Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program
Columbia Law School’s Public Interest/Public Service (PI/PS) Fellows Program is an exciting new initiative that launched in fall 2019. Building on the long and exemplary commitment to public interest at Columbia Law School, the PI/PS Fellows Program brings together and supports a community of students seeking to use their legal training to effect positive change in society. Designed for students committed to pursuing public interest or public service* careers immediately upon graduation, the program provides PI/PS Fellows with specialized opportunities and resources for exploring public interest and government lawyering both in the United States and abroad. PI/PS Fellows benefit from a diverse cohort of peers and receive in-depth support, guidance, experience, and opportunities, as they pursue their commitment to public interest and public service throughout their time at Columbia Law School.
This three-year program focuses on supporting students in four key areas:
- Building a supportive community of peers committed to public interest and public service
- Connecting Fellows with mentors who are deeply rooted in public interest scholarship and practice
- Learning from faculty and practitioners, both inside and outside the classroom
- End-to-end career and curricular counseling to ensure that Fellows are ideally positioned to secure highly sought-after positions in public interest, human rights, government, and other nonprofit sectors
First-year PI/PS Fellows who are interested in further exploring the human rights field may also apply to participate in the Human Rights Institute 1L Advocates Program, which is exclusively available for PI/PS Fellows.
*The PI/PS Fellows Program embraces a broad definition of public interest and public service law. We use the term "public interest” to mean work pursued on the basis of individual or group concepts of justice, fairness, and advancement of the public good. The term “public interest” includes the field of human rights. “Public service” refers specifically to work conducted while in a government position but is often included under the public interest umbrella. Both terms encompass a wide range of legal work carried out in varied settings.
“One of our core values as an institution is the belief that serving the public interest should be part of the professional life of every one of our students and graduates. The Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program provides more meaningful experiences for our students and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to preparing graduates for the evolving opportunities of public service lawyering in the 21st century.”
—Gillian Lester, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses
Professor of Law