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January 31, 2011

Interested in joining Toastmasters?

Here's what they have to say about themselves:

Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped millions of men and women become more confident in front of an audience. Our network of clubs and their learn-by-doing program are sure to help you become a better speaker and leader. Why pay thousands of dollars for a seminar when you can join a Toastmasters club for a fraction of the cost and have fun in the process?
What's in it for you?

Toastmasters will give you the skills and confidence you need to effectively express yourself in any situation. Whether you are a professional, student, stay-at-home parent or retiree, Toastmasters is the most efficient, enjoyable and affordable way of gaining great communication skills. By learning to effectively formulate and express your ideas, you open an entirely new world of possibilities. You'll be more persuasive and confident when giving presentations, and you'll improve your one-on-one dealings with others.
How does it work?

Don't worry! Everyone in a Toastmasters club was once at the level you are now. The environment is friendly and supportive, and the self-paced program allows you to build confidence with each speaking assignment. And you'll love the applause! Constructive evaluation is the heart of the Toastmasters program. Each time you give a prepared speech, an evaluator will point out strengths and suggest improvements. At first you'll be applauded for your effort; later you'll be applauded for your skill.

For more information on meetings visit : http://goldentoasters.freetoasthost.ws/

New Blog from ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service and the Center for Pro Bono

Check it out here.

January 28, 2011

Important Department of State Fall 2011 Internship Announcement

Overseas internships will NOT be offered at U.S. Embassies or Consulates in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP). Only Domestic Internships will be offered in EAP.

Before submitting your application, be sure that you have not selected an overseas post for EAP as your first or second choice preference.

We are still accepting applications for the U.S. Department of State's 2011 Fall Student Internship Program. Click here (http://careers.state.gov/students/programs, and click on Student Internships under Undergraduate or Graduate/Post-Graduate) for more information, and to start the Gateway to State online application process via USAJobs.

Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is March 01, 2011.

You must be a U.S. Citizen and a student (a full- or part-time continuing college or university junior, or graduate student - including graduating seniors intending to go on to graduate school) to be eligible. Please read the program description and vacancy announcement for more information and all qualification requirements.

We appreciate your interest in a career with the U.S. Department of State. Questions? Contact here.

Humphrey School of Pulic Affairs Information Session

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is hosting an on-campus information session on our Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degrees on Monday, January 31st at 5:30pm. If your students are interested in earning graduate degrees in policy or planning, these information sessions are the first step towards submitting an application for the Humphrey School.

Students in the MPP program learn to craft solutions to pressing public problems, like immigration, education, and community development. The MURP program prepares students to develop healthier and more sustainable neighborhoods, cities, and regions.

Please share this information with students you feel may be interested! The event is free and open to the public, but registration is appreciated. A light meal is also served. Register here:

Peace Corps Spring Semester Campus Visits

Wednesday, January 26 - Information Meeting
4:30 - 5:30
Heller Hall 110

Tuesday, February 8 - Information Meeting
4:30 - 5:30
Coffman 325

March - May - 50 Years of Service: Minnesota Peace Corps Volunteers
Exhibit at the Humphrey Forum
March 21 - Opening Gala: Details TBA

Tuesday, March 22 - Information Meeting
4:30 - 5:30
Coffman 325

Tuesday, April 12 - Information Meeting
4:00 - 5:00
Heller Hall 110

Wednesday, May 4 - Information Meeting
4:00 - 5:00
Mapps Coffee and Tea (1810 Riverside Ave)

Walk-in Hours (230 Heller Hall)
Tuesdays 11-1
Wednesdays 12-2
Thursdays 10-12
Or by appointment.

Campus events and walk-in hours are regularly added and updated via www.facebook.com/UMNPeaceCorps. If you have further questions, please contact Tysen Dauer at peacecor@umn.edu

January 21, 2011

PSLawNet Bulletin

This week: LSC on federal budget chopping block?; everything's bigger in Texas, and hopefully that includes state funding of legal services; it does seem to include funding for innocence clinics at four Lone Star State law schools; get hitched to fund legal services in Idaho; mourning Sargent Shriver's passing; state budgets in terrible shape; death penalty debate in Illinois could signify changes in other jurisdictions; NYC public interest and pro bono lawyers racing the clock to help Haitian immigrants; an expanded LRAP program at Boston College Law; commendable pro bono contributions from New York lawyers; an appeal for more pro bono from Pennsylvania's top jurist; how do you prosecute a defendant who is deaf, mute, and unable to read or understand sign language?

Visit PSLawNet to see the full bulletin.

Public Interest Cover Letters: Tips and Best Practices for Summer Job Applications via PSLawNet

It's that time of year. 1Ls and 2Ls are scurrying about looking for summer internship/clerkship listings, checking deadlines, and putting application materials together. Here, we start a series of job application posts we'll publish over the next several days, offering tips and best practices. Today's post will focus on cover letters.

Before we get to our tips list, the first, most important, universal tip is that law students should immediately schedule an appointment in their career services or public interest advising office. Your author, about 10 years ago, fancied himself a sort of rogue public-interest student who didn't need the help of his public interest career advisor. This was really, really dumb. Only after I sent the job applications out did I see the typos (amazing how they jump out at you once the original letter has already been sent), the formatting inconsistencies, etc. These are things that a trained eye would have caught in no time. So by all means, speak to a professional who's helped hundreds of students in the exact position you're in now.

Without further ado:

Five Tips for Public Interest Cover Letters

1. A cover letter is a "living document," which means that each letter must be tailored to specific employers. An employer is usually able to identify a form letter by the end of the first paragraph. Then that letter is often thrown in the trash can before the second paragraph begins.

2. A cover letter should almost always be one page. The chief exception may be if you have a wealth of experience related to a particular employment opportunity, and if the job listing for that opportunity is so fleshed out that you need more than a page to convey your qualifications. This is not typically the case with law student positions, so try to keep it to one. If you want a second opinion on a particular job application, ask your career advisor.

3. A cover letter is a complement to the resume, not simply a reformatted version of the resume. The letter gives you a chance to express your passion directly to the employer in a slightly less formal manner than a resume; it gives you a chance to say not only what your credentials are, but a) why your credentials will enable to you to do that job, and b) why you want that job. A personal commitment to an organization and/or its mission is a chief criterion used by almost all public interest employers in evaluating job candidates. This doesn't mean that you should go over the top, writing something like, "As a child I fell asleep dreaming of handling public benefits appeals." But the cover letter is your opportunity to say that you want to use your degree to "ensure that the poor and others on society's margins can achieve real, meaningful access to the justice system" and, if you can, to illustrate past experiences that reflect this commitment. One cover letter format to consider is as follows:

  • Paragraph One: Who I am and, in short, why I want the job;
  • Paragraph Two: What I bring to the job by way of experience, interest, and credentials;
  • Paragraph Three: Fleshed out explanation of why I want the job - an expression of my passion for the employer organization and/or the work.

    4. Use the qualifications listed in the job description as prompts for points to hit about your experience/credentials. If an employer is seeking someone with an interest in juvenile justice issues, then you can write that, "My strong interest in juvenile justice issues has prompted me to gain experience researching juvenile sentencing trends for violent offenses, and to spend four weeks shadowing a legal services attorney who represents accused minors in criminal proceedings.

    5. Have someone - a career counselor, classmate, friend, etc. - proofread your cover letters. We are always our own worst editors and proofreaders, so don't rely on yourself to do it.

    Bonus Tip: Follow application instructions to the letter. An employer may send a job description to your school, and your school may post it on Symplicity. This does not necessarily mean that the employer wishes to receive your application via a Symplicity email - even if the employer does want the application emailed. If they direct you to apply by email, send the email directly to them yourself.

    For more tips and best practices, be sure to visit PSLawNet's job search fundamentals page.

    via PSLawNet.com

  • Upcoming 1L Government Honors Deadlines

    The following government programs have 1L deadlines coming up in the next two weeks. Details of these programs are provided in the 2010-11 Government Honors & Internship Handbook, located at https://www.law.arizona.edu/career/honorshandbook.cfm.

    For the password, visit the CareerFiles. The password will be under the heading Government Jobs and Internships titled University of Arizona Government Honors & Internship Handbook.

    Summer Programs

  • Dept. of Justice - Volunteer/Part-time Legal Intern Program (Unpaid, Between Dec. and April 2011)
  • Federal Trade Commission - Bureau of Competition Summer Intern Program (Paid & Unpaid, Deadline Between 12/01/10 & 02/01/11)
  • Transportation Security Administration - Office of Civil Rights Summer Law Student Internship Program (Unpaid, After 12/01/10, but no later than end of March)
  • Environmental Protection Agency - R1 Legal Internship Program (Paid & Unpaid, Between 01/01/11 & 02/28/11)
  • Federal Communications Commission - Wireline Competition Bureau Pricing Policy Division, Student Internship Program (Unpaid, Between 01/01/11 & 03/15/11)
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation - Dept. of Legal Affairs, Legal Internship Program (Paid & Unpaid, Deadline Between 01/01/11 & 02/15/11)
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission - OGC Summer Intern Program (Paid, Deadline 01/22/11)
  • Oregon Dept. of Justice - Summer Law Clerk Program (Paid, Deadline 01/26/11)

  • Dept. Health & Human Services - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Summer Honors (Unpaid, Deadline 01/29/11)
  • Dept. of Interior - Office of Regional Solicitor Pacific NW Summer Law Clerk (Unpaid, Deadline 01/29/11)

    Many federal and state programs will be filled as soon as the ideal candidates are identified. You should consider that any Federal or State Program with a Rolling Deadline (see the top of Table 2 - 1L Programs Sorted by Deadline) as soon as possible.

  • Upcoming 2L Government Honors Deadlines

    The following government programs have 2L deadlines coming up in the next two weeks. Details of these programs are provided in the 2010-11 Government Honors & Internship Handbook, located at https://www.law.arizona.edu/career/honorshandbook.cfm.

    For the password, visit the CareerFiles. The password will be under the heading Government Jobs and Internships titled University of Arizona Government Honors & Internship Handbook.

    Summer Programs

  • Government of District of Columbia - Office of Police Complaints Law Clerk Internship Program (Paid & Unpaid, Deadline 01/22/11)
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission - OGC Summer Intern Program (Paid, Deadline 01/22/11)
  • Office of the City Attorney San Francisco - Summer Intern Program (Unpaid, Deadline 01/22/11)
  • Oregon Department of Justice - Summer Law Clerk Program (Paid, Deadline 01/26/11)
  • Dept. of Interior - Office of Regional Solicitor Pacific NW Summer Law Clerk (Unpaid, Deadline 01/28/11)
  • Dept. of Health & Human Services - Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Summer Honors (Unpaid, Deadline 01/29/11)

    Fall Programs

  • Securities & Exchange Commission - Law Student Observer Program (Unpaid, Deadline Between 01/24 & 04/04/11)
  • Many federal and state programs will be filled as soon as the ideal candidates are identified. Apply for programs with Rolling Deadlines (see the top of Table 3 - 2L Programs Sorted by Deadline) as soon as possible.

    January 19, 2011

    1Ls and 2Ls: China Summer Program

    It's not too early to solidify your summer plans! Applications are now being accepted for the China Summer Program. Be sure to stop by the China Summer Abroad Information Table in the sub-plaza anytime this semester to pick up an application or program brochure. A representative of the China Program will be present at the China Table each Wednesday from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm throughout the spring semester to assist you with any questions that you might have. Applications and information are also available on the program website: http://www.law.umn.edu/prospective/chinasummer.html or outside of the International Programs office (Rooms 423/429).

    An information session for the program will be held in February. Stay tuned for an announcement concerning the date. Contact Paul Zhang (zhan0756@umn.edu) or Khary D. Hornsby (hornsby@umn.edu) if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment. Completed applications can be submitted to Room 423.

    January 12, 2011

    National LGBT Bar Association's 2011 Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair

  • September 8-10th
  • Hollywood Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles

    Each year, the National LGBT Bar Association hosts the Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair to bring together the best and brightest legal minds in the LGBT community. The three-day conference draws over 1,200 attendees and features over 35 workshops and panel discussions. The career fair, held on the first day of the conference, draws over 500 students and features over 130 recruiters.

    For more information on the event click here and to register click here.

  • Call to Serve Webinars

    The Call to Serve spring webinar schedule is now available on calltoserve.org/events! This semester, the Partnership will present eight webinars on topics ranging from the lastest news on the current state of federal hiring to leveraging your mission-critical skills to obtain a federal position.

    Three sessions will be designed specifically for a student audience on applying to full-time positions and internships with the federal government, so be sure to follow the link for more information.

    Public Interest News Bulletin

    Click here to read the latest blog posts from PSLawNet.

    Environmental Internship & Career Fair

  • Wednesday, February 2, 2011
  • 1:00pm - 5:00pm
  • North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center

    Meet employers hiring interns and full-time employees for environmental and natural resources fields. Open to students from all University of Minnesota Campuses! For more details visit http://www.careerhelp.umn.edu/envjobfair