Public Interest Careers

Minnesota Law’s commitment to training and supporting students pursuing public interest opportunities has encouraged many graduates each year to pursue careers in the public interest. Specifically, Minnesota Law provides: 

  • Financial support, including the Robina Public Interest Scholars Program; summer funding for unpaid public interest work; conference and job fair funding; postgraduate fellowship funding; and the Loan Repayment Assistance Program of Minnesota (LRAP MN).
  • Resource support, including a dedicated Assistant Director of Public Interest, who counsels students and alumni on public service career paths, hosts events throughout the school year (including public interest career panels), recruits public interest employers, and manages summer and postgraduate funding programs.
  • Skill building support, including Minnesota Law Clinics, the Saeks Public Interest Residency Program, Experiential Learning, and numerous pro bono opportunities.  

Public Interest Facts & Stats

Summer Opportunities

In 2023, 51% of current 2Ls and 39% of current 3Ls worked at government agencies or nonprofit organizations during the summer.

Public Interest Fellowships

From 2014 - 2023, sixteen graduates were awarded prestigious postgraduate fellowships from Equal Justice Works.

Entry Level Careers in Public Service 

42% of our employed graduates from the class of 2022 started directly in public interest careers and judicial clerkships, serving in nonprofit, government, and international organizations. Graduates started public interest jobs across the country, including in Washington D.C., New York, California, Illinois, and Minnesota, among other states. Read more about post-clerkship employment.

More information on annual NALP and ABA reporting for government and nonprofit positions is available in the Career Facts & Statistics reports under Where Grads Go.

School-Funded Fellowships

Robina Postgraduate Fellowships

Robina Postgraduate Fellowships are supported by the Robina Foundation in recognition of the need for greater funding for recent graduates who want to pursue public interest work. This highly competitive fellowship program provides funding for fellows to work full-time, for one year, in a legal or policy role at a nonprofit or government agency.

Organizations where Robina fellows have worked include:

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas
  • American Red Cross, International Humanitarian Law Unit
  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Earthjustice
  • Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency
  • DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Guernica Centre for International Justice
  • Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law

Bridge Fellowships

Bridge Fellowships support recent graduates on their paths to public service. Bridge Fellowships provide short-term funding for graduates to work at government agencies and nonprofit organizations—locally, nationally, and internationally—while they search for permanent employment. All fellows work closely with their career counselors to secure quality placements and transition to permanent work.