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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 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 informational sessions and on-campus job interviews.

Below are some of the public sector agencies where Vanderbilt Law graduates of the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 went to work after graduation:

  • A Better Balance
  • Brooklyn Defender Services (NY)
  • Campaign Legal Center
  • Church World Service
  • Colorado Center on Law and Policy
  • Colorado Department of Law, Office of the Attorney General
  • Community Legal Aid (MA)
  • Emory University Law School, Juvenile Justice Clinical Fellowship
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
  • King County Department of Public Defense (Seattle, WA)
  • Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
  • Legal Aid Society, New York City
  • Nashville Defenders
  • Office of the Colorado Public Defender
  • Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District (CO)
  • Office of the District Attorney, Bronx (NY)
  • Office of the District Attorney, County of Riverside (CA)
  • Office of the District Attorney, Queens (NY)
  • Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender, Fourth Judicial Circuit (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Office of the Public Defender, Nassau County (NY)
  • Office of the Public Defender, Travis County (Austin, TX)
  • Powell Project
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Still She Rises
  • Tennessee Innocence Project
  • 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. Coast Guard JAG
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS Refugee and Asylum Law Division
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Honors Program, Antitrust Division
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Honors Program, Civil Rights Division
  • U.S. Marine JAG
  • United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
  • 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 fellowships:

Post-graduate fellowships like the Skadden and Equal Justice Works 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 Public Interest Office 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