Leaders Entering and Advancing Public Service

Our goal is to develop public service leaders. The LEAPS program integrates the academic, career and experiential opportunities that touch public service at BC, providing opportunities for students to discover and develop their talents for advancing the public good through their chosen legal path.

Each year, our LEAPS Public Service Scholars become a core part of the entering 1L class, but the LEAPS experience extends across the entire student body beginning with our leadership read early in the fall semester. It continues at our Public Interest Law Retreat where students get to know each other, explore various public interest career paths, and meet alumni, faculty, and student organization leaders. We offer LEAPS-related academic and experiential course offerings, faculty mentoring, career-related programs, pro bono opportunities and immersion trips, and many events with student organizations.

LEAPS is led by the Faculty Director and Director of Public Interest and Pro Bono Programs Michelle Grossfield. The program is closely aligned with our Rappaport Center for Law & Public Policy, whose focus is on promoting leadership and public policy initiatives in local and state government. A number of events and programs on campus are co-sponsored by LEAPS and Rappaport as well as with other centers including the Center for Experiential LearningClough Center for Constitutional Democracy and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

The LEAPS program is designed to be flexible; students may choose to participate only in certain aspects, or they may choose to complete, for example, a more rigorous set of prerequisites to become a Public Interest Designation Fellow at graduation, or complete a capstone project in their third year as a LEAPS scholar. Curricular aspects of LEAPS include:

  • University-wide public service and leadership courses such as Authority & Leadership in Professional Life (LAWS446401), as well as social justice clinics (at right), with option for completion of Public Interest Designation Fellow requirements

  • Individual faculty mentoring and academic advising with optional project/course-directed study under LEAPS Faculty Director

Related experiential learning opportunities through the Center for Experiential Learning:

  • Criminal Justice Program
  • Juvenile Rights Advocacy Program
  • Innocence Program
  • Housing Law Clinic
  • Ninth Circuit Appellate Program
  • Immigration Clinic
  • Prison Disciplinary Clinic
  • Amicus Brief Clinic
  • Attorney General Program
  • Judicial Process Externships
  • Judge and Community Courts
  • Prosecution Externship
  • Semester-in-Practice Placements

Make Your Case in Federal Court

In our Ninth Circuit Appellate Program, students hone high-level skills in client communication, legal research, brief writing, and oral advocacy as they argue (and often win) real immigration cases before the bench in Federal Appeals Court—a chance that many seasoned lawyers never get over an entire career.

California Ninth Circuit program