Author Archives: jturney

Career Spotlight: Policy Analyst

Policy analysts research, evaluate, and shape policy.  Policy analysts can be involved in developing new policy or in analyzing existing policy, and their role will usually be determined by the type of organization for which they work.  Policy analysts can work in a variety of settings including government offices, nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and corporations. 

Key skills that a policy analyst should possess include an analytical mind, an ability to think creatively, attention to detail, excellent oral and written communication skills, and an ability to understand and analyze statistical information.

Most policy analysts have a graduate degree such as a masters degree, J.D. or Ph.D.  Policy analysts will usually start out by specializing in a particular field to develop an expertise in that area.  Because most employers seek policy analysts with particular specializations, it is very important to gain experience in this field prior to graduation.  Experience can be gained while in school through internships, working with professors, and joining public policy clinics. 

Check out these resources for additional information on a career as a policy analyst:

 

Things to Consider Before Going In-House

Above the Law recently published an EXCELLENT article on things to consider before going in-house.  This article should be required reading for anyone thinking about an in-house career. 

Just one topic covered is the misconception that in-house lawyers enjoy a better lifestyle than their billable-hour counterparts at law firms.  To that misconception the author very accurately states:

…while an in-house attorney’s hours may be more predictable and not require working on weekends, it is typically not the easier, laid-back, stress-free practice that is generally envisioned to be the case for in-house lawyers.

If you are considering a career as an in-house lawyer, click here to read this can’t-miss article.

Law Clerk Internship on Capital Hill

Interested in being involved in federal politics?  Log onto your Symplicity account to get more information about a Law Clerk internship with a U.S. Senate Committee.  The position offers law students the opportunity to gain substantive experience while participating in the legislative process. 

The Law Clerk will assist the Committee staff in conducting document review, policy and legal research, drafting memoranda, contributing to reports and preparing for hearings. 

This position is open to current law students and recent graduates.  The position is located in Washington, D.C., and applicants should be available full-time.

Interested in Working for the Federal Government?

Alberto Ruisanchez with the US Department of Justice will be talking to students at Florida Coastal about employment with the federal government, on Thursday, February 23 from 12 -1 in Roonm 510.  Mr. Ruisanchez’ discussion will focus on:

  • Debunking myths associated with federal government employment (including myths associated with the location of federal government jobs and the undergraduate majors needed for federal government service)
  • Identifying resources available to assist people interested in working for the federal government
  • Identifying Department of Justice internships available for those interested in civil rights work
  • His work as a civil rights lawyer at the Department of Justice

Pizza and drinks will be served.  If you plan to attend, you must RSVP using Symplicity.

Identifying Expectations

All of us live with expectations, whether perceived or actual, about what we are “supposed” to do with our lives.  Sometimes these expectations are really in-your-face expectations (think of your mother who tells you at least once a week that it sure will be great to have a lawyer in the family), but often they are unconscious or deeply buried expectations (think of how society places lawyers higher on the social hierarchtical scale than say, a grocery bagger).  Often times, feeling a need to fulfill these expectations can keep up stuck in a career path that is not right for us. 

Learning to identify the expectations that are being placed on your life is the first step in pursing a career path that is right for you.  Sit down and spend some time making a list of all of the expectations that are being placed on you.  These can be spoken or unspoken, real or perceived.  They can come from anywhere – parents, siblings, extended family, spouse, high school friends, messages in society – anywhere! 

Once you have identified the expectations you are living with, evaluate them.  Which ones do you need to conform to (realistically, you do need a job that will pay the bills), and which ones are just a weight tying you to a career path that you hate?

Federal Government Speaker

Alberto Ruisanchez with the US Department of Justice will be talking to students at Florida Coastal about employment with the federal government, on Thursday, February 23 from 12 -1 in Roonm 510.  Mr. Ruisanchez’ discussion will focus on:

  • Debunking myths associated with federal government employment (including myths associated with the location of federal government jobs and the undergraduate majors needed for federal government service)
  • Identifying resources available to assist people interested in working for the federal government
  • Identifying Department of Justice internships available for those interested in civil rights work
  • His work as a civil rights lawyer at the Department of Justice

Pizza and drinks will be served.  If you plan to attend, RSVP using Symplicity.

Promising Legal Job News for 2012?

Just when you thought you couldn’t bear any more negative news about the state of the legal job market, the U.S. Labor Department issued some positive news!  According the Labor Department, about 1,000 new legal jobs were added in January.  Could this indicate that 2012 will be the year that the legal industry will start stabilizing?  We all certainly hope so!