Students may prepare for a wide variety of careers in public service. These include careers in the executive branch of government, as staff or agency counsel, assistant attorneys or assistant district attorneys; in the legislative branch, as counsel or staff to legislators, legislative committees or legislative offices; in the judicial branch, as law clerks, staff counsel or judges; or in the non-governmental sector, perhaps as representatives for disadvantaged clients, advocates for policy reform, or specialists in business-government relations.
Because the range of relevant careers is broad, there is no definitive list of courses that can be recommended. Students should consider their own interests and consult with staff and faculty in the field (some noted below) about courses and activities that would be appropriate. Students might also find it useful to consider the following three broad principles:
First, it may be appropriate to complete courses that provide insight into the institutions and processes through which policy is formulated and implemented. Many of the courses within the School's Perspectives menu might fall within this category. Courses of particular interest might include:
- Banking Law
- Disability Law
- Education Law
- Environmental Law Seminar
- Family Law
- Government Lawyer: Legislation
- Government Lawyer: Pursuing the Public Interest
- Health Law
- Health Law
- Immigration Law
- Interviewing and Counseling/Negotiation
- Labor Law
- Leadership and Character Strengths
- Public Interest Law Workshop
- Securities Regulation
Finally, students may wish to enroll in courses that teach the lawyering skills most useful in practicing in their area of interest. This could include involvement in a clinical law program, which provides an opportunity to engage in the real practice of law, and get firsthand experience of the ways in which public agencies perform their functions and influence the lives of their clients. Suffolk Law offers a wide range of clinics in fields such as housing law, immigration law, and juvenile justice. A complete list of clinics is available here.
Examples of other skills courses are
In addition, students may participate in the Suffolk Public Interest Law Group (SPILG). SPILG operates the Summer Public Service Fellowship Program, which provides support to students working in otherwise unpaid summer internships with government agencies and public interest groups.