There are many types of employment in the area of public interest. These include working for a public policy center, public interest law firm, membership organization, legal aid society, or direct legal services employer. Most of the positions either effect policy change or represent underserved populations including the poor, elderly, children, immigrants and prisoners. Public interest law organizations look for students and future lawyers who are committed to their issues and causes. Those who wish to enter the field should cast a wide net within their area of interest and consider numerous types of job prospects. Some entry level positions are obtained through post-graduate public interest fellowships. To discuss fellowships please contact a counselor. The fellowship process is very specific and targeted and you should meet with a counselor early in your law school career for employment strategies.
It is important to lay a foundation in the public interest community. This can be done through developing credentials by taking clinics and other classes that have a public interest focus. Many of these are taught by practitioners in the legal community.
Additionally, since many employers are unable to pay students for summer work, the Maryland Public Interest Law Project (MPILP) offers public interest summer grants for students. There are also some bar associations and other groups that provide summer funding and a comprehensive list can be found on PSJD. Some Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP) available for public interest graduates.