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Public Interest Law Concentration

A public interest concentration prepares students for a wide range of career paths, ranging from positions with non-profit organizations or within the government sector, including the representation of children,  representation of criminal defendants, the provision of services to low income individuals, as well as impact litigation. Because of the wide variety of career paths, course offerings in the Concentration vary widely—for example, from Representing Children, to Landlord Tenant, to First Amendment Rights. 

Required Course

Students must complete the following course:
Administrative Law

Note: Students must successfully complete Constitutional Law as a prerequisite for this concentration. The course credit for Constitutional Law does not count toward credits required for concentration.


In addition to completing the foundational course, students are required to take additional coursework sufficient to fulfill the balance of the 18 credits required for the concentration. Equivalent courses may be approved by the concentration advisor:

Access to Justice
Civil Rights
Comparative Constitutional Law
Consumer Protection
Constitutional History
Critical Race Theory
Domestic Violence
Employment Discrimination
Federal Courts and Jurisdiction
First Amendment Rights
Immigration Law
International Human Rights
Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation
Juvenile Justice
Law and Social Change
Labor Law
Land Use
Landlord & Tenant
Law and Terrorism
National Security & Government Accountability
Non-Profit Law
Remedies: Injunctions
Representing Children
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law

Practical Skills Courses

In addition to the required foundational and elective coursework, students are required to complete a practical skills course in one of the following:

  • First Amendment Moot Court
  • Frederick Douglass Moot Court
  • Independent Study (must be pre-approved by Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Concentration Advisor)
  • International Human Rights Clinic
  • Legal Services Clinic
  • Negotiation, Mediation & Arbitration
  • Negotiation Competition
  • 60 hours of faculty-approved legal pro bono work (placement must be approved by Concentration Advisor)
  • Public Interest Externship Placement (must be pre-approved by Concentration Advisor)

Writing Requirement

Students are required to complete one significant piece of writing in the concentration area. The writing requirement does not require that students earn any credits beyond the foundational and elective credits described above. However, the topic and the arrangement for fulfilling the writing requirement must be approved in advance by the Concentration Advisor. The paper could be written to fulfill the requirements of a course, an independent study, or a law review note. It may also be possible to fulfill this requirement by completing a substantial piece of writing in conjunction with an externship, such as a draft legal brief, significant legal memorandum, or by writing a paper independently, such as a submission to a writing competition or an article for publication. In all of these arrangements, the prior approval of the Concentration Advisor is required.

Public Interest Law Concentration

Please go to course descriptions to view all course descriptions and offerings.

Note: In the case of extraordinary circumstances and undue hardship, the Associate Dean, in consultation with the Concentration Advisor may propose an alternative means of satisfying the Practice Component.

*Note: Some courses will not be offered every Academic Year.