Attention 1Ls! 5 Public Service Career Planning Tips for the Holidays

Attention 1Ls!  Five Public Service Career Planning Tips for the Holidays


By Aline Carton-Listfjeld, Center for Public Service Law

Did you miss our recent public service career strategies presentation? Fret not. Here’s the cliff notes version. You can also watch the video podcast here. 

The holidays are a time to rest, spend time with loved ones, practice gratitude and engage in a thoughtful practice of reflection, research and action planning for your career in public service and/or social justice. Here are some career strategizing tips to make the best of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and winter break right around the corner.

  1. Get back to basics. Why law school? Why public service? What issues do you care about? Think about why you came to law school and why specifically you’re interested in public service and/or working for social justice. What personal, volunteer or professional experiences or events have shaped your world view? What causes are you passionate about or get you worked up? What areas of law are you interested in? Why?
    • Write these anecdotes down; this will help you with your cover letter writing.
    • Practice telling these stories at the Thanksgiving dinner table; this will help you when you’re networking and interviewing.
    • Learn more about why stories matter by Marshall Ganz.
  2. Identify lawyering skills. Think about what kinds of advocacy and other lawyering skills you’re drawn towards.
    • Direct Services. Providing direct services to individual clients including advice/counsel, brief services and/or representation in court or administrative proceedings.
    • Systemic Change through Litigation. Engaging in impact litigation/systemic advocacy such as class action law suits which may not involve quite as much direct client work.
    • Community Lawyering. Using the principles of community organizing, combining direct services, impact litigation, and transactional legal services to support community economic development and/or other community-driven social justice initiatives.
    • Public Policy & Politics. Engaging in policy and/or legislative advocacy or reform work either within our outside of a legislative body.
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution. Engaging in alternative means of achieving justice outside of the traditional adversarial system such as alternative dispute resolution, mediation, collaborative law, and restorative justice.
    • Leadership & Social Entrepreneurship. Exploring alternative public service law careers including non-profit leadership/management and social entrepreneurship
  3. Do your research. We want you to make informed, evidence-based decisions to help you carve your career path. Research organizations and agencies that work on the causes and substantive areas that you are passionate about, interested in and/or open to. Where do you start? Go out to coffee with your mentor or perhaps the growing list of contacts with whom you’ve been advised to connect. Check out all of the great resources on our public service career reference guide, the Gallagher Law Library research guide and PSJD. Also, learn about the employers participating in the upcoming NW Public Service Career Fair. Keep in mind that employers are registering on a rolling basis so be sure to check back regularly.
  4. Create a list of preferred employers. Get ready to start applying to summer opportunities. Many public service internships application deadlines are in January and February. Whether or not a non-profit organization or government agency has a posted internship announcement, plan on sending your application materials. This usually includes a resume, cover letter, sometimes a list of references, and maybe a writing sample (yes you can use that 1L memo!). If an employer asks for grades be sure to mention when you expect to receive your grades in your cover letter and send them your transcript when it becomes available.
  5. Get cover letter feedback from your career coach. Take a break from outlining! December is a great time to send cover letters to your career coach for feedback. Once you’ve created a list of employers, draft a cover letter using the tips found here.

Interested in Learning More About Immigration? Register for the New Immigration Policy Seminar for the Winter Quarter

Associated Press Detention Center Holding Cell

B512 Legislation and the Formulation of Public Policy
By: Professor Angelica Chazaro

This course will examine immigration laws and policies related to how removal (deportation) laws and policies are established and implemented, and including the emergence and role of social change movements. Topics will include the intersection of immigration and criminal law, border security, state and local enforcement, the root causes of unauthorized migration, and the challenges of immigration law reform. The course will cover both legal doctrine and legislative issues concerning immigration detention and enforcement.

This course is mandatory for the immigration-related externships with the Washington Defender’s Association and NWIRP.  Externship applications are due Monday, November 24.  See Symplicity for more details.

Attention Attorneys! Free CLE on Domestic Violence Legal Team Training

Perkins Coie Logo

Thursday, December 4, 2014
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Perkins Coie (1201 Third Ave #4900, Seattle)
FREE (attendees must pledge to volunteer either for DVAP or DVIP)
Lunch Provided
CLE Credits: Pending (includes ethics credits)
RSVP to April Campbell by Monday, November 24, 2014

This is a FREE training and ideal for both litigators and transactional lawyers.
There are two volunteer options covered in this training: (1) going into court to litigate motions and (2) volunteering for the in-shelter legal clinic.

Litigators: Volunteer for the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP). Learn how you can be an effective advocate for domestic violence survivors by litigating motions for revision and reconsideration, and increasing your chances of success at return hearings. Build your courtroom advocacy skills while making a meaningful difference in the life of a survivor and her children. Cases are for a short time frame with a discrete time commitment.

Transactional Lawyers: Volunteer at the Domestic Violence Impact Project’s (DVIP) monthly in-shelter legal clinic. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with a survivor and empower her through education and helping her draft a declaration that will be attached to her petition. No court required. Discrete time commitment.

If you have any questions about this CLE please email April Campbell.

Attorney General sends Notice of Endangerment and Intent to Sue to U.S. Dept. of Energy and its contractors to protect workers from hazardous Hanford tank vapors

WA AGO seal

By: Bob Ferguson, Washington State Office of the Attorney General

After 20 years and many reports and studies, federal government still not adequately protecting Hanford workers

Attorney General Bob Ferguson is sending the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), a Notice of Endangerment and Intent to Sue. Ferguson seeks to protect workers at the federal Hanford Nuclear Reservation from hazardous chemical vapors that continue to jeopardize worker health and safety.

On Oct. 30, 2014, an independent panel of experts issued the federally-funded Hanford Tank Vapor Assessment Report which determined that “ongoing emission of tank vapors, which contain a mixture of toxic chemicals, is inconsistent with the provisions of a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards.”  They further found that the data “strongly suggests a causal link between chemical vapor release and subsequent adverse health effects experienced by tank farm workers.”

The report was the latest in a series of reports assessing the problem of tank workers falling sick after exposure to chemical vapors from on-site waste holding tanks.

Continue reading here.

Campaign for Equal Justice: Support Legal Aid on Giving Tuesday, December 2nd

Campaign for Equal Justice Logo

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday just around the corner, we are all looking forward to getting great deals on Christmas gifts and holiday treats. But don’t forget to set a little aside for people in need on Giving Tuesday!

As our November newsletter noted, the Campaign is still about $600,000 away from raising the funds clients like Zahul need to receive legal aid. Your generosity this holiday season will make the difference.

Plan a gift to help out low-income people in legal crisis on Giving Tuesday, December 2nd.

All you have to do is visit our secure online donation page on December 2nd to make your gift.  Thanks for remembering people in need!

UW Law End-of-Year Celebration & Lunch, Sandy Relief Pro Bono Opportunities, New Human Rights Clinic & Tips on Skype Interviews

Law School End-of-Year Celebratory Lunch & Awards Ceremony

UWLawJoin Dean Testy for an ALL SCHOOL end-of-year celebratory lunch & program honoring student, staff and faculty awards achieved this year.

Awards presented at the program include the Dean’s Medals, SCALE Awards, Faculty Service Awards, Pro Bono Honors Awards, Olympia Quarter Fellows, SBA Awards, and more! 

Tuesday, May 14

Program: 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.

Gates Hall Terrace (weather permitting)

Lunch will be available before/after the program and include

  • Famous Dave’s BBQ (with vegetarian options)
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
  • Giveaways!

Hope to see you then to celebrate our success!

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Summer Pro Bono Opportunities for Law Students

TAG_Hurricane_Sandy_Spirit_NYNew Pro Bono Program at Touro Law Center on Long Island, New York

TLC currently developing pro bono placements for students from around the country who wish to participate in the urgent work of our ongoing hurricane relief efforts.

As a consequence of Hurricane Sandy last October, Long Islanders have been besieged by numerous legal problems: environmental, zoning and permit issues, FEMA appeals, insurance appeals, foreclosure matters, contractor fraud, consumer complaints, landlord tenant problems, unemployment and homelessness, just to name a few.

Starting this summer and going through the fall we are sponsoring a “boots on the ground” effort to survey the legal needs of hurricane survivors across Long Island.  In a two pronged approach we will be placing law students in community centers as well as having students going door to door, to try to learn how well government and other agencies have been able to meet the legal needs of individuals and families in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  In addition to gaining an understanding of how legal services have been provided to date, the survey will seek out those who, whether because of age, disability or for other reasons are unable or afraid to access the help they may need.

While this is an enormous undertaking, it will also provide a valuable opportunity for students to see, in a very dramatic way, the importance of providing access to legal services for all segments of society.

For students who wish to be admitted in New York, a summer’s worth of pro bono would meet the 50 hour rule of the Office of Court Administration for admission to the bar.  For more info email Deidre Byrne.

Want a Hands-On Course in International Human Rights? Apply for the UW Law Human Rights Clinic/Practice Seminar

Eleanor_Roosevelt_and_Human_Rights_DeclarationHuman Rights Clinical/Practice Opportunity for 2013-2014

2 Credits Winter/2 Credits Spring

Professors Ramasastry and Rosenbaum

Note:  Students must enroll in Human rights Advocacy in the Autumn Quarter, unless excused by one of the professors, for good cause.

Description: The course will provide students with hands on experience in addressing problems in international human rights.   Students will engage in research and potential case work focused on human rights projects in fields relating to business and human rights, on topics such as information technology and human rights, human trafficking in global supply chains and indigenous people’s rights in relation to mining and other industrial development in Latin and Central America. Students will test, develop and enhance their skills training in the context of real-world human rights practice. This work will involve partnerships with attorneys, human rights organizations, community-based organizations in the U.S. and abroad, international NGOs and solidarity networks, and human rights experts from the U.S. and abroad.

Please submit an electronic version of your application to Professor Ramasastry ( by Friday May 10 at   5 p.m.

Interview Tips: How to Handle Phone and Skype Interviews

Skype-iconHere’s the lastest from the National Jurist Blog.

By Hillary Mantis

If you have been searching for a job out of state, chances are you have been offered a phone or Skype interview. But how do you impress the interviewers, when you are not even in the same room? Without eye contact and a firm handshake, how do you establish rapport? Here are some thoughts on how to handle a phone or Skype interview without stressing out.

Set up your interview space:
It is important to have a quiet, calm space from which to conduct the interview. Obviously, you should not attempt to conduct the interview walking down the street, or outside. A former student of mine actually had her first interview with a firm while walking through Central Park in New York. Guess what? Their conversation got cut off. Fortunately for her, it all worked out, and in the end she got the job. But it was unnecessary stress that she could have avoided by calling from a room with good reception. I would strongly recommend using a landline if possible, to avoid any cell phone problems that might crop up. Read on here.