Public Interest Careers
what is public interest law?
Public interest law is a diverse, challenging, inspiring, and rigorous practice. The work of public interest law covers a wide range of practice areas and settings; it presents unique challenges, as well as incredible rewards. This page offers a brief overview of public interest law settings and resources.
A COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE
Public service has always been a central part of the Boston College Law School experience. BC Law supports a wide array of educational, pro bono, and student activities designed to create opportunities for students to use their legal skills to support underserved communities. BC Law is home to the John J. Curtin Jr. and Mary Daly Curtin Center for Public Interest Law, the Holocaust Human Rights Project, the Shelter Legal Services Program, and the BC Law Experiential Learning Program.
Boston College Law School is also committed to helping students make public interest employment financially feasible. In 2014, BC Law's Francis X. Bellotti Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Program (LRAP), awarded $331,000 to 99 graduates. Funding for LRAP, originally founded in 1988, has increased more than 300% during the past decade. Several public interest scholarships and loan repayment programs are also available to students, including the annual Drinan Family Award, named after former BC Law Dean Robert Drinan, S.J. In addition, the BC Law Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), founded in 1984, provides stipends every summer to law students working in public interest internships. In 2014, PILF funded more than 80 summer public interest internships.
Over the past several years, BC Law graduates have also received prestigious post-graduate fellowships in the public interest field, including the Skadden Fellowship, theEqual Justice Works Fellowship, the ABA Public Interest Tax Fellowship, and thePresidential Management Fellowship.
ALUMNI IN PUBLIC SERVICE
Many Boston College Law School alumni pursue post-graudate careers in public interest. From the Class of 2013, 4.5% of graduates secured jobs in public interest; an additional 9.91% are working in the government. Alumni work in a broad range of public interest organizations including:
- Massachusetts Attorney General
- Committee For Public Counsel Services
- Middlesex District Attorney's Office
- Community Catalyst
- U.S. Department of Justice
- AIDS Action Committee
- Rhode Island Public Defender
- U.S. Department of Defense
- Boston Social Security Administration
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- California Rural Legal Assistance
Boston College Law School offers a variety of funding programs for law students and gradutes who wish to work in the public interest/public sector during the summer. There are also scholarship and loan assistance programs to make it more financially possible to pursue a post-greaduate public interest law career.
Summer public interest funding includes:
- Summer Federal Work-Study Funding
- The Public Interest Law Fund (PILF)
- Owen M. Kupferschmid Holocaust/Human Rights Summer Funding.
Several national funding sources are also available to law students for summer public interest work, these can be found on PSJD.org.
Post graduate public interest loan repayment assistance program:
- The Francis X. Bellotti Loan Repayment Assistance and Forgiveness Program (gradutes)
The Loan Repayment Assistance Program helps graduates who practice public interest law with educational debt. Please see further details here.