Tuesday, July 5, 2011
From the National Law Journal:
Harvard's Office of Public Interest Advising is thriving, with the equivalent of eight full-time counselors and a steady stream of students seeking career advice.
The growth of that office reflects a larger shift in the way public interest law careers are perceived and how young lawyers prepare for those jobs. More freshly minted lawyers are opting for public interest careers — the percentage of new law graduates taking those jobs grew from 2.1% in 1990 to 6.7% in 2010, according to the most recent data from the National Association for Law Placement, or NALP. (That figure jumped by nearly 2% in 2004, when the organization began including public defenders — prosecutors are in a separate government category.) At the same time, the number of graduates from American Bar Association-approved law schools increased by 21%, meaning that the total number of new public interest lawyers is up significantly.
Among the factors leading to that growth are improved job support on law school campuses for public interest-minded students, more clinics and internship opportunities, more programs to help public interest lawyers manage their educational debt, and the founding of several groups focused on funding public interest careers.
You can read the rest here.