Where Students and Graduates Work in Public Service

Where Students Work

A large number of UVA Law students head off each summer to jobs in public defender’s and prosecutor’s offices, to nonprofits and legal aid organizations and to every division of the nation’s largest public service law firm, the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as its many U.S. Attorney’s Offices.

To get a sense for where you might work as a UVA Law student during one or both of your summers, check out our annual stories linked below about students who’ve received Public Service Summer Grants (pre-tax $4000 for 1Ls, $7000 for 2Ls).  PSS grants are 100% guaranteed summer fellowships that UVA Law awards to students pursuing public service internships in the summer after their 1L and 2L years, provided that they meet all application requirements, including pro bono service.  While the lists of grantees at the bottom of these articles don’t reflect all the students working in public service internships, they’ll give you a great snapshot of what our public service community does each summer.

During the school year, as well, UVA Law students branch out beyond the classroom to learn firsthand from public interest attorneys. Through UVA Law in DC and a host of other full-time and part-time externship opportunities, students work in nonprofits and government agencies across the country while continuing to study with professors and earning academic credit.  Read here a full list of organizations where UVA Law students have worked in full-time, individualized externships from Spring 2013 through Fall 2016.

Where Graduates Work

We have more public service alumni concentrated in the Washington, D.C. area than in any other region, but our alumni serve the public interest across the country and throughout the world.  Below is a small sampling of where UVA Law graduates work to advance justice.  If you don’t see a particular organization or part of the country that interests you, please reach out to us to see if we have contacts or resources we can share that weren’t listed here.  Chances are that we do, given the breadth, depth, and sheer generosity of our UVA Law alumni community.

Sample public service organizations where UVA Law alumni have worked in the past 5 years:

  • Advocates for Children (New York, NY)
  • Alaska Public Defender’s Office (Various cities, AL)
  • American Civil Liberties Union (National programs, Washington, DC and Virginia)
  • California Department of Justice (San Diego, CA)
  • Center for American Progress (Washington, DC)
  • Center for Constitutional Rights (New York, NY)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (Washington, DC)
  • Colorado Public Defender’s Office (Various cities, CO)
  • Committee for Public Counsel Services (Various cities, MA)
  • Community Legal Services (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Washington, DC)
  • Council for Children’s Rights (Charlotte, NC)
  • Defender Association (Seattle, WA)
  • District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General (Washington, DC)
  • Earthjustice (Alaska and California)
  • EarthRights International (Washington, DC)
  • Environmental Law Institute (Washington, DC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (Chicago, IL; Seattle, WA; Washington, DC; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA)
  • Federal Communications Commission (Washington, DC)
  • Federal Public Defender’s Offices (sampling only):
    • Central District of California, District of Maryland, Eastern District of Virginia, Middle District of Florida, Western District of Virginia, Western District of Texas
  • Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Banks (San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC)
  • Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Consumer Protection (Washington, DC)
  • Food and Drug Administration (Silver Spring, MD)
  • Harris County District Attorney’s Office (Houston, TX)
  • Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
  • Internal Revenue Service (Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Denver, CO; Dallas, TX)
  • Just Neighbors Immigration Legal Services (Falls Church, VA)
  • King County Department of Public Defense (Seattle, WA)
  • King County Prosecutor’s Office (Seattle, WA)
  • Kings County District Attorney’s Office (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Washington, DC)
  • Legal Aid Justice Center (Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia)
  • Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
  • Legal Aid Society (New York, NY)
  • Manhattan Legal Services (New York, NY)
  • Mecklenburg Public Defender’s Office (Charlotte, NC)
  • Metropolitan Public Defender Services (Portland, OR)
  • National Security Agency (Fort Meade, MD)
  • Natural Resources Defense Cou ncil (San Francisco and Santa Monica, CA; Washington, DC; Columbus, OH)
  • Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (New York, NY)
  • New York City Law Department (New York, NY)
  • New York County District Attorney’s Office (New York, NY)
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation (Washington, DC)
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America (Washington, DC; New York, NY)
  • Public Counsel (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
  • Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office (Richmond, VA)
  • San Diego County District Attorney’s Office (San Diego, CA)
  • San Francisco City Attorney’s Office (San Francisco, CA)
  • School Justice Project (Washington, DC)
  • Southern Center for Human Rights (Atlanta, GA)
  • Southern Environmental Law Center (Atlanta, GA; Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Charlottesville, VA)
  • Southern Poverty Law Center (Birmingham, AL)
  • Texas Office of the Attorney General (Austin, TX)
  • The Bronx Defenders (Bronx, NY)
  • Virginia Office of the Attorney General (Richmond, VA)
  • Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (Washington, DC)
  • United Nations (Washington, DC; New York, NY; The Hague, Netherlands)
  • U.S. Aid for International Development (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Armed Services, Judge Advocates General Corps for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy (Worldwide)
  • U.S. Department of Defense (Arlington, VA; Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (including sub-agencies Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, DC and various cities – sampling only):
    • Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, Drug Enforcement Administration, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Executive Office of Immigration Review, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Division, Office of Legal Counsel, Solicitor General, Tax Division
  • U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices (sampling only):
    • Central District of California, District of Columbia, District of Maryland, District of Massachusetts, Eastern District of New York, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Eastern District of Virginia, Middle District of Georgia, Northern District of Florida, Southern District of New York, Southern District of Texas, Western District of North Carolina, Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Washington, DC)
  • Women’s Justice Initiative (Guatemala)
  • Youth, Rights, and Justice (Portland, OR)

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