The term "public service law" refers to legal work that is pursued on the basis of individual or group concepts of justice, fairness, and advancement of the public good rather than personal or commercial gain. It is a deliberately broad definition that encompasses working in government, non-profit organizations, and public interest law firms.
As most public service law employers operate with relatively small staffs, law student interns and new attorneys frequently have an opportunity to take on substantial projects with significant responsibilities. Moreover, a career in public service law enables you to hone your legal researching and writing skills, develop other lawyering skills, and serve clients with compelling needs.
A Survey of Public Service Law Employers
- Government: Federal
- Government: State and Local
- Prosecutors: U.S. Attorneys and State District Attorneys
- Public Defenders
- Direct Service Providers
- Impact Organizations
- International Public Interest Work
- Public Interest Law Firms
How Do I Learn More About a Career in Public Service Law?
If you are thinking about pursuing a career in public service law, please contact Jill Frost, Director of OCPD, at (202) 319-5132 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jill can provide you with information on internship and employment opportunities, as well as point you to career resources and alumni practicing in the field.
In addition to course selection and student leadership opportunities on campus, you can gain experience in public service law by participating in an externship or volunteering your time in pro bono legal service. Students interested in externship opportunities are encouraged to contact Professor Lisa Lerman in the Office of Clinical Programs at (202) 319-5005 or Lerman@law.edu. To learn more about pro bono opportunities with local service organizations, please contact Jen Tschirch, Pro Bono Coordinator, at (202) 319-5599 or email@example.com.