The Public Interest Legal Career Fair: A Student’s View
About two weeks ago, I attended the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) Career Fair at NYU Law, a two-day event attended by hundreds of public service employers and thousands of students from New York area law schools, resumes in hand, zealously foraging for coveted summer jobs. Sounds like a pretty low-key affair, right?
My first stop was Table Talk, two rooms filled with employers at small tables, inviting job-seekers to come and talk. Given the multitude of employers, I laid out a game plan beforehand – a spreadsheet, color-coded, of which employers I wanted to visit.
I quickly realized that this was overambitious; certain tables had lengthy waiting lines (naturally, several of the ones in which I was interested), while others had a complete dearth of visitors – apparently, not many students want to work in Alaska. And alas, life carries on outside the PILC Fair, so I had classes to attend as well.
Dedicating my precious lunch hour to Table Talk, I dashed to Greenberg Lounge, a spacious room in NYU Law’s Vanderbilt Hall, for more tables, more talking. Much to my dismay, several employers either weren’t hiring for the summer or weren’t hiring lowly 1Ls like myself. Audacity is key to Table Talk mastery; one must not neglect any available chairs at tables of interest – thus, that afternoon, I had about 7 conversations, some of which were fruitful, others not so much.
After this exhausting day of the usual classes and reading punctuated by fervently selling oneself (so to speak), I woke up bright and early to do it all over again. In a freshly dry-cleaned suit, toting several resumes, cover letters, and writing samples, I headed to NYU’s Kimmel Center for 5 scheduled interviews. Other interviewees and I waited in single file lines outside our respective interview rooms like actors waiting in the wings for our cue, which came from the meticulously precise timekeepers on duty.
I preferred this format to Table Talk – there was no cacophony of voices to contend with, nor as much of a time crunch. One interviewer asked me what I would do if a client told me he intended to skip a hearing, another conversed with me in Spanish, and I discussed Jersey Shore with another. It was an interesting but exhausting day, and I shamelessly spent the evening in pajamas, watching TV (yes Virginia, occasionally you can do such things in law school).
The verdict: PILC Fair = absolutely worthwhile. After all, a few days later, I got a job offer! Stay tuned for more on that…