Youtube/movieclipsLawyer Atticus Finch in “To Kill A Mockingbird”While many law school grads dream of making hundreds of thousands of dollars working in corporate law, there are some who want to make a difference by becoming a public defender or working for the Department of Justice.
Law schools in Virginia and D.C. dominate the National Law Journal’s list of the top 20 schools with grads in public interest or government jobs, showing that it’s easier to snag a government law job when you go to law school near the nation’s capital.
Here are the top five law schools placing grads in government jobs, according to the National Law Journal:
1. College of William and Mary Marshall – Wythe Law School — W&M was America’s first law school, and its curriculum centres around the ideal of the “citizen-lawyer,” a socially-conscious lawyer who defends the down-trodden and advocates for human rights. The school also offers more than 100 fellowships every summer for students who want to work in public service organisations.
2. George Washington University Law School — G.W.’s Foggy Bottom campus is at the heart of government activity in downtown D.C. (just blocks from the State Department), making it easy for students to secure internships at federal organisations. The school runs several different legal clinics, an extensive public interest and pro bono program, and an on-campus public sector recruiting program.
3. Florida State University College of Law — FSU’s law school may be 23rd on the U.S. News & World Report’s list, but it has one of the best criminal law programs in the south, as well as joint degree programs in public administration, social work and international affairs.
4. City University of New York School of Law — CUNY has two programs that prepare lawyers to become public defenders or open practices that serve low-income communities. LaunchPad gives recent grads the opportunity to represent low-income clients in civil court, and Incubator trains lawyers who can successfully serve poor communities.
5. University of South Dakota School of Law — South Dakota made headlines recently for offering to pay back some of lawyers’ law school loans if they agree to spend five years practicing law in one of the state’s rural towns. The state university’s law school also encourages students to find public interest jobs by running several legal clinics that serve poor and isolated communities, as well as local American Indian tribes.
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