Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

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Expand view Topic review: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by haus » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:02 pm

Congrats Saami!

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:53 pm

Update: I officially received fellowship funding today from CLS! It's pretty rich that after months and months of an agonizing job search with a bunch of rejections, I've ended up with a fellowship at my top-choice organization. If someone would have told me that I'd be working there directly out of law school, I wouldn't have believed them.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Hey_Everybody » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:08 pm

Saami wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:06 pm
Hey_Everybody wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:01 pm
Just ask someone at your law school if it'll affect your eligibility for the fellowship to turn down the interview. As long as it doesn't I think you can and should decline the interview if you're not interested
I suppose I could do this. It's just that the way career counselors have been talking to me about all this, there seems to be a huge incentive in keeping one's mouth shut about anything they're interviewing for, lest those reading the Columbia PI/G Fellowship applications find out about it.
See my post above yours. Also you can ask a prof you've got a good relationship with rather than the career counselors if that's an option. One of my profs gave me a lot of inside dope on how to game the fellowship system at my school if I needed to pursue that option

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:06 pm

Hey_Everybody wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:01 pm
Just ask someone at your law school if it'll affect your eligibility for the fellowship to turn down the interview. As long as it doesn't I think you can and should decline the interview if you're not interested
I suppose I could do this. It's just that the way career counselors have been talking to me about all this, there seems to be a huge incentive in keeping one's mouth shut about anything they're interviewing for, lest those reading the Columbia PI/G Fellowship applications find out about it.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Hey_Everybody » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:05 pm

Btw my school has the same rule that you can't turn down a paid offer if you want to be eligible for the 1 year fellowship. But that means an actual offer, not an interview

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by BlendedUnicorn » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:05 pm

Hey_Everybody wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:01 pm
Saami wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:54 pm
Would it be wrong to tell an organization that I'm no longer interested in their fellowship after having already scheduled an interview for it? This place to which I've applied is on the very opposite end of the country, and with my wife and I having a baby on the way and my mother-in-law being deeply ill, I'm realizing that we just couldn't realistically accept it if I were offered the position. I'm only nervous because the fellowship is ran somewhat jointly with my law school, and I'm worried that if they find out that I turned down the interview I'll be disqualified from Columbia's Public Interest & Government Fellowship since they'll think that I haven't been seriously searching for paid opportunities. And honestly, at this point since I have an offer from my top-choice organization to be hosted for a year, I really just want to go down the Columbia fellowship route. I'd applied to this other fellowship over a month ago in a time of desperation.

My only other option would be to bomb the interview intentionally, which I don't think is very ethical.
Just ask someone at your law school if it'll affect your eligibility for the fellowship to turn down the interview. As long as it doesn't I think you can and should decline the interview if you're not interested
this is probably the right thing to do if you're actually worried.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:04 pm

Hennessy wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:00 pm
Excelsior just opened up. Fight u for it, bro.
I think Columbia's already chosen who it wants to nominate, or at least has a short list. At the very least, SJI approached my friend about the opportunity but not me, so I don't think I'm in the running lol.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by BlendedUnicorn » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:02 pm

Saami wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:59 pm
BlendedUnicorn wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:56 pm
Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer and this will be an easy question to answer. If you were a busy lawyer, would you rather spend 30 minutes talking to someone with no interest in coming to your organization and then writing up an evaluation or would you rather delete a block of time from your calendar?
True, but I fear that if my law school finds out that I did this, I'd be barred from their sponsored fellowship, which I need to get to fund the opportunity I've been offered under my top-choice org. We've been told that if we're turning down paid opportunities, we won't be eligible for their fellowship.
that's not a reasonable concern. if you're going to end up on a black list (and you're not, because your school really needs you to have a job) it would be because you deliberately bombed an interview, which is as disrespectful as fuck. your law school's policy almost certainly applies to turning down paid job offers.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Hey_Everybody » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:01 pm

Saami wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:54 pm
Would it be wrong to tell an organization that I'm no longer interested in their fellowship after having already scheduled an interview for it? This place to which I've applied is on the very opposite end of the country, and with my wife and I having a baby on the way and my mother-in-law being deeply ill, I'm realizing that we just couldn't realistically accept it if I were offered the position. I'm only nervous because the fellowship is ran somewhat jointly with my law school, and I'm worried that if they find out that I turned down the interview I'll be disqualified from Columbia's Public Interest & Government Fellowship since they'll think that I haven't been seriously searching for paid opportunities. And honestly, at this point since I have an offer from my top-choice organization to be hosted for a year, I really just want to go down the Columbia fellowship route. I'd applied to this other fellowship over a month ago in a time of desperation.

My only other option would be to bomb the interview intentionally, which I don't think is very ethical.
Just ask someone at your law school if it'll affect your eligibility for the fellowship to turn down the interview. As long as it doesn't I think you can and should decline the interview if you're not interested

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Hennessy » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:00 pm

Excelsior just opened up. Fight u for it, bro.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:59 pm

BlendedUnicorn wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:56 pm
Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer and this will be an easy question to answer. If you were a busy lawyer, would you rather spend 30 minutes talking to someone with no interest in coming to your organization and then writing up an evaluation or would you rather delete a block of time from your calendar?
True, but I fear that if my law school finds out that I did this, I'd be barred from their sponsored fellowship, which I need to get to fund the opportunity I've been offered under my top-choice org. We've been told that if we're turning down paid opportunities, we won't be eligible for their fellowship.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by BlendedUnicorn » Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:56 pm

Saami wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:54 pm
Would it be wrong to tell an organization that I'm no longer interested in their fellowship after having already scheduled an interview for it? This place to which I've applied is on the very opposite end of the country, and with my wife and I having a baby on the way and my mother-in-law being deeply ill, I'm realizing that we just couldn't realistically accept it if I were offered the position. I'm only nervous because the fellowship is ran somewhat jointly with my law school, and I'm worried that if they find out that I turned down the interview I'll be disqualified from Columbia's Public Interest & Government Fellowship since they'll think that I haven't been seriously searching for paid opportunities. And honestly, at this point since I have an offer from my top-choice organization to be hosted for a year, I really just want to go down the Columbia fellowship route. I'd applied to this other fellowship over a month ago in a time of desperation.

My only other option would be to bomb the interview intentionally, which I don't think is very ethical.
Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer and this will be an easy question to answer. If you were a busy lawyer, would you rather spend 30 minutes talking to someone with no interest in coming to your organization and then writing up an evaluation or would you rather delete a block of time from your calendar?

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:54 pm

Would it be wrong to tell an organization that I'm no longer interested in their fellowship after having already scheduled an interview for it? This place to which I've applied is on the very opposite end of the country, and with my wife and I having a baby on the way and my mother-in-law being deeply ill, I'm realizing that we just couldn't realistically accept it if I were offered the position. I'm only nervous because the fellowship is ran somewhat jointly with my law school, and I'm worried that if they find out that I turned down the interview I'll be disqualified from Columbia's Public Interest & Government Fellowship since they'll think that I haven't been seriously searching for paid opportunities. And honestly, at this point since I have an offer from my top-choice organization to be hosted for a year, I really just want to go down the Columbia fellowship route. I'd applied to this other fellowship over a month ago in a time of desperation.

My only other option would be to bomb the interview intentionally, which I don't think is very ethical.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Nebby » Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:25 pm

Just chiming in that you're not a loser. PI hiring has been impacted by covid - my org usually hires one to three entry level attorneys a year, but this year we're not hiring anyone.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Guest » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:25 pm

Nony wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:03 am
What does finding a fellowship sponsor entail? I know the district court judge I clerked for was more than happy to take on a third clerk for the year that they didn’t have to pay for. What about legal aid or other perennially cash-strapped organizations? I know they have to be willing to train you to some extent, so it’s not just a question of money, but have you reached out to any of them?

But yes, apply broadly. Getting any experience is better than no experience and you can pivot to other things. I went to a much less exalted school, I have a lot of classmates who started in stuff outside their chosen field and ended up getting there eventually. It may seem that you shouldn’t have to do that coming out of Columbia, but dwelling on that isn’t going to be very helpful.

The other thing is that if you do the fellowship for a year I think you’ll retain your eligibility for the next round of federal honors programs (check on this to be sure, but it’s an important thing to keep in mind).
Can you tell me who this judge is? I’m running low on options at this point

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Story » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:00 pm

Congratulations! Sometimes it’s just your day.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:27 am

I don't know what happened but suddenly one state-affiliated ACLU is pretty close to offering to host me, my top-choice org is gonna speak with me tomorrow about potentially hosting me, and I have an interview on Friday for an internally funded fellowship at another state-affialiated ACLU. All of this happened over the past couple days lol. Divine intervention?

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Kümmel » Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:01 pm

Saami wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:49 pm
Kümmel wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:36 pm
Congrats! Project based fellowships are very common and differ a lot from org to org. It really depends what kind of org they are. The SJI people should have some pretty solid examples for you and give you feedback on what you draft.

I think this resource (which is pretty old), gives you a general picture of what should be included:

https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/fell ... g_2005.pdf

of course you're not trying to get a grant, because you already have the money. But if this org wants you to have a project proposal this is a starting point.
Thanks for the overview! This sounds like something that requires a lot of planning though, and a deep understanding of very specific, unique issues that need to be addressed. Meanwhile, they want my application by tomorrow lol. I didn't realize this would be project-based when I'd reached out. Oops.
It really doens't need to be that detailed if they just asked for a "brief summary." Come up with some aspect of the role you're interested in and just sketch out what you would do if hired. Think about some covid-19/post covid-19 issues that the client base/mission might face. people get hired as project specific all the time without really doing much of their "project" (but that changes a lot based on the place)

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:49 pm

Kümmel wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:36 pm
Congrats! Project based fellowships are very common and differ a lot from org to org. It really depends what kind of org they are. The SJI people should have some pretty solid examples for you and give you feedback on what you draft.

I think this resource (which is pretty old), gives you a general picture of what should be included:

https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/fell ... g_2005.pdf

of course you're not trying to get a grant, because you already have the money. But if this org wants you to have a project proposal this is a starting point.
Thanks for the overview! This sounds like something that requires a lot of planning though, and a deep understanding of very specific, unique issues that need to be addressed. Meanwhile, they want my application by tomorrow lol. I didn't realize this would be project-based when I'd reached out. Oops.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Kümmel » Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:36 pm

Congrats! Project based fellowships are very common and differ a lot from org to org. It really depends what kind of org they are. The SJI people should have some pretty solid examples for you and give you feedback on what you draft.

I think this resource (which is pretty old), gives you a general picture of what should be included:
Program or Project Description. Having defined the problem in the introduction, you should
use the body of your proposal to explain exactly what you intend to do. For example, if the problem is
employment issues affecting immigrant workers in Alameda County, and your objective is to provide legal
services to assist these individuals in exercising their rights as workers, you need to set out exactly how you
plan to do this. For example, are you planning to compose and distribute an educational brochure? Do
community outreach? Provide direct legal services to individuals with employment-related problems?
Assist them in filing workers= compensation claims? Union organizing? Network with church and
community groups? Identify potential law reform or impact litigation cases?
Describe the activities you propose with specificity and according to a timeline. Explain what will
be done, as well as when and how. Do not propose to do too much, or you run the risk of sounding scattered
and inefficient. Describe the organizational structure and staff, facilities, or other resources that will be part
of the project. Provide a proposed budget (an explanation is often helpful) that includes expenses such as
salaries, benefits, consultants, rental, telephone, travel, supplies, equipment, printing and duplicating. Do not
forget to disclose income, for example, if any fees or other funding dollars are anticipated. Provide criteria
for evaluation of your project. Mention additional funding available and dedicated support from the
community. Funders are reluctant to support projects which end when the grant expires; better proposals
describe strategies for long-term project viability. Also include a discussion of the level of coordination that
you anticipate with other community service providers.
Conclude your proposal with a somewhat more personal statement attesting to your capability to
undertake the project or program, including your background, experience, familiarity with the community or
constituency you propose to serve, references, skills, and, most importantly, your interest and commitment.
Do not merely repeat the information in your resume; link your qualifications to the task at hand and the
objectives of the funding organization.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/fell ... g_2005.pdf

of course you're not trying to get a grant, because you already have the money. But if this org wants you to have a project proposal this is a starting point.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Saami » Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:15 pm

So, a NYC-based organization that I'd love to work for just said that they're open to potentially hosting me under Columbia's public interest fellowship. However, they asked me to submit a "brief summary of your proposed project." Does anyone know exactly what this means? I literally know nothing about project-based fellowships. I also emailed my career counselors to ask but I figured people on this forum might be faster to reply lol.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Story » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:16 pm

I don’t know if and to what extent COVID is affecting current PI/gov hiring, but I presume hiring is being affected.

I would look into jobs other than fellowships and honors. Are there some agencies that you might be interested in that do regular entry-level hiring, such as prosecutors’ offices?

Have you considered going to private firm work for a while just to at least have a job? Then you can work PI/gov later?

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Clamence » Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:21 pm

I have little to add other than you are definitely not a loser. In case it helps your mental state to hear of others struggling, I graduated last year and got a six month position at a government office. The office hired nearly exclusively from the pool of people in my position, and every year prior, they hired from that pool. This year, due to budget constraints caused by COVID, the office hired nobody, despite a substantial amount of attorneys retiring. I lucked out and managed to bounce to another office, but point is, everyone is struggling. Manage expectations accordingly, and best of luck.

Re: Has Covid-19 impacted PI/Gov hiring or am I just a loser?

by Kümmel » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:09 am

Okay let me start off with you're 100% not a loser. COVID-19 has decimated PI hiring in NYC. This year will probably be the worst year in recent memory for PI hiring in NYC. The state and city budgets have hamstrung PI organizations and everyone is competing for limited grant money. The 350 billion for local and state gov'ts (if passed) will hugely improve the situation, but it likely will have little effect for immediate hiring. I say that--not to be doom and gloom--but so you know it's not you AT ALL, it's COVID-19.

That being said, here's my advice:

(1) Make a list of every geographic region you are open to working in (be realistic).

(2) Check PSJD every single day and don't sort by geography (it' doesn't work well), just look through every single posted position in a region you are open to be in and apply if you're interested. Also check LinkedIn and Symplicity frequently, but I really think PSJD is going to be the best single daily site.

(3) Think about doing a state clerkship for a year or so. Look at NY courts, but you mentioned D.C. so also look at DC Superior and DC COA (local DC courts--not district and circuit), I wouldn't be surprised if there were some late clerk hirings down there. Clerking will at least pay a bit more and give you another year to ride through the COVID budget cuts.

(4) Meet with the different CLS SJI advisors to just be kept up to date with opportunities.

(5) Just keep applying--it may take awhile, but something will shake out.

(6) As said above, the 40k CLS PI funding is a single year, if you can just survive with it for one year and get your self placed somewhere that usually hires fellows to staff, then it's really worth keeping that in your back pocket.

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