University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Works: Volume 5 Issue 2 - September 24, 2009

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

PITT IN HOLLYWOOD is an organization formed to encourage the interaction between the entertainment industry and the University community. Learn about university-wide Pitt alums in the entertainment industry, find internship opportunities, or join the Forum where alumni working in LA and New York talk to each other. http://www.pittinhollywood.org.

For information specific to entertainment law in California, visit the LA County Bar Association website at www.lacba.org and click on the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Section link.

For information on sports and entertainment law internships nationwide, stop by our office and check out our resource/listing on the subject.

 

10 TIPS FOR WRITING A PROFESSIONAL RÉSUMÉ


1. Start with an attractive layout.
Use bold and italics to highlight key points. Do not use templates:  they can be difficult to update and they don't always appear, on an employer's computer monitor, the way it does on yours.  Differences in word processing software can cause this issue.

2. Justify the text instead of using left align.
Most people are accustomed to reading justified text. This will make your résumé easy to follow.

3. Choose a common font.
Times New Roman, Arial, and Verdana are some of the best fonts for a résumé. Now is not the time to experiment. Most computers do not have 600 different fonts installed so the file will not read correctly if you use your decorative fonts. Do not use cutesy graphics; they are NOT appropriate for business correspondence, and I guarantee your résumé will be canned if you do this.

4. Do not use the word "I" in your résumé.
Start each sentence with a powerful verb. For example:

  • Organized annual student symposium by securing speakers and working closely with marketing department executives
  • Researched and wrote on a variety of health law topics including: privacy, living wills, professional licensure, and notice issues


5. Write a proper cover letter to accompany each resume.
Do not ever send out a résumé without a cover letter. This is basic business etiquette. Personalize each cover letter directly to the position you are applying to. A generic cover letter will not work to your benefit. If possible, address the letter directly to a person. If you do not know the hiring manager's name, contact the organization to find out (be sure to get the proper spelling and title.)

6. Print your résumé and read it word-for-word.
You can use the grammar and spell check function, but DON'T RELY on it.

7. When you have a degree, list only the year that you obtained your degree.
When you list your dates of attendance, many résumé scanning systems will not recognize that you obtained a degree, only that you attended college for a period.

8. Deactivate all e-mail links and Web addresses in your résumé and cover letter.
Many spam filters treat links of any kind as potential junk mail. You don't want your résumé destined for the recycle bin before it's even read.  Right-click on the link and then click "remove link" to deactivate it.

9. Be consistent!
For example, don't list one date as 1/2009 and then list another date as 9/22/2009.

10. Adhere to punctuation and capitalization rules.
Use a reference manual if are unsure about standard punctuation and capitalization rules.

 

FEATURED WORK ENVIRONMENT:  PUBLIC INTEREST LAW

 A public interest law career gives an attorney an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the community. Public interest attorneys' work benefits individuals and causes that are generally not served by the for-profit bar.  Generally, the clients public interest lawyers represent are indigent individuals.  Public interest lawyers are often identified by the organizations with which they are affiliated and the issues on which they work, whether environmental issues, gay rights issues, or children's issues.  Some organizations provide representation for individuals (such as battered women or the homeless), while others are committed to advocacy and education designed to bring about social change (such as mental health issues or civil rights.)  Legal services/legal aid organizations fill and important role by providing free or low cost legal representation for low-income individuals on issues such as housing, health, family law, social security, and other public benefits and assistance.

 Public interest lawyers also work for all levels of government in executive departments, agencies, the legislature, judiciary and as public defenders.  A limited number of private, for-profit firms, usually small in size, are considered public interest firms because of the nature of the cases they handle.  They devote a substantial percentage of their practice to areas such as civil rights law, union-side labor law, employment discrimination law, family law, criminal law, immigration law, tenants' rights, and workers' compensation.  They often offer their services on a reduced fee or a contingency fee basis.  Finally, many private law firms and their lawyers make a generous commitment of time and resources to pro bono legal work.

 The daily activities of public interest attorneys vary with the sector of practice in which they are involved, but include a combination of counseling clients, drafting legal documents, and appearing in court.  Most public interest attorneys find satisfaction in the fact that their jobs permit them to make a difference in people's lives.

 What skills are most important to public interest lawyers?

  •  A passion for public service.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills.
  • Excellent oral advocacy skills.
  • Patience, resourcefulness, tenacity and the ability to cope with crises.
  • Foreign language skills are an asset.
  • Good organizational and time management skills.

 What classes and law school experiences do public interest lawyers recommend?

  •  In addition to taking courses that focus on the areas relevant to your interest, take a wide variety of classes, including family law, immigration law, contracts, real estate, tax law, evidence, bankruptcy, wills and trusts and criminal law.
  • Participate in clinical programs, practicums and externships.
  • Volunteer in community service organizations.
  • Network via the Equal Justice Works conference or other public interest events.
  • Visit www.pslawnet.org to research public interest organizations and opportunities.
  • Take skills-based courses such as pleadings drafting, advanced legal writing, alternative dispute resolution
  • Attend CLEs in areas of particular interest

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE INTERNSHIPS

We are now accepting applications for Summer 2010 Student Internship Program. Please click here above to view the vacancy on USAJobs and start the online application process. The deadline to submit completed applications is November 2, 2009.

PLEASE NOTE: You may experience some technical difficulties with the online application system. Please click here for workaround instructions.

How far could a student internship at the U.S. Department of State take you? Just for starters, it would give you a greatly coveted inside look into Foreign Service, the positions and the responsibilities that are possible.

Think of it as test-driving a career before you decide what you're going to do with your life. You'll gain valuable work experience that you'll be able to apply to virtually every endeavor - whether you work in government or in the private sector. Most of all, you feel good about doing something worthwhile for your nation.

Intern in Washington, DC or Overseas

At the U.S. Department of State, we like to say that we represent America to the world. As an intern here or abroad, you will be, too. Positions are both paid and unpaid, and many are available during spring, summer or fall.

For internship program details such as duties of an intern, participating offices and bureaus, types of internships, salary/benefit/housing information, please download the Student Internship Information Brochure (805kb, PDF).

Eligibility requirements
You must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have good academic standing
  • Successfully complete a background investigation
  • Be able to receive either a Secret or Top Secret clearance (34kb, PDF)
  • Be a student.

Random drug testing will be performed.

A broad range of academic majors is sought in areas such as:

  • Business Information Management
  • Public Administration Journalism
  • Social Work Biological, Physical or Engineering Sciences
  • Economics

For overseas assignments, applicants must present evidence of medical insurance coverage. All students must be available to begin their internship within the appropriate application timetable. Click here to download the 2008 Student Internship Information Brochure (3089kb, PDF).

DESCRIPTION OF BUREAUS OFFERING INTERNSHIPS
(Partial list of bureaus with positions for the Spring/Summer/Fall Internship program.)

Bureau of International Information Programs

Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR/R) (45kb, PDF).

Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Scientific Affairs (OES) (47kb, PDF).

Office of the Secretary

 Compensation and Benefits

Unpaid Internships:

  • May be able to earn college credit.
  • Unpaid assigned to the U.S. qualify for MetroChek Transit Subsidy

Paid Internships:

  • Temporary appointment at the GS-4 through GS-7 grade level (based on education, work experience and availability of funds)
  • If appointment is for more than 90 days, annual leave and sick leave is earned at the rate of four hours per biweekly pay period
  • Paid federal holidays
  • Contribute to Social Security
  • Paid interns assigned to the U.S. qualify for MetroChek Transit Subsidy

 How to Apply

We are now accepting applications for Summer 2010 Student Internship Program. Please click here or on the Gateway to State button above to view the vacancy on USAJobs and start the online application process. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is November 2, 2009.

PLEASE NOTE: You may experience some technical difficulties with the online application system. Please click here for workaround instructions.

All applications are submitted online through the "Gateway to State" system, which also screens applications to make sure that they are complete, and that applicants meet the eligibility criteria.

Click here to download the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) position descriptions

For more information on how bureaus select interns, and more detailed information on the application process, please download the Student Internship Information Brochure.

Technical Difficulties: Please contact the helpdesk via e-mail or phone (866-656-6830) if you are having technical difficulties. Click here to download Fax Imaging Instructions.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

CSO OPEN HOUSE - WELCOME AND JOB SEARCHING BEYOND OCI KICKOFF        

Tues., September 29th , CSO Resource Center (2nd Floor) (All students are encouraged to attend)  1:00-2:15pm

The Career Services Office welcomes ALL students to our Fall Open House.  Stop by and enjoy some coffee and treats.  Or come in for the chance to win door prizes.   CSO staff will be on hand to talk with you about your career development and anything else that is on your mind.    This open house will also serve as a Kick-off for job searching beyond OCI.  Counselors will be on hand to demonstrate how to best use CSO resources in your job search.   Also, 2L and 3L students, don't forget to sign up for our Beyond OCI focused individual counseling sessions which begin on Sept. 28th. 

JOB SEARCHING BEYOND OCI:  FOCUSED COUNSELING SESSIONS

Monday September 28th-Wednesday, October 7th    (2L and 3L Students by appointment)

Perhaps you weren't interested in the types of employers participating in Fall OCI or maybe it didn't work out as you had planned.  It is easy to feel left out of the Fall job searching hustle and bustle.  And it is all too easy to feel disappointed about Fall OCI and give up on your job search.  Now is a great time to meet with a CSO counselor to help you focus/refocus your energies on your job search.  2L and 3L students can stop by Room 235 to schedule an appointment or email dschoch@pitt.edu.  If your schedule does not permit a meeting during this time period, students are welcome to schedule an appointment on another date. 

 

ACBA PROGRAM:  USING RELATIONSHIP MARKETING TO DEVELOP BUSINESS

Wednesday, October 7th, 9th Floor auditorium, City County Building

The ACBA Women in the Law Division and the Diversity Collaborative are co- sponsoring a special program entitled Using Relationship Marketing to Develop Business on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 over lunch in the 9th floor auditorium of the City County Building.  This is the final installment of the career advancement series: Yes You Can! Creating Your Personal Roadmap for a Successful Legal Career which began in October 2008.

The program will be given by Sandra Solomon, principal of Sandra Solomon Associates, who has advised many women-owned businesses, lawyers and other professionals on the key components of a successful marketing plan.   In keeping with the prior focus of the series to offer concrete advice to practitioners, the program will address four main areas:  Targeting Audiences, Relationship Marketing, Individual and Practice "Brand" Building and Business Planning.  In addition, you will get tips on "working the room" at a social event, entertaining clients and prospects, and developing and implementing a strategic business plan.  Differences in marketing associated with gender will be addressed from the standpoint of woman attorneys seeking to do business with male clients and the comfort level of women clients in dealing with male attorneys. Panelists joining Ms. Solomon will be Rosa Copeland Miller, a trial attorney with Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, and Julie Meder, an intellectual property attorney with The Webb Law Firm, who will share some of their own success stories - and struggles -- with marketing.   Lunch will be provided from 11:30 - 12, and the presentation and discussion will run from 12-1:30. All attendees are encouraged to bring business cards as time for networking will be provided at each session.  The cost is $10 per session.  RSVP for the session by October 2 to Marlene Ellis at 412.402.6611 or mellis@acba.org.

 

THE STATE OF THE LEGAL MARKETPLACE: NAVIGATING YOUR WAY IN CHALLENGING TIMES

Thursday, October 8th 12:30-2pm ALCOA ROOM - RSVP Required (All students are encouraged to attend)

Are you aware of the market forces affecting the legal profession?   Are you looking for insights on the the daily news reports about the economy and  its impact on the legal marketplace?

 Then come to a program that is sure to provide a better picture of what is going on in the legal industry along with strategies for success.   The Law School's Career Services Office and the newly established Innovation Practice Institute are partnering with the Allegheny County Bar Association to present a panel program and reception on the State of the Legal Marketplace.  The program will present different views on what is happening in the marketplace, how we got here, the manner in which business models may or may not be changing, practice areas that are thriving and those that are on the decline, and projections for the future.   Panel members will also share insights as to how students can best position themselves in this changing marketplace and discuss the importance of immersing yourself in the legal community as a student and how this will benefit not only your job search, but your career in the long term.

Panelists will include:  David Blaner, Executive Director, Allegheny County Bar Association; Marie Millie Jones, Partner, Meyer Darragh Buckler Bebeneck & Eck; Eugene Connors, Hiring Partner (Pittsburgh office), Reed Smith; Kaveri Subbarao, Chief Marketing Officer & Attorney at Law, Cohen & Grigsby; and Diane Lazarris, General Counsel, Dick Corporation.   The panel portion will be followed by a reception.  If you would like to attend please RSVP to Pam Day , pday@pitt.edu ASAP but no later than Monday, October 5th.

 

COVER LETTER WORKSHOP (2L and 3L Students - RSVP Required)

Tuesday, October 6th  1:00-2:00pm Room 111

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to you because I struggle to craft effective cover letters, yet I am seeking a job for the summer.   As a student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, I do not feel I have any skills or experience to offer; however I would very much like to begin my career in Los Angeles...  If you dread writing cover letters; don't know what to say; or know why you should take the time to write them in the first place, this session is for you.  We will briefly review what purpose cover letters serve.  We will also go over cover letter do's and don'ts.  And we will provide an opportunity for you to try your hand at cover letter drafting.   If you are a 2L or 3L student interested in attending, please RSVP to Mary Thinium at thinium@pitt.edu by Thursday, October 2nd.

 THE WOMEN'S BAR ASSOCIATION OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, JUDICIAL RECEPTION
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (RSVP Required)
Omni William Penn, Urban Room, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 The Women's Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania invites law students to join them for a Judicial Reception to honor, meet and greet the finest in our profession.  Complimentary hors d' oeuvres and cash bar will be available.  If you would like to attend  please call the WBA at (412) 429-1922 by October 9th to make a reservation or email Michelle Pierson at mpierson@zoominternet.net .  Judges & 2009 WBA Members Free/Others $20.00.  Please note that student memberships are $10 at this point in the year, however, those who volunteer to help greet the judges/registration at any of our events receive a free student membership (they can tag team and only work about 1/2 hour shifts).  If you would like to volunteer please let Michelle know in your RSVP. 

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