Career Services Blog
Register Today for the 2021 NW Public Service Career Fair
by Lexie Zirschky, Director of Public Interest Law
The 2021 NW Public Service Career Fair is a joint effort of Lewis & Clark Law School and the members of the NW Consortium of law schools, and will be one of the best opportunities for students to secure summer employment. After finals, we encourage interested students to explore the offerings at the fair and begin applying to positions. (You can learn more about the fair here.) This year the fair will move online, allowing students and employers to safely connect in a virtual format. What does this mean for your job search, and for your experience at the fair? Here are three points to keep in mind:
1. A Remote Experience Offers New Possibilities: Our first ever virtual fair offers students the ability to engage – and secure employment – with more employers than ever before. The virtual format will allow new organizations, including those from outside the Pacific NW region, to attend this year’s event. Looking to spend your summer in the sun? You may want to jump into the table talk with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. The new format also allows students to experience both the “Portland” and “Seattle” days of the fair from anywhere, without the expense, risk, and hassle of traveling.
For students looking to remain completely remote this summer, you’re in luck! Several employers anticipate keeping their offices entirely remote through the summer – if not longer. This means you can use the fair to secure summer or fall employment that allows you to work from home.
2. Professionalism Remains Front and Center: At this point, you may be used to attending classes and meetings in sweatpants from the comfort of your couch. For the fair, it’s time to dust off that suit, clear out your background clutter, schedule a meeting with Career Services, and research employers in advance. Remember that the NW Public Service Career Fair is a professional event, with both a formal networking component and formal interviews. You will be showcasing your knowledge, skills, and aptitude in front of dozens of employers and hundreds of students from other law schools. We are here to help you shine! Take some time to review our advice on virtual interviews, working remotely, and more.
3. The Need for Public Service is Greater than Ever: Many of the employers registered to attend the fair this year work directly with vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected these clients. (As just one example, the World Bank estimates that the pandemic may push as many as 150 million people worldwide into extreme poverty by 2021.) Organizations that work on issues of housing stability, public benefits, domestic violence, prisoner assistance, asylum, and tribal assistance are now overwhelmed with requests for assistance. Environmental organizations are trying to weather the pandemic while contending with the impact of this year’s wildfires and storms. Even state and local government employers are experiencing the strain of increased public need without a corresponding increase in resources.
By engaging with public service employers, whether as a short-term volunteer, a summer/fall intern, or in a post-graduate position, you are helping to meet these needs. The impact of your next internship can go beyond building marketable skills and extend to bridging the (growing) legal services gap.
Ready to get started? Register for the NW Public Service Career Fair today!