The Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society facilitates opportunities for law students to give back to traditionally underrepresented groups through community service, pro bono work, and special projects. The Legal Aid Society strives to promote a culture where service and public interest are recognized as vital parts of a legal education and important components of a legal career. Utilizing cutting-edge tools like Public Interest Legal Research (PILR)—an online portal where public interest law practitioners can submit research requests and projects for Vanderbilt Law students to perform remotely—adds depth to student experience and can alleviate hurdles facing public interest attorneys.
Not every government agency or nonprofit can hire regular interns. However, many public interest lawyers face pressing research concerns. PILR allows practitioners to submit research requests that Vanderbilt Law Students can complete on deadline.
Although ethical rules prohibit law students from providing legal advice, we may perform legal research on behalf of public interest attorneys. Our students are committed to providing thorough answers to practitioners who request background information on legal issues, or other research needs that help public interest lawyers perform their work.
We are Vanderbilt Law students who have a passion for supporting public interest attorneys. We field research requests from any licensed attorney who works for a government agency, nonprofit, or nongovernmental organization. We do not assist with requests for pro bono work performed at private law firms.
Public Interest Legal Research seeks to broaden law students' exposure to legal services for indigent clients through supporting the research needs of public interest attorneys.