So you want to do PI?

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worldtraveler
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:02 pm

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone have experience applying for EOIR? What are they looking for?


I actually got pretty far with them through SLIP before I withdrew my application because the USAO just made far more sense than EOIR (sucked giving up the SLIP though). To get as far as I did in SLIP, I had a couple of years worth of immigration law (VAWA, U-Visa, T-Visa, adjustment of status, naturalization, etc.) and can honestly call myself "interested" in doing the work. So I think they're at least looking for prior direct experience as well as an articulate reason as to why you're interested in them. That seemed to get me through the door. But it's not my life's passion, which is why I opted for USAO over them.


I was an alternate with EOIR last year. I think I ultimately didn't get it because I do not speak a word of Spanish and they have only ever hired Spanish speaking Boalt grads. I also picked a writing sample on the advice of our CDO that I didn't think was a good demonstration of my abilities and I should have gone with my gut and picked my best writing. That's just speculation though.

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BlueLotus
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:10 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone have experience applying for EOIR? What are they looking for?


I actually got pretty far with them through SLIP before I withdrew my application because the USAO just made far more sense than EOIR (sucked giving up the SLIP though). To get as far as I did in SLIP, I had a couple of years worth of immigration law (VAWA, U-Visa, T-Visa, adjustment of status, naturalization, etc.) and can honestly call myself "interested" in doing the work. So I think they're at least looking for prior direct experience as well as an articulate reason as to why you're interested in them. That seemed to get me through the door. But it's not my life's passion, which is why I opted for USAO over them.


I was an alternate with EOIR last year. I think I ultimately didn't get it because I do not speak a word of Spanish and they have only ever hired Spanish speaking Boalt grads. I also picked a writing sample on the advice of our CDO that I didn't think was a good demonstration of my abilities and I should have gone with my gut and picked my best writing. That's just speculation though.


What kinda grades/rank needed for EOIR? Did 1L summer at immigration legal aid, and 2L externship there, too.

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worldtraveler
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:24 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone have experience applying for EOIR? What are they looking for?


I actually got pretty far with them through SLIP before I withdrew my application because the USAO just made far more sense than EOIR (sucked giving up the SLIP though). To get as far as I did in SLIP, I had a couple of years worth of immigration law (VAWA, U-Visa, T-Visa, adjustment of status, naturalization, etc.) and can honestly call myself "interested" in doing the work. So I think they're at least looking for prior direct experience as well as an articulate reason as to why you're interested in them. That seemed to get me through the door. But it's not my life's passion, which is why I opted for USAO over them.


I was an alternate with EOIR last year. I think I ultimately didn't get it because I do not speak a word of Spanish and they have only ever hired Spanish speaking Boalt grads. I also picked a writing sample on the advice of our CDO that I didn't think was a good demonstration of my abilities and I should have gone with my gut and picked my best writing. That's just speculation though.


What kinda grades/rank needed for EOIR? Did 1L summer at immigration legal aid, and 2L externship there, too.


I honestly don't know. I think the grades needed also depend on school rank.

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BlueLotus
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:06 pm

mr. wednesday wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:how many hours a week can i intern w/o goin' crazy? taking the bare min. amount of credits, and none of them are "bar classes"

I did 20 hours a week for a few semesters, though sometimes that turned into closer to 25. It was doable but staying under 16 hours/week would have been better so that I could limit interning to 2 days a week, have classes 3 days a week, and have weekends to do reading or anything else.

Ultimately though, if you're not a 1L and you have no chance at clerkships, your grades are pretty irrelevant. Maybe if you have less than a 3.0, you could try to bring that up so you don't get auto-dinged at places with a cursory GPA floor. But that's pretty rare outside of the fed gov't or the kind of jobs you'd need a clerkship to get.


how many credits did you take while interning 20-25 hours a week?

pcthenls
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby pcthenls » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:17 am

BlueLotus wrote:
pcthenls wrote:Hey all! Great advice on this thread, but I had to weigh in on the Peace Corps experience. While I am an 0L and not making hiring decisions at this point in my career, I was a PCV and know many fellow volunteers who served in my county and others. I was also chosen for a paralegal-type job among 500+ applicants at a boutique PI law firm (not bragging just making a point about the opinion of Peace Corps in my fīrm).

From my experience, anyone who joined the Peace Corps to "travel" or "find themselves" probably does not make it through training, let alone 27 months. If people only built wells, they were either not doing their job, or are not telling the full story. A PCV's primary work in every sector is to build local capacity in people via training and organizing, and linking community groups to resources within the country. The Peace Corps is an incredible learning opportunity for the volunteer, but also a huge benefit to the community served.

I do not wish to challenge your opinion of the Returned volunteers you met, but do want to provide a broader picture of the Peace Corps experience to anyone considering applying. The reality is you will not travel so much, you will gain maturity, will learn how to manage your work independently, and will gain fluency in one or several languages depending on your placement and investment in your local relationships. It is a hard job, and many people who are not prepared or invested do drop out.

Also, you are correct that many RPCVs go into development work or teaching. Many also take advantage of gov work and the peace corps grad school fellows program ( which does not include law schools, apart from two lower tier ones).

I hold great respect for Americorps volunteers I meet, and find that we usually have a ton in common besides sometimes our length of service and the soil we spent it on.

Just another perspective.


I have wanted to do Peace Corps for a long time, but I am very uncomfortable about their spotty record in supporting sexual assault survivors. :|

This is random, but what to do when a higher up at a pro bono placement is trying hard to convert you? I have worked at religiously-affiliated legal aid orgs in the past (Jewish and Lutheran) and nothing of the sort has ever happened. It's annoying, but I realllllly don't wanna burn bridges, esp. ITE.


The Peace Corps has made some serious policy changes across the board in response to some very publicized and tragic events. I came to my county of service very concerned about the perceived risk I was putting myself in by being the only young American woman in a rural village. I received extensive training in assault prevention and there was definitely a network of support and protection from the country office if needed. I can only speak for my country of service, but I also know that the extend to which Peace Corps policies have changed on a whole are drastic and sometimes boarding on culturally insensitive in order to ensure volunteer safety, which at the end of the day, I fully agree with these implementations. Sadly, I know someone who was killed while serving prior to me accepting my offer. However, I wouldn't say that the Peace Corps was to blame. I would imagine the likelihood of someone being murdered or sexually assaulted would be far higher in a U.S. city or a college campus than while serving in the Peace Corps.

Here is a link to more information about the Kate Puzey Act signed by Obama in 2011 to provide better protection to Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide.

http://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/lea ... ort/puzey/

In case anyone is interested.

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BlueLotus
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:13 am

worldtraveler wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone have experience applying for EOIR? What are they looking for?


I actually got pretty far with them through SLIP before I withdrew my application because the USAO just made far more sense than EOIR (sucked giving up the SLIP though). To get as far as I did in SLIP, I had a couple of years worth of immigration law (VAWA, U-Visa, T-Visa, adjustment of status, naturalization, etc.) and can honestly call myself "interested" in doing the work. So I think they're at least looking for prior direct experience as well as an articulate reason as to why you're interested in them. That seemed to get me through the door. But it's not my life's passion, which is why I opted for USAO over them.


I was an alternate with EOIR last year. I think I ultimately didn't get it because I do not speak a word of Spanish and they have only ever hired Spanish speaking Boalt grads. I also picked a writing sample on the advice of our CDO that I didn't think was a good demonstration of my abilities and I should have gone with my gut and picked my best writing. That's just speculation though.


i found this rather surprising, lol.

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sd5289
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby sd5289 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:02 am

BlueLotus wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone have experience applying for EOIR? What are they looking for?


I actually got pretty far with them through SLIP before I withdrew my application because the USAO just made far more sense than EOIR (sucked giving up the SLIP though). To get as far as I did in SLIP, I had a couple of years worth of immigration law (VAWA, U-Visa, T-Visa, adjustment of status, naturalization, etc.) and can honestly call myself "interested" in doing the work. So I think they're at least looking for prior direct experience as well as an articulate reason as to why you're interested in them. That seemed to get me through the door. But it's not my life's passion, which is why I opted for USAO over them.


I was an alternate with EOIR last year. I think I ultimately didn't get it because I do not speak a word of Spanish and they have only ever hired Spanish speaking Boalt grads. I also picked a writing sample on the advice of our CDO that I didn't think was a good demonstration of my abilities and I should have gone with my gut and picked my best writing. That's just speculation though.


i found this rather surprising, lol.


Why? I don't remember seeing language skills as a requirement for EOIR, but I'd be surprised if they didn't give it weight. I'm not fluent by any means, but I'm not sure I would've been able to actually get anywhere with (most of) my immigration clients if I wasn't able to at least get by. My biggest problem is that I was taught Mexican Spanish and a lot of Caribbean dialects have differences that trip me up.

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worldtraveler
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:32 am

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Why? I don't remember seeing language skills as a requirement for EOIR, but I'd be surprised if they didn't give it weight. I'm not fluent by any means, but I'm not sure I would've been able to actually get anywhere with (most of) my immigration clients if I wasn't able to at least get by. My biggest problem is that I was taught Mexican Spanish and a lot of Caribbean dialects have differences that trip me up.


She was referring to me not speaking Spanish because I speak a bunch of other languages, most of which are useless.

I also speak some Spanish. I can ask where the bathroom is and order food. I can also get a bus ticket. Clearly that's all you really need.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby mr. wednesday » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:46 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
mr. wednesday wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:how many hours a week can i intern w/o goin' crazy? taking the bare min. amount of credits, and none of them are "bar classes"

I did 20 hours a week for a few semesters, though sometimes that turned into closer to 25. It was doable but staying under 16 hours/week would have been better so that I could limit interning to 2 days a week, have classes 3 days a week, and have weekends to do reading or anything else.

Ultimately though, if you're not a 1L and you have no chance at clerkships, your grades are pretty irrelevant. Maybe if you have less than a 3.0, you could try to bring that up so you don't get auto-dinged at places with a cursory GPA floor. But that's pretty rare outside of the fed gov't or the kind of jobs you'd need a clerkship to get.


how many credits did you take while interning 20-25 hours a week?


The normal amount; I didn't get any credit for interning, so I took 2-3 doctrinal courses and a seminar, plus was on a journal. It was difficult at times but not as tough as I'd thought.

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JCougar
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JCougar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:56 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/won ... ding-bill/

Some info for those interested in/waiting for FedGov positions to open up.

Looks like the agencies in the Commerce-Science-Justice title got fully funded, including the DOJ itself and the EEOC, even up to Obama's budget levels. On the other hand, the Department of Labor, the EPA, the Financial Services title, and the Department of Defense all took hits.

Obviously, there's no guarantee that these top line numbers will affect hiring, but take from that what you will.
Last edited by JCougar on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JCougar
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JCougar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:59 pm

If you want the full appropriations bill, you can look at it here, all 1,500 pages of it:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/201 ... dt_xml.pdf

Looks like the SEC got $1.35 billion...not sure how that compares to 2013 or Obama's proposed budget.

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twenty
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby twenty » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:12 pm

On the up side, everything is up from sequester levels.

Anyway, ran here to post this: I'm currently doing preliminary evaluations for a federal position that had more than 110 applications for the single spot (this isn't a legal hiring spot, but it's JD-advantage). We've had a guy float around our office doing volunteer work for us -- I think he's a 2L, but I'm not sure. He's also an ex-Marine. Just watched my supervisor chew him out in the hallway because the guy didn't apply for the job.

Just to be clear on this, there are 110 applications for one job. The hiring authority then sought out a guy with so-so work experience, a military history, and nowhere close to a fully-completed JD for a job that really prefers a JD, and chewed him out because my agency would have given him the job on the spot.

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Tanicius
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby Tanicius » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:20 pm

twenty wrote:On the up side, everything is up from sequester levels.

Anyway, ran here to post this: I'm currently doing preliminary evaluations for a federal position that had more than 110 applications for the single spot (this isn't a legal hiring spot, but it's JD-advantage). We've had a guy float around our office doing volunteer work for us -- I think he's a 2L, but I'm not sure. He's also an ex-Marine. Just watched my supervisor chew him out in the hallway because the guy didn't apply for the job.

Just to be clear on this, there are 110 applications for one job. The hiring authority then sought out a guy with so-so work experience, a military history, and nowhere close to a fully-completed JD for a job that really prefers a JD, and chewed him out because my agency would have given him the job on the spot.


Yeah, I'm finding that this is pretty much the only way a bunch of government PI orgs hire now. I was just given an offer where I had fairly high connections, and all other jobs I applied for, including those I've worked at extensively, resulted in rejections. If I did not have the connections I do at the office where I was given an offer, I probably would have struck out for my 3L year and had to bum it out in volunteer positions for a year or two.

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JCougar
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JCougar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:52 pm

Tanicius wrote:
twenty wrote:Yeah, I'm finding that this is pretty much the only way a bunch of government PI orgs hire now. I was just given an offer where I had fairly high connections, and all other jobs I applied for, including those I've worked at extensively, resulted in rejections. If I did not have the connections I do at the office where I was given an offer, I probably would have struck out for my 3L year and had to bum it out in volunteer positions for a year or two.


My pending one was obtained through heavy networking (I don't actually have the job yet, but I was told in person that I was on their list of people to hire if Congress gives them the ability to lift their hiring freeze, so it's quite possible it could still fall apart...but this current budget makes me feel hopeful). I met the heads of this agency 4 or five different times at conferences or speaking events my club arranged at our school. I also have kind of "all of the above" when it comes to what agencies seem to look for: another advanced degree in the field, work experience in the field, internships/externships in government during law school (including one with my pending agency), took the right classes, etc. T20 school probably helps, too. Average grades, but wrote onto a journal.

I didn't even apply for anything yet, but people have all seen my resume and know who I am.

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JCougar
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JCougar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:33 pm

This puts the SEC funding in some context.

http://billmoyers.com/2014/01/14/house- ... dget-deal/

Hal Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House appropriations committee, singled out the budget for the Securities and Exchange Commission in a press release, which received $324m less than it requested and $25m taken from reserves he called “a slush fund”.

Wall Street lobbyists have been pressing Congress to curb the growing power of regulators like the SEC in the wake of the financial crisis and Rogers said the spending bill had also [designated] $44m to an economic review of its rule-making process.

This decision, and similar cuts to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, brought an angry response from Wall Street campaigners.

“It is shameful that Wall Street’s allies in Congress have again failed to fund the very agencies that are charged with protecting Main Street and preventing another financial crisis,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, an independent nonprofit organisation that promotes the public interest in the financial markets.

“The only reason not to fully fund the CFTC and the SEC is to protect Wall Street profits, bonuses and reckless trading. This rewards Wall Street’s lobbyists and campaign cash while endangering American families,” he added.


What a great fucking idea. Lets defund the regulators in the wake of the greatest deregulatory disaster in 70 years...

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JCougar
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JCougar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:46 pm

Also, it looks like the IRS got hosed:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/14/politics/ ... rs-losers/

Losers

. . .

IRS: The tax agency's funding has been cut to 2009 levels, according to the Republican House Appropriations Committee. And just to send a more direct message, this appropriations bill states that the agency cannot use its funds to target citizens or groups based on their ideology.


I could see why there would be more willingness to cave on the SEC budget, as even Democrats won't want to burden the recovery with the 2014 elections looming (deregulation might cause a short-term boost at the expense of long-term stability). But I really can't figure out why we need less IRS agents at a time when we're trying to balance the budget. Catching tax cheats would likely bring in more revenue than it costs.

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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:19 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Why? I don't remember seeing language skills as a requirement for EOIR, but I'd be surprised if they didn't give it weight. I'm not fluent by any means, but I'm not sure I would've been able to actually get anywhere with (most of) my immigration clients if I wasn't able to at least get by. My biggest problem is that I was taught Mexican Spanish and a lot of Caribbean dialects have differences that trip me up.


She was referring to me not speaking Spanish because I speak a bunch of other languages, most of which are useless.

I also speak some Spanish. I can ask where the bathroom is and order food. I can also get a bus ticket. Clearly that's all you really need.


i'm sure those languages were useful wherever you interned during law school, esp. Arabic.

But take note, 0Ls--if anyone is aiming for domestic legal aid/PD/DA, learning Spanish is seriously one of the best boosts to your employability.

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cron1834
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby cron1834 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:49 pm

twenty wrote:On the up side, everything is up from sequester levels.

Anyway, ran here to post this: I'm currently doing preliminary evaluations for a federal position that had more than 110 applications for the single spot (this isn't a legal hiring spot, but it's JD-advantage). We've had a guy float around our office doing volunteer work for us -- I think he's a 2L, but I'm not sure. He's also an ex-Marine. Just watched my supervisor chew him out in the hallway because the guy didn't apply for the job.

Just to be clear on this, there are 110 applications for one job. The hiring authority then sought out a guy with so-so work experience, a military history, and nowhere close to a fully-completed JD for a job that really prefers a JD, and chewed him out because my agency would have given him the job on the spot.


Very interesting anecdote. Thanks.

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BlueLotus
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:55 pm

Tanicius wrote:
twenty wrote:On the up side, everything is up from sequester levels.

Anyway, ran here to post this: I'm currently doing preliminary evaluations for a federal position that had more than 110 applications for the single spot (this isn't a legal hiring spot, but it's JD-advantage). We've had a guy float around our office doing volunteer work for us -- I think he's a 2L, but I'm not sure. He's also an ex-Marine. Just watched my supervisor chew him out in the hallway because the guy didn't apply for the job.

Just to be clear on this, there are 110 applications for one job. The hiring authority then sought out a guy with so-so work experience, a military history, and nowhere close to a fully-completed JD for a job that really prefers a JD, and chewed him out because my agency would have given him the job on the spot.


Yeah, I'm finding that this is pretty much the only way a bunch of government PI orgs hire now. I was just given an offer where I had fairly high connections, and all other jobs I applied for, including those I've worked at extensively, resulted in rejections. If I did not have the connections I do at the office where I was given an offer, I probably would have struck out for my 3L year and had to bum it out in volunteer positions for a year or two.


nice work, Tanicius. reallllly hope my hustle pays off like this, cuz i am volunteering my ass off!

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midwest17
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby midwest17 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:06 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Why? I don't remember seeing language skills as a requirement for EOIR, but I'd be surprised if they didn't give it weight. I'm not fluent by any means, but I'm not sure I would've been able to actually get anywhere with (most of) my immigration clients if I wasn't able to at least get by. My biggest problem is that I was taught Mexican Spanish and a lot of Caribbean dialects have differences that trip me up.


She was referring to me not speaking Spanish because I speak a bunch of other languages, most of which are useless.

I also speak some Spanish. I can ask where the bathroom is and order food. I can also get a bus ticket. Clearly that's all you really need.


i'm sure those languages were useful wherever you interned during law school, esp. Arabic.

But take note, 0Ls--if anyone is aiming for domestic legal aid/PD/DA, learning Spanish is seriously one of the best boosts to your employability.


Any textbooks or other methods you would recommend to someone who took some Spanish in elementary school but doesn't remember much at all? I've been using Duolingo for a little while to pick up some vocabulary, but it doesn't help much with the grammar.

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BlueLotus
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:05 pm

Just downloaded the app Conjuverb and it seems like a solid way to drill verb conjugations.

Haven't tried Rosetta Stone or any of the more costly software, but then again I took Spanish throughout H.S. and minored in it in UG, so maybe it would be a better investment for someone more fresh to the language.

Harvey's Spanish for Lawyers and Paralegals is a good review of special legal terminology that you may not learn in a traditional course but would surely come in handy for you as a budding PD. Comes with 2 discs.

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worldtraveler
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:07 am

All of you who need language skills REALLY need to look into the FLAS while in law school. Even if you can't do it during the school year you can do it for 6 weeks in the summer and still intern somewhere.

And if anyone goes to Berkeley and tries to get a FLAS while a law student, you can only do it for the summer now, unless you are a joint/dual degree student.

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JCougar
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JCougar » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:56 pm

Legal Aid gets $25 million in funding restored in the new appropriations bill. Very good news for PI:

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2014/ ... ders-.html

However:

Cuts since 2010 forced some legal aid groups across the country to eliminate more than 1,000 staff positions and close nearly 30 offices. Last year's cuts from sequestration added to years of budget slashing for LSC, from a historic high of $420 million in the 2010 fiscal year.

The federal appropriation bill’s $365 million in funding is below LSC's request of $486 million, and less than the White House recommendation of $430 million.


Still not where it needs to be.

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twenty
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby twenty » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:02 pm

This is actually the first I heard of FLAS. Presumably not all schools offer this -- is there a list of schools that have been awarded FLAS fellowship money?

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worldtraveler
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Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:31 pm

twenty wrote:This is actually the first I heard of FLAS. Presumably not all schools offer this -- is there a list of schools that have been awarded FLAS fellowship money?



Google it and the first result is a document with the list.




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