Careers in Public Interest
Public interest law is as diverse and complex as the individual lawyers, communities, and issues that compose it.
Social Justice Initiatives is here to help you to navigate your entry into, or movement within the universe of public interest law.
The backbone of SJI’s public interest career services is our advising program. SJI’s staff of on-site and nationally networked counselors are available to meet with students and graduates at any stage of their career. We will help you think about what you want to do and provide targeted counseling based on preferred geographic location, practice area of interest, and other individual factors. Please visit our Advising section to learn more and to connect with a public interest career counselor.
Many public interest graduates begin their careers in postgraduate fellowships. For more information on SJI’s offerings in this area, visit our Postgrad Fellowships section.
Looking for information about our government career resources and programs? Visit our Government Careers section.
Externships and Pro Bono Placements
Externships and pro bono work during law school provide students with important legal practice experience as well as networking opportunities. Externships in public interest law include:
- Arts Law Externship (at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts)
- Holistic Defense Externship (at Bronx Defenders)
- Community Defense Externship (at Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem)
- Constitutional Rights Enforcement in Capital, Habeas, and Prison Cases Externship
- Criminal Appeals Externship (at Center for Appellate Litigation)
- Immigration Defense Externship (at Legal Aid Society)
- Pro Bono Practice and Design Externship
Please note that not all externships are offered every term. See our Externships page for more information on these and other externships.
For information about working at a not-for-profit organization or public interest law firm for pro bono credit, please visit our Pro Bono page.