One of the best places to explore public interest fields is PSJD.org, an easy and effective tool for law students and employers. On PSJD.org, you’ll find information and job postings from over 200,000 public interest employers.
Berkeley Law students can create free accounts, allowing you to:
If you are looking for more information and resources on any public interest field, you can always make an appointment to meet with one of the public interest counselors in CDO to talk about your interests.
Practice Area and Practice Setting Resources
The National Legal Aid and Defenders Association: The NLADA is the national trade organization of legal aid and defender programs, as well as individual equal justice advocates. The “Jobs” area of the NLADA web site also includes internship and permanent positions in civil legal services, defender organizations, pro bono and public interest organizations, public interest law firms and academia.
In this interview series, our alumni share their experiences in the public interest sector, from their day-to-day work life, their career progression, and even post-graduate job search advice.
Emily Zia, Supervising Attorney, East Bay Children’s Law Offices, Berkeley Law Class of 2016
Alynia Philips on Making it Work Financially, Neighborhood Law Corps Attorney, Oakland City Attorney’s Office, Berkeley Law Class of 2017
This guide, recently updated by UC Davis School of Law for the Northern California Consortium of Law School Career Services Offices, provides county-by-county information on law student & post-graduate hiring practices of California Public Defender Offices.
This guide, produced by the NYU Public Interest Law Center, provides guidance about the hiring process for internships and permanent jobs, and a listing and brief description of some of the larger public defender offices that regularly hire post-graduate attorneys. Contains tips on interviewing, including responding to hypotheticals.
This guide compiles information about selected public defender offices nationwide. It is not meant to be a complete guide to all public defender offices in the country, but rather a starting point to identifying offices for students interested in public defense work outside of California.
Berkeley Law’s Death Penalty Clinic maintains this very useful guide.
Vacancy announcements for positions in Federal Public Defender Offices, Federal Community Defender Offices, and other select positions related to federal criminal defense. Not an all-inclusive list of every available vacancy within the Federal Defender system; always check with individual offices about vacancies.
While U.S. Attorney’s offices do not hire law grads directly out of school, there are numerous opportunities to do summer or academic year internship in offices throughout the country. The DOJ website offers information on volunteer legal internship opportunities.
Harvard Law School’s Fast Track to a U.S. Attorney’s Office
State and Local Prosecutor Careers
Immediate law graduates and experienced attorneys are hired by local and state prosecutors. Law students may also gain experience through summer and academic-year internships.
Yale Law School’s Guide to Criminal Prosecution Careers
Harvard Law School’s “Sizing up the Prosecution” Guide
The National Association of Attorneys General website also contains useful information about careers in state-level prosecution.
A 73-page guide including an overview of environmental law and a listing of government and non-profit environmental organizations, as well as fellowships and a compendium of electronic resources.
This publication, available from the Ecology Law Quarterly, includes contact information for non-profits, government offices, and firms (defense and prosecution-side) that have environmental programs. It is no longer being updated, but was kept current through 2013 and remains a great resource.
Harvard Law School’s Health Law Guide includes information about practices in the field of health law, as well as details about health law fellowships, honors programs, and entry level hiring.
Free website with lots of career resources and information including a variety of human rights-related opportunities, both legal and non-legal.
Useful career resources for students and attorneys, including internship and fellowship opportunities with a wide-range of NGOs and IGOs, many of which are focused on human rights issues.
Yale Law School’s Guide Opportunities with International Tribunals and Foreign Courts provides a list of international tribunals and intergovernmental courts as well as information on how to apply.
The Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law
The Reproductive Justice Project is a Student-Initiated Legal Services Project supervised by the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice. Projects range from a minimum of 15 hours a semester to long-term projects.
The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) provides regular listings of jobs in the areas of women’s rights, gender law, and human rights.
If/When/How provides an internship and fellowship guide.
Students interested in intellectual property and technology law can pursue their professional interests via public interest and government job opportunities. BigLaw is not the only place! You can have a legal practice in intellectual property or tech law in a variety of other places, such as non-profits, government agencies, judicial externships/clerkships, and trade associations.
The Justice Tech Download is a great source for news, events and job opportunities. Click here to sign up for their e-newsletter.
There are many for-profit law firms whose practices are mostly comprised of representing individuals and groups of people who are in need of help and cannot otherwise obtain representation. Identifying these firms is a difficult and somewhat imprecise task, but Harvard Law School ‘s Office of Public Interest Advising and Columbia Law School ‘s Center for Public Interest Law have made an attempt.
The National Lawyer’s Guild San Francisco Chapter website provides a Membership Directory where you can browse NLG member attorneys involved in a range of practice areas, including: Civil, Criminal, Immigration, Labor, and Injury.
- Career Panel Featuring Public Interest Solo Practitioners (Spring 2010) — click here for panelist bios.
- Bay Area Legal Incubator
- How To Start And Build A Law Practice, Foonberg, J. (5th Edition 2004 ABA) — based upon the author’s experience in starting and building his own practice. He offers tips on how to choose a location, obtain clients, set fees, manage the office and additional resources to help in the establishment of a new law practice. (#220 in the CDO Library).
Animal law intersects with many “traditional” areas of the law, such as tort, contract, criminal, and constitutional law. During the past several years, animal law has gained a stronger foothold in the mainstream legal arena as well as in academia.
Despite the steady growth of this field, many law students and attorneys are unaware of the opportunities that exist in animal law beyond the classroom. “Opportunities in Animal Law” booklet is a resource for students and graduates interested in this dynamic and cutting-edge area of the law. It contains information about clerkships, scholarships, project grants, job and pro bono opportunities, law journals, legal resources, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters and much more.
The Animal Law and Advocacy Project (ALA) is a Student-Initiated Legal Services Project (SLPS) that assists supervising attorneys at Animal Outlook’s Legal Advocacy Program.