Job Search and Networking Skills Webinar

Looking to improve your job search and networking skills? Equal Justice Works is offering a free webinar this Thursday, April 12 at noon called “Link In to Further Your Job Search.” LinkedIn is a great resource, and this webinar will show you how to use it to your advantage. Register today, watch the webinar, and use the professional networking site to connect with the attorneys you meet over the summer.


Singing for Summer Salaries TODAY!

Join us at noon today for Singing for Summer Salaries in the Moot Court Room.  Help support your classmates who are working at unpaid public interest internships next summer by buying lunch, donating for door prizes, bidding on auction packages, and choosing the professor who will sing at the end of the hour.

Here’s a reminder about the packages up for auction:

Dinner and a Show: 2 gift certificates to Hu Hot and 2 tickets to “In the Heights” at the IU Auditorium

Get Professional: $150 eyeglasses and a gift certificate for tailoring

Date Night: A dozen roses and a gift certificate to Uptown for you and that special someone

Work it Out: A one month gym membership and an hour long massage–you deserve it

Spring Cleaning: Two free car washes and a $100 gift certificate for a home cleaning service

Prom Night: 2 tickets to Barrister’s Ball and 2 luxury shampoo packages to help you look your finest

Study Time: $500 Barbri gift certificate


Unpaid Internships: Valuable Experience or Exploitation?

Like most of us in PILF, you have probably had an unpaid summer internship–in fact, like most students, you have probably had more than one.  And as students pursuing careers in public interest, most of us have accepted our fate and willingly apply for these (often highly competitive) unpaid positions.  Yet some have questioned whether it is fair for employers to hire students for free. In fact, some feel that most internships violate federal law and flout Labor Department rules.  The New York Times had a lively discussion of the issue this week, and it left us wondering, DO unpaid internships exploit college students? Should it matter whether the employer is a non-profit versus a for-profit entity? What about a government organization?  Should the government step in and do something? Read the discussion and share your thoughts.

Webinar Today on Securing a Summer Internship

Today from 12-1pm NALP and Equal Justice Works are sponsoring a webinar on best practices in interviewing and in-person networking. The webinar will provide law students with insight on the key elements of the summer public-interest job application process.  Attorneys with years of application review experience will highlight do’s and don’ts; explain how and why public interest application materials may substantively differ from law firm materials; and explore the dynamics of personal interactions in interviews and networking situations. Register here and watch today at noon.

Washington, DC Trip

If you’re interested in working in DC next summer we highly recommend attending the Washington, DC trip planned by OCPD.  This year’s trip will be at the end of the Winter Break and will allow students to network with a variety of organizations in the DC area–including numerous public interest organizations.  There is an informational meeting at noon tomorrow in Room 122 that you can attend to learn more.

Here is a message from OCPD about the trip:

We are scheduling meetings with employers for January 9th and 10th, leaving time for interviews and one-on-one appointments on January 11th. We want folks to have time to schedule follow-ups, and if you have personal contacts in DC you would like to meet with, please use this time to schedule them.

Most events will consist of a presentation, a Q&A session and time for networking. Some organizations take resumes in advance, and some can lead to summer or permanent positions. Regardless, this trip provides an awesome opportunity to expand your networking base and make great contacts. Please remember that Business Attire is required for ALL meetings.

Please use Symplicity to find dates and times and to RSVP for events. Please continue to check back for new organizations as we will be updating it frequently over the next few weeks. You don?t need to (and physically cannot) attend every visit. You should sign up for the sessions that interest you the most. Several sessions are scheduled at the same time, so please  do not sign-up for concurrent events.

The organizations that we have confirmed are:

  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Judiciary
  • Capitol Hill
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • United State Postal Service
  • International Trade Commission
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Public Defender Service for DC
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Corporation for National & Community Services

Please remember that all costs for the trip are up to each individual participant.

If you have any questions before the informational meeting at 12 Noon on 11/29, please feel free to call, email or stop by OCPD.

PILF’s Past Internships

It’s time to start the internship search–or, if you’ve already started, it’s time to pick up the speed.  The PILF board wants to help you as much as possible, so we put together a list of the places we have interned in the past.  If you are interested in any of these organizations, or if you want to know more, feel free to contact us at any time.  We would be happy to point you in the right direction, look over cover letters/resumes, and provide insight about our past experiences.  We’ve organized our past internships by location, but as you can see there are a variety of organizations on our list.  Take a look and let us know how we can help.


Alaska Public Defender Agency, Criminal Trial Division (Anchorage, Alaska)

Responsible for daily bail hearings, changes of plea hearings, fugitive from justice hearings, and any other miscellaneous hearings in district court. Typically in court twice a day, usually five times a week. Helped with three jury trials, and met with clients and client’s families to explain the status of their cases and legal issues.  A great internship for getting comfortable speaking in front of a judge and working with clients. Great for an outdoorsy/adventurous person who wants to spend the summer in Alaska! Contact Laura at

Seattle Federal Public Defender, Western District of Washington (Seattle, Washington)

Shadowed a deputy public defender for 10 weeks in addition to attending a training program organized by the office for all of its interns.  Researched and wrote case memos, sentencing memos and motions.   Observed federal court and the military misdemeanor calendar.  Interviewed clients in the federal prison and worked with families on sentencing support letters. Contact Robin at

Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc., Southern District of California (San Diego, California)

Worked as Jury Selection Assistant.  Assisted attorneys at counsel table during jury selection. Interviewed jurors post-verdict and circulated reports to the office regarding juror feedback. Contact Robin at

Superior Court of California (Alameda, California)                                          

Served as Judicial Extern for the Honorable Patrick Zika.  Researched and drafted legal memoranda on employment law, labor law, and torts issues.  Drafted orders and tentative rulings; assisted Judge Zika in preparation for hearings and trials. Contact Matt at


Pro Bono Institute (Washington, DC)

Non-profit organization that works with law firms and in-house counsel around the world to implement and sustain pro bono programs.  Performed research on major law firms and their pro bono programs.  Wrote report on disability rights law and pro bono.  Contributed to the PBEye blog.  Formal internship program included guest speakers from the legal community and various events related to the work. Contact Jessica at


Office of the Attorney General, State of Indiana, Revenue Division, Tax Litigation Department (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Helped prosecute individuals and corporations around the State for tax evasion and tax fraud. Performed lots of legal research, and wrote memos and reports for each case. Conducted research project on administrative law issues regarding tax record confidentiality. A great intro to tax if you think that’s something you’d be interested in. Improved legal research and writing skills. Some paid positions available for 2Ls. Contact Laura at

Monroe County Public Defender (Bloomington, Indiana)

Helped defend indigent clients in the Bloomington, IN area.  Researched legal issues, drafted memos, attended court proceedings. Improved legal research and writing through weekly class sessions.  Heard guest speakers from the legal community and toured the county jail. Contact Jessica at

Indiana Legal Services (Bloomington, Indiana)

Working in a several areas including: family law, landlord/tenant law, immigration, foreclosure, small claims, and social security. Contact Andrew at

U.S. Labor Education In the Americas (USLEAP) (Chicago, Illinois)

Internship projects revolved around the proposed Colombian Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA, labor and unionizing issues in Latin American and the US, some translation work, as well as issues of impunity surrounding grave human rights violations and assassinations targeted upon Colombia’s union work force.  The U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP) is an independent non-profit organization that supports workers who are fighting for a better life for their families and to overcome poverty in Latin America. USLEAP is one of the oldest anti-sweatshop groups in the U.S., having been founded in 1987 as the U.S./Guatemala Labor Education Project. USLEAP has since expanded its work to other countries in Latin America.Contact Erin at

United States Attorney’s Office, W.D. KY. (Louisville, Kentucky)     

Responded to habeas corpus motions, motions to suppress wiretap evidence, motions to dismiss indictments, and motions to quash subpoenas.  Researched and drafted legal memoranda regarding the constitutionality of cell phone tracking, mandatory minimum sentencing and crack cocaine, the FTCA and the sum certain requirement, and the admissibility of deposition statements in an illegal-alien harboring case. Contact Matt at


Milt Stewart Global Fellow & Holdeen Scholar, SEWA-Bharat (Delhi, India)

SEWA Bharat is a federation of membership-based organizations of women workers. It is committed to strengthening the Movement of women in the informal economy by highlighting their issues at the national level and building its member organizations’ capacity to empower them. The internship focused mainly on the legal labor issues of SEWA’s displaced female street vendors. Contact Erin at

Job Search Updates

Reminder: PILF Meeting tomorrow, Room 122 at noon. Lunch will be provided.  David Main from OCPD will give a presentation on networking for public interest careers.

You can also register to attend the Midwest Public Interest Law Career Conference. MPILCC is open to first, second and third year law students (no graduates or LL.M. students) from law schools in: Illinois – Minnesota – Indiana – Missouri – Iowa – Nebraska – Kansas – Ohio – Michigan & Wisconsin

The Conference offers students opportunities to:
Interview with a variety of public interest and government employers for summer law clerk and entry-level attorney positions (employers will pre-screen resumes and select students to interview). Though most of the opportunities are unpaid or invite outside funding, there are positions that often a stipend. Since most of the employers come mainly from the Midwest, students may find positions in the communities they seek to serve.

Meet with employers during Table Talk, a morning session where employers and students informally and share information. Employers may, distribute brochures, newsletters and other organizational literature.

Respond to employer job postings (resume requests) for internships (volunteer or paid), fellowship, and entry-level positions. This service is available throughout the school year at the MPILCC site to students registered for the MPILCC Career Conference.

To register for the conference you must send Kim Bunge ( the following information BEFORE DEC. 8th.  NO LATE registrations will be excepted.

  •    Student Last Name
  •    Student Middle Initial or Middle Name
  •    Student First Name
  •     E-mail Address
  •    Current Class Year (1L, 2L or 3L)
  •    Registered Last Year? (yes or no)

International Opportunities

The Law School’s Center on the Global Legal Profession offers various opportunities for students to study abroad.  This past summer, The Center provided students the opportunity to intern at various firms and NGOs in India and Brazil.

Eli Roberts, a 2L, spent his summer in two of the most prestigious legal departments in Brazil.  Here’s what Eli had to say about his experience:

“Interning in Brazil was the most singular experience of my academic career.  I began my internship in the corporate and contracts division of Demarest & Almeida, one of Brazil’s largest law firms. My projects included international acquisitions, business cooperation agreements, and sale agreements, among others.  I also spent time in the corporate counsel department of Votorantim, one of Latin America’s largest industrial conglomerates. I learned a good deal about several different kinds of corporate financing and the reasons why businesses would be interested in such financing. Furthermore, I gained an appreciation of how in-house counsel operates and what they expect from the law firms to which they outsource.

View from the Cristo Redentor overlook

Finally, Brazil offers a rich cultural experience. I was able to travel several times during my stay in Brazil, spending a week in Rio de Janeiro just before the program started and another weekend in Belo Horizonte during the program. But no matter where you are within the country, the Brazilian people are always friendly and gracious hosts. I made a great many friends in both professional and social settings. These are friendships I intend to cultivate and maintain quite possibly for the rest of my life. I would encourage any student seeking a unique internship with potentially life-changing experiences to apply for one of the CGLP’s internships. Brazil is an incredibly important market where there is significant opportunity, and I imagine India is as well. I consider these internships to be among the most rewarding and impressive in which a law student could participate.”

Nick Haering, a 2L, spent his summer in India.  Nick also describes what an amazing summer he had:

“I worked for an NGO called Jagori, which is based in Delhi. Jagori works on a variety of issues impacting women’s rights, from domestic violence to access to essential services. I worked with their lawyers to study and compile information on the various forms of alternative dispute resolution used by women’s collectives throughout India. I also worked on Jagori’s access to essential services project, traveling to impoverished areas of Delhi and drafting concept notes about the project in order to apply for funding from the Gates Foundation.  We took a trip every weekend, and I stuck around for 10 days after the program ended. I went to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and traveled to the India-Pakistan border to watch the nightly ceremony. We visited Dharmsala and Nainital in the foothills of the Himalayas. I stayed a few nights in Mcleod Gunj, which is the seat of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan monks in exile. I also traveled to the desert state of Rajastan, and saw some incredible forts and palaces in Jaipur. And of course I took the mandatory trip to the Taj Mahal. There was a lot of fun stuff to do in Delhi as well, so I spent my weekday nights just wandering the city and exploring.  I recommend the India program for anyone interested in a unique summer experience. You will get the opportunity to work on projects that you may have never even considered, and do some traveling while you’re at it. The trip will change your world view and offers a ton of adventure. Furthermore, every time I interview for a job, employers always want to know about India.”

Interested in learning more about these programs? Attend the informational session this Wednesday at noon in room 124.  You can also read more about each student’s experience here.

Special thanks to Nick and Eli for sharing their experiences and some photos from their travels.

Following Your Dreams, Despite Your Debt

We know that a major concern among law students pursuing public interest—ourselves included—is managing law school debt after graduation.  This fear should NOT deter you from pursuing your dream job, however.  Next week, Paul Leopold from Financial Aid will visit the PILF Meeting (Tuesday October 11th, Room 121 at noon) to speak on this topic.  Until then, here is some advice . . .

One way to mitigate your debt while in law school is to obtain funding for summer internships.  In the spring, you can apply for scholarships through PILF, but until then, there are some other helpful resources for obtaining summer funding from PSLawNet.   PSLawNet also has information on how to have fun while interning in a big city without overspending.  If you want general information on financing a career in public interest, PSLawNet has that too.

It’s also important to know that you are not alone.  Your concern is shared by students all over the country, and many are working hard to help.  Equal Justice Works has many resources on this topic and frequently holds educational webinars.

The bottom line is this: don’t let the cost of your education deter you from considering a career in public interest. Financial Aid is always here to help. Attend the PILF meeting next week or e-mail today to find out more about making it work.