Public Interest Law (J.D. Certificate)

This program is designed to help students carve their own niche in the competitive field of public interest law. To meet their goals, students receive individualized academic and career planning.

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The J.D. Certificate in Public Interest Law enables students to demonstrate their commitment to public interest law, define public interest career goals, customize coursework to match both interests and career objectives, and connect with potential professional opportunities.

Chicago-Kent's long-established institutional commitment to this field has inspired a comprehensive curriculum, including concentrated public interest course work, a focused volunteer service requirement, and opportunities to work with two public-interest resource centers as well as the law school's student-run Kent Justice Foundation.

Program Overview

The certificate enables students to demonstrate their commitment to public interest law, define public interest career goals, customize coursework to match both interests and career objectives, and connect with potential professional opportunities.

Career Opportunities

Public interest lawyers work in legal aid societies, prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices, state attorney generals’ offices, and local or national public advocacy organizations such as the National Disability Rights Network and the NAACP. Others work for the pro bono programs of large law firms.

Among the many career options in this area are:

  • Civil rights attorney
  • Disability rights attorney
  • Environmental law attorney
  • Legal aid attorney
  • Nonprofit director
  • Prosecutor
  • Public defender

To obtain the J.D. Certificate in Public Interest Law, students must complete 12 hours of coursework, including two core courses, and complete 50 hours of pro bono community service before graduation.

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This program is open only to J.D. students at Chicago-Kent College of Law.