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 and Clinics

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 Projects in South America 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 Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, the Allard K. Lowenstein Human Rights Law Clinic, and a number of other clinical opportunities are available to students at the Law School, often in their first year.