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A resource for students at The University of Texas School of Law regarding the on-campus and off-campus application and interview process, as well as news about upcoming career panels and professional development workshops.

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PSJD seeking part-time project assistants this summer in DC – Apply by May 12, 2014

PSJD is still looking for part-time Project Assistants to help manage and update the website’s jobs database. PSJD’s Project Assistants get a bird’s-eye view of the public interest law job market, and is a great summer job for any student interested in legal technology, website management, access to justice and/or public interest law in general.

If you will be working in Washington, D.C. over the summer and are looking for a way to help fund their summer public interest work or clerkship, this may be the job for you. Project Assistants are paid $13/hour for a minimum of 8-10 hours per week. Visit the PSJD website for more information (keyword NALP). Deadline to apply is Monday, May 12, 2014.

2Ls & 3Ls: Baron & Budd Public Interest Scholarship Program

The Baron & Budd Scholarship Program will provide up to four scholarships of $5,000 to support 2Ls and 3Ls who commit to working 300 hours during the 2014-15 academic year with a non-profit organization providing legal services to underserved individuals or communities in central Texas.  An interested student must arrange an organizational sponsor for his or her proposed work before submitting an application for the scholarship.

The first deadline is noon on Friday, June 27, 2014, and recipients will be announced by Thursday, July 3.  The final application deadline is noon on Friday, August 29, and the recipients will be announced by Wednesday, September 3.  Applicants who apply in June but are not selected will automatically be considered in the second applicant pool.

1Ls & 2Ls: Need Funding/More Funding for Your Summer Fellowships? Equal Justice America May Help

We have received word that Equal Justice America (EJA) has additional summer fellowship funding for UT Law students. EJA fellowships fund the work of law students interning with domestic non-profits that provide civil legal services to the poor. While students without existing funding will be prioritized, students that have received funding through other sources are eligible to apply for additional support.

Interested students should submit: 1) a cover letter describing their commitment and interest in providing legal services to the poor (Note: if you have received other summer funding, please indicate the amount and source in the cover letter), 2) a resume, and 3) an employment confirmation letter from the hiring organization. Letters of recommendation are optional. These application materials should be submitted by email (info@equaljusticeamerica.org) with the subject line “Summer Fellowship Application.”

For additional insight, see this list of UT Law students who have received the fellowships in the past.

Equal Justice America: Summer 2014 Funding Available for UT Law Students

We just received word that Equal Justice America (EJA) has additional summer fellowship funding for UT Law students. EJA fellowships fund the work of law students interning with domestic non-profits that provide civil legal services to the poor. While students without existing funding will be prioritized, students that have received funding through other sources are eligible to apply for additional support.

Interested students should submit: 1) a cover letter describing their commitment and interest in providing legal services to the poor (note: if you have received other summer funding, please indicate the amount and source in the cover letter), 2) a resume, and 3) an employment confirmation letter from the hiring organization. Letters of recommendation are optional. These application materials should be submitted to info@equaljusticeamerica.org with the subject line “Summer Fellowship Application.”

For additional insight, see this list of UT Law students who have received the fellowships in the past.

Summer Associate Writing Tips

As many of you prepare for your summer clerkships and internships, keep in mind the importance of producing solid writing samples. We encourage you to read the article “Summer Associate Writing Tips (Don’t Believe Everything You Learned in Law School)” from Bloomberg Law (Marilyn Bush LeLeiko, March 19, 2012), which provides helpful rules such as:

  • Keep your writing as concise as possible
  • Focus on your reader and purpose
  • Get to the point
  • Answer the question
  • Proofread carefully

Visit the Tarlton Law Library website to learn more about Bloomberg Law.

2014 Scott Ozmun Fellowship – Applications due by Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Scott Ozmun Fellowship will provide $5,000 to a rising 2L or 3L to work with local law firms on pro bono cases through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. The fellowship recipient works under the supervision of a VLS attorney for a minimum of 300 hours during the academic year, assisting lawyers at local law firms who have agreed to handle pro bono family matters through the VLS Family Law Clinic Program. The fellow also assists with client intake at the VLS evening legal advice and intake clinics.

This program is funded by generous gifts received by VLS in memory of Scott Ozmun, former judge of the 353rd District Court in Travis County and graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. Judge Ozmun was a strong believer in lawyers helping low-income people access justice by volunteering to take pro bono cases and mentoring students to become great lawyers. A strong preference will be given to candidates who are fluent in Spanish.

Interested students are welcome to contact past fellow, Abby Anna Batko-Taylor, ’13, at abatko-taylor@vlsoct.org.

Applications are due to the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law by noon on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

2014 AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships – Application Deadline Extended to Friday, May 2, 2014

We just received word that Equal Justice Works extended the deadline and loosened the criteria for its AmeriCorps JD (formerly Summer Corps) education voucher program. Previously, these funds were available only to students who committed to serve Veterans or victims of disaster for at least 20 percent of their summer service. Now, all students serving in qualifying organizations (e.g., nonprofit, public defender, state or local government agency) are eligible to receive the funds.

Students may not get law school credit and the education award for the same service, but they may receive outside funding of up to $4,300 and still be eligible for the education award.

The deadline for applications has been extended to Friday, May 2, 2014, and the 300 hours must be completed by August 31, 2014. Interested students will need to complete an application in the Student Application Manager (SAM). A step-by-step guide can be found on the AmeriCorps JD application page.

If you have questions, please email to AmeriCorpsJD@EqualJusticeWorks.org.

10 Things You Need To Know This Summer

Mary Crane (www.marycrane.com) who conducts our 1L Etiquette Dinners, recently posted these useful tips. From her April 23, 2014 enewsletter:

The most successful summer associates, interns and new hires enter the workforce with strong technical skills. However, employers consistently report that soft skills—social graces, communication skills, positive personal habits, friendliness and optimism—often determine whether summer hires succeed.

I’ve culled my notes, collected over a decade of working with young people, and have identified the questions they’ve most frequently asked. Make sure you know the following before you start work:

1. If I receive more than one invitation to a specific meal—first thing Monday morning, several partners send emails inviting me to lunch—which invitation do I accept?

Respond to invitations in the order in which you receive them. So, if a junior partner asks you to lunch at 8:30 a.m., you should respond immediately indicating your availability. Please do not wait for a better offer. Should a practice group leader extend an invitation two hours later, you should respond, “I’ve already committed to meet with (junior partner’s name) over lunch today. Do you have availability later this week?”

2. Who pays for meals?

Whoever extends an invitation to a meal assumes the roll of host or hostess. He or she is responsible for the cost of his or her meal as well as the meals of all guests. So, when the head of finance invites you to lunch, you can assume she’ll pick up the tab.

When an intern or summer associate invites a senior member of the organization out to lunch—not a bad idea. It’s one way you can take charge of building your network—the summer hire assumes the role of host and thereby is responsible for the cost of the senior employee’s meal. If the senior employee insists on paying, the summer hire may acquiesce. In such a case, however, it’s incumbent upon the summer hire to send a handwritten thank-you note.

When a group of six summer interns decides to visit the local tacqueria, each person is responsible for 1/6th of the total bill. This remains true even when one guest consumes a single quesadilla and one margarita while the remainder of the table chows down on nachos, jumbo burritos and pitchers of beer.

3. At a restaurant, how many courses should I order?

Mirror your host or hostess. If he orders an appetizer and an entrée, you should do the same. If your host orders an entrée only, again you should do the same, even when you feel half-starved.

When the waitstaff requests your order before addressing the host or hostess, order an appetizer and an entrée. Should your host or hostess order a single course, you can always ask waitstaff to adjust your order.

4. What if I don’t like certain foods?

First, if you must avoid certain foods for religious or health reasons, by all means make members of the organization’s recruiting and human resources team as well as restaurant waitstaff aware of this fact. Assume everyone wishes to respect your religious preferences and know that no one wishes to make you ill.

However, if you have a “quirky” food preference—once I encountered a summer associate who announced, “I don’t eat green foods”—keep these to yourself. Avoid looking like a particularly “needy” summer hire.

5. Do I say “thank you” every time the waitstaff approaches the table? And do I need to send a thank-you note to every person who takes me out to lunch? 

Treat restaurant waitstaff respectfully. There’s no requirement that you thank them each time they refill your water glass, but why wouldn’t you want to position yourself as an extremely polite young professional?

Following a meal to which you were invited by a more senior member of the organization, at a minimum, do send an email—not a text—thanking them for the meal and describing one thing about it that made it memorable. (“I really enjoyed learning more about the Mergers & Acquisitions practice group.” “I appreciated your description of long-term growth opportunities in finance.”)

If you are invited to a meal hosted at someone’s home, take a small hostess gift (a bottle of wine, a small flower arrangement). Following the event, send a handwritten thank-you note to the host’s home address.

6. When do I use the social titles of “Mr.” and “Ms.”?

Among your US work colleagues, most will operate on a first name basis. (The same will not necessarily be true among international colleagues.) Immediately use a person’s first name when you meet someone who you believe to be the age of your parents or younger. With more senior members of an organization, organizational leaders or someone from another country, err on the side of formality and use a social title until you are invited to address that person by his or her first name.

As soon as someone asks you to use his or her first name, by all means do.

When you are asked to communicate with a client or customer, don’t hesitate to ask your supervisor how she would like you to address that person. And for heaven’s sake, when using a social title, make sure you know the gender of the recipient. No one should ever begin an email: Dear Mr. or Ms. Pat McNeill.

7. When I have an assignment to complete and a social event to attend, which takes priority?

Obviously, you need to produce quality work on time. Complete every assignment by its due date, and turn in assignments that are client ready, i.e., they have been carefully proofed and are free of stray markings.

Having said this, never underestimate the importance of the social events to which you will be invited. These are important opportunities for you to bond with other professionals in the organization. In part your long-term success will be dependent upon the relationships you build with these coworkers and colleagues.

A special word for introverts: I’m one of you. I acquire energy in solitude and know how overwhelming social events can be. Please do not use the excuse of an impending assignment due date to avoid events. Commit to attending everything to which you are invited with some identified goals in mind, for example, meet three new people. Pursue those goals, and then you can return to work.

8. Hose or no hose?

It depends. Observe the most successful women professionals in your organization and follow their lead. If they wear hosiery for courtroom appearances or major client presentations, you should do the same.

And gentlemen, with rare exception, you should not even contemplate entering a professional workplace without socks.

9. My Mom and/or Dad asked to review an assignment before I turned it in. Should I let them?

If you have a “helicopter parent”—one who continues to hover over you—place a ground stop on them immediately. Nothing will harm your credibility more than a parent who interjects himself or herself into your work, appears at your office, or communicates with your employer.

10. I have some special need. Do I disclose it or not?

Over the years, I’ve discovered that many new professionals have unique concerns. I encountered one summer associate who stuttered, and the first letter of her last name impeded her speech. I’ve met lots of new professionals who develop a flushed face or neck when called upon to speak publicly. I even encountered one young man who suffered from narcolepsy.

Here’s what I recommend:

First, understand that everyone has some unique challenge with which we must contend. Many of us consider “it” to be the worst thing in the world. However, in general, the rest of the world couldn’t care less. Put your fears to rest.

Second, take control of the situation. I encouraged the summer associate who stuttered to disclose this to her work colleagues by saying, “Certain consonants cause me to stutter. Please bear with me.” Similarly, I urged the gentleman with a sleep disorder to disclose, “I have a sleep disorder and am working to treat it with medication. I can assure you it won’t affect the quality of my work.”

Available Online: Recordings of CSO Panels & Workshops

Did you miss a program this past year? You may now review many of the panels and workshops presented by the Career Services Office this past year (UT EID required):

Nonpracticing Opportunities: Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurial Series for April 2014

The Campus Club and Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship invite you to the Herb Kelleher Center Speaker Series. This fantastic interview-style presentation will be moderated by the new Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Brett Hurt, and former Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Laura Kilcrease. We invite you to take advantage of the opportunity to learn the current methods of funding and the chance to meet face-to-face with successful entrepreneurs.

Each lecture is free and open to the public and will include a reception. Space is limited, so mark your calendar for these two engaging presentations:

Entrepreneurship Live with Daniel Nelson, CEO & Robert Reeves, CTO of Datical
When: Tuesday, April 22
Where: AT&T Conference Center, Room 201
Time: 5:30pm Registration, 6:00pm Program, and 7:00pm Reception
RSVP online

Entrepreneurship Live with Dan Graham, UT Law ’05, Co-Founder of BuildASign.com
When: Tuesday, April 29
Where: AT&T Conference Center, Room 201
Time: 5:30pm Registration, 6:00pm Program, and 7:00pm Reception
RSVP online

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