The PSJD Fellow is the principal manager and administrator of the psjd.org website. PSJD, a NALP initiative, catalogues thousands of job announcements for public service legal positions each year and curates a directory of civil society, government, and other public-service-oriented employers. The site also publishes a library of professional development and career search resources to assist jobseekers with legal training pursuing public service careers. Law students and alumni from hundreds of law schools in the United States and Canada rely on these materials to help them discover opportunities and make decisions about their public service careers. In addition, the Fellow gains non-profit management and administration experience and has the opportunity to write for publication, speak publicly, and build relationships with public interest organizations across the country. NALP is based in and has its office in Washington, DC. NALP maintains a hybrid workplace and the Fellow will be expected to maintain regular work hours and be present in the office periodically (on a weekly cycle) as determined upon hiring. Some travel is required.
What makes the PSJD Fellowship special?
Here at NALP, a lot of public service job opportunities cross our screens as they pass onto psjd.org. From what we’ve seen, the PSJD Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for a recent law grad to manage a small staff, shape priorities for a major project serving public interest organizations, and participate in decision-making and budgeting for a mid-size non-profit at an early stage in their career. Meanwhile, NALP takes work-life balance and professional development seriously. PSJD Fellows have time after-hours to pursue personal interests via pro bono work, while spending their time in the office developing relationships with public service employers all across the country. What is the PSJD Fellow responsible for?
Providing day-to-day support for jobseekers and employers using the PSJD service.
Managing a team of 4-6 student interns, who perform data entry and complete basic research projects. (The Fellow also performs data entry tasks, as necessary.)
Presenting information about PSJD’s services and providing live demonstrations for law student and career advisor audiences (mostly via webinar).
Collaborating with NALP’s Director of Public Service Initiatives (DPSI) and the PSJD Advisory Group to interpret site data and set strategic priorities for PSJD.
Coordinating technological development for psjd.org based on the platform’s roadmap—and collaborating with NALP’s DPSI to define roadmap priorities for future development.
Develop a rapport with PSJD users & NALP membership
The Fellow will be the most visible point of contact for the many job seekers, law school administrators, and public service employers who use psjd.org on a daily basis. Responding to telephone and email communications promptly and helpfully ensures that NALP maintains strong relationships with PSJD’s subscribing schools, advertising employers, and jobseeking students and alumni. The Fellow will also assist in planning content and ensuring the smooth operation of NALP’s annual Public Service Mini-Conference. Additionally, the Fellow will support the DPSI’s work managing the efforts of NALP’s member-driven public-service-oriented working groups. Finally, the Fellow will be responsible for actively disseminating information about PSJD’s services, public service legal jobs, and other relevant matters. These duties provide opportunities to write articles for publication in NALP’s monthly Bulletin and on the PSJD blog, as well as maintaining PSJD’s social media presence and speaking publicly via webinars and in-person at job fairs, school events, and other similar settings.
Ensure the success of the PSJD Project Assistant Team
A team of 4-6 part-time student workers performs much of the basic data entry and research involved in maintaining PSJD’s records. The Fellow will recruit, train, and supervise this team, ensuring quality control, monitoring its output quantity, and assessing the database to determine what research projects to assign the team. (Additionally, the Fellow will perform these tasks themselves when necessary.)
Reach out to hosts of former postgraduate fellows to confirm their future plans
PSJD's database includes many announcements related to hiring for postgraduate fellowships. Because many fellowships recur annually or biennially, NALP regularly contacts organizations that have hosted fellows in previous years to learn whether they plan to hire again in the next academic cycle. The PSJD Fellow is responsible for maintaining the outreach schedule and for contacting fellowship employers when necessary to ask about their future plans.
Shepherd 2021-2022 tech work and plan for 2022-2023
The Fellow will work with the DPSI and occasionally NALP’s third-party technology vendor on slated technology improvements for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. Additionally, the Fellow will work with the DPSI and PSJD’s Advisory Group on a slate of improvements for the 2021-2022 Academic Year, assisting with setting priorities, scheduling them, and budgeting for them. The Fellow will also be responsible for working with the DPSI to identify, triage, and ultimately resolve bugs that appear on the platform.
Strengthen and update PSJD’s Resource Library
The Fellow will work with the DPSI and NALP’s PSJD Resource Development Work Group to curate PSJD’s Resource Library and solicit new materials from NALP’s membership, as necessary.
Publish in NALP's Trade Journal
The Fellow will publish one article in the NALP Bulletin+, a trade journal for legal career services professionals. The Fellow will work with the DPSI to identify an issue of interest to NALP's membership on which they can provide their perspective as a recent graduate and ongoing jobseeker.
How does NALP compensate the PSJD Fellow?
The salary range for the fellowship position is $50,000 - $55,000 annually, depending on qualifications. Benefits include medical and dental coverage, paid holidays and vacation. This one-year fellowship will run from approximately mid-August 2021 through mid-August 2022, with a possible option to renew. Only candidates who can commit to a full year should apply.
What does NALP look for in Fellowship candidates?
A JD (or anticipated by August 2021);
A demonstrated commitment to public service, with experience in the public service legal arena;
Public speaking experience;
Comfort writing in a variety of styles for varied audiences (official correspondence, blogging, public presentations, etc.);
Familiarity with social media conventions;
A high level of comfort interacting with a variety of legal and other professionals, especially those at law schools and public service employer organizations;
A demonstrated aptitude for (1) self-directed, independent work, (2) attention to detail, (3) multi-tasking, and (4) fostering positive work relationships;
An aptitude for or interest in acquiring basic tech admin skills (web design, database management and analysis—potentially including light scripting abilities); and
Prior experience as a supervisor (ideally).
Sounds great! How can I apply?
Email a cover letter and resume to Sam Halpert, Director of Public Service Initiatives, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “ATTN: PSJD Fellow Search” in the email's subject line. The cover letter should detail experience in public service work and with web-based technology/social media. Feel free to contact Mr. Halpert by email with any questions about the position. Candidates selected for further consideration will be asked to submit a writing sample and at least three professional references. The application deadline is July 31st 2021.
NALP is a leading advocate for diversity in the legal profession and an organization committed to the diversity of its membership and staff. NALP is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from members of diverse groups and persons of varied backgrounds. NALP will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of age (as defined by applicable law), sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other protected class.
NALP is an association of over 2,500 legal career professionals who advise law students, lawyers, law offices, and law schools in North America and beyond. NALP believes in fairness, facts and the power of a diverse community. We work every day to be the best career services, recruitment, and professional development organization in the world because we want the lawyers and law students we serve to have an ethical recruiting system, employment data they can trust, and expert advisers to guide and support them in every stage of their careers.
Additional Salary Information: (Depending on Experience)
About PSJD (a NALP Initiative)
PSJD (formerly PSLawNet) is a unique online clearinghouse for law students and lawyers to connect with public interest job listings and career-building resources. Created in 1989 at NYU Law, PSJD has been maintained by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) as one of its Public Service Initiatives since 2003. (You can read more about PSJD's early years here.)
As a collaborative project among over 200 American and Canadian law schools, PSJD is a free resource for law students and alumni of our subscriber schools to search among thousands of public interest job opportunities and employer profiles. Public service employer organizations may also post job opportunities for free. In addition to its database, PSJD offers an online library of educational and career-building resources for those interested in pursuing a career in public service. These resources are publicly available to all website visitors.