Public Interest Programs

University of California, Irvine School of Law is dedicated to instilling in students the importance of using their legal skills to provide service to under-represented communities and causes.  UCI Law has a deeply imbedded culture of public service, ensuring that our graduates will be committed to providing legal services to those most in need, either through pro bono service in their private practice, or as public interest attorneys.  Students dedicated to a career in public service receive extensive support in every aspect of their law school journey, while all students are strongly encouraged to provide pro bono legal assistance.

Pro Bono Program

More than 90 percent of UCI Law students participate in the Pro Bono Program, ensuring that legal services are provided to those most vulnerable in the local community, as well as communities across the country and around the world.  Students are strongly encouraged to participate as early as their first year of law school, developing legal skills while working with low-income clients, and providing assistance to underserved causes.

Public Service Financial Support

UCI Law financially supports students pursuing careers as public interest attorneys through full-tuition Public Service Scholarships for a select group of incoming students.  Additionally, funds are provided to every student doing public interest legal work during the first or second summer of law school through the Public Interest Law Fund (PILF). The Loan Repayment Assistance Program financially supports graduating students with goals of working in public service law.

Public Interest Speakers

An integral part of the public interest experience at UCI Law is the wealth of speakers that visit each week, discussing the legal and social implications of the law in the lives of the poor and underserved.  Additionally, the annual Al Meyerhoff speaker series brings in icons of the public interest legal community to inspire and inform students about the joys and challenges of a public interest legal career.

Public Interest Career Counseling

The Career Development Office provides individualized counseling for public interest minded students by Assistant Directors who practiced extensively in public interest law.  Additionally, the Career Development Office will provide one-on-one assistance in conjunction with faculty and staff to any student wishing to pursue a fellowship as an option for securing a public interest job directly out of law school.

Community Programs

As part of its mission to give back to the community, UCI Law supports two programs to inspire and support aspiring attorneys from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The Saturday Academy of Law provides an introduction to the law to 9th graders in the Santa Ana Unified School District, and the Pre-Law Outreach Program provides intensive assistance to undergraduates wishing to attend law school.