A commitment to public service has been at the core of Cardozo's educational mission since we opened our doors in 1976. Founded, in part, to offer opportunities to groups typically excluded from mainstream practice, the law school hosts a vibrant Center for Public Service Law that supports public service initiatives that often intersect with fundamental issues of social justice.
A Call to Action
Public service is woven into the life of the law school. On-campus panels and symposia, domestic and foreign service programs, and informal brown-bag lunches focused on public interest issues promote values supporting a commitment to the greater good. To help students envision careers in public service, the Center for Public Service Law holds informational sessions and counsels students one-on-one on how to develop into public service attorneys. Career networking events are coordinated with the Office of Career Services.
Public Service Law Advocacy Week
Cardozo's commitment to public service work is highlighted during a weeklong event known as P*LAW week. Daily panels and workshops feature topics pertinent to the practice of public interest law. The school becomes abuzz with panelists, including legal practitioners and community advocates and organizers, who are invited by students to address important issues such as domestic violence, LGBT rights, prisoners' rights, immigration reform and education reform. Recent speakers have included Randi Weingarten '83, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Judge Fern A. Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge, New York City Courts; and Susan Jacobs, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor. The climax of the week is Cardozo's Inspire! Awards ceremony and reception honoring student, alumni and faculty achievements in public service.
Educating for Change
Through coursework and hands-on learning, you can explore diverse areas of public service law, such as family law, international human rights, housing and immigration rights, labor and employment law, and criminal defense. Groundbreaking Cardozo clinics within the public service sphere are in the vanguard of social justice causes. Cardozo provides the public interest options that allow you to find your passion and make a difference. At Cardozo, public service is all about leadership, commitment and results.
The Public Service Scholars Program
The Public Service Scholars Program prepares future lawyers for the practice of law in public service through a comprehensive three-year program that offers specialized training and experience in the field. Public Service Scholars are selected through an application process on the basis of the candidate’s ability to continue the strong tradition of public service at Cardozo Law. Students who are accepted into the program come with diverse backgrounds and interests, and many bring to the program prior experience working with public interest organizations, nonprofits and government agencies.