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Equal Justice Works Law students find success at public sector job fair.

This year, at the Equal Justice Works career fair, an unusually large number of 2L and 3L Washington and Lee Law students got interviews with employers from across the country, and two students even accepted on-the-spot summer job offers at the conclusion of their interviews.

The fair happened in October, and groups of Law students carpooled about three hours from Lexington to Washington D.C. in order to attend.

Equal Justice Works is a nonprofit organization with an extensive network of law students, lawyers, and legal services organizations. Its career fairs are the largest public sector fairs in the country, with over 200 public interest employers attending each fall to conduct interviews for both full-time positions and summer internships.

Some 1Ls attended too, primarily for the informal “table talk” portion of the conference. During “table talk,” students were able to visit the tables of various employers to network with legal professionals, receive résumé advice, and get accustomed to the types of questions that employers ask.

image006 Equal Justice Works2Ls Elizabeth Drake, Anahita Montasham-Gharagozloo and Erin Hayes gather between interviews.

Students who arrived in D.C. on Thursday night went to a networking reception with W&L Law alumni who are currently working in the public sector.

“The students really liked that because it kind of gave them an opportunity to say, ‘ok, this is what you can get as your first job’,” said Amanda Jantzi, Assistant Director of the Office of Career Strategy.

At the end of the day on Friday, there was a happy hour with the Colorado Public Defender’s office. W&L Law alumna Kiyomi Bolick ’10L works there, and she has kept in touch with former criminal defense professors. In the past three years, the Colorado Public Defender’s office has hired five W&L law students.

2L Chris Chino, who interned with the Colorado Public Defender’s office last summer, secured an internship with the Defender Association of Philadelphia after an interview at EJW. He was grateful to the Office of Career Strategy for helping him at the conference.

“OCS was able to reimburse the hotel expenses for my trip, and as a law student without full-time employment, this assistance was very helpful,” Chino said. “While at the conference, a member of OCS was present on-site and was able to help with pre-interview preparation.”

2L Anahita Montasham-Gharagozloo also secured a summer internship with the Department of Justice.

Jantzi, who specializes in public sector work, said that this year’s EJW conference was the most successful that she’s attended since she began working at W&L Law.