University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Works: Volume 5 Issue 8 - November 20, 2009



A generation ago, if you entered law school without wanting to pursue a traditional career, you might have been met with some resistance.  You may have been asked why you were in law school or worse, been told that law school is not the place for you.


Thankfully, times are changing and opportunities are opening up in the public sector for those who crave the foundational training of a legal education but who have little interest in the traditional practice of law.  The nonprofit sector is more powerful than previously thought, both in numbers of nonprofits as well as employees and revenue generation; good news for students interested in this emerging market.


Having said that, with few exceptions, practitioners in non-traditional careers spend the first few years of their careers in traditional practice roles.  Gaining problem-solving, communication, networking, and counseling skills are key parts in enhancing your chances of securing the right non-traditional opportunity later on.


Volunteering for your next job: 

Internships: The externship list contains several profiles of organizations that give you exposure to non-traditional careers.  Additionally, policy groups and non-traditional federal employers participate in job fairs throughout the school year.


Board Service: Volunteer board service can sometimes lead you to fantastic non traditional opportunities:  having a JD will allow you to contribute knowledge of the justice system, dispute resolution techniques, ethics, tax issues, nonprofit management, which promote healthy non profit management.  In turn, board members can gain inside knowledge of nonprofit substantive issues.


There are a number of resources that can be helpful to those contemplating non-traditional roles, but connecting with alumni and local practitioners who have pursued these opportunities provides particularly valuable insights. 


To summarize:

  • Identify a non-traditional mentor and/or an alum who has found success in both practice and non-traditional roles
  • Take advantage of volunteer of externship opportunities that blend law and public service - for example, interning with the general counsel of an art museum
  • Volunteer on a Board of Directors:  Many boards seek out young professionals, including law students.  Participation can further heighten interest or provide a professional and personal outlet as you continue to pursue more traditional forms of practice


Non Traditional Legal Career Resources

A number of print and web resources exist to those exploring the non traditional opportunities.  For example, Idealist ( and The Foundation Center ( provide job listings and career options for those seeking public and nonprofit work.  Specifically, Idealist provides contact information for over 56,000 nonprofit and community organizations in 165 countries, as well as information on volunteer opportunities and job and internship listings in 35 substantive career categories.  The Foundation Center's updates include executive and administrative level job listings for nonprofits nationally. provides a list of non-traditional employment in higher education, including career services, admissions, financial aid, judicial affairs, development and lobbying.  And the Washington Information Directory, a print resource, lists nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations for individuals exploring policy work.  Check out these websites or stop by the CSO for more information.



Location:  Washington, D.C.
Length: Starting January 2010-Quarter/Semester-Long Internship
Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 by 5:00 p.m. PST

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is a non-profit, non-partisan Association that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, law students and paralegals in the United States and Puerto Rico.  Since its inception, the HNBA has been the national voice of the Latino legal community.  With affiliates and individual members throughout the country, the HNBA works to support the educational pipeline and expand opportunities for Latino law students and attorneys in the legal profession.  Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events, and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed. Our organization is stronger today than at any point in its history and is as committed as ever to its mission.  The HNBA flagship events are the Annual Convention in the Fall, Mid-Year Conference and National Moot Court Competition in the Spring, and its Legislative Day in May of every year. For more information about the HNBA, visit our website at

Internship Description
The HNBA seeks motivated law students to support its programs and mission. Specifically, this unpaid internship provides a unique opportunity to work on legal and policy issues important to the HNBA membership. In addition, the intern would support staff in planning and implementing its programs and events; communicate with HNBA partners; and serve as a liaison between the membership and key decision makers in Washington, D.C., and reaching out to the membership.  The intern(s) would report to the Membership and Outreach Manager but may also work directly with the Executive Director, the HNBA staff, and the HNBA Board of Governors. 
Internship Requirements
A successful candidate will be a self-starter with a strong sense of professionalism and possess:
 -strong research, writing, communication, analytical, and organizational skills;

-the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously;

-familiarity with legal and policy issues affecting the Latino community in the U.S. and abroad;

-the ability to conduct research and provide analysis on important policy issues, as well as monitor legislation;

-the ability to attend hearings and meetings with members of Congress and other key decision makers and provide concise reports;

-the ability to research and write press releases and maintain other communication with the media; and
-the ability to update membership database and other lists required to conduct HNBA business.


Internship Contact
For more information about this internship opportunity or to submit your internship application with cover letter and résumé, contact:

Erika G. Espinoza, Membership & Outreach Manager
Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)

1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 507

Washington, DC 20036




The late Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman recognized the Institute for Justice as "a major pillar of our free society." IJ is the nation's premier libertarian public interest law firm. The Institute litigates in state and federal courts to restore constitutional limits to the power of government, specializing in economic liberty, private property rights, school choice, and freedom of speech.  IJ is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for its summer law clerk program.


IJ summer law clerks participate in IJ's fast-paced litigation docket, including legal research, brief writing, client interviewing, and op-ed writing.  IJ is currently saving a non-profit boxing gym in California from being bulldozed for private profit.  On the east coast, IJ is cutting through Boston's anti-competitive regulatory maze so an entrepreneur can begin his amphibious vehicle tour service.  The Institute is also defending Colorado citizens from an unconstitutional attack on their First Amendment rights via campaign finance regulations.  Parents in Arizona are teamed up with IJ to secure their freedom to choose the best education for their kids.  Summer clerkships are available at IJ's headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, as well as at our state chapters in Arizona, Minnesota, Texas and Washington.


Students interested in IJ's summer law student programs should visit for more information.  Or students can feel free to contact Ms Keys with questions.



Krissy E. Keys

Special Projects Manager

Institute for Justice

901 N. Glebe Road

Suite 900

Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 682-9320







Workers' Compensation - "Ethical Considerations Under the Amendments of the WC Judge's Rules." 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cost: $20. When: Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Where: Engineers Club, 337 Fourth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222. *Holiday party to immediately follow program.*

Construction Law - "Significant Recent Development in Construction: Law, Ethics and Practice." 1:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. *Holiday party to immediately follow program.* Cost: $50. When: Monday, December 7, 2009. Where: Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania, 337 Fourth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222. 


Family Law - "Value is in the Eye of the Beholder: Objective Arguments to Persuade."  1:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Cost: $. When: Tuesday, December 1, 2009. Where: ACBA Conference Center Auditorium, 9th floor, City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219. 


Criminal Litigation - "Appellate Issues Concerning the Criminal Defense Attorney."  12:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Cost: $40. When: Thursday, December 10, 2009. Where: ACBA Conference Center Auditorium, 9th floor, City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219.


To register for these programs, 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 also available online at

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