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Public Interest Specialized Career Advising

Vanderbilt Law School provides students a diverse array of opportunities for engagement in pro bono service.Vanderbilt offers students seeking public interest careers – whether in government service, indigent defense, legal aid offices, advocacy organizations, or their own brand of social justice entrepreneurship – expert advice. The assistant dean for public interest works closely with the Career Services Office to support students who aspire to public service work during and after law school.

Public Interest Careers - Resources for Students

Students may attend the Equal Justice Works Annual Conference and Career Fair, the largest public interest job fair in the country, with support from Vanderbilt. The school also hosts an annual Government and Public Interest Day where students meet representatives from dozens of public sector agencies, learn about the work they perform, and make connections leading to internship opportunities. We also regularly host government and public interest employers for on-campus job interviews.

Below are some of the public sector agencies where Vanderbilt Law graduates of the Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 went to work after graduation:

  • Appellate Advocates (New York)
  • Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) District Attorney
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Florida
  • Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Public Defender Office
  • Just City, Memphis
  • Knox County (Knoxville) Public Defender's Community Law Office
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender (KY)
  • Mecklenburg Defenders (Charlotte, NC)
  • Miami-Dade Public Defender
  • Mississippi Center for Justice
  • Nashville Defenders
  • NYC Law Department
  • Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
  • Office of the Marysville City Prosecutor
  • Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender, Fourth Judicial Circuit (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Office of the Public Defender, Nassau County (NY)
  • Still She Rises
  • Tennessee Justice Center
  • Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • U.S. Air Force JAG
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Army JAG
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Tax Division (Honors Program)
  • U.S. Navy JAG
  • United Nation's High Commission on Refugees

Each year, Vanderbilt graduates secure post-graduate fellowships and permanent positions with a range of public interest and government agencies.

In the past several years, the following VLS graduates have secured competitive post-graduate Skadden and Equal Justice Works fellowships:

Post-graduate fellowships like the Skadden Fellowship are time-limited employment opportunities that serve as an important pathway into the public interest legal sector for recent law graduates, including judicial clerks. The Office of Public Interest offers a guide to pursuing one of these highly-coveted career-starters:


Vanderbilt Law School offers its own post-graduate public interest fellowship opportunity, the George Barrett Fellowship.

If you have questions or for more information,

contact Erin Parr-Carranza, public interest program coordinator