Sustaining a Public Interest Commitment

It is well known that many students enroll in law school with the intent of pursuing a public interest-oriented career, attracted to law by a desire to help others, improve society and redress injustice. Unfortunately, only a fraction of those with such intentions actually fulfill them, a phenomenon that has drawn extensive commentary, as well as empirical research. Research also points to the importance of involvement in a supportive subculture during law school in maintaining student public interest commitment.

For many Program students and alumni, the Program community has been the singularly most important aspect of their participation in the Program, as well as the aspect most responsible for sustaining their public interest commitment. This vibrant and strong community is comprised of Program faculty and administrators, alumni and, of course, the students themselves.

The Program community is strengthened via three formal mentoring initiatives – each Program student has an advanced student mentor, a faculty mentor and a Program alumni mentor. In addition, a sense of community arises from bonds that develop in the required first- and second-year courses that are exclusive to Program students, as well as from the annual slate of initiatives, activities and programming that bring students together.

The Program continues to be a very close-knit community of committed faculty, administrators, students and a vital network of alumni who are joined as colleagues committed to the pursuit and advancement of social justice.