Opened in 1999 and dedicated by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the John J. and Mary Daly Curtin Center for Public Interest Law serves as the home for the Law School’s multiple initiatives supporting public interest legal work.
Funded through a gift by former American Bar Association President John J. Curtin Jr., BC '54, JD '57, the Center is, in the words of the late Mr. Curtin, “a visible sign of the commitment to public service for Boston College and its students."
The Center provides offices for various student organizations whose missions are dedicated to the public interest including the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) which awards stipends every summer to law students working in public interest internships. In 2016, PILF funded 75% of the funding requests it received for summer public interest internships.
In addition to offices and a formal conference room, the Center also provides casual meeting, study, and common space for students involved in public service and pro bono activities. BC Law students regularly complete over 13,500 pro bono hours annually and more than 17.5% of graduates participate in the Public Interest Designation Program. The Center allows these students to share their experiences and reflect on the educational and formative impact of their work.
Mr. Curtin maintained that when it came to public interest legal work, “the spirit is alive, but must be nourished." As it enters its seventeenth year, the Curtin Center for Public Interest Law continues to support, encourage, and nourish our students' commitment to public service.
Housed in the Curtin Center and organized in 1984 by students interested in working at public interest organizations, PILF aims to promote public interest law-focused activities at BC Law.
Each year, PILF hosts an auction, the proceeds of which allow the organization and matching funds from other generous supporters to provide grants to students who would not otherwise be able to afford to work in these traditionally low-salaried areas. PILF also supports the Francis X. Bellotti Loan Repayment Assistance and Forgiveness Program for graduates who pursue careers in public interest law.
“Jack Curtin's life is a shining example of something we hold most dear at Boston College Law School: a life spent in service to others in a myriad of ways.”