This blog is mostly for people who are already committed to public interest law, or at least for those who are on the fence about what they want to do. But I recognize that there are many lawyers who don’t see themselves as working in the public interest except in the narrow sense that they represent their clients diligently, work to hone their craft, and contribute to the well-functioning of the legal system. And there are plenty of law students who are striving to get good grades and a good job after law school, without much thought about how they will contribute to the public good.
That is not to say that they won’t find ways to give back to their communities, by, for example, volunteering through civic organizations or their church or by donating money to charity. There is nothing wrong with this kind of contribution, and we should applaud people who devote themselves to the greater good no matter what form it takes. But I would argue that as lawyers we have a special obligation to contribute to the public interest in our role as lawyers, either by devoting ourselves to public interest careers or, at the very least, by spending a significant amount of time doing pro bono legal work.Continue reading “Every Lawyer Should Be a Public Interest Lawyer”