Monday, April 30, 2012

Your Resume for a Federal Government Job

A resume for Federal government employment, like a private sector resume, contains a summary or listing of relevant job experience and education. In other aspects, however, it is quite different. 

A standard private-sector resume should not be used to apply for Federal positions. Not only is the format different in terms of structure, length and content, but a Federal resume must include all the information required by a job announcement — not following these guidelines will irremediably get you eliminated. Federal resumes are written in chronological resume format. Specific information is required to be included on federal resumes so that applicants can be rated uniformly. This additional information is not typically requested on private sector resumes, and resumes that do not include it will likely be rejected. This information includes:

Job information (announcement number, title, series and grade of job for which applying), personal information (full name, mailing address w/ zip code, day and evening phone numbers w/ area code, social security #, country of citizenship, veteran’s preference, reinstatement eligibility, highest Federal civilian grade held), education (high school: name, city, and state, date of diploma or GED, colleges or universities: name, city and state, majors, type and year of any degrees received), work experience (job title, duties and accomplishments, employer’s name and address, supervisor’s name and phone number, starting and ending dates, hours per week, salary, indicate whether we may contact your current supervisor), and other qualifications (job-related training courses, skills, certificates and licenses, honors, awards and special accomplishments; for example, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking and performance awards).

The USAJOBS website offers an online resume builder. Job counselors for the federal government recommend that you use the builder to create your online USAJOBS resume for two reasons: 1) the resume builder will help you ensure that all required content is included, and 2) your resume built through the system is "searchable" by HR specialists. It is recommended you build your blocks of text for each position you want to include in MS Word or a compatable text editor and to cut and paste it into the resume builder tool at the USAJOBS website. The site will allow you to have up to 5 resumes loaded as well as to upload other documents needed, such as a DD Form 214 for veterans, or non-official copies of college/university transcripts. {Read the announcement carefully to determine what documents to attach to your package.}

For a tutorial on how to build your Federal resume, go here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

8th Annual IMPACT Career Fair for Law Students and Attorneys with Disabilities

The 8th Annual IMPACT Career Fair for Law Students and Attorneys with Disabilities

Friday, August 3, 2012
Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway
Washington DC / Arlington

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!  Go here to register.  (Student/Graduate Registration Deadline - Sunday, July 8, 2012)

International Trademark Association: Academic Day - May 7, 2012

The International Trademark Association will hold its 2012 Annual Meeting from May 5-9 in Washington, D.C. INTA's Annual Meeting offers a number of academic programs designed specifically for law students, including the increasingly popular Academic Day.

Academic Day will be held Monday, May 7 and is an educational blend of programming and networking opportunities for law students, featuring sessions like:

• Getting Your Foot in the Door: Resume and Cover Letter Writing for a Trademark Position
• What to Say to Land the Job: How to Answer the Tough Interview Questions
• Networking 101

There are three affordable registration options for students:

1. Register for the full Annual Meeting at the academic rate of US $225.
2. Register for the two-day Academic Course on International Trademark Law, taking place Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 for US $650 and receive complimentary registration to the entire Annual Meeting. This course provides an overview of trademark law and practice in countries around the world.
3. Register for just Academic Day and pay only US $100.

More information can be found here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The National LGBT Bar Association's Writing Competitions

The National LGBT Bar Association is now accepting submissions for the Michael Greenberg Writing Competition, the International Association of LGBT Judges Student Writing Competition, and the Student Leadership Award. For additional information, go here.

Attend a "Meet and Greet" with Charles Hynes, the Kings County District Attorney

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The Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP Diversity Fellowship

A press release from Patterson Belknap:

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has launched the Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP Diversity Fellowship. We believe that a workforce made up of people from diverse social, racial, and cultural backgrounds results in a dynamic and supportive workplace for our attorneys and staff and enhances our ability to provide the highest-quality representation for our clients. We are proud to offer the Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP Diversity Fellowship as part of our ongoing commitment to recruiting, retaining, and promoting attorneys who contribute to the diversity of our firm and our profession.

Partner and co-Chair of the Firm's Diversity Committee, Peter Harvey stated, "Our Diversity Fellowship is merely one of our firm's endeavors to ensure that the legal profession attracts and advances the career paths of persons who have been historically underrepresented in the legal profession. At Patterson, we know that intellectual talent and personal qualities that make a lawyer successful are not confined to a particular group. Our high-quality work for our clients is enhanced by the contributions of persons who have different experiences and ideas. Additionally, the dynamic culture of our firm is enriched by a diverse workforce. We hope that serious-minded lawyers who share our commitment to a diverse legal profession will apply for the Fellowship and join our effort."

Details regarding the Diversity Fellowship and eligibility requirements are as follows:

The Fellowship Program

The Fellowship, which includes an award of up to $15,000, will be offered to an exceptional rising second-year law student who shows the promise both of becoming an outstanding attorney and of contributing meaningfully to the diversity of Patterson Belknap and the legal community. The Fellowship will be awarded in the course of the regular fall recruiting season for summer associate positions and the Fellow will participate in the regular summer associate program at the Firm in the year after the Fellowship is awarded.

In addition to a paid position as a 2L summer associate, the Fellow will receive $5,000 on the first day as a 2L summer associate, $5,000 upon acceptance of an offered position as an associate at Patterson Belknap and $5,000 on the first day of joining the firm as an associate.

Eligibility

We will accept applications for the 2013 Fellowship until July 20, 2012. We encourage applicants to submit an application as soon as possible. Applicants may send their first-year law school transcript upon receipt of it. To learn more about our application requirements, go here.

Patterson Belknap is a New York City based law firm with nearly 200 lawyers. The firm delivers a full range of services across more than 20 practice groups in both litigation and commercial law.

The recipient of the Fellowship must demonstrate academic excellence and leadership abilities, together with personal and professional accomplishments and a commitment to community service. The recipient should demonstrate the potential to be successful in the legal profession and to be a meaningful contributor to the diversity of our firm and the legal community. All applicants must be entering their second year in good standing pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at an ABA accredited law school.

A NYC Bar Association Program for LL.M. Students and Graduates

The New York City Bar Association is holding a panel presentation this Wednesday, April 25, for international LL.M. students on navigating the US Legal Market.

For International LL.M. Students and Attorneys: Navigating the US Legal Market and Planning Your Career

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, at the House of the Association.

Globalization, international trade, and the growth of multinational law firms have resulted in an increased enrollment in LL.M. programs at law schools throughout the U.S. However, international attorneys may face a number of challenges as they seek employment in the U.S. legal market in the private or public sector. Also, as they acquire additional legal skills through the LL.M. program, their career paths tend to become more confusing as they learn of new and different options. This panel will provide important information and advice for this valuable and diverse segment of today’s legal market.

Moderator: CLARA SOLOMON, Director, Counseling & Career Development Office of Career Services, New York University School of Law Speakers: MARK R. SHULMAN, Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs/International Affairs; Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace University School of Law; ROBERT GARSON, Garson, Segal, Steinmetz Fladgate LLP; LESLEY SLATER, Legal Recruiting Manager, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP; JULIANA OLIVEIRA, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.

Register here for this program.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Important Program: Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Drepression

The Touro Law Center Office of Student Services and the Disability Law Society present:

Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Depression


Speakers Include:

Stephanie Arcella, Development Consultant, The Dave Nee Foundation
Marjorie Silver, Professor of Law

Thursday, April 19
12:30-1:20 p.m.
FCR/BDR

Statistics show that a great deal of law students and legal professionals struggle with depression and anxiety. The stress and demands of law school can be emotionally exhausting and overwhelming. You are not alone in how you feel. We will share the story of Dave Nee, a Fordham University law student who struggled with major depression for years and who died by suicide in 2005 while studying for the Bar. Professor Silver will tell of her own struggles with major clinical depression. We will also share ways you can help yourself and your friends get what is needed to feel healthy and do well in school. Come – have lunch – and spend a little time thinking about yourself and your mental health.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Suffolk County Courts Community Law Day

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Post-Graduate Fellowships Through Equal Justice Works

Equal Justice Works has combined recruitment efforts for their three postgraduate programs. Applications for most of these programs open on July 6, 2012.

The three programs are:

AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships : In partnership with AmeriCorps, this program allows Fellows to promote public service at law schools by facilitating pro bono opportunities and training for other students. A living allowance is provided and an educational award is earned after successful completion of the program.

Equal Justice Works Fellowships: As a participant in the largest postgraduate legal fellowship program in the U.S., Equal Justice Works Fellows create dream jobs with nonprofit organizations. Fellows receive a salary and are eligible for loan repayment assistance.

Public Defender Corps: Equal Justice Works and the Southern Public Defender Training Center have partnered to improve the quality of representation for adults and juveniles nationwide. This three-year fellowship program addresses the ongoing national crisis of providing quality representation to accused persons who cannot afford counsel.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Save the Date: Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair

The 2012 Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair will be held on Friday, October 26 & Saturday, October 27, 2012, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, in Arlington, VA. More information will be forthcoming as the date draws near.

Guest Post: "A True Story of Faith and Preparing for the New York Bar Exam"

A True Story of Faith and Preparing for the New York Bar Exam

by Anthony T. Ballato, Esq., Class of 1988

This is a true story involving a dozen recent law school graduates from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center of Huntington [now Central Islip], New York in 1988. Anyone who has prepared for the bar exam well knows the enormous amount of studying and effort involved to pass a bar examination, and notwithstanding same the high degree of failures. It even took John F. Kennedy, Jr. three times to pass the New York State Bar Exam, and even the famous line from the movie My Cousin Vinny, “six times a charm” for Vincent Gambimi to pass the Bar, shows how hard it really is.

Having been well prepared after three years of law school, completing bar exam preparation courses with Bar-Bri, John Pieper, Marino and others about a dozen friends, including yours truly thought of everything possible to maximize the chances of passing the bar exam and to avoid the obstacles and foresable problems such as delays or strikes with the Long Island Railroad and access to the Jacob Javits Center located in New York City. We therefore planned to reserve rooms at nearby hotels such as the Milford Plaza Hotel in Times Square the day before the examination. We further agreed that none of us should discuss the bar exam any further since it would only lead to unnecessary anxiety and not change the results. So off we went for a nice dinner at the Hard Rock CafĂ© and while walking back to our hotel it was decided that we would go to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for prayer. Upon reaching Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church only one person in our group of about twelve persons from various faiths and ethnic backgrounds refused to enter the church and remained outside while the rest of us went inside to pray.

At that time in 1988, the New York State Bar Exam based upon local laws was among the most difficult in the country to pass and nearly 40% of first-time test takers failed with higher failure rates among second time or further repeat test takers. Likewise, the first time passing rate for our law school was then only about 55%. In other words, according to the statistics about half of our group of recent law school graduates should have failed the 1988 New York State Bar Exam, however, all of us but for that one person who refused to enter the church, passed the New York State Bar Exam upon the first taking! That was a small miracle indeed.

There are a few more tips to share about taking the bar examination. The Javits Center in Manhattan is filled with about 7,000 people taking the test at the same time and it was impossible to get lunch during the break. Therefore, the well prepared lawyer-to-be should bring lunch and water, which must all be in clear containers to rule out cheat sheets. The next tip of bringing construction type ear plugs may sound odd at first, but distractions must be avoided at all costs due to the extreme time pressure during the bar exam as there are no time extensions for any reason. Here are a few other real occurrences during my 1988 examination that made the ear plugs worth while. One of the folding tables behind me collapsed in the middle of the exam, which was quite startling to those around us and a loud noise like a gun shot echoed through the cavernous basement of the Javits Center. Another woman at the table next to me vomited during the exam and on the second day the woman sharing my table, after cursing and pounding her fists, stormed out without completing the examination in frustration. Rather then be upset with those nuisances surrounding me, I was trained to be like a ninja well focused on my task and to ignore everything else around me. The experience was most unpleasant as my own folding table was filthy and the metal edge was twisted and sharp and in fact was cutting my forearm during the exam that is clearly designed as a huge obstacle and process of elimination. The continued exam on the third day in New Jersey was a pleasure in comparison and the test takers were afforded better accommodations with cloth covered tables and ice water.

So, therefore, the lesson to be learned and shared with our successors is not only to study hard and best prepare for one of the most trying and important tasks in a professional’s life, but to thank God and pray for good results.

Should the reader be wondering what ever happened to this group of twelve law graduates from Touro Law School, while I don’t think it proper to furnish their names, it is fair to say that most are solo practitioners with their own successful law firms or partners in small firms located throughout Long Island and New York City. One fellow left the practice of law some ten years later to engage in other private enterprises of real estate development, another fellow took a position in a national healthcare firm, one lady works for the New York State Court System and the other lady that failed the New York State Bar Exam remains employed by the same large corporation in a job that she loves and never practiced law.

Monday, April 2, 2012

National LGBT Bar Association Announces Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair

The National LGBT Bar Association will hold its 2012 Lavendar Law Conference and Career Fair on August 23-25, 2012, in Washington, DC. To learn more about this great annual program, to see which employers are scheduled to attend, and to register, go here.