Explore the Possibilities: Public Interest Law Program for Law Students – Chicago

Looking to secure a legal aid, public interest law or government position during or after law school? This complimentary program is for law students who are interested in learning more about opportunities as volunteers, interns, externs, fellows or staff in the public interest law sector. Advance registration for this program is required.

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  • 10:00 – 10:20 am: Registration & Continental Breakfast
  • 10:20 – 10:50 am: Opening Session – A Conversation on Access to Justice
    • Public interest lawyers are uniquely positioned to make a real difference in the lives of people, families and communities in need. Hear from a leader in the public interest law sector who has dedicated their career to helping others reflect on what access to justice means, the times our community is in today, and the biggest challenges the public interest law community and those we seek to help face.
  • 10:50 – 11:00 am: BREAK
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Concurrent Sessions
    • The Basics: What You Need to Know to Get Started: Deepen your understanding of what’s involved in pursuing a career in public interest law. A panel will review opportunities in public interest law, ways to connect with Chicago’s public interest law community, and discuss the basics of applying for internships, externships and fellowships.
    • Next Steps: Preparing for Post-Graduate Opportunities: Panelists from different sections of the public interest law community discuss how to stand out as an intern, extern and fellow, and what you can be doing now to strengthen your postgraduate applications. Hear suggestions for cover letters, resumes and interviewing, and strategies for making the most of the experience once you secure one of these positions.
  • 12:00 – 1:30 pm: Lunchtime Session: Hot Topics in Social Justice
    • Public interest lawyers are often at the forefront of social justice issues. Hear from attorneys at organizations working on current issues and find out how law students can get more involved.
  • 1:30 – 2:30 pm: Concurrent Sessions
    • Plotting Your Government Career Path: Hear advice from hiring representatives from city, state and federal government offices, and review specific techniques for building a resume and applying for government jobs.
    • Addressing the Justice Gap: There is a huge gap between the legal needs of low-income people and the capacity of legal services to meet those needs. Learn about unique and innovative approaches attorneys have taken to address legal needs and ways in which law students can help.

If you have questions about this program, please contact Arthur Surratt by email.

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