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Government Hiring is Down, But There is a Glimmer of Hope

This recent post from the PSLawNet blog discusses the most recent hiring statistics from federal government honors programs.  While the numbers are troubling, it’s important to focus on the good news – there are federal agencies with new or reinstated honors programs:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a new federal agency devoted to safeguarding the economic strength and vitality of America’s families.  The Louis D. Brandeis Attorney Honors program is a two-year fellowship that gives graduates an opportunity to participate in enforcement actions under consumer financial and fair-lending laws, participate in court proceedings defending Bureau rules and regulations, provide analysis for fair-lending compliance examinations, and develop policy.  The application deadline for the 2012 program was October 5, 2011, and will probably be in early October 2012 for the 2013 program.
  • The new Department of Energy Honors Program is a 6-12 month rotation during which graduates are assigned to individual Assistant General Counsel offices.  The offices offer a wide variety of legal practice areas including environmental law, legislation and regulation, litigation and enforcement, international law, procurement, intellectual property and others.  Honors Attorneys may be eligible to compete for permanent positions in DOE after passing the bar exam.  The deadline for the 2013 program will likely be late September 2012.
  • The Federal Communications Commission’s Attorney Honors Program is a two-year program during which attorneys participate in various aspects of federal administrative practice as they relate to the FCC’s oversight of television, radio, cable, wireless, wireline, satellite, and other communications services and facilities. Attorneys at the FCC draft decisions in adjudicatory and rulemaking matters, work with internal and external constituencies to resolve complex policy issues before the agency, participate in international negotiations, represent the FCC in dealings with other government agencies, Congress and the private sector, and defend FCC decisions in the federal courts.  All Honors Program participants will work at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, DC and will be assigned to one of the agency’s bureaus. At the end of the two-year program, Honors Program attorneys will be eligible for consideration for continued employment at the FCC. The deadline for the 2013 program will likely be late September 2012.

The PSLawNet blog post also offers some valuable advice on making yourself competitive for these government positions – tips include showing a commitment to public service, enthusiasm, and a demonstrated interest in the agency’s area of law. Foreign language skills and experience in the agency’s area of law (including internships) are also a plus.

How do you show these things?  By doing volunteer work, participating in community service activities, and taking part in events that demonstrate your commitment to a particular issue or cause.  In addition, attend conferences and take classes in the particular area of law that interests you.  If you are interested in working for the government, there is still a lot you can do to make yourself a competitive candidate, and it starts with being aware of what that agency is looking for.

WFU Law Networking Reception in Washington, D.C.

Students are invited to attend the Wake Forest School of Law D.C. Reception, to be held during Fall Break in Washington D.C.

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with D.C. alumni and other attorneys practicing in the area!

Details:

Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.

Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar available

Bar Code Restaurant, Bar, Lounge
1101 17th Street NW
(Entrance Located on L Street)
Washington, DC 20036-4704

Register online by visiting http://alumni.law.wfu.edu/contact/alumni-reception-registration/
by October 17

Champions of Change: Celebrating Public Service Lawyers with the White House

Interested in public service?

Please join us for “Champions of Change: Celebrating Public Service Lawyers with the White House”
A live-streaming event on Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 2:00-3:30pm
Room 1312 (large courtroom)

The White House Office of Public Engagement and the Access to Justice Initiative at the U.S. Department of Justice will host a national, on-line conversation among law students, faculty, and staff, public service lawyers, and Attorney General Eric Holder, to talk about what lawyers can do to close the justice gap.  The conversation will illustrate the range and quality of public interest lawyers’ accomplishments by honoring 16 exemplar public service Champions at the White House. The event seeks to inspire students to think of new ways that they can use their law degrees toward the common goal of public service.

Attorney General Holder will field questions submitted electronically from interested parties in classrooms  from across the nation about how  to improve access to our justice system.

September 30, 2011 Student Newsletters

This week’s 2L and 3L Career Updates are now available. Don’t miss the latest career advice, job postings, and other important information!

3L Newsletter – 9/30/11

2L Newsletter – 9/30/11

**NOTE** USAJobs.gov will be unavailable from Oct. 6-12, 2011

The online job application system for federal government jobs and internships, USAJobs.gov, will be unavailable due to system maintenance from October 6-12, 2011. During this time you will be unable to conduct job searches, apply for jobs, or receive application status updates.

If you are applying for any of the following positions you should strongly consider completing your application before October 6 to ensure that your submission is on time.  At this time, there is no indication that these government agencies intend to extend application deadlines.

For 1Ls:

Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor – October 29, 2011 deadline

U.S. State Department Student Internship Program – November 1, 2011 deadline

For 2Ls:

EEOC Office of Legal Counsel – October 14, 2011 deadline

SEC Summer Honors Law Program – October 14, 2011 deadline

DOE Law Student Intern Program – October 15, 2011 deadline

Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor – October 29, 2011 deadline

For 3Ls:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honors Program – October 15, 2011 deadline

NLRB Honors Program – October 15, 2011 deadline

Department of Labor Honors Program – October 21, 2011 deadline

HUD Office of General Counsel – October 28, 2011 deadline

 

 

 

September 15, 2011 Student Newsletters

Check out the latest Career Planning Updates for information on fellowships and 2L job search myths, in addition to recent job postings, articles of interest, and upcoming deadlines.

3L Newsletter – 9/15/11

2L Newsletter – 9/15/11

2L Job Search Myths

MYTH: All my friends have jobs already.

TRUTH: Very few students have summer jobs lined up this early in the year. Many 3Ls will tell you that at spring finals, they still did not have a job for the summer.  The summer job search can be a long process for many reasons: smaller firms and businesses may not know their hiring needs yet; organizations may not be able to predict future demand for services; some nonprofits may be waiting for funding.  The key is to be patient and methodical. Keep checking in with your contacts. Don’t give up!

MYTH: I want to work out of state but can’t get anything without connections.

TRUTH: There is a big difference between “connections” and “contacts.” Yes, it’s nice when a parent or family friend can put you directly into a job, but this is unusual.  You are far more likely to succeed by making contacts in the legal community in which you want to work.  Join the local bar association. Call local alumni and ask their advice.  Attend a career fair in that state.

MYTH: I want to stay in NC but I’m not from here so no one will hire me.

TRUTH: You’re already in school in North Carolina—this means something! Employers want to see that you are committed to the state, so give them reason to believe this. Emphasize your involvement in the community, your knowledge of current local and state events, your interest in remaining here.  You are not the first Wake Forest student who has come to NC and decided to stay.

MYTH: I didn’t get an offer through OCI so I’m out of options.

TRUTH: Only a small percentage of students get summer jobs through OCI, because only a small percentage of employers participate in OCI.  There are numerous other avenues to pursue.  This is where networking is key—contact firms and alumni who practice the type of law you are interested in. Consider seeking out judicial externships, government internships, volunteer work with nonprofit organizations.  OCPD updates Symplicity regularly with job postings.  Your OCPD career advisor can help you identify resources to find options in your area of interest.

MYTH: There are no advertised jobs that interest me.

TRUTH: Don’t limit yourself to posted job listings. Plenty of firms and organizations do not advertise positions. Networking is essential.  Talk to lawyers, alumni, anyone you know. Let them know you are looking and what you’re interested in.  Some firms have work to be done, and would be happy to have a competent student available.  Your willingness to work is a foot in the door, and your quality of work may mean a future job.

MYTH: Networking is useless. People won’t respond if I just call them up out of the blue.

TRUTH: There is one universal truth in networking: people love to talk about themselves.  Success is all in the approach. Be polite. Ask if this is a good time.  Offer to take them out for lunch or coffee.  Have a list in mind of what you want to learn from them.  Show your appreciation with a written note.  Follow up if you can—mention a CLE or recent article that relates to something you discussed.

MYTH: I’m just going to wait tables and enjoy one last summer of freedom.

TRUTH: Your 2L summer is an important opportunity to get valuable work experience.  Not only are you building professional skills for your resume, but you also have an opportunity to “test the waters” in different practice areas, types of work, and even locations.  Use this opportunity, it will benefit you in long-term career planning

U.S. Department of State 2012 Summer Internships

The U.S. Department of State is now accepting applications for its Summer 2012 Student Internship Program.

Click here http://careers.state.gov/students/programs to read more about the Student Internship Program, and to start the Gateway to State online application process. The deadline to submit completed applications is November 01, 2011.

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a full- or part-time continuing college or university junior, or graduate student (including graduating seniors intending to go on to graduate school).
  • Have good academic standing
  • Successfully complete a background investigation
  • Be able to receive either a Secret or Top Secret clearance.



Conducting a 2L Job Search

This Tuesday 9/13 at noon in Room 1312:

While your second year of law school is in full swing, you are also right in the midst of your second summer job search. Are you wondering what happens after OCI?  Are you interested in finding out what other opportunities may be out there?  Are you questioning whether or not you are on the right track?

Come hear the advice and perspectives from four upperclassmen as well as a recent graduate on how they successfully conducted their 2L job search.

Guest panelists include:


Aaron Garnett (’12)

Legal Intern for the Economic Crimes Division

Attorney General’s Office for the State of Florida, Orlando, FL

 

Jessica Kimble (’12)

Summer Intern

Pendergrass Law Firm, PLLC, Raleigh, NC


Matthew Hayes (’12)

Summer Intern

Alaska Public Defender’s Office, Palmer, AK

 

Paul DerOhannesian (’12)

Summer Intern

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, Holland

 

Robert Zawrotny (’11)

Associate Attorney

Novant Health, Legal Department, Winston-Salem, NC


**Remember to RSVP in Symplicity to reserve your lunch**

NCBA 2011 Environmental Law Fellowships

The Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association announces its 2011 Law Student Fellowship Program.  The fellowship is open to all 1Ls and 2Ls from underprivileged and disadvantaged backgrounds, including minorities and students from households with limited resources.  The application deadline is February 11, 2011.  Details are available online.