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For Prospective Students

Public Interest Courses

With its exceptional faculty and unusually low faculty/student ratio, Stanford offers students numerous opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to serve the public interest.

Every student is strongly encouraged to participate in a clinic, where students work with actual clients under the close supervision of faculty practitioners. In addition to courses at the law school, public interest students are able to enroll in courses from other departments at Stanford University. Moreover, the Center offers skills trainings that supplement the formal curriculum, preparing students to be more effective public interest advocates.


Stanford Law School is proud to count among our faculty some of the leading thinkers as well as practitioners in public interest law. Through seminars, directed research or exploration of classes in other schools of Stanford University, students are able to explore substantive issues ranging from civil rights to the economic impacts of the law to international criminal law as well as develop skills that they need to excel as lawyers upon graduation.

Sampling of Law School Courses

  • Externship Companion Seminar
  • Gender, Law & Public Policy
  • Immigration Law
  • International Human Rights
  • International Public Interest Lawyering
  • Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship
  • Lawyering for Social Change
  • Public Interest Litigation Workshop


While most courses usually focus on case law, the in-house clinics offered at Stanford Law School enable students to combine legal studies with practical training.

Not only do our clinics offer the opportunity to gain practical skills, they also enable students to delve into specific practice areas. For instance, the Immigrants' Rights Clinic (IRC) is dedicated to providing students with the training and background necessary to become extraordinarily effective immigrants' rights attorneys and advocates. Through the clinics, students have the opportunity to directly represent individuals in Violence Against Women Act petitions while working on major pieces of advocacy with local community organizations.

Students also find that clinics allow them to build up their personal networks and get to know others with similar interests. This can enhance future employment prospects.

View a complete list of clinics.

Sampling of Courses Offered in other parts of Stanford

  • Government and Nonprofit Debt Financing
  • Comparing Institutional Forms: Public, Private and Nonprofit Frontiers of Social Innovation
  • Learning to Lead in Public Service Organizations
  • Legal Dilemmas and Administrative Decision Making in Schools
  • Public and Pro Service: Theories and Ethical Practice of Public and Community Service
  • Organizing for Diversity: Operations and Obstacles in Groups and Organizations
  • Strategic Management of Nonprofits