Public Service at Washington University Law

Public Service Advisory Board- Washington University School of Law
Law Students participate in the
Big Brothers/Big Sisters program
of St. Louis.

Commitment to public service is an integral part of the tradition and ethic of the legal profession. Washington University School of Law has a longstanding commitment to public service and recognizes its important role in preparing students to be competent, ethical lawyers working toward a more just society. It is our goal to prepare students to contribute to society through service to the profession and the community. 

Pro Bono Pledge 

All law students are encouraged to complete the Pro Bono Pledge by performing 50 hours of law-related public service before they graduate. 

Public Service Advisory Board 

The Public Service Advisory Board is a student-led organization that allocates public service funds among student groups, facilitates educational events about public service careers, creates opportunities for public service within the law school and in the larger St. Louis community, and administers the Pro Bono Pledge. 

Broad-Based Curriculum

Additionally, Washington University School of Law offers a broad-based curriculum that supplements traditional courses with hands-on clinical training, skills courses, interdisciplinary learning, and public interest courses in fields such as constitutional law and government, criminal law, employment law, environmental law, family and health law, and international law.

Clinical Education Program

The Clinical Education Program at Washington University School of Law is widely known to be one of the best in the country. Through the clinics, students have opportunities to assist indigent and underrepresented clients with domestic violence, employment rights environmental concerns, criminal defense and death penalty cases. Students may also work with state and federal judges, congressional committees and federal agencies. Unlike most law schools, Washington University guarantees every student placement in at least one of the clinical courses during their second or third year of law school. 

Preparation for Public Interest Careers 

The Career Services Office (CSO) offers services and resources specifically for students interested in public interest employment. CSO holds an annual Public Interest Job Fair, hosts government and public interest employers who interview on campus, and brings successful public interest and government attorneys to campus to talk with students about careers in public service.

Public Interest Law and Policy Speaker Series 

The annual Public Interest Law and Policy Speaker Series exposes students to a wide array of public interest legal themes. Students at Washington University School of Law have the opportunity to attend lectures and interact with speakers during receptions and special events. 

Note: Washington University School of Law students cannot provide legal assistance directly to members of the public. Students can only provide legal assistance under the supervision of an attorney.