Finding and Securing Public Interest & Government Summer Employment

Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide Volume I – USA by Harvard Law School: Each year, Harvard Law School publishes a handbook and directory for law students and lawyers seeking public service work, which includes the government sector as well as traditional public interest jobs. This publication also provides information on funding for public interest summer internships, post-graduate fellowships, federal honors programs, entrepreneurial grants, and judicial clerkships. The current edition of Serving the Public is currently available in the Career Center library.

In addition to the printed resources that they publish, Harvard Law School's Office of Public Interest Advising website is a clearinghouse of information on job resources for the public interest-minded law student.

Employment Opportunities in North Carolina

IOLTA: Many years, up to five students from each law school in North Carolina are awarded funding for a public interest summer internship. The funding is drawn from the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program (IOLTA), a non-profit organization created by the North Carolina Bar. Students can obtain a list of public interest employers approved for a recent program from the Career Center or from the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono. More information about the IOLTA grants and the selection process for Duke Law students is available from the Office Public Interest & Pro Bono.

North Carolina Department of Justice Internship Program: The internship program at the NC Department of Justice is designed to introduce law students to public service. Internship opportunities are available in all divisions of the Department of Justice. In addition to assisting the state's attorneys, interns also participate in a variety of activities to give them perspective on the work of the DOJ. This includes attending oral arguments in the appellate courts and visiting the State Bureau of Investigation crime laboratory.

North Carolina State Government Internship Program: Summer internships for legal residents of North Carolina are offered in virtually all areas of state government through the North Carolina Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office. Seventy-five paid internships are available for 10 weeks each summer for undergraduates, graduate and professional students. Law related opportunities are available with the following entities: the NC Indian Land Trust Project, the NC Ridge Law GIS Project, the NC Court of Appeals, the NC Supreme Court, the NC Department of Labor, and the NC Department of the State Treasurer.

Stanback Conservation Internship Program (Environmental):The Stanback Internship Program is a partnership between the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University and targeted conservation organizations. Every year, Duke Law students with an interest in environmental law participate in the Stanback program.