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Last week, I attended both the Equal Justice Works Career Fair & Conference and the NALP/PSLawNet Mini-conference on public interest law in Washington, D.C. Tulane University Law School had an impressive presence at the EJW Career Fair & Conference with 16 students having 37 total interviews with employers as far reaching as the Alaska Public Defender Agency and as close to home as the Orleans Public Defenders. Several more students participated in table talk interviews with several of the more than 115 employers participating in the career fair. I personally met with representatives from the Southern Public Defender Training Center to find out exactly what they were looking for in applicants to the Public Defender Corps fellowship program.
Prior to the EJW Career Fair/Conference, I attended the NALP/PSLawNet Mini-conference, hosted by the Washington D.C. office of Arnold & Porter LLP. Along with over 100 of my closest career development colleagues, we discussed many pressing issues facing public interest law students as they seek summer and permanent employment. Of particular interest to all in attendance was the critical data from the PSLawNet Public Interest Employer Survey in the responses to what public interest employers look for in potential job candidates: a demonstrated commitment to public interest law, experience in clinical field placements (i.e. externships and clinical programs), bilingual skills, simulated litigation in either trial advocacy coursework or mock trial experience, “people skills” through client contact & interaction, and relevant coursework.
Both conferences provided great opportunities for me to network with my public interest colleagues, but more importantly, the Tulane Law students who attended EJW got the invaluable experience of networking face-to-face with public interest employers. A great time was had by all!
Public Interest Counselor, CDO