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Columbia University Assistant Director of Public Interest Professional Development - VHO, SJI in New York, New York

  • Requisition no: 512563

  • Work Type: Part Time

  • Location: Campus|Morningside

  • School/Department: null

  • Categories: Other

Position Summary

The Assistant Director of Public Interest Professional Development at Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) has hands-on responsibility for the management, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive public interest professional development program for Columbia Law School students (JDs and LL.Ms) and graduates regarding public interest legal careers, as well as other social justice programming. The incumbent also works closely with the Dean for Social Justice Initiatives, other members of the SJI team, Columbia Law School faculty and administrative offices. The incumbent educates, counsels and assists Columbia Law students and graduates regarding their careers through individual counseling and through a program of guest lecturers, panels, workshops and other activities. The incumbent serves as one primary point of access to SJI for students, the Law School community and outside organizations that seek information about these matters. This position reports to the Dean for Social Justice Initiatives.


  • Counsels and assists individual students (JDs and LL.Ms) and graduates interested in learning about public interest work, including those who want to pursue this work for postgraduate positions, summer or term-time internships, and/or pro bono work while working in the private sector.

  • Plays a key role in the development, presentation and evaluation of a comprehensive cycle of programs on public interest professional development and related issues for Law School students and graduates, which include speakers, panels, workshops, webinars and web content.

  • Has oversight responsibility for printed and web-based materials and publications, webinars, videos and other resources to educate, train and support students interested in public interest careers.

  • Collaborates with other career offices at the Law School like Office of Career Services (OCS) and Office of Judicial Clerkships (OJC), as well as other student-facing offices like the Graduate Legal Studies program (GLS) to provide holistic services to students and to track employment statistics, produce data and draft employment reports.

  • Plays a primary role in strengthening and expanding SJI’s strategic relationships with offices, organizations and individuals that may provide Columbia Law School students and graduates with public interest opportunities, including, but not limited to public interest organizations/offices and fellowship sponsors.

  • Collaborates with Law School student groups, Centers and other stakeholders to present programs, workshops, reading groups or other opportunities or support to students interested in social justice issues.

  • Participates in SJI subcommittees and advocacy work including racial justice activities.

  • Speaks at SJI-sponsored and outside events; represents SJI at relevant meetings in the Law School and elsewhere;

  • Works with SJI staff, the Office of Alumni and Development, and/or the Communications team to develop and produce SJI messaging and branded content, including on the website and social media.

  • Oversees implementation of public interest section of the On-Campus Interview Program, including but not limited to, outreach to public interest employers that may provide Columbia Law School students with job opportunities, coordination and administration of the program. Lead SJI participation in public interest job fairs like the PILC Fair.

  • Works closely with the OCS, OJC and others to harmonize public interest and corporate professional development programs for public interest students and graduates.

  • Performs additional responsibilities as assigned and requested.

  • Participates at weekend and evening meetings, conferences and programs, as necessary.

Minimum Qualifications

J.D. required. Five years of professional experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience required. A vision of how a law school can provide the highest quality assistance to Columbia students and graduates regarding their public interest professional development necessary. Extensive experience in public interest advocacy or as a counselor for or manager of a law-related public interest employment, fellowship, internship or pro bono program is necessary. Superior research, oral and written communication skills (including public speaking), outstanding interpersonal and organization skills and computer literacy required. Ability to design and manage own projects with minimal supervision, to be part of a diverse and collegial team, to work under pressure and to balance competing responsibilities necessary. Availability for evening and weekend work may be required. Must be able to work with diverse constituencies and support an inclusive work environment

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.