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BC Law Now Offering a New Program in Public Interest


By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: Oct. 3, 2013

The Law School has launched the Public Interest Designation Program (PIDP) to encourage, guide and recognize students who are committed to a legal career dedicated to public service.

Law School administrators say PIDP — the only program of its kind in Massachusetts — will provide a comprehensive academic and experiential curriculum that will prepare students for a career in public service immediately upon graduation.

The program reflects the efforts of 25 BC Law students from the Class of 2013 who had worked with Associate Director of Public Interest Programs Kate Devlin Joyce to create special recognition for students demonstrating commitment to a public service curriculum. The 25 were honored by BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau at this year’s graduation as the inaugural PIDP class and given the title of Public Service Fellows.

“The Law School is working toward a more comprehensive public interest program, and PIDP will be a distinct part of that,” said Joyce. “It’s a way for students to feel supported, and be supported, as they pursue a legal career in public service.”

PIDP requirements involve 15 hours of coursework in classes such as Environmental or Labor Law or others designated as applicable to public service; a clinic, independent study with a pro bono placement or semester-in-practice at a public interest placement; a summer internship with a public sector employment, and completing the school’s 50-hour pro bono program. Fellows must also mentor an incoming first-year student interested in public service.

“What’s unique, and wonderful, about this program is it grew out of an inspiration from our students,” said Joyce. “That inaugural group, as Public Service Fellows, will be an important resource for PIDP as it grows and develops.”

   —Boston College Law School; additional material by Sean Smith