University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Works: Volume 5 Issue 18 - March 18, 2010

Consider taking interview cues from celebrities:  interviewing for a job is a lot like auditioning for a role. It can be a nerve-racking experience, but with preparation and practice, you'll have the confidence you need to shine.

Research your role:  Just as actors dig up information on the characters they'll portray, you should learn as much as you can about the potential employer. In fact, having little knowledge of the organization is a reason job seekers lose out to the competition. Research the organization's history, clients and mission. Find recent news by visiting its Web site, reading legal publications and talking to alums/prior summer clerks. Doing so will help you specifically address the organization’s needs during the interview.

Practice makes perfect:  Performers spend extra time rehearsing tricky lines to avoid slipping up. You can sidestep a potentially embarrassing situation by considering answers to tough interview questions ahead of time. Hiring managers may ask about your greatest weakness, for example. In this case, your response should be candid but brief. Ideally, you'll be able to highlight steps you've taken to overcome this flaw. For example, if delivering presentations is not your forte, you might explain how you enrolled in courses to improve your public-speaking abilities.

Expect the unexpected:  Off-the-wall questions also are becoming increasingly common, so don't be surprised if you're asked something like, "If you could have lunch with someone famous, who would it be?" In these instances, interviewers aren't looking for a right or wrong answer -- they're interested in gauging your creativity, ability to think on your feet and personality. Role-playing with a friend so you can answer these questions clearly and confidently.

Get down to the details:  Punctuality, proper attire and strong stage presence all contribute to a performer's professional reputation. Similarly, you should pay attention to details. Select your outfit the night before -- a clean, pressed suit is always appropriate, even if the company touts a casual dress code. Map out directions to the office, plan to leave early and know whom to call in case you get stuck in traffic. Finally, get a good night's rest so you'll be alert for the big day.

Share something personal:  Compelling actors and actresses often use their personal experiences to add complexity to characters. You also can use your past to your professional advantage. Have in mind achievements that demonstrate hard-to-measure qualities -- like judgment, initiative, teamwork or leadership -- that aren't apparent on your résumé. Perhaps you stayed at the office until 2 a.m. to help a co-worker complete a project on time. While it wasn't your responsibility, you saw a colleague in need and were happy to help out.

Delve deep:  Skilled actors aren't afraid to ask their directors for guidance. Similarly, it's worthwhile to ask your interviewer questions about the firm or your role. In fact, being prepared with a few queries of your own is a great way to further convey your interest in the job. Inquire about opportunities for growth as well as long-range plans. Discussing these issues will help both of you determine if you'd be a good fit for the position. Just avoid asking about vacation time, benefits or your office space -- you can address these topics once an offer has been extended.

Finish with a bang:  Nothing spoils a good show like a disappointing finale. End on a high note by expressing your appreciation for the interviewer's time and consideration. Also, send a thank-you note to reinforce your interest and ability to excel in the role. A carefully crafted, error-free message will advance your candidacy and leave a positive, lasting impression with the hiring manager long after you've left.




Center on Children and the Law
Internship Opportunity – Washington, D.C. Office
Internships are available during the summer, spring and fall for students with an interest in child welfare issues.  A background in health or psychology is strongly preferred for this position.  To apply, please e-mail a cover letter and resume to

Criminal Justice
Internship Opportunity

Internship opportunities with the Section are available. Previous successful candidates spent a summer or semester in the Washington, DC offices of the Section, and assisted Section staff with criminal justice policy research, Section Committee projects, and various other activities. (Note: You must be a member of the ABA Criminal Justice Section in order to obtain additional information and an application form for this Internship Opportunity.)

Dispute Resolution
Internship Opportunity

Take advantage of Student Internship Opportunities at the Section of Dispute Resolution office in Washington, D.C. Law student interns focus on ADR research into emerging critical issues under the supervision of an attorney, conduct needs assessment and systems design for dispute resolution in specific practice areas or institutions, and make site visits to local programs such as the D.C. Court's Multi-Door Program.

Environment, Energy and Natural Resources
Fellowship Opportunity

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is pleased to announce the sponsorship of Fellowships for eligible law students during the summer. The ABA Fellowship in Environmental Law, formerly the Minority Fellowship in Environmental Law, is designed to encourage disadvantaged or traditionally underrepresented law students to study and pursue careers in environmental law.

Homelessness and Poverty
John J. Curtin, Jr. Justice Fund
The ABA John J. Curtin, Jr. Justice Fund provides a $2,500 stipend to three law students who spend their summer months working for a bar association or legal service program designed to prevent homelessness or assist homeless or indigent clients or their advocates.

Clerkship Program
The ABA Commission on Immigration seeks talented law clerks and interns to assist in cutting-edge national advocacy work for immigrants, refugees and newcomers to this nation. Law clerks (law students) and interns (undergraduates) will participate in research and development of various policy initiatives to ensure that immigration laws respect the due process rights of immigrants, to benefit adult and children immigrants and refugees detained by the ICE, and to promote pro bono practices across the country.

Individual Rights and Responsibilities
Internship Opportunities

Internships are available year-round and applications are accepted until positions are filled. Candidates should send a resume, a brief writing sample (less than 10 pages), and a cover letter detailing the candidate’s interest in working for the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities.

International Law
Internship Opportunity

The program is intended to facilitate the establishment of legal internships for U.S. law students interested in the practice of international law with overseas law firms.

Mental and Physical Disabilities Law - Internships and Fellowships

Legal Writing Position

One-year, off-site positions that involve summarizing federal and state court decisions addressing disability-related issues in any of the following areas:  disability discrimination law (employment, housing/zoning, public accommodations, public services, education); criminal mental disability law (competency, diminished culpability, sexual offenders, mentally disordered offenders); and/or civil mental disability law (civil commitment, civil competency, guardianship, Social Security, ERISA). Writers are paid by the point assigned to the case (depends on length of opinion and number of disability issues addressed), not by the hour. Pay Range: $20 -$40. Candidates must have a J.D., be knowledgeable in the particular disability law area, and have excellent writing skills. Please send resume and cover letter to Amy Allbright at or fax to 202-442-3439 (Attn: Amy Allbright, CMPDL).


Paid, volunteer, and for-credit internships are available during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Undergraduate and law students are welcome to apply. Duties include using Westlaw to research disability law issues, cite-checking cases and legislation, and assisting with various Commission projects.

Public Service
Internship Program
The Division for Public Service provides summer internships to design and carry out a public interest legal research and writing project of particular interest to the law student.

Tax Section
Public Service Fellowship

The ABA Section of Taxation is pleased to announce our new Public Service Fellowship award program, developed to address the need for tax legal service assistance around the country, and to foster an interest in tax-related public service for those lawyers who participate. The 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. 

For more information on Career Resources and Opportunities, visit the ABA Career Counsel at



Government Legal Careers

Tuesday, March 23, 1-2:30pm, Room 111

This program is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Government Lawyers Committee.  More information about the Committee is available online at  Lawyers are employed in every branch and at every level of local, state, and federal government, and they practice in a wide variety of substantive areas.  Many government positions are noted for offering early responsibility and a very fast paced environment.  Learn about the valuable opportunities and experience available through government service from a variety of government attorneys.

PBA Commission on Women in the Profession (WIP) Pittsburgh Mid-Year Meeting:  "Marketing Yourself From the Inside Out: Show Your Professionalism, Know Your Talents and Promote Your Legal Skills"

 Tuesday, March 23 , PBI's Professional Development Center, Heinz 57 Building, 338 Sixth Avenue

3:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

In today's economy it's especially important that women know how to promote themselves with confidence and take credit for outstanding accomplishments. This program will cover a range of topics designed to help you build your reputation by improving your skills and enhancing the reputation of the legal profession. Panelists will share advice on mastering legal skills, writing and teaching, community involvement, mentoring or self-promotion for legal professionals in all practice areas (contracts, family law, litigation etc.), and employment sectors (i.e. government, law firm, corporation, non-profit etc.) regardless of the number of years of legal experience.

            Moderator:     Stephanie D. Taylor, Associate, Jones Day

            Panelists:         Rachel Lorey Allen, Partner, Jones Day

                                    Deborah L. Brake, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

                                    Andrea Geraghty, Partner, Geraghty & Associates PC

                                    Marie Milie Jones, Partner, Meyer Darragh Buckler Bebenek & Eck

                                    Chaton T. Turner, Assistant Counsel, UPMC

The program is being sponsored by the PBA's Commission on Women in the Profession at no cost to the attendees.  Reservations are required. To register for this event, please complete the registration form at .  Registration is on a first come first served basis.

What every female law student should know before graduating...

A presentation by Linda Hernandez, Esq.

ACBA Institute for Gender Equality

Tuesday, March 23rd from 1 - 2 pm, Room 107

Ms. Hernandez has studied the role of women in the legal profession around the country.  She will shed light on issues that female attorneys face in an era when only 17% of Partners/Shareholders (including non-equity members) in U.S. firms are women.  Ms. Hernandez will reveal, for example, that women are unlikely to negotiate their salaries (resulting in a potential career loss of $1.2 million) or their competing obligations to home and family.

            A word from Ms. Hernandez:

“If this information surprises you, please join us in a workshop to discuss these issues and how you can become part of the solution.”

The WLD and the Diversity Collaborative will co-sponsor a dynamic discussion on the "Intersection of Race and Gender"  

 Friday, March 26, 12 noon, ACBA President's Conference Room Koppers Building
The program will be facilitated by The Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark at 12:00 noon in the ACBA President's Conference Room in the Koppers Building. The WLD Diversity Collaborative Subcommittee decided to take action when we noticed the lack of women of color at Women in the Law Division (WLD) events. Additionally, the Subcommittee has received recommendations, from participants of WLD and Collaborative programs, that issues surrounding the intersection of race and gender are not being specifically addressed. As such, it has joined forces with the Diversity Collaborative to hold a luncheon discussion.   Lunch will be provided. RSVP with Marlene Ellis at Space is limited.


Women's Bar Association Of Western PA-- Pittsburgh New Arrivals, Returnees & Friends 

Happy Hour, Thursday, March 25,  5:00-7:00pm, Storms (Law & Finance Building, 429 Fourth Avenue)

Please join the Women's Bar Association for a reception with wine, beer and appetizers at Storms on March 25, 2010 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Come mingle with attorneys to share your experiences and gather support over drinks and Storms' delicious appetizers. Storms is located in the Law and Finance Building, 429 Fourth Avenue, across from the side entrance to the Oxford Center.  Once you get to the Law and Finance Building, the entrance to the restaurant is located on the right in between the first and second set of double doors. Hope to see you there!  No need to RSVP.  Any questions, call or email Christina Gill Roseman at (412) 566-1001 ext. 160 or

Financing a Public Interest/Service Career (RSVP Required)

Tuesday, March 30, 1:00-2:20pm, ALCOA Room, 2nd Floor  

The CSO in conjunction with the Women in the Law Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association are co-sponsoring this program on how to finance your public interest/service career.  For students and graduates facing high student debt, this program, presented by Heather Jarvis, Senior Program Manager, Law School Advocacy and Outreach at Equal Justice Works, will explain how you can benefit from the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, particularly if you are considering a career in public service.  You will learn and be able to ask questions about:

  • How Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness work
  • What you need to know about loan forgiveness programs while you are in school
  • What steps to take after you graduate to manage high student debt

Please note that if you are unable to attend the program at Pitt Law, the Women in the Law Division will also be presenting programs at Duquesne University Law School (Monday, March 29, 4:30-5:50pm) and at the Allegheny County Bar Association President's Conference Room -4th Floor Koppers Building Downtown, Pgh. (Monday, March 29, 12:00-1:20pm).  To attend any of these sessions you must RSVP to and indicate which program you plan to attend by March 22nd.

"Why Building Your Community Is Building Your Career"-ACBA Diversity Collaborative (RSVP Required)

Thursday, April 8, 9th floor auditorium, City-County Building  11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Join the ACBA Diversity Collaborative for its latest program, "Why Building Your Community Is Building Your Career."  It is well known that networking is critical to professional career development. Far too frequently, however, professionals are guided to industry and trade associations as a means to network and develop their career. But what if your interests and passion lie elsewhere? Are you forsaking career growth by focusing your time and attention on organizations close to home? 
Our informed panel including: Evan Frazier, Senior Vice President of Community Affairs, Highmark, Inc.; Hon. Michael F. Marmo, Court of Common Pleas, Family Division; Marilin Martinez-Walker, The Law Office of Marilin Martinez-Walker; and Nicola Henry-Taylor, Law Office of Nicola Henry-Taylor, will discuss why community involvement is not only critical to your personal growth, but how it too can propel your career forward. 
There is no cost to attend this program. RSVP to Marlene Ellis at  Please note that if you would like to travel downtown with the Career Services Staff and fellow law students to this event, please email Pam Day at  but you must also RSVP directly to Marlene Ellis to attend the program.


Environmental Law: "Hot Topics in Environmental Law: The Agency Initiatives and Legal Issues Impacting Southwestern Pennsylvania in 2010 and Beyond."

            When: Thursday, March 25, 2010 (12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.)
            Where: ACBA Conference Center Auditorium, City-County Building, 9th floor 
            The Presenters: George Jugovic was appointed to his current position as Regional Director of the Department's Southwest Regional Office in November 2009. Prior to that time, he practiced environmental law for seventeen years. He received his B.S. degree in Environmental Resource Management from the Pennsylvania State University, and J.D. and Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law (honors) from Lewis and Clark Law School.   EPA Region 3 Representative to be determined.
            The Program: Mr. Jugovic and a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 3 will discuss the important environmental policy and enforcement initiatives each agency is currently pursuing and the initiatives they intend to pursue in the coming year and beyond. Every environmental law practitioner needs to know what's happening inside the agencies regarding new policies, enforcement priorities, and draft regulatory initiatives. Be there for the latest up-to-date information on the hot topics affecting your clients from Marcellus Shale drilling to mountaintop mining. This is your chance to dialogue with top agency representatives about the environmental agenda for southwestern Pennsylvania.
            The cost of the program is $20. Coffee and cold beverages will be provided during the program.  

 Please RSVP to Joanna Taylor at


Women in the Law Division

Please join the ACBA Women in the Law Division at the Race for the Cure at 8:30 AM on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9, in Schenley Park (Oakland).

We are forming a WLD "team" of casual walkers, fitness buffs, and runners to raise funds and promote awareness for combating breast cancer. The WLD team members can choose to participate in any of the events: a 5K run, a 5K walk or a one-mile fun walk. Plus, WLD team members have the opportunity to meet at the site to participate in the pre-race tailgate and receive a special WLD team gift!  Friends and family of the WLD are welcome to join the team.

If you can't make it, you can still "participate."  Join the team and select the "Sleep In for the Cure" option, which allows you to support the cause from the comfort of your own bed. When selecting this option you will receive an extra-large specially designed "Sleep-In for the Cure" t-shirt.  You can also help WLD support the 2010 race just by making a donation on behalf of the WLD team. Credit card donations are accepted on the race website.

Visit the website and select the "Join an Existing Team" button and use the search screen to register as a member of the ACBA Women in the Law Division Team (under the "Family/Friends" category).   If you register online by April 5, you will be automatically entered into the Race for the Cure raffle to win a pink polka dot Fujifilm FinePix Z37 digital camera!

For more information, please contact Julie Meder at



Civil Litigation Section - "Annual Spring CLE Smorgasbord." 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cost: $50. When: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Arts & the Law Committee - "Common Copyright Issues Facing Artists."

Program: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cost: $15. When: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Neighborhood Legal Services hosts:  "Representing Clients in Chapter 7" Program:  11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.  Cost:  $40.  When:  April 7, 2010.

Probate & Trust Law Section - "How to Document and Implement Client/Patient Health Care Decisions." : Program:  3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Cost: $20. When: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Programs will be held at: ACBA Conference Center Auditorium, 920 City-County Building, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219. To register, please mail your registration form with payment to the ACBA CLE Department at 400 Koppers Building, 436 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219. Credit card registration is available online at

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