Public Interest Careers

  • Many students come to law school with a professional goal of helping others access justice. For these students, a career with a public interest employer is the ideal choice. Broadly defined, public interest opportunities exist with non-profit organizations, legal aid societies, and public defenders offices. Typical issues include poverty & welfare law, domestic & family law, immigration law, civil rights, workers' compensation, and bankruptcy law. Typical employers include non-profit public interest organizations; legal services and legal aid organizations; government entities, including government departments and agencies; and the legislature, the judiciary, and public defenders offices; and private law firms to some extent.

    The ideal public interest lawyer will have a strong commitment to public service, experience in a public interest organization, a record of volunteer and community service work, strong references, experience in clinical programs, and excellent research and writing skills.