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An Inspiring Community

With faculty experts who care as much about students as they do about making a difference through scholarship, dedicated students who become role models, and a network of alumni doing public service and public interest work around the world, Stanford Law is an inspiring community for students interested in public service law.

Experience, skill, impact, and a deep commitment to encouraging future lawyers to carry Stanford’s public service ethic into the world are the qualities that distinguish Stanford faculty members in public service and public interest law. Recognized for their groundbreaking work on a wide variety of topics—gender equality, social entrepreneurship, civil rights, death penalty advocacy, and First Amendment rights, to name just a few—Stanford faculty shape policy and inspire others to undertake public service careers and opportunities.

Accessible and passionate about supporting students, Stanford Law faculty members sign up to support and guide a group of first-year law students as part of the Stanford Public Interest and Public Policy Faculty Mentor Program. In 2008-09, 20 faculty members mentored first-year students. In these small groups of four to five, students get to know each other, obtain guidance from second- and third-year students, and develop relationships with faculty members early in their law school careers. Groups meet for advice at critical junctures, such as the beginning of the job search process and spring semester course registration. In addition to building the public interest law community, the program enables faculty to provide specialized guidance for students interested in civil rights, public policy, government, criminal law, labor law, international law, education law, and other areas of practice.


“My Stanford Law experience played a pivotal role in preparing me for everything I have been able to accomplish in my professional life. My clerkship with Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit came about because Stanford Law stressed the importance of judicial clerkships to its students’ professional development. My desire to work in the public service began during that clerkship, and all that has followed can be tied to Judge Higginbotham’s influence on me.”

Ronald K. Noble ’82, Secretary General, Interpol