Support for Public Interest

Many of our students seek internships during law school and jobs after graduation serving in public interest positions, including positions in legal aid and government. W&L Law provides robust support for locating such positions and funding to make serving in the public interest a viable option.

Funding and Academic Credit

Shepherd Loan Repayment Program

The Washington and Lee University School of Law Shepherd Loan Repayment Assistance Program (the "LRAP") is designed to provide financial assistance to recent graduates working in the public interest at salaries below that of their counterparts in the private sector. The LRAP is administered by the LRAP Committee, appointed by the Dean. Determinations of eligibility for repayment assistance and loan forgiveness, and the allocation of awards, are at the complete discretion of the Committee. More Information

The Natkin Fund

The Natkin Fund provides several first and second year law students with grants to support their work in public interest law. 

Shepherd Higher Education Consortium

Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty provides funding for students selected through a competitive application process. More information

McDonald Loan Fund

An institutional loan program administered by the Dean of Student Affairs for students who need additional financial assistance over the summer.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study funding is available for limited number of students in eligible positions.

Travel Expenses

The school will reimburse travel expenses associated with public sector job searches for summer and post-graduate positions. This includes individual interviews as well as travel to public interest job fairs.

Academic Credit

Non-graded academic credit is available for students who works in a full-time, unpaid summer internship with a for-profit entity (such as a law firm or corporate counsel's office), a not-for-profit entity, governmental organization, NGO, trade organization, court or other legal practice setting. 

Interview Programs and Counseling

Government and Public Interest Interview Program (GPIIP)

  • Held early February of each year
  • Interview with local, state, and federal employers; including prosecutors, public defenders, state agencies, federal agencies, legal aid providers, and legal not-for-profits
  • Employers largely hire for summer positions  

Equal Justice Works (EJW)

  • Held in late October of each year
  • Interview and participate in table talks with employers from around the country
  • Employers hire for summer and post-graduate opportunities

Fall OCI and Regional Interview Programs

  • Held in August and September of each year
  • Employers such as the New York City Law Department, New Hampshire Public Defender, Southern Environmental Law Center, Federal Trade Commission, Bronx District Attorney's Office, and several others hire for post-graduate and summer positions 

Office of Career Strategy (OCS) Counseling 

OCS has dedicated career counselors for students interested in public sector opportunities and post-graduate judicial clerkships

  • Advice for students on career paths, job search strategies and tailoring applications
  • A go-to resource for how to navigate federal government hiring logistics
  • Clerkships are a recommended path for students interested working in a variety of public interest positions, and especially for aspiring prosecutors and public defenders