Public Interest Law
Serving the public is at the core of Penn State’s mission, which stresses “improving the well-being of individuals and communities.” At Penn State Law we believe every lawyer should be committed to doing the same, whether in large part or small. Penn State Law students are situated in the heart of Penn State’s largest campus, among leading scholars of all disciplines, and the school’s reach in public interest law spans the local to the global.
Penn State Law public interest programming includes a vast array of coursework, clinical experiences, and extracurricular activities devoted to service. From day one, public interest law is a central component of the Penn State Law experience. First-year students hear from leading public interest faculty at Orientation, and there are abundant opportunities to reflect on, participate in, and analyze public interest law throughout the first-year curriculum. During the second and third year of law school, students can build specialized knowledge in courses central to public interest law, and put that expertise to work in clinics that serve indigent clients; in externships with nonprofits, public defenders, and legal services; and in student organizations dedicated to public service.
Throughout the Penn State Law experience, students consistently learn about the professional responsibility of every attorney to provide legal assistance to underrepresented people as they are immersed in Penn State’s interdisciplinary culture that advances social justice in seemingly endless capacities.