Dickinson Law students benefit from job interviews and peer networking

Dickinson Law students pictured left to right: Laura Lopez Ledesma ’17, Andrew Scott ’19, Kadeem Morris ’17, Malcolm McDermond ’19 and Marissa Lawall ’17. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

CARLISLE, Pa. — Eleven students from Penn State's Dickinson Law joined 160 public interest employers and more than 1,200 students from nearly 200 law schools at the 30th Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair — the largest national public interest legal career fair in the country — held recently in Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to interviewing for post-graduate positions and summer internships, students enjoyed networking with public-interest minded peers, and attending a variety of panel discussions and workshops on public interest careers, job search advice, and more.

“The privilege to attend a conference centered on public interest law reminded me of why I chose to come to law school in the first place,” said first-year law student Courtney Lewis. “My choice to pursue a law degree hinged on my passion to change our legal system's legacy of reinforcing historical power structures. The 1L year is intense and the demands make it easy to temporarily set aside why you came here. The discussions and speakers pushed my focus back to see the whole picture and my purpose again before I head into my first round of finals."

In honor of Equal Justice Works’ 30th anniversary, the Hon. Ann C. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit moderated a conversation with Justice Elena Kagan. Ralph Nader also led a discussion for law students on lawlessness and proposed remedies and reforms. The conference was held Oct. 28-29.

“The experience was extremely valuable as it gave me the opportunity to learn more about public interest opportunities, network with other law students and employers, and learn about a few areas of public interest work that I did not know about before,” said third-year law student Kate Dales. “I attended four panels and participated in table talks and interviews with potential employers. It helped to reinforce that there are people out there who want to solve many of the systemic problems that public interest attorneys face and to brainstorm ideas for the future.”

Lewis didn’t know exactly what to expect when she chose to attend, besides the fact that she would likely be surrounded by aspiring lawyers who also intend to work in public interest law.

“Three of my fellow 1Ls attended with me and we were energized by our experience,” noted Lewis. “Each of us are interested in different kinds of public interest law, including housing justice, proper representation for minority groups in the military, and racial justice in our governmental policies and criminal legal system. The conference catered to the substance of each of our aspirations: to be of service to those who need it most in our communities.”

Third-year law students Liz Barczak, Laura Lopez Ledesma and Kadeem Morris; second-year law students Aubrey Abaya, Emma Jobinpicard and Marissa Lawall; and first-year students Olivia Phillips, Malcolm McDermond and Andy Scott also attended the conference.

Learn more about Dickinson Law's Public Interest and Pro Bono programs, including the Miller Center for Public Interest Law and Advocacy.

Last Updated November 29, 2016