November 2007

This month we focus on Public Interest and the many paths a career in this broad field can take you.  From the Equal Justice Work s Public Interest Career Fair to our own panel presentation on Public Interest Careers, and the newly passed Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Law, there has been a lot happening in this area.  For those who choose this path - filled with stepping stones and financial and job search frustrations - the rewards of counseling clients from underrepresented segments of society or beating back or winning cases or new legislation that ultimately serve the interests of the larger community, create one of the most exciting and fulfilling careers a lawyer can choose.


Equal Justice Works Public Interest Career Fair, Washington, D.C.

On the extraordinarily hot and humid weekend of October 6 and 7, hundreds of law students and public interest employers from around the country descended on Washington, D.C. for the EJW Public Interest Career Fair.  In attendance from Pace Law School were:  Asst. Dean Rachel Littman; Jessica Maiman (’06); Kristen Wagner (’08); Ashley Belin (’09); Samantha Hill (’09); and Gail Mulligan (’09).  This was a terrific opportunity to meet public interest employers and like-minded law students.  We encourage all Pace Law Students interested in public interest – including working for a federal, state or local government agency or department – to attend this fair next year.


Recent Programs

We sponsored some very successful programs in October:  Pizza Roundtable on International Law; Presidential Management Fellowship Program and Other Fellowship Opportunities; Careers in Public Interest; Environmental Law Alumni-Student Networking Event; the Alumni Mentor Reception; and the MasterCard Mentoring Program Kick-Off Reception.   

Please see the column at the right for programs during the month of November. 


Funding Your Public Interest Job

Many students have said that they feel they cannot pursue public interest because they need sufficient income to support themselves during the summer or to pay down the mountains of debt that will follow them after graduation.  While financial constraints may seem like an overbearing reality, we can offer some advice to help you stay the public interest course.   

First, make sure you have explored all the public interest opportunities that are in your area of interest (immigration, domestic violence, human rights, elder law, etc.).  You can start by reading through the Job Opportunities in the Public Interest / Public Sector section from the 2007-2008 Legal Employment Guide, which is also available (password protected) on the Career Development website under “Current Students.” You will also find information there about funding your summer public interest position. Remember, some of the best opportunities might not be in the immediate geographic area, or even one you may be eligible for until you have had several years of practice behind you.  Speak to one of our counselors to help you map your public interest career path.  

Second, explore fellowship opportunities.  Some fellowships require personal statements and sometimes even job placements before applying; others may require nothing more than a resume. A fellowship may be sponsored by an organization for which you would work directly, or might supply a stipend to allow you to take the unpaid qualified public interest position of your choice. Contact Elyse Moskowitz (; 422-4219) in our office if you have specific questions about any of the fellowships.  

Third, join the Pace Public Interest Law Scholarship Organization (PILSO) and apply for one of their summer grants.  Contact Co-Presidents Nicole Black ( or Kristen Wagner ( for further information. Learn about the new federal student loan forgiveness program, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007.  For more information check the following resources:



Spotlight on Public Interest

This month we bring you pieces from two students who are pursuing public interest work in different ways.  Both have always known that they wanted to help others, particularly with the benefit of a law degree.  Both have pursued a variety of public interest paths through internships, research and volunteer work that ranges from the government, to research and writing, to involvement in women’s issues.  What drives them forward is the desire and ability to make a difference in someone’s life.


Publicly Interested in Public Interest

Healthcare Law – My Public and Passionate Interests



Upcoming Events and Programs  

Public Interest Careers in Environmental Law
Tuesday, November 13, 5-6pm, Rm A-203

Evening Student Table
Thursday, November 15, 5-8pm, Outside Cafeteria  

Key Summer 2008 Fellowship Deadlines  

LSPIN – NY Metropolitan public interest and public sector organizations
Nov. 15, 2007

NRDC Summer Legal Internships 
Nov. 15, 2007  

NYCBA Minority Environmental Summer Fellowship 
Nov. 16, 2007  

Southern Poverty Law Center Summer Internship 
Nov. 16, 2007

Pace Law School, Center for Career Development, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603  (914) 422-4217