Public Interest

Manhattan Law School’s commitment to public interest lawyering is unswerving. Resources for students rebuffed by the private sector include a part-time public interest job counselor/psychic, an old computer for doing Google searches, discounts on used clothing, and an annual job fair attended by a number of local public interest employers.

We have also put together a short FAQ about public interest careers.

  1. Is it more difficult to get a public interest job?

Difficult is a state of mind.  Getting a public interest job is not as challenging as getting a job at a large law firm because most public interest organizations will not throw your resume in the trash unread. However, many public interest organizations will not be hiring, and others will not offer you a salary that will enable you to afford food.

  1. Is it true you can’t get a public interest job right out of law school?

Not if you believe the statistics we report to U.S. News and World Report.

  1. Why do students who planned on going into public interest end up taking a private sector job?

The realization that they were stupid and naïve.

  1. Can I get a job with a public interest organization when I have no experience in public interest law?

Probably not, which is why we recommend you feign interest in whatever the organization you’re interested in does.  For example, if it deals with kids, you should find some.

  1. If I work at a law firm after I graduate, can I make a switch later to public interest work?

Why would you want to do that?  Are you crazy?

  1. Can I survive on a public interest salary?

The original settlers in this country survived on almost nothing.

Employers that have participated in our Public Interest Job Fair include:

  • UCLA of Brooklyn
  • AIDES with AIDS
  • Catholic Priest Legal Defense Fund
  • Clean-ish Gowanus
  • End Domestic Help New York
  • Freedom From The Press Foundation
  • Greater Gowanus Agency on Aging Agencies
  • International Institute of the Imagination (III)
  • Litteracy Fund
  • Nuclear Rights New York
  • NYS Pubic Defenders Office