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PSJD: Your go-to job resource

PSJD site
If your goal is to work in the public sector, your first stop in your job hunt should be this directory.

Looking for a job in the public sector? PSJD, a public service jobs directory, contains a wealth of resources.

Starting in 1989 as PSLawNet at New York University School of Law, The National Association for Law Placement now hosts the site. Because PSJD is financed through law school subscribers, these schools’ students and alumni may register for free. Registering is easy. Just fill out your name, pick a password, and select your law school and graduation year.

Search for jobs and employers

PSJD allows you to search both for jobs and employers. From the “Search Jobs and Employers” tab, you can enter keywords. For example, if you’re interested in human rights, you can enter that term in the search field, and it shows you both employer profiles and job listings.

Click on any of the employers listed, and a profile opens that provides the employer’s name and website, the number of attorneys employed, practice areas, and a one- or two-paragraph description, which usually mentions the organization’s mission.

You can see job openings by clicking on any of the job listings. Each will show the date posted, the experience the employer is seeking (for example, “lateral, three+ years”), required bar membership, practice areas, and the actual job description.

For both job listings and employers, you can use the buttons on the bottom of the page to save the job or employer as a favorite or share with a colleague.

The “Advanced Search” tab allows you to drill down with more specificity, permitting you to search by zip code and employer type (these are divided into nongovernment and government) and practice type.

The information is vast

Under the “Explore Advice” tab, explore nine boxes with an abundance of information.

Career options—Check out articles on informational interviews, self-assessment and career exploration, as well as 18 different practice area guides—everything from administrative law to women’s rights.

The practice area guides vary a bit, but most explain what the area of law is all about, where you can practice (for example, federal government, state government, universities, or nonprofit organizations), what personality traits make you well-suited for this area of the law, and what you can be doing in law school to help get you to that area of the law.

Public sector career paths— Explore the five subtopics that include government, nonprofit, public interest law firms, think tanks/policy organizations, and international. Each subtopic contains articles, guides, and tips.

Applying and interviewing— Find information about cover letters, résumés, and the interviewing process. Especially helpful are tips about drafting a federal résumé and how to navigate a public service job fair.

Public interest events—Here, you can track career fairs and networking events. Pro bono—Learn about state pro bono requirements, and get information about volunteer opportunities.

Don’t miss the Best Practices in Pro Bono Guide. While it’s geared more toward pro bono administrators, it contains helpful information for law students and lawyers.

Postgraduate fellowships—Check out information related to fellowships, including how to create a compelling application and use the fellowship database. The application deadline calendar is very handy.

Funding sources—Discover how to finance a public sector career. Quirky extras are Having Fun on the Cheap guides for various cities.

Loan repayment—Find information on loan repayment, including loan calculators, debt basics, and the federal program.

Public interest in Canada—For our up-north neighbors.

What are you waiting for? Register now for this great, free resource.