ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

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Best 2L summer choice for a desired career in Public Interest?

ACLU-IL
10
91%
Shriver Center
1
9%
 
Total votes: 11

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ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:37 am

Best 2L summer choice for a desired career in Public Interest?

I have an offer from the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU-IL in Chicago. It pays a nice stipend over the summer.

The other offer is with the Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. It is unpaid but I can get public interest funding through my school. However, it will be equal to roughly half the stipend of the ACLU offer.

What do you think?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:44 am

The prestige whore in me says ACLU, but really doesn't the question have to be what kind of PI law you're interested in doing? Which one could you get the most leverage out of when you're going to your next gig? It's just difficult for me to answer clearly here because it's not like asking PD/DA and saying you want to do PD. The answer would be easy there. There isn't enough here to know.

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:18 am

OP here

That's tough to say because I feel pretty strongly about working on the issues in both organizations. I am thinking that my ultimate goal (however ambitious it is) is to work on Civil Rights issues say for the Lawyers Committee, NAACP, MALDEF, etc.

Additionally, I'd eventually like to throw my hat into the political ring. Not sure if any of that will help get more answers. I'm really just looking for outside impressions on both organizations and possible benefits they offer.

Sort of related: Would ACLU help in applying for DOJ Honors - Civil Rights Division? I know it is a long shot but I am just trying to set myself up to apply and see what happens.

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:52 am

I have very limited knowledge of the Lawyers Committee, let me just preface my reply with that; but from what I've heard, I think ACLU work would help you there. But really, this stuff is really about just proving to other organizations that you're dedicated to the cause. Prestige is a boost, but it's not as determinative as it is in other areas of the law, from my experience anyway.

My school warned that ACLU came with political baggage (obviously) if you applied to DOJ or government positions but I don't think that's a problem for you or you wouldn't even consider working there, right? And there is a Democrat in office, so I'd say it wouldn't hurt. Yeah, let me just gone ahead and say that I don't think you can lose here. And also that you just need to consider what kind of work you're relaly going to do in each. Just make your decision on that fornt since I think working in either office illustrates that your dedicated to these issues and frames your resume in that manner.

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby shepdawg » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:25 pm

I'm not certain if this is a generally accepted view, but I'd never vote for anyone who worked for the ACLU.

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sort of related: Would ACLU help in applying for DOJ Honors - Civil Rights Division? I know it is a long shot but I am just trying to set myself up to apply and see what happens.

I interned 2L summer at DOJ Civil Rights. I was hoping to apply there in the Honors program for next year, but they announced just before applications closed that they were withdrawing from Honors for the 2011-12 hiring cycle. Their budget is too tight to hire anyone new, and given the political climate that's not likely to change in the next year or two.

That said, even if they do start hiring again, DOJ strongly favors people who interned there. If you really want to work at DOJ you should be doing everything you can to get an internship in one of their offices. For Civil Rights you can also start out in the Criminal Division and work your way over, there are quite a few attorneys who start out in Criminal and lateral over to Civil Rights in their career.

Keep in mind that most people don't get into DOJ through Honors anyway. They go get substantive experience elsewhere and then apply for experienced attorney openings. Work in just about any prominent PI litigiation office and you'll be a strong candidate there.

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sort of related: Would ACLU help in applying for DOJ Honors - Civil Rights Division? I know it is a long shot but I am just trying to set myself up to apply and see what happens.

I interned 2L summer at DOJ Civil Rights. I was hoping to apply there in the Honors program for next year, but they announced just before applications closed that they were withdrawing from Honors for the 2011-12 hiring cycle. Their budget is too tight to hire anyone new, and given the political climate that's not likely to change in the next year or two.

That said, even if they do start hiring again, DOJ strongly favors people who interned there. If you really want to work at DOJ you should be doing everything you can to get an internship in one of their offices. For Civil Rights you can also start out in the Criminal Division and work your way over, there are quite a few attorneys who start out in Criminal and lateral over to Civil Rights in their career.

Keep in mind that most people don't get into DOJ through Honors anyway. They go get substantive experience elsewhere and then apply for experienced attorney openings. Work in just about any prominent PI litigiation office and you'll be a strong candidate there.


Poster from above: From what you know about interning at DOJ Civil Rights, is the best internship for 2L summer one at Main Justice or will an internship with USAO be looked upon as good experience? How about if it is during the school year instead of the summer?

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:57 pm

shepdawg wrote:I'm not certain if this is a generally accepted view, but I'd never vote for anyone who worked for the ACLU.

If you're this shallow and polarized you probably wouldn't vote for the type of person who'd be happy working for the ACLU anyway, whether they work there or not. I doubt OP cares about losing your vote because he/she probably never had it.

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Re: ACLU-IL vs. Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Poster from above: From what you know about interning at DOJ Civil Rights, is the best internship for 2L summer one at Main Justice or will an internship with USAO be looked upon as good experience? How about if it is during the school year instead of the summer?

Above poster here.

I think USAO would be considered good experience. The important thing is to position yourself for a good first job, wherever you are. I think USAO during the school year would be great because then you could work at a firm 2L summer and still have USAO experience on your resume. If you're good enough to get hired by DOJ then you should be able to get an SA job at a law firm, and right now the best thing to do is to go to a firm and get a couple years of experience.

Basically, interest in working for DOJ is but one factor. Interning in a DOJ division or USAO office can be a plus, but they're focused on people with good backgrounds and training when it comes to lateral hiring, and with Honors hiring so low most people will get in through lateraling. Big-city DA experience would also be valuable, especially if you want to get into Criminal or the criminal section of Civil Rights.

I'll also add that things at Civil Rights could change. Whether true or not, there's a collective sense that the Bush administration heavily politicized hiring in DOJ Civil Rights. Prior to then any civil rights experience was good for getting into Civil Rights, but they supposedly drove out people who had worked for the ACLU, NAACP, etc. Hiring is back to the old hiring/dedication model, for now, but politics can change things in that office.




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