Public Interest Activities

Student Organizations

Almost 45% of YLS students perform public service without pay or credit through a student group. Their activities range from legal research and writing to outreach in the New Haven public schools. You can read a description of the public interest activities of some of the YLS student organizations by visiting some of their independently maintained websites.

Public Interest Centers

The Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law provides fellowships for graduates to work full time in the public interest for one year, as well as modest grants to legal service organizations under the auspices of the Liman Fund. The Liman Program also organizes the annual Liman Colloquium. In addition, the Liman Program co-sponsors the Public Interest Reading Group during the fall semester. Finally, student associates of the Liman Program work with current and former Liman Fellows on various research projects arising from the fellows’ work.

Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights coordinates a diverse program of human rights activities from lectures and conferences to the Human Rights Workshop. In addition, the center administers several human rights fellowships for students and recent graduates.

Yale Law School Latin American Linkage Program include a student exchange with several universities in Argentina and Chile. Students involved in the Linkage Program focus on human rights issues through participation in workshops at universities in Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Saõ Paulo and work with local NGOs.

The Paul Tsai China Center has two missions: first, to assist the legal reform process within China; and second, to increase understanding of China’s legal system outside of China. To these ends, the center carries out research and teaching, promotes academic exchanges with China, and undertakes a variety of cooperative projects.

The Justice Collaboratory offers students the opportunity to participate in Criminal Justice Reform: Theory and Research in Action, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, workshop that is grounded in theory and research and engaged with the critical criminal justice policy debates of the day. Students attend a weekly seminar at which guest speakers (both academics and practitioners) highlight their work and we discuss its implications for our experiential policy reform efforts. In addition to the seminar, students engage in real-world lawyering to advance criminal justice policy reform.

The Carol and Gene Ludwig Program in Public Sector Leadership, part of The Tsai Leadership Program at Yale Law School, provides focused educational and professional support to Yale Law students who aspire to nontraditional careers and leadership roles in the public sector. The Ludwig Program helps prepare students for careers in areas such as government, nonprofits, and other institutions focused on serving the public.

Clinical Work in the Public Interest

Yale Law School clinics undertake extraordinarily ambitious and wide-ranging work. In addition to serving individuals within the community, Yale Law School’s clinics have won three nationwide injunctions in the last few years, and their work regularly makes national headlines.

    The Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization functions as a single law firm that houses nine clinics providing legal representation to individuals and organizations in need of legal services.

    A complete list of Yale Law School clinical opportunities showcases the breadth of our clinical work in the public interest.