University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Works: Volume 5 Issue 7 - November 6, 2009

Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project (Summer 2010)

 The Section of Antitrust Law sponsors a summer fellowship program, named the Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project, honoring the memory of the late Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.  Each of the 20 selected students will serve for a minimum of eight weeks in the consumer protection department of one of the participating State Attorneys General[1] during the summer of 2010:

  •  Anchorage, Alaska                  Little Rock, Arkansas      California (LA or San Francisco)
  • Wilmington, Delaware             Jacksonville, Florida        Atlanta, Georgia                  
  • Des Moines, Iowa                    Topeka, Kansas            Baltimore, Maryland           
  • Helena, Montana                     Las Vegas, Nevada        Concord, New Hampshire  
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico            New York, New York          Columbus, Ohio                 
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania         Austin, Texas                   Richmond, Virginia
  • Washington (Seattle, Spokane or Tacoma)                       Charleston, West Virginia   

 The first five years of this project have been considered an overwhelming success by each of the Steiger Fellows and each of the participating offices of state attorneys general.  Please be reminded that this project will be continued through 2010, and hopefully, beyond.  Your Career Services Office will also be notified of the existence of this program.

 Each selected student will receive a $5,000 stipend for the summer (administered through the offices of the state attorneys general and subject to certain federal taxes).  The program also offers a supplemental housing/travel allowance of up to $2,000 for those students who are not living at home for the summer (administered through the American Bar Association).  This supplemental allowance will not be considered until after Fellows have been selected

 The application period is (November 15, 2009 until February 5, 2010).  Applications will not be accepted beyond the February 5, 2010 deadline date.  Students must submit: (1) the application form; (2) resume; (3) writing sample; (4) statement of interest; and (5) copy of unofficial transcript.  The application form is attached and is also available at

 Should you or a member of your staff have questions, please feel free to contact Deborah Douglas, Assistant Director, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, at 312/988-5606 or

 [1] In Georgia, the Student will serve in the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs


Writing a résumé isn't exactly a speedy process. First there's the brainstorming. Then, you have to write -- and rewrite, and rewrite -- your educational and work histories until your résumé perfectly boasts your background. Plus, there's all that proofreading.

Even though your résumé took you hours to write, employers will typically spend less than one minute reviewing it. If your résumé has any glaring errors, however, employers will waste no time deleting it.

To ensure your résumé gets proper attention, avoid these common blunders:

1. Not bothering with a cover letter.
Cover letters are so important to the application process that many employers automatically reject résumés that arrive without them. Make the most of your cover letter by expanding on a few of your qualifications, explaining any gaps in employment or providing other information that will entice the employer to read your résumé.

2. Being "Legally Blonde."
Pink scented paper will certainly make your résumé stand out -- in a bad way. Keep your résumé looking professional by sticking with standard white or cream-colored paper, black type and a common font like Arial or Times New Roman.

3. Going long.
Your high school job scooping ice cream isn't relevant to your career, so there is no reason to include it on your résumé. Also, there may not be reason to include detailed descriptions about some positions, such as sales clerk, professional athlete, camp counselor, etc.  Your résumé should be no more a page -- include your most recent and relevant work history.

4. Going for quantity, not quality.
Always customize your résumé and cover letter for each job and employer to which you apply. This way, you can tailor your materials to show how you will be a perfect fit for the position.

5. Taking a stab.
With the proliferation of background checks, any stretching of employment dates to cover gaps will likely get caught -- and you will be eliminated from consideration.

6. Being a downer.
Never put anything negative on your résumé. If you left the position due to a layoff or you were fired, bring it up only if asked.

7. TMI.
Height, weight, marital status, age, religious affiliation, political party affiliation, sexual orientation etc, should not be on a résumé, unless they refer to leadership in a particular organization or to community service.  Examples of personal information appropriate for a résumé include:  Pitt Law Moms, OutLaw, Hillel, Catholic shut-in ministry, Town Councilperson (R) etc.

8. Assuming spell-check is good enough.
Spell-checkers can pick up many typos -- but they won't catch everything (manger vs. manager, for example). Always proofread your résumé several times, and ask a friend to give it a final once-over.



Myth: The Career Services Office is a placement office.

Reality: The CSO is an educational component of an educational institution, and is not a headhunter or placement office.  Our mission is to work with students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for successful career development. Each student must take personal responsibility for the success of his or her job search.  The CSO does not "get students jobs." Students, often with the help of CSO, secure their own employment.  Students who take the greatest advantage of the services, guidance and resources available to them at the CSO significantly enhance their chances of success.

 Myth: The CSO only helps the top ten percent of the class.

Reality: At law schools across the nation the number one myth about career services is that the office only serves the top students interviewing through the fall on-campus interviewing program.  In reality, Fall OCI is over in 3-4 weeks; 95% of our work is non-OCI related; we spend the majority of our time counseling students who desire public interest, government, judicial and small/mid-sized firm positions. 

 Myth: Only employers with advertised positions will ever interview me.

Reality: Legal employers seek attorneys and law clerks to join their team at different points in time based upon their needs. Many employers do not post openings because they do not want a flood of applicants.  If you only rely on advertised positions, you are going to miss out on a great deal of potential positions. If your targeted resume and materials arrive unsolicited at the right employer at the right time, and you conduct appropriate follow-up, you may find an outstanding opportunity.

 Myth: Only employers that interview at my school will hire me.

Reality: There are nearly 200 accredited law schools in the US. Obviously not every legal employer goes to every school to interview candidates. Students land positions at thousands of employers each year that did not interview at their respective schools.  Nationally, only 15-20% of law graduates report obtaining a job via on-campus interviews.  Moreover, most small and mid-sized firms, government agencies and public interest organizations do not have the time and resources to interview at individual law schools.  Rather, most often these employers accept application materials directly from students.

 Myth: On-campus interviewing is all I ever hear about in the fall, so it must be that most students obtain their positions through on-campus interviews.

Reality: Usually about 15-20% of the class obtains their positions through on-campus interviews.  Most students obtain positions through our postings, participation in internships, externships, and clinics, networking and self-initiated targeted outreach.  Nationally the largest percentages of law students find jobs via networking and self-initiated outreach to employers. 

 Myth:  There is one right way to find a job.

Every job searcher has different goals and interests and every job search is different.  There is no magic website that lists "all possible jobs."  Moreover, there is no one set way to conduct your job search.  An effective job search combines self-initiated, targeted outreach to employers, networking and informational interviewing and responding to job postings of interest.  Landing a job takes time and energy, and for most students involves repeat visits to the CSO. 

 Myth:  The CSO can't help me because I don't want to work in Pittsburgh

Reality:  Each year students take jobs during the summer and post-graduation in 18-22 different states.  While the highest percentage of students remain in-state (and in the Pittsburgh area), the CSO can work with you to develop contacts and identify potential employers in your cities of interest.  While employers in your city of interest may not regularly post openings with the CSO or interview on-campus, the CSO can help you devise an effective plan of action for your job search. 



 Talk With You.  The CSO Counselors are happy to meet with you in individual counseling sessions as often as you need.  We strongly suggest that you meet with a counselor at least once (and hopefully more) each term.  While we welcome "quick questions" via email, phone or walk-in, we encourage students to schedule appointments for more involved matters.

 Explore Different Career Paths.  CSO Counselors can help you clarify your interests and gain a better understanding of the different opportunities available both in and outside of the law.  Through our programming the CSO brings over 100 practicing attorneys from a wide range of practice areas and settings to Pitt Law each year.  These attorneys are here to share their experiences with you so that you can better determine what you would like to do with your law degree.    The weekly Pitt Law Works Newsletter is a great resource to learn about different fields of law through practice area articles and profiles of alums, students and faculty members.  Also, the many resources in the CSO Library can help you in your exploration.

 Help You Develop Job Searching StrategiesWhether you are searching for school year, summer or post-graduate opportunities, the CSO will work with you to develop effective job searching strategies.  While job searching is the responsibility of each student and requires significant individual effort, we are here to assist you in the process.   We can provide information and point you to resources that you can put into action. 

 Review Your Cover Letters and ResumesThe CSO will review your cover letters and resumes as often as you need.  We will work with you to create targeted application materials that will make you more competitive in the job search process. 

 Help You Prepare for the Interviewing Process.  The CSO Counselors will conduct mock interviews with you to help you prepare for the real event.  We also hold mock interview programs with practicing attorneys to allow you to further polish your interviewing skills.  Researching an employer in advance is critical for a successful interview and we can help you with this process.

 Help You to Identify Employers and Evaluate Offers.  The CSO can help you to identify prospective employers based upon your interests.  We can also help you to evaluate offers in an effort to find the best fit for your short and long term career goals.

 Help Connect You with Practicing Attorneys.   The CSO's Pitt Law Attorney Networking Directory is an online directory of over 400 attorneys in 31 states and several foreign countries who have volunteered to talk with you about practice areas and the legal market in different geographic locations.  The CSO can help you through the informational interviewing process and suggest other resources to connect you with attorneys of interest.  The CSO programs are also a great way to meet attorneys and develop connections. In addition, the CSO publishes networking opportunities; including CLE programs and bar association events, in the Pitt Law Works Newsletter.  While networking is the single most important aspect of your job search, we realize that students tend to be most resistant to it.  We can help coach you through the process and teach you how to do it in a way that you are comfortable with.




IMMIGRATION:  Immigration Detention in Pennsylvania: The Realities and the Need for Representation
 Join the ACBA Hispanic Attorneys Committee on Monday, November 9, 2009 for a brown bag lunch with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC) highlighting the situation facing thousands of immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security throughout Pennsylvania and what you can do to help. This event is designed to highlight pro bono opportunities.
The program will be held at the Allegheny County Bar Association headquarters, 400 Koppers Building, 436 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to Marlene Ellis at or 412-402-6611.



  • Q &A Pressing Job Search Questions
  • Monday November 9
  • 12:30 - 1:30, Student Lounge

Pam, Jen and Mary will be in the student lounge to answer your "quick" questions (for more involved questions we will schedule an appointment with you for a later date).  So, bring your pressing questions, a hard copy of your resume and your laptop and we'll provide some support and direction in your job search efforts. (And snacks - we'll provide the snacks). 



Tuesday, November 10th Room 107  1-2pm

 Objective:  to develop a well-tailored resume for use in securing legal employment or an internship

Education:  University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Experience:  Externships, internships, retail sales, food services

On November 10, from 1-2, the CSO will host a resume writing workshop for first year students.  This resume workshop will help you identify what to include on your resume, and how to write it and format it effectively. Following the steps in the workshop will result in a well designed and effective resume. If you have already started or have a resume, the workshop will not only make your resume a better document, but help prepare you for upcoming interviews.  If you would like to attend please RSVP to Mary Thinium  We also encourage you to bring your laptops to this program.


 "Careers in Tax Law"

Thursday, November 12, 2009 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm, Alcoa Room


  • Christine B. Bowers, Deloitte Tax LLP
  • Seth I. Corbin, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Nancy W. Puleo, Alcoa, Inc.
  • Edward F. Peduzzi, Jr., Internal Revenue Service

The speakers will describe the nature of their practices in these different settings and will leave time at the end of their presentations for discussion and questions.  The panelists generally speak on how they pursued their careers, pitfalls they may have encountered, and any advice they may have for the law students interested in pursuing a career in tax law.  A  light lunch will be served.

 Please contact Yolanda Lee, Membership and Marketing Manager, to RSVP or if you have questions or need further information, at or 202-662-8680.


"Prospects for Enactment of Federal Health Reform Legislation" on Friday, November 13, 2009 at the ACBA Conference Center on the 9th floor of the City-County Building.

 Cliff Shannon, Chief Communications Officer of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, Health Careers Futures will present. The program will review the major (and frequently competing) healthcare reform ideas under consideration by Congress, both for increasing access to affordable coverage and for "bending the curve" on runaway healthcare costs. The program will also posit likely outlines of compromise legislation, effects on major stakeholders, and prospects for signing into law this year.  Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the program will run from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 Register by going to  Cost:  $20 for no CLE credit



Focus:  Small and Midsize Firms Outside of the Pittsburgh Area

Tuesday, November 17th 1:00-1:45pm Room 113

If you are feeling frustrated and your job search needs some energy and direction, then this workshop is for you.  This hands-on workshop will take you through the process of developing a Job Search Action Plan. This session is designed for 2L and 3L students who are searching for summer or post-graduate employment with small and mid-size firms outside of the Pittsburgh region.   Please note that the CSO will be holding additional job search workshops focusing on different practice sectors/regions throughout the year.  If you would like to attend this workshop please RSVP to Pam Day  ASAP but no later than Thursday, November 12th with your name, class year, and any cities/practice areas you are focusing on.  Because this is a hands-on workshop students should bring their laptops to the program. 



Federal Career Day is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  It will take place at Carnegie Mellon's Weigand Gymnasium (go to website to get specific location).    Over 80 federal, state, and city agencies will be represented.  Features include a networking breakfast, job fair, keynote speaker, breakout workshops on the job-search process and information sessions by select federal, state, and city agencies.   Employers will provide insider tips for tailoring resumes, applications, interviewing etc to securing jobs with the Federal Government.   Dress is business casual.  To make the most of this opportunity, do some research before the event and come prepared with questions for the employers. 

 NOTE:  Make sure at the event you get the business cards of the employers that you meet. 

 Online pre-registration is preferred; but students may attend that day regardless.

There are .gov information sessions on November 17.  The list to date is: 

  •                 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  •                 Defense Logistics Agency
  •                 Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Information and Technology
  •                 Department of Energy
  •                 Department of State
  •                 Department of Homeland Security, Division of Immigration Health Services
  •                 Federal Reserve Board/Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  •                 Internal Revenue Service
  •                 National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General
  •                 Peace Corps

On November 18 there will be an .gov information session with the Central Intelligence Agency.


CRIMINAL LAW:  "Sentencing in the Post Gall World" on Friday, November 20.
Some of the topics to be discussed will include the new basics, the art of the deal: plea negotiations, the probation officer: friend or foe, and cutting edge sentencing arguments. In the final 90 minutes of the program, a distinguished panel of judges from the United States Court of Appeals and the United States District Court will discuss the evolution of the guidelines and provide their thoughts on effective sentencing advocacy. 

 The judges will provide specific examples of the types of arguments and presentations which they find most effective. This segment will also include time for questions for the panel of judges. Presenters also will include experts from the United States Attorneys Office, U.S Probation Office, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Federal Public Defender's Office.  Register online at


ENVIRONMENTAL LAW:  "Total Dissolved Solids in Wastewater Discharges: Is your company prepared?"

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (Board) has recently released proposed regulations that would amend 25 Pa. Code Chapter 95 (relating to Wastewater Treatment Requirements). The amendments propose the establishment of new effluent standards for new sources of wastewaters containing high concentrations of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), sulfates, and chlorides.


  • Dana Aunkst, Director of the Bureau of Water Standards and Facility Regulation at the PA Department of Environmental Protection
  • Donald C. Bluedorn II, Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C., member of PA Water Resources Committee

 When: Thursday, November 19, 2009   
Where:  Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, LLP, Fifth Avenue Place, Suite 2700, 120 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa.
When: 11:30 a.m.-1pm 
Cost:  $15 

Register online by clicking here


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