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Many students enter law school with a passion for a particular issue or set of issues, such as education or civil rights. Others develop a strong interest for a substantive area during law school. Still others find a practice setting or work style that they like and the issues they work on are less important. In any event, public interest work covers a huge range of issue areas, including some that people typically think of as “corporate.”

The following are some issue areas public interest lawyers work in, along with links to relevant guides.

AIDS / HIVFamilyNative American / Tribal Law
Animal IssuesFarm / Migrant WorkersPersonal Injury / Med Malpractice
Arts / EntertainmentFirst AmendmentPrisoners’ Issues
Bankruptcy / DebtGovernment AccountabilityProperty / Real Estate
Business / Economic IssuesGun ControlProsecution
Children / YouthHealth / Medical (.pdf)Public Defense
Civil Rights / Liberties (.pdf)Housing / HomelessnessRacial / Ethnic Justice
CommunicationsHuman RightsReligious Issues
ConsumerImmigration / Refugee (.pdf)Reproductive Rights
Criminal Legal System ReformIntellectual Property / TechnologySecurity / Defense / Arms Control
Death PenaltyInternational Development (.pdf)Tax
DisabilityJuvenile Defense (.pdf)Trade
Domestic ViolenceLabor / EmploymentTransitional Justice / Democracy
EducationLegal ServicesTrusts and Estates
EldersLGBTQ+ IssuesVoting / Campaign Finance
Environment / EnergyMunicipal LawWomen’s Rights