Update on the New College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA)

For those of you following the new College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), the final regulations for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment have been released. Equal Justice Works has posted an excellent summary of the highlights on its website.

The prior blog posting on the CCRAA is available here.

Legal Employment and the Economy

The state of the economy is on everyone’s mind including those in the legal field. Here are some recent articles discussing the economy within the context of legal employment and the job search:

Law Grads Entering a Tough Market

How to Land This First Job

Internship and Scholarship Opportunity for Diverse Law Students Wishing to Practice Law in Sarasota County

The Sarasota County Bar Association Diversity Scholarship Fund is intended to provide an opportunity for first through third year law students of under-represented minority backgrounds (e.g. race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, or socioeconomic background), who have an interest in practicing law in Sarasota County upon graduation, to obtain summer placement.

At the conclusion of the student’s summer employment in a law firm or governmental agency, the law school the student attends will receive scholarship funds of at least $5,000.00 per student to be used by the student to continue his or her education. During employment, the student will be assigned an attorney mentor from the Sarasota County Bar Association and will attend a reception to welcome and honor the student and the employer with representatives from the Bar Association and Community Foundation..

Applicants must be attending any accredited law school in the state of Florida and be able to devote at least 30 hours per week to employment in Sarasota County during the summer.

The application deadline is December 1, 2008.

Applications can be downloaded from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s website, (see the Special Interest Scholarships page) and also the Sarasota County Bar Association’s website.

Get the Latest Happenings in the World of Patent Practice

Interested in learning more about hot issues in patent law?

The Practicing Law Institute Patent Practice Center offers free information to law students and attorneys interested in patent practice including an active blog detailing the latest cases and decisions. Blog postings can be searched by categories, date and keyword.

What is Symplicity?

Symplicity is a word wide web based system used by the Career Development Office to administer both its On Campus Interview (OCI) Programs and its job posting database.

The Symplicity job posting database runs all year and contains job postings for law students and graduates in a variety of law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations and corporations. There are school year positions for 2L and 3L students, summer positions and post-graduate positions ranging from entry level opportunities to those for more senior attorneys.

All students and graduates of UM law have access to Symplicity.* If you do not know your login information, please email Diane Jones with your full name, graduation month/year and preferred email address. You will receive your login information within two (2) business days.

*Current 1L students will receive their login information on November 1.

Once you log onto Symplicity you may view the job posting database by clicking on the “Job Postings” link on the top navigational bar. To narrow your search, use the “Position Type” drop down menu. To view a specific job posting, click on the job title. This will bring up specific information about the available position including a job description, hiring criteria, application deadline and materials requested. Often, you can apply for positions directly through Symplicity. For those positions that do not allow for online applications, you will be given instructions on how to apply via email, fax, mail or phone.

If you have any questions about the Symplicity system, please contact the CDO.

American Bar Association Summer 2009 Judicial Intern Opportunity Program

The Judicial Intern Opportunity Program is a full-time, six-week minimum, summer internship program open to all first- or second-year minority and/or financially disadvantaged law students who want to do legal research and writing for state or federal judges in participating cities.

Participating judges are from Illinois; Texas; Miami, FL; Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA; and Washington DC.

Students may indicate geographic location preferences on their applications. Interns will receive an award of $1,500.

The program seeks to provide internship opportunities for minority or financially disadvantaged law students, those who are members of traditionally underrepresented groups in the legal profession. The program is only open to students who have not previously participated as an intern in the program.

Students applying to the program must submit a completed application, resume, legal writing sample and a statement of interest. Students may rank location preferences on their application; however students may not request particular judges or courts.

Screening interviews to better determine student qualifications will be done on a rolling basis. Only qualified students will be sent on for judicial interviews. Judicial interviews will continue until all positions are filled.

Applications will be accepted beginning October 1 for second-year law students. Applications for first-year law students will be accepted beginning December 1, according to NALP guidelines. The final application deadline is December 31, 2008 (postmark). We must receive a completed application, statement of interest, resume and writing sample to consider your submission complete.

Please visit the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program site for more information.

Supreme Court Fellows Program

Since 1973, the Supreme Court Fellows Program has enabled exceptionally talented people to contribute to the work of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Federal Judicial Center, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and more recently the United States Sentencing Commission. Founded by Chief Justice Warren Burger, the program provides fellows an opportunity to study firsthand both the administrative machinery of the federal judiciary and the dynamics of interbranch relations.

The Supreme Court Fellows Program seeks outstanding individuals from diverse professions and academic backgrounds, including law, the social and behavioral sciences, public and business administration, systems research and analysis, communications, and the humanities.
Work assignments and projects reflect the needs of the judiciary and the interests and capabilities of the fellows. Fellows gain insight into the contemporary policy issues facing the judiciary as well as an appreciation of the nature of judicial administration. Individuals best able to maximize the resources of the Supreme Court Fellows Program are those with initiative, poise, and adaptability.

As competition is intense, a degree of self-screening, according to the following criteria, is advisable. Candidates must have:

1. at least one post-graduate degree,
2. two or more years of professional experience with a record of high performance, and
multi-disciplinary training and experience, including familiarity with the judicial process. (A degree of proven administrative ability is desirable for some assignments.)

Fellows must be bright, energetic, and highly motivated; original and flexible in their thinking; articulate speakers and capable writers; able to prepare quality staff work within tight deadlines; personable, discreet, trustworthy, and committed to serving the federal judiciary.

The commissioners will choose approximately eight finalists who will visit Washington as guests of the program on February 26-27, 2009, for an orientation session, reception, and individual interviews with the Commission. Immediately thereafter, the Commission selects the fellows for the fellowship year.

Fellowship applications can be submitted by mail or online. Mailed applications must be postmarked by the November 11, 2008, deadline. Online applications must be received by the November 11, 2008, deadline.

Applications must include the following:
1. a candidate information form
2. a résumé highlighting academic, professional and personal achievements
3. copies of no more than two writing samples on 8½ x 11-inch paper in a format that is easily reproduced
4. a candidate statement of 700 words or less describing why you are applying for the fellowship, what you consider your major strengths and qualifications for the program, and what benefits you feel are likely to result from your participation
5. three candidate evaluations forwarded directly to this address:

Administrative Director
Supreme Court Fellows Program
Room 5
Supreme Court of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20543

Government Opportunities and Upcoming Deadlines

The Government Honors and Internship Handbook provides a thorough list of summer and post graduate opportunities for students at the local, state and federal government level. The handbook also provides useful charts listing opportunities by class year, deadline and whether the positions are paid/unpaid (in the case of internships). The site is password protected. For the login information, please contact your advisor.

The following opportunities have upcoming deadlines. For more information including how to apply, please see the Government Honors and Internship Handbook.

October 30:
Department of Homeland Security Office of the General Counsel (2Ls, 3Ls)

October 31:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of General Counsel (2Ls)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Legal Counsel (2Ls)
Federal Reserve Board (2Ls)
National Labor Relations Board (3Ls, LL.M. students)

November 1:
City of Chicago Law Department (2Ls)
New Hampshire Public Defender (2Ls, 3Ls)

November 15:
Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection (2Ls)

Please remember that government deadlines are varied and that many are rolling. Therefore, it is important to stay on top of deadlines by reviewing the Government Honors and Internship Handbook and Symplicity. If you are interested in a particular state, local or federal government agency and don’t see them listed in the handbook or on Symplicity, be sure to speak with your advisor for ways to identify opportunities with that agency.

REMINDER: Deadline to Apply to PMF Program (3Ls) is Approaching

The deadline to apply to the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program is this Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

For more information please see the original posting about the Presidential Management Fellows program.

Interested applicants should stop in the Career Development Office to pick up an information booklet, which contains information regarding the application and nomination process. The booklets are available at the front reception desk. Please pay special attention to the nomination procedures. If you have any questions about the nomination procedure, please make an appointment to meet with Sarah Klein by calling (305) 284-2668 or stopping by the front reception desk of the CDO.

ABA Section of Taxation Public Service Fellowships

The ABA Section of Taxation Public Service Fellowships are open to recent J.D. and LL.M. graduates, and judicial clerks who commit to working in tax-related public interest, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations for two years.

Applicants must select and arrange employment with those organizations prior to applying for the Fellowship, and must confirm that their work will involve taxation or the administration of tax law. Up to two Fellowships will be awarded each year, and the Section will fund the salary, benefits and law school debt service (when applicable) for each awardee.

The Section is now accepting applications for the 2009 Fellowships. The deadline to apply is October 15, 2008.

The Tax Section encourages its members to participate in pro bono work. The Fellowship program is one more way that the Section can provide a meaningful way for members to give back to their communities. Detailed information, and a downloadable application, is available online.