Calendar of MDefenders Events for Fall 2022

​​​​​​​​​WRITING COVER LETTERS AND RESUMES FOR PUBLIC DEFENDER JOBS

Date: Monday, August 15, 2022
Time: 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom (You will need to sign in with your UMich credentials to access the Zoom meeting)

Join us virtually to talk about how to craft your resume and cover letter when applying for public defender jobs. Typically, a resume and cover letter are the only materials that you will initially send when you apply, so you have to find ways to stand out in the pile and convey your enthusiasm for the work that defenders do. After this event, you will have the opportunity to submit your cover letters and resume for alumni review and feedback. This event will be recorded.

2Ls & 3Ls SUBMIT COVER LETTERS AND RESUMES FOR REVIEW
Date: Tuesday, August 16 - Friday, August 19

Students can submit application materials to the MDefenders Fellow, Brenna Twohy, at
btwohy@umich.edu. Brenna will review application materials and provide feedback. Application materials will be sent to alumni for further review and feedback in late August.

PUBLIC DEFENDER TRAINING INSTITUTE RETREAT
Date: September 3 - September 5
Location:  Jeffries Hall Rooms 1020 & 1025

The Public Defender Training Institute begins with a three-day, intensive Retreat​ over Labor Day weekend. Participants will discuss the role of the public defender, ethics and professional responsibility, client interviewing, storytelling, and more. We will engage in in-depth conversations on secondary trauma and sustaining well-being in public defense, as well as the problems of white saviorism and how to be an anti-racist defender both inside and outside the courtroom. Simulations and mock hearings allow students to practice advocacy skills and receive feedback in real time. If you would like to audit part or all of the retreat, please email Brenna Twohy (
btwohy@umich.edu).

MDEFENDERS SEPTEMBER MONTHLY MEETING
Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall Courtyard (In the event of rain, we will meet in Hutchins 138)

Each month the MDefenders group comes together to talk and learn about subjects particular to public defenders. Our September meeting is entitled “The Things that Happened in Your Summer Internships in Public Defender Offices:  What Surprised You, Terrified You, and Inspired You?"  2L and 3L members will share experiences from their summer internships, and we will process them together.  (You do not need to have spent time in a public defender office to attend this meeting.  We encourage 1Ls who are public-defender curious to come and learn a bit more about what it is like to work in a public defense office.)​

MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE ALLEGHENY COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE
Date: Monday, September 12, 2022
Time: 6:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall Courtyard

Come meet with current defenders from the Allegheny County Public Defender's Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to learn more about indigent defense practices in their office.

KICK-OFF EVENT: COME LEARN ABOUT PUBLIC DEFENSE AND THE MDEFENDERS ORGANIZATION
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall Courtyard (In the event of rain, we will meet in Jeffries Lounge)

Join MLaw students interested in criminal justice reform and public defense for a discussion with current public defenders about why they love the work that they do. Practicing attorneys from the Neighborhood Defender Service in Detroit (Glen Oh, Keshava Kirkland, Jackie Pilcowitz, and Cait De Mott Grady) and Professor Eve Primus will talk about indigent defense work as well as the MDefenders organization here at MLaw. After the panel, students will have time to enjoy snacks and drinks while getting to know each other and the panelists socially.

DEADLINE FOR 2L & 3L MEMBERS TO SUBMIT THEIR COVER LETTER AND RESUME TO THE EQUAL JUSTICE WORKS CAREER FAIR – DO NOT MISS THIS DEADLINE!!!
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Equal Justice Works Career Fair is the largest national public interest legal career fair where over 200 public interest employers come together to interview law students for summer and full-time post-graduate positions. A number of public defense agencies from around the country recruit at this fair. (For a full list of the employers participating in 2022, click
here.) If you are a 2L or 3L student interested in working for any of these employers, you don't want to miss this deadline to submit your materials.

HOW TO HANDLE THE PUBLIC DEFENDER INTERVIEW - PART 1
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall Room 138

Interviews for public defender jobs are different from most of the interviews you've had to date. They tend to involve more probing questions that stray beyond your resume. Employers want to know how committed you are to public defense, whether you care about and will relate well to your clients, whether you have the ability to stand up and fight in a system that is stacked against you, and whether you will last in the job. They also want to test your intelligence, public-speaking skills, and figure out whether you will fit with the culture of their office. In short, the questions will often be deeper than the typical get-to-know-you interview. In the first part of this two-part event, we will discuss what factors interviewers are considering and how to craft your answer to the inevitable question - why do you want to be a public defender?​

HOW TO HANDLE THE PUBLIC DEFENDER INTERVIEW - PART 2 - SIMULATIONS & HYPOTHETICALS
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall Room 138

In the second part of this two-part event, we will address simulations and hypotheticals. Many public defense employers will pose ethical hypotheticals during the initial interview or they will put you in simulated trial or client-counseling sessions to see how you react. Hypotheticals and simulations can be scary if you are not prepared for them.  So grab a lunch and come learn how to handle these kinds of questions and exercises so you can put your best foot forward during public defender interviews.

ON-CAMPUS INTERVIEWS WITH THE COLORADO STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Colorado State Public Defender's Office ​will be conducting on campus interviews. ​

MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE COLORADO STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE
Date: Friday, September 30, 2022
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall 138

Come meet with Kim McDonald, Senior Deputy Public Defender at the Colorado State Public Defender's Office,​ and ask any questions you have about indigent defense practices in Colorado. 

A CONVERSATION WITH SAMANTHA JAFFE ('17) ABOUT FEDERAL DEFENSE AND THE SAN DIEGO FEDERAL DEFENDER OFFICE
Date: Monday, October 3, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location:  Zoom (You will need to be signed in with your umich credentials to access the link)

Join San Diego Federal Defender, Samantha Jaffee ('17), to lear​n more about federal public defense work and what it is like to work in the San Diego Federal Defender Office.

ADVOCATING IN A TRAUMATIC WORLD: A CONVERSATION WITH BLACK PUBLIC DEFENDERS ABOUT SECONDARY TRAUMA (CO-SPONSORED WITH THE BLACK LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION)
Date: Thursday, October 6, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall Room 220

People of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal punishment system, from arrest to charge to incarceration. Criminal prosecution compounds the already traumatic reality of living in a racist society. Public defenders often bear witness to racialized trauma as they advocate for clients from systematically marginalized and over-policed communities. Join BLSA, MDefenders, LLSA, and NLG in conversation with Black defenders about navigating secondary trauma as an advocate in a broken system and how that trauma affects Black advocates differently from their white counterparts. ​

ON-CAMPUS INTERVIEWS WITH THE SAN DIEGO FEDERAL DEFENDERS
Date: Friday, October 14, 2022

The San Diego Federal Defender's Office ​will be conducting on campus interviews. ​​​

EQUAL JUSTICE WORKS CAREER FAIR
Dates:  October 20, 2022 – October 22, 2022

The Equal Justice Works Career Fair is the largest public interest legal career fair in the country, bringing together hundreds of law students, recent graduates, public interest employers, law school faculty and staff, and public interest practitioners from across the United States and its territories for prescheduled interviews, informal “table talk" discussions, and networking opportunities. This year the Career Fair will be held virtually. For more information,
visit the Equal Justice Works website.

COURSE SELECTION ADVICE FOR STUDENTS INTERESTED IN PUBLIC DEFENSE
Date: Thursday, October 20, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location: Hutchins Hall Room 138

Bring a lunch and come learn more about the different course offerings -- what classes and clinics you should take if you want to do indigent defense. 2L & 3L MDefenders will talk to you about different classes (and the different professors who teach them) so this is your chance to ask all of those questions that you don't want to ask on LawOpen. They will also spend some time discussing the available 1L electives for second semester. 

PUBLIC DEFENDER CURIOUS? A PANEL DISCUSSION OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEFENSE WORK
Date: Monday, October 24, 2022

Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location: Hutchins Hall Room 138

The day-to-day work of a public defender can look very different depending on the type of defense service provided. Join MDefenders and a panel of guests as they discuss the differences between state and federal practice, trial and appellate work, juvenile and adult work, and criminal and family defense.

MDEFENDERS OCTOBER MONTHLY MEETING (WITH CARL MACPHERSON)
Date: Thursday, October 27, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins 138

Each month the MDefenders group comes together to talk and learn about subjects particular to public defenders. Our October meeting will focus on client-centered representation and public defense ethics. The training will be led by Carl Macpherson, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Public Defender office in Portland, Oregon. Carl has been a public defender for over 20 years, working in D.C., Berrien County, and here in Washtenaw County before being named the Executive Director of MPD in 2018. 

Lunch will be served!​

ON-CAMPUS INTERVIEWS WITH THE METROPOLITAN PUBLIC DEFENDER (PORTLAND, OREGON)
Date: Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Metropolitan Public Defender (Portland, Oregon) will be conducting on campus interviews. ​​

HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST SUMMER JOB IN A PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE

Date: Monday, November 7, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location:  Hutchins Hall Room 138

How do you figure out where to apply if you want to work in a public defender office for the summer?  How many offices should you apply to? How are they different? When do you apply? And what do you submit as part of the application process? 2L & 3L MDefenders will talk to you about what different public defender summer experiences are like and explain the application process to you.

LET'S TALK ABOUT DEBT: A PANEL ON MONEY AND PUBLIC INTEREST (CO-SPONSORED WITH THE OFFICE OF CAREER PLANNING)
Date: Thursday, November 10, 2022
Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location: Hutchins Hall Room 220

Y
our heart wants to work in public interest, but your loan balance isn't so sure. Join MDefenders, the Office of Career Planning, and alumni to discuss Michigan's Loan Repayment Assistance Program, the federal Public Interest Loan Forgiveness program, and how to achieve your financial goals on a public interest salary.​

MDEFENDERS NOVEMBER MONTHLY MEETING: ASSERTING YOURSELF IN THE COURTROOM
Date: Friday​​​, November 18, 2022
​Time: 11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Location:  Jeffries Hall Room 1020

Each month the MDefenders group comes together to talk and learn about subjects particular to public defenders. Please join us for our November meeting, where we will talk about how to claim your space in the courtroom and hold your ground when judges try to silence you.