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

Deadlines
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 unpracticum2013@wilpf.org.