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Public Interest Law

Clinics and Practical Skills

Students at Lewis & Clark obtain the foundation for their public interest careers in the classroom and build on that foundation with hands-on experiences and practical training in programs that allow them to develop skills and expertise while helping clients. Students have a wide range of practical skills opportunities to choose from in which they can gain credit toward their degree. These opportunities include on-and off-campus clinics, legal practicums, and externships. Pro bono work also allows students to obtain practical skills in the legal field on a voluntary, non-credit basis.


In clinics, students work for public interest clients under the supervision of Lewis & Clark’s clinical faculty. We have several clinics available, each of which offers valuable practical experiences to public interest-minded students. Click here for more information about our clinics.

Legal Practicums

Through legal practicums, students receive course credit for part-time work under the supervision of a local attorney while still attending class on campus. Practicums most likely to attract public interest-oriented students are available in animal law, criminal law, and environmental law. Click here for more information about practicums.


Through the externship program, students can work full or part-time in a public interest office over the summer or for an entire semester while receiving full academic credit for their work. Public interest externships occur in the Portland area, across the country, and around the world in nonprofits, government offices, and NGOs. Externships are an excellent way to build skills as well as connections to employers for jobs after law school. 

Recent externship hosts include the Northwest Center for Constitutional Rights; Oregon Public Broadcasting; the Center for International Environmental Law; the St. Andrew Legal Clinic; Youth, Rights & Justice; Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services; Civil Liberties Defense Center; GLBT Community Center; Labor Education Research Center; the Oregon Innocence Project; Center for Food Safety; Animal Legal Defense Fund, and many more.

Pro Bono and Community Service

Lewis & Clark students have long been involved in community service and pro bono work. Many of them continue that commitment as alumni, doing pro bono work as a way to use their legal skills to give back.

Public Interest Law

Contact Us

  • Public Interest Law is located in room 38 of Gantenbein on the Law Campus.


    voice 503-768-6886 fax 503-768-6729

    Executive Director
    Tracy A Sullivan

    10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard
    Portland, Oregon 97219