public interest and environmental causes and who have the support of outside funding or are willing to work on a volunteer basis. Interns will work full-time for ten weeks; individual start and end dates are flexible.

To apply, send: (1) a cover letter; (2) resume; (3) transcript (unofficial is fine); (4) short writing sample, and (5) a list of three references to Brittany Hales at:


1) Associate Director, American Rivers

Application due October 31, 2012

American Rivers is recruiting for an Associate Director, WA Conservation Programs.  This position is located in the Seattle, Washington, office. The Associate Director is responsible for developing and implementing projects to protect wild rivers in Washington State, including but not limited to, campaign strategy development and oversight, coalition building, outreach to local and congressional elected officials, securing strong public support and media and communications work.

Please see the online job announcement for more information. If you have questions please contact Jill Wasberg at

2) Attorney, Northwest Justice Project

Application due November 9, 2012

The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) seeks a qualified attorney to work on its statewide legal aid “hotline” CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral) to provide legal advice, limited assistance, and referral on civil legal problems. CLEAR attorneys serve as part of a statewide team of legal aid advocates who work cooperatively to provide legal assistance to the State’s indigent population. Litigation experience is a plus, though this is not a litigation position. Opportunities for extended representation work with NJP staff throughout the state are potentially available. All NJP attorneys work as part of a comprehensive, statewide equal justice delivery system to ensure that low income persons have access to the legal help they need.  Position is based in Seattle with occasional travel needed.

See online job description for more information. To apply, e-mail cover letter explaining your interest in this position along with resume, references and writing sample to: Bridgette Murphy at Or by mail: 401 2nd Ave. South, Suite 407, Seattle, WA 98104.

3) Spanish-speaking Attorney, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Application due November 12, 2012 (however applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until position is filled).

The Tacoma office of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project has a position open for a bilingual, Spanish-speaking staff attorney.  The staff attorney will work with individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center, a regional immigration detention facility that houses up to 1575 detainees. The attorney will be providing legal representation and assistance to individuals in removal proceedings.

Please see online job description for more details. Questions? Please contact Hillary Richardson, Staff Attorney, at

To apply, send cover letter, resume and references to: with the subject “Tacoma Staff Attorney Application.”


Want to Participate in Democracy? Be a Legal Observer

Feeling the urge to get out into the middle of some participatory democracy?Please attend the upcoming legal observer training on October 29th at 7pm. The training will be held at Seattle University Law School in room 328.

The NLG has historically provided legal observers to defend those who choose to exercise their right to free speech. If you’d like to be trained to be a part of this process, please come!  The training is expected to take about an hour and a half.

The official Legal Observer Training Manual is here.  Be sure to check it out before the training so you can come with questions. (Photo: Alina Tsvor, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.)

Break the Cycle Hiring Two Positions in DC Office

Break the Cycle is hiring two positions in our DC office. Two positions are currently available, one for a staff attorney and one for either an attorney or policy expert. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until filled.

Break the Cycle is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence.

Break the Cycle is committed to creating a safe, supportive workplace. We are looking for talented, flexible people with the drive needed for a growing nonprofit. Applicants must be committed to working for and with youth to create a community where all are empowered to seek safe, healthy relationships throughout their lives.

Job Summaries: Continue reading

Apply to Serve on Seattle Community Police Commission

City announces creation of a Community Police Commission

Applications to serve on the Commission now available online; students encouraged to apply! Applications due November 1, 2012.

Today Mayor Mike McGinn issued an Executive Order, drafted in consultation with the City Council, creating a Community Police Commission. The Commission is a partnership between the Police Department, its officers, community members, and public officials. Its role is to support the development of reforms, the establishment of police priorities, and mechanisms to promote community confidence in the Seattle Police Department. The Commission is part of the Settlement Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Justice.

“The Community Police Commission is an important part of building a strong partnership between the people of Seattle and our officers,” said McGinn. “I encourage anyone interested in that work to apply to serve on this Commission.”

“The Community Police Commission is intended to create an empowered commission that community members have long wanted,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “The Public Safety Committee worked directly with community members to write an ordinance, which will be introduced this week that demonstrates the City’s commitment to providing effective and constitutional policing for all of Seattle’s residents.”

The Community Police Commission will include members from each precinct of the City, police officer unions, faith communities, minority, ethnic, and other community organizations, and student or youth organizations. McGinn will submit nominees to the City Council for their confirmation no later than 90 days from the issuance of the Executive Order. More information about the Commission and an application can be found online here.

Summer Employment Opportunity with EPA Office of Administrative Law Judges

Attention 2Ls! Apply for a summer position with the EPA Office of Administrative Law Judges in Washington, D.C.. The deadline for this summer position is December 7, but EPA Staff Attorney Steven Sarno would like to interview interested candidates on Tuesday, October 30 (late afternoon), and/or Wednesday, October 31 (morning). The interview will be held downtown at the Jackson Federal Building (but final location to be confirmed).

The position may or may not be paid dependent on funding.

Apply online here. Attach your cover letter, resume, writing sample of 10 pages or less, and an unofficial transcript. Good luck!

START HERE: Finding a Target for Your Job Search Strategy

UW Law students: Sign up now for a Job Search Workshop for 2L’s and 3L’s:

“START HERE: Finding a Target for Your Job Search Strategy”

 Tuesday, October 23, 3-5 pm, Rm 118; sign up on Symplicity, space limited

Join career coaches Amy Kosterlitz (CPSL) and Holly Morris (CPLD) in a small group workshop to plot or refine a job search strategy.  Your job search can be more effective if you take time to reflect on how various skills and experiences can be woven into a compelling “narrative” that points you in a legal career direction(s).

Participants will assess their key interests, strengths, experiences and job search targets, and craft these into a personal narrative that expresses their interest in and suitability for particular types of legal employment.  We will also discuss how to turn one’s narrative into a marketing “pitch” that can be used in networking, job applications, cover letters and interviews.

Because the range of job opportunities may not be obvious, we will also explore strategies for researching the job market and talking with people in your network about what you’re looking for.  The interactive workshop format allows for peer feedback, as well as fellowship with others who are confronting similar challenges.  The goal of the workshop is to make your job search more productive and more fun!