Many students enter law school to advocate for under-served individuals and communities, and positively impact society through public service. Those laudable goals are achieved by pursuing opportunities in public interest law. Public interest law, broadly defined, encompasses a broad spectrum of legal activities including civil legal services, public defense, impact litigation, issue-specific advocacy, and the formation and management of public policy. Though most public interest lawyers work in the nonprofit and government realms, practice settings also include private public interest law firms, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and more. Positions may include long-term postgraduate positions as well as limited duration postgraduate developmental fellowships.
In many respects, the public interest job search is akin to any other legal job search. However, there are some stark differences as well as subtle nuances of which you should be aware in order to mount a successful public interest job search. As such, a public interest job search often requires a strong commitment, and a willingness to learn and adopt different strategies and approaches. To help guide your search, the Office of Career and Professional Development provides specialized counseling and a variety of services, programs, events and resources for public interest students and alumni.
Additional public interest resources for Wayne Law students are available in our Canvas course.