Public Interest Mentoring Program
Stanford Law faculty distinguish themselves not only in their legal work and scholarship, but also in their accessibility and zeal for working with students. Faculty members who participate in the Stanford Public Interest and Public Policy Faculty Mentor Program provide students with specialized guidance in immigrants' rights, public policy, government, criminal law, labor law, international law, education law, and other practice areas. Many of them also participate in our special mentoring program for first-year students. This program creates small groups of first-year students and matches them with a faculty member and a Public Interest Fellow.
Brown bag lunch discussions with faculty mentors on specific topics such as curricular advice or the summer job search are scheduled throughout the year as are social events to provide informal opportunities for students, faculty, and administrators to get to know one another.
For the most recent list of participating faculty, please see the Faculty Mentors brochure that features a short biography for each faculty mentor.
Public Interest Fellows are third-year students who are recognized for their history of public service and who are committed to starting their careers as lawyers in public service. These students also serve as mentors to incoming first-year students. Prospective students interested in talking with any of the Fellows about their experiences may contact the Center staff to request a referral.
We also have 2L students who volunteer to mentor incoming first-year students. Many of these students will go on to serve as Public Interest Fellows during their 3L year.
Many Stanford Law alumni are happy to talk to students about their work. Public interest alumni, particularly recent graduates and younger professionals, can identify with the excitement and struggles students feel in committing to the public service path. They stand as proof that Stanford Law School graduates succeed in finding jobs congruent with their passions and develop satisfying, meaningful careers as public interest lawyers. Stanford Law School's National Public Interest Alumni Network has identified public interest practitioners across the country that can provide mentoring to public interest students. Students can request to speak to alumni working in specific geographic regions, practice areas, or from similar backgrounds to ask questions about career planning, fellowship and clerkship applications, and their law school experiences.
The Center also holds receptions each summer that bring public interest alumni, students, and new admits together in major metropolitan areas across the country. The Office of Alumni Relations also sponsors many events for alumni, to which students are often invited. For example, Alumni Weekend takes place every year during the fall, and this year's program is sure to draw a lot of public interest alumni. Public interest-oriented students should take advantage of this great networking opportunity by attending a panel, dinner or reception. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations for more information and to find out which events are open to students.