Columbia University School of Law

Columbia University School of Law
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Laren E. Spirer
Director of Pro Bono Programs
Columbia Law School
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
P: (212) 8541448

Adrienne FitzGerald
Associate Director - Pro Bono Program
P: (212) 854-8360

Category Type

Pro Bono Graduation Requirement Program

Description of Programs

Forty hours of uncompensated (by cash or academic credit) law-related service between the end of the first year of law school and the last day of upper-class classes is required. See Pro Bono Program information at

Columbia's Pro Bono Program, created in 1993, has both mandatory and voluntary components. First year students and those who have completed the graduation requirement are encouraged to do voluntary pro bono service. Oversight of the pro bono program is provided by the Associate Director of the Pro Bono Program who meets with students, creates partnership projects and placements, and ensures that the necessary forms are filed before pro bono credit is awarded. Each student must complete an Exit Questionnaire and have his or her Placement Supervisor complete a Supervisor's Report in order to receive credit. Information from the Exit Questionnaires is used in developing and revising the pro bono program.

The school's adoption of the mandatory pro bono requirement has led, among other things, to the creation of over twenty "in-house" pro bono projects in which students work together under the supervision of a faculty member, an alum or other lawyers. In-house pro bono opportunities are promoted and facilitated at brown bag meetings and training sessions at the Law School, which are held at the beginning of each semester. Meetings are held with the student leaders of in-house pro bono projects at the end of each semester, with the lawyers who direct other in-house projects on an annual basis, and with both more frequently as needed.

Other opportunities are promoted/facilitated through many means, which include one or more of: a web-based pro bono opportunity databse; weekly e-mails to all students; brown bag meetings and training sessions at the Law School; and individual matching of a student who has a particular interest with an organization that works in the area of the student's interest.

A custom-designed computer program tracks the students and provides the information to Academic Services. The Center for Public Interest Law maintains a web-based database of student evaluations, which facilitates comparison of one student's experience with others and tracking of an organization and/or supervisor at an organization over time.

Publications of the Center include the Student Guide to the Columbia Law School Pro Bono Program, the Supervisor's Guide to Columbia's Pro Bono Program, and a document of Frequently Asked Questions.

The Pro Bono Director solicits intensive projects from public interest organizations and government agencies with which we work closely that can be done over winter break, spring break and summer vacation. The most popular intensive experience is the Spring Break Caravan in which groups of students travel to other cities to work together at an organization on matters that include criminal justice and death penalty defense (New Orleans, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Washington DC), post-Hurricane relief work (New Orleans and various cities along the Gulf in Mississippi, Texas, and Florida), environmental justice (Puerto Rico) and immigration (Miami). About 80 students, including 1Ls, participate in the Caravans.

Location of Programs

The Center for Public Interest Law is a free-standing department of the Law School which offers public interest career counseling and programming, and administers the Pro Bono Program, summer


Two full-time employees of the Center for Public Interest Law are involved in the administration of the Pro Bono Program. There are no specified percentages of time allocated but it is approximately 80% for Fitzgerald and 20% for Katzman.

Student Involvement: Several of the in-house pro bono projects are student-run (see below). The Spring Break Caravans are student-run. The Center meets with representatives of public interest student groups at monthly Umbrella Group meetings. The pro bono program often is on the agenda of those meetings.


The pro bono program is funded with hard money and has an annual budget of more than $85,000 per year. A few special projects (e.g., the 9/11 Immigrant Detainees Project and the Spring Break Caravans) are funded by special grants.

Pro bono group projects have the benefit of Center staff and Center equipment. Less frequently, Student Services provides assistance and support.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Asylum Workshop - Under the direction of the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, teams of Columbia students prepared the factual record and brief the legal issues involved in complex asylum cases that bring human rights violations from around the world into the U.S. legal arena.

Bringing Human Rights Home Project - Project Director Cynthia Soohoo linked students to various initiatives directed by members of the Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers' Network. These initiatives employ human rights strategies in domestic advocacy and policy-making, and encourage U.S. compliance with international human rights law. Projects included the New York City Human Rights Initiatives.

Civilian Oversight of Police Project (COPP) - New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and other lawyers from the NYC Police Roundtable supervised a team of Columbia students advocating on behalf of complainants reporting police misconduct to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Students interviewed complainants, collected evidence required at their hearings, and represented complainants in front of the CCRB.

Domestic Violence Project - Battered Immigrant Women Project - Participants represented abused immigrant women seeking residency status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition process. Students are assigned a client and complete the petition from beginning to end, learning skills such as interviewing and drafting affidavits.

Domestic Violence Project - Courtroom Advocates Project - Students served as advocates in Family Court for domestic violence victims. Students helped victims draft and file petitions for Orders of Protection, educated them on their rights and safety precautions, and advocated for them during court appearances. Adjunct Professor Dorchen Leidholdt and Jennifer Friedman (CLS '98) trained and supervised the student advocates.

Domestic Violence Project - Uncontested Divorce Workshop - Students handled uncontested divorces for Sanctuary for Families under the supervision of Linda Lopez. If the divorce is contested, students had the option of assisting the attorney in court.

IMPACT Voter Enfranchisement Project - Participants conducted research on voter protection issues. In partnership with Bronx Defenders, students educated community residents and implemented existing re-enfranchisement procedures.

International Center for Transitional Justice Project - Students performed legal research and writing on many different issues related to strengthening transitional justice. The ICTJ's projects focus on documenting human rights abuses, establishing truth commissions, prosecuting violators, reforming abusive institutions, providing reparations for victims and promoting reconciliation.

Legal Outreach, Inc.'s Mock Trial Program - Students coached junior high school students from School District 5 (mainly Harlem) in competitions that make up a key part of Legal Outreach's effort and curriculum to inspire and prepare young people to go to college. Adjunct Professor James O'Neal guides the coaches.

Manhattan District Attorney's Office - Students assisted ADAs in the investigation, preparation and prosecution of a variety of criminal cases in Manhattan, including larceny, domestic violence, sex crimes, narcotics and homicides.

New York City Law Department Project - Students assisted attorneys in any one of 17 divisions, including Environmental Law, Legal Counsel (counseling City Hall and City agencies), Affirmative Litigation (high-profile litigation commenced by the City), Appeals, Labor & Employment, Economic Development, Juvenile Prosecution, Bankruptcy, and the World Trade Center Unit (defending tort claims brought against the City arising from the WTC attack).

RightsLink - An outgrowth of Columbia's Human Rights Internship Program, the project provides legal documents and research to grassroots organizations throughout the world. Directed by a student board, Columbia students worked with the guidance of Columbia faculty.

Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Asylum Intake Project - Students helped attorneys from Catholic Charities conduct intake interviews with asylum seekers, and assisted in all research necessary to determine the viability of client cases.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Case Initiative - Law students trained to interview juveniles went to court to conduct preliminary intake interviews with youth seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status. Students helped lawyers from Legal Aid's Immigration Unit, the Door Legal Services, and Catholic Charities to streamline the intake process for SIJ cases, and track case assignments.

Tenant Rights Project - Students assisted attorneys at the West Side SRO Law Project in improving the housing conditions of low-income tenants in Manhattan Valley and the larger Columbia University community. In addition, students developed a pilot project with HELP USA's Fair Housing Justice Center to involve students in fair housing issues.

U.S. Attorney's Office Project - Students gained first-hand exposure to trial litigation in the public sector. Students worked closely with Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the investigation, preparation, and prosecution of criminal cases in federal court in Manhattan. Depending on the assignment, students helped prosecutors by researching and drafting trial and appellate briefs, and by preparing for hearings or trials.

Unemployment Action Center - A nonprofit, student-run organization where students work with unemployment insurance claimants throughout NYC who are appealing denials of their unemployment compensation. Students interviewed clients, researched applicable law, conducted direct and cross examinations, and gave closing statements before an administrative law judge.

Youth Justice Association - Zero Tolerance Initiative - Law students, under the supervision of lawyers from Queens Legal Services Corporation, represent Queens and Harlem youth who have lost access to schooling as a result of student discipline proceedings and unlawful exclusion from school.

Youth Justice Association -Education Advocacy Project- Students worked with attorneys from the Legal Aid Society-Juvenile Rights Division, specializing in education issues relating to children in foster care, often utilizing the Birth to Three and Early Intervention federal programs. Following training by attorneys, students are assigned individual cases.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

There is not a formal faculty pro bono policy, but the annual report of the faculty to the Dean of the Law School includes a request for information about pro bono service.

Several of the in-house projects are supervised by faculty or administrators. In addition, students often assist faculty members with their pro bono projects, which often take the form of research and publication.


The annual Public Interest Honors Dinner is a community event held in April in which the Law School honors all students who have done 75 or more hours of pro bono, spent 2 summers working in the public interest, and whose first post graduate job will be in the public interest. Honored students receive ribbons and certificates. The dinner brings together students, alumni, faculty, public interest employers and administrators, and has a keynote speaker who is a distinguished public interest practitioner. There are also six individual public interest honors awards which are bestowed on students and faculty at the dinner.

Students honored at the annual dinner wear a blue ribbon on their gowns at graduation. (Columbia's color is blue.) All student pro bono hours, mandatory and voluntary, are reported on their transcripts.

Faculty members who perform significant pro bono service also wear blue ribbons on their gowns at graduation.

Pro bono service is considered favorably by the committees that award public interest postgraduate fellowships and enhanced LRAP packages.

There are no specific awards or recognition for community service. However, the student leaders often are nominated for "citizenship" honors such as graduation co-chairs, marshals at graduation etc.

Community Service

Community service is led by student groups, in conjunction with the Student Services office and the Center for Public Interest Law. There is a regularized process and funding is given to support this work through departments and student fees. Specific projects include:

  • Harlem Tutorial provides academic support for students in Harlem public schools.
  • Neighborhood Kids provides a similar program for younger children in Harlem.
  • African Law Student Association organized a book drive to send books to law schools in Africa.
  • Student Hurricane Network collected thousands of school supplies and book bags from students and New York area law firms to send down to public elementary and high schools throughout the Gulf Coast whose students lost their belongings during the hurricanes.
  • Student Hurricane Network organized some community service trips for law students to focus on cleaning up and rebuilding parts of New Orleans that suffered severe structural damage.
  • Senate Blood Drives
  • Unlearning Stereotypes: Civil Rights and Race Relations Project, in which students team-teach the New York Civil Right's Coalition's Unlearning Stereotypes course at public high schools and junior high schools in New York City in an effort to confront the problems of bias and discrimination before they manifest into acts of violence and hatred.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Andrea Fishkin
Part-time domestic counselor
P: (212) 854-6158
CPIL part time

Diane McFarlane
Part-time government counselor
P: (212) 854-6158
CPIL part time

Ellen Chapnick
Fellowship and related academic counselor
P: (212) 854-6248
Columbia Law School, Social Justice Initiatives

Erica Smock
Part-time domestic counselor
P: (212) 854-6158
CPIL part time

Kara Finck
Part-time fellowship counselor
P: (212) 854-6158
Bronx Defenders full time/CPIL part time

Melissa Cardinali
Program Coordinator
P: (212) 854-6158
Columbia Law School, Center for Public Interest Law

Michael Bochenek
Part-time international counselor
P: (212) 854-6158
Human Rights Watch full time/CPIL part time

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Columbia encourages every student to create the curricular program that best satisfies their individual needs and interests. Information and encouragment to explore public interest courses begins when students arrive - public interest faculty and students speak at a plenary event during Orientation. There are many opportunities to learn more after that. Only a few are mentioned here. As part of CLS's spring "Moving Forward" program, a panel of faculty and students gives advice about course choices. The clinics and the the Pro Bono Program offer informational panels each semester. Individual counseling is provided by faculty members, the Center for Public Interest, Social Justice Initiatives and Student Services.

Public Interest Centers

The Center for Public Interest Law - The Center for Public Interest Law administers Columbia's Pro Bono Program, its Human Rights Internship Program and other summer funding programs and provides career services to students and graduates who want to explore the public interest sector. See

Public Interest Law Initiative

Center on Crime, Community & Law

Experimentalist Mentorship Program

Social Justice Initiatives

Human Rights Institute

Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts

Center for Study of Law and Culture

National State Attorneys General Program

Center for Law & Philosophy

Center on Global Legal Problems

Public Interest Clinics

Child Advocacy Clinic (CAC)

Clinical Seminar in Law and the Arts

Environmental Law Clinic

Mediation Clinic

Non-Profit Organizations/Small Business Clinic

Prisoners and Families Clinic

The Human Rights Clinic


The New York Attorney General Public Advocacy Externship

Externship at the United Nations

Legal Education in the Community

Externship at the Center for Battered Women's Legal Services

Federal Appellate Court Externship

Federal District Court Externship

Criminal Court Clerkship

Classes with a Public Service Component

Drafting Relating to Wills and Trust - Students could opt to prepare simple wills, living wills and powers of attorney for low-income senior citizens at the JASA West Side Senior Citizen Center and elsewhere. (Professor Lawrence Newman)

Intenational Arbitration and Conflicts - Students intern at organizations doing international arbitrations.

Labor Rights in the Global Economy - Students worked with labor unions, and non-profit labor rights NGOs, some outside of New York. (Professor Mark Barenberg)

Law and Policy of Homelessness - Student papers often were on behalf of real organizations, rather than abstract issues. (Professor Kim Hopper)

Race and Poverty Law - Student papers often were on behalf of real organizations, rather that abstract issues and, were presented at a conference that was open to interested members of the public. (Professor Kim Crenshaw)

Stakeholder Environmental Decision-Making Project - Students participated in actual large scale, multiparty processes addressing important environmental and land-use issues in the NYC area. (Lecturer-in-Law Evan Van Hook)

Public Interest Journals

Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

Columbia Human Rights Law Review, including the Jailhouse Lawyers Manual

Columbia Journal of Environmental Law

Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems

Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts

The National Black Law Journal

PI Career Support Center

Columbia's Center for Public Interest Law provides holistic counseling to students from their first year through their post-graduate years. Center staff provide individual counseling as well as speakers, panels and workshops on public interest careers and issues. The Center's philosophy is that there is no one true path for students who want to practice law in the public interest. It works with students who want to enter public interest law immediately after graduation or a clerkship, those who want to work in the corporate sector for a few years while doing pro bono and those who see themselves as combining public interest and law firm work throughout their careers.

Center staff builds strong relationships with students because Columbia's public interest career counseling services are in an office that also is responsible for its Human Rights Internship Program and other summer programs, the pro bono program, and public interest programming. The office is staffed by an Assistant Dean/Director, who was a public interest lawyer for 20 years; an Assistant Director, who practiced civil rights law before coming to Columbia; an Internship and Fellowship Counselor, who has lived and worked abroad most of her career; a Pro Bono Coordinator, who is a public interest activist; and an Administrative Assistant, who also volunteers on behalf of immigrants and others. Their areas of expertise are augumented by Columbia graduates who return to counsel students as well as participate in panels and other programs.

The Center for Public Interest Law invites 10-15 public interest employers to campus throughout the year to interview students for internships and fellowships, including a variety of not-for-profit legal organizations, the U.S. Attorney's Offices in New York, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the NYC Law Department. The Office of Career Services also holds a Fall on-campus interview program for 20-25 government and regulatory agency employers.

Other Career Related Services:

  • Presentations on Summer Funding Programs
  • Public Service Brown Bag Series (15-20 panels organized by issue area)
  • 1L Job Strategy Workshop
  • 2L Job Strategy Workshop
  • Nitty Gritties of the Public Interest Job Search
  • Public Interest Lawyering 101 Panel
  • How to Interview for Public Interest Job
  • Public Interest Mock Interview Program
  • Criminal Justice Mock Interview Program
  • Debt Management/Satisfactions and Sacrifices Panel
  • DOJ Summer/Honors Programs Presentation
  • Moving Forward for Public Interest 1Ls
  • Overview of Post-Grad Fellowships and Public Interest Jobs
  • Presentations on Post-graduation Fellowships (e.g. Fulbright, Skadden, EJW, Human Rights Watch, Cochran Neufeld Scheck)
  • Practicing Public Interest Law in the Private Sector
  • The Revolving Door Between Public Interest and Corporate Law
  • Pro Bono - How to Tell if A Firm Really Means It
  • Clerking and the Public Interest
  • Opportunities with District Attorneys Offices
  • Opportunities with United States Attorneys Offices
  • Opportunities with State Attorneys General Offices
  • Opportunities with the NYC Law Department
  • Careers as a Public Defender
  • Careers in Public International Law
  • Careers in Domestic Violence Law
  • Careers in Civil Rights Law
  • Careers in Environmental Justice

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

Basic LRAP

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides financial assistance to Columbia JD graduates in the form of loans from the Law School. The amounts of the LRAP loans are determined by a) the level of educational indebtedness, b) the number of years a graduate spends in qualifying employment, and c) the adjusted gross income of the graduate. There is no salary cap. Loans from LRAP are not repayable so long as the graduate remains in qualifying employment. LRAP assumes a standard ten-year repayment schedule for education loan programs and covers the graduate in qualifying employment for that period of time.

Effective July 1, 2000, graduates are expected to contribute a portion of their adjusted gross income to their annual educational loan repayment obligations. Indebtedness included in calculations for benefits is formal debt the graduate incurred for payment of educational expenses up to the standard student budget at Columbia Law School--that is, loans for law school expenses under institutionally approved and certified loan programs. Income to be included for purposes of the LRAP benefits calculation includes adjusted gross income as determined by the federal tax form, plus any untaxed income and voluntary retirement contributions. In the case of married graduates from the class of 1995 and following, the income figure used for calculations will be either the graduate's income or one-half of the joint income, whichever is higher. For participants from classes of 1996 and following, undergraduate debt payments will be subtracted from the participant's adjusted gross income before calculating the amount the graduate is expected to contribute to debt repayment.

Loans granted to graduates under the LRAP are not repayable so long as the graduate remains in qualifying employment and submits an application each year, even if the salary level rises to the point at which new benefits are no longer received. LRAP loans not yet forgiven become repayable when the graduate leaves qualifying employment. The maximum repayment term is ten years, except for loans made to judicial clerks who do not enter public interest employment upon finishing their clerkships. Their repayment is accelerated.

For any graduate who participates in the LRAP for three years or less, all funds advanced for loan repayment assistance are repayable. After three years of qualifying employment, LRAP loans are forgiven in yearly increments. Loans are totally forgiven after ten years.

Public Service Fellowships

These Fellowships are designed to supplement the benefits of LRAP and can cover as much as 100% of eligible deb servicee for loans borrowed up to the cost of Law School tuition for Fellows whose annual income does not exceed $100,000. Spouse income is not considered in calculating a Fellow's annual income. If the Fellow remains in qualifying employment for three years, all Fellowship loans are forgiven. Fellowship loans made thereafter are forgiven at six month intervals as long as the Fellow remains in qualifying employment.

For additional, see also

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Three Human Rights Fellowships at $40,000 per year; anonymous donation.

Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:

  • Sandler Fellowship at Human Rights Watch (1yr)
  • Henkin-Stoffel Human Rights Fellowship (2yrs)
  • Leebron Human Rights Fellowship (1yr)
  • Civil Rights Fellowship at Cochran Neufeld & Scheck (2yrs)
  • Civil Rights Fellowship at Goldstein Demchek Baller Brogen & Dardarian (2yrs)
  • Third Millenium Fellowship in Human Rights (1yr)
  • Kirkland & Ellis New York City Public Service Fellowship (1yr)

    For details of these fellowships, see

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Tony Patino Fellowship - Awarded to entering students who have demonstrated leadership, character, academic acheivment and a commitment to public service and who intends to pursue a career in politics or government.

Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:

Equal Justice American usually provides four stipends of $1500 per semester per year for work in civil legal services offices.

ACLU National Office, Legal Department

One stipend of $1500 per semester to work in the legal department. The stipend is funded by a donation to the ACLU in honor of the father of the ACLU's Legal Director.

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

About 130 fellowships available to CLS students for summer public interest work through the Human Rights Internship Program (70), the Public Service Fellowship Program (40), Public Interest Law Initiative Fellowships (6); the Arts Law Internships (10) and others. Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP) and Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Fellowships who are first year law students receive about $4000 (amount dependent on location) and second year HRIPs receive $6000. HRIPs who go abroad also receive a round-trip plane ticket. A few first year HRIPs who have no or little financial need receive smaller stipends. Arts Law Fellows receive $3800. Public Service Fellows receive about $3800, of which 60% is paid by the Law School and 40% is matching funds from another source. Funding for stipends comes from private and foundation donations and, in appropriate instances, from federal work study allocations to the University.

Graduate Student Funded:

The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), Columbia's Equal Justice Work's chapter, provides Student Funded Fellowships. The number of these fellowships varies with the success of PILFs fund-raising efforts, but there usually are about 15-20. Some match the Public Service Fellowships and others provide full stipends. Funds are raised through an annual dinner, an annual auction, an annual Dean's Cup basketball game between CLS and NYU, a Donated Day's Salary drive, small private grants and membership of students, faculty and administrators.

Other Funding Sources:

Columbia Law School guarantees public interest summer funding to all second year students and funds the large majority of first year students who apply. (In 2006, CLS funded every student who applied to the summer funding programs). The funding comes from many sources, including in appropriate cases federal work study money, law school hard money, foundation grants, private donors, law firm donors, and student fundraising, and is distributed through a number of fellowship programs administered by the Center for Public Interest Law.

The biggest summer funding programs are the 2L Guaranteed Funding Program, the Human Rights Internship Program, the Public Service Fellowship Program and the Arts Law Fellowship Program. Together these programs can fund over 150 students per summer.

Second year students receive $6,000 for the summer. First year Human Rights Interns receive a stipend ranging from about $3000 to $5500, dependending on the country in which they will work, plus a round trip plane ticket to their international internship location. Domestic interns receive $4200. Public Service Fellows receive $4200 if they are fully funded and $1600 if they are partially funded. Most students are fully funded because they have been matched by their employer, or have received a matching grant from Columbia. (In 2006, all PSF's were fully funded).

Arts Law Fellowships allow 8-10 Columbia students to receive $4200 to intern in the General Counsel's offices of various arts and entertainment placements throughout the country.

Additional fellowship programs include funds specifically for public interest internships in environmental law, animal rights, human rights in Israel, in Japan, and through several private partnerships (see other).

Student fundraising is coordinated by the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), a student group which raises money through an annual dinner, an annual auction, an annual Dean's Cup basketball game between CLS and NYU, a Donated Day's Salary Drive, and small private grants and membership of students, faculty and administrators.

Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian pays a second year Columbia student $1000 per week to serve as a summer associate at this public interest law firm in Oakland, California.

Sidley Austin Brown & Wood created the Public Interest Summer Fellowship in which a Columbia 2L spends one half of the summer as an associate at the firm and the other half at an NYC public interest organization of the fellow's choice. The associate is compensated at the firm's summer associate rate.

Morrison & Foerster Public Interest Fellowships In Japan enable two first year students to receive $15,000 each for a 10-week summer internship at a public interest organization or ministry in Japan.

Public Interest Fellowships in Israel enable two first year students to receive $7,500 each to spend 10 weeks of the summer working at a human rights organization in Israel.

Environmental Law Fellowships allow two first year students to work at an organization of their choice on environmental law or environmental justice issues in the U.S. or abroad and receive automatic acceptance to the Environmental Law Clinic.

For additional information, contact Akua Akyea, Associate Director at 212/854-3247 or E-mail

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Human Rights Institute, Bringing Human Rights Home Conference - Use of U.N. Human Rights Mechanisms: A How, When and Why for Domestic Public Interest Lawyers, Spring 05.

"Rape Shield Laws" - A program and discussion on how the media affects rape shield laws, Fall 04.

"The International Court of Justice and America's Death Row" - Panel and discussion on the implications and legal questions raised by the ICJ's decision Avena and Other Mexican Nationals v. Unites States, Spring 05.

"Education Adequacy Litigation Panel" - Panel discussion on the history of education adequacy cases from a legal and political perspective, Spring 05.

"International Human Rights and U.S. Law"- An all day program that introduced basic concepts of human rights and international law, focused on the status of human rights treaties and customary international law in the US, Spring 05.

"Immigration Reform Panel" - Panel and discussion on whether new immigration proposals balance the rights and freedoms of all Americans with the security needed to protect them as well, Spring 05.

"Women and Science" - Discussion about recent controversy surrounding Harvard University President's comments about women and science and how they fit into the bigger picture of gender justice, Spring 05.

"Gender Based Asylum Law" - Panel and discussion on the unique challenges faced by women seeking asylum in the US, Spring 2005.

Human Rights Institute Speaker Series - Inspiration to Impact - From Inspiration to Impact is a lecture series that invites eminent human rights scholars and practitioners to address current issues of interest in the human rights field.

Human Rights Institute Practitioner Brown Bag Series - The Human Rights Practitioner Brown Bag Series provides more informal and intimate discussions with human rights law advocates about the intricacies of practicing human rights law.

Center on Global Legal Problems Speaker Series - The Center addresses globalization's legal dimensions through diverse interdisciplinary research and scholarship.

BLSA Paul Robeson Conference - The Paul Robeson Conference is an annual event hosted by CLS's BLSA chapter honoring the legacy of Paul Robeson, a civil rights and international social justice activist and one of Columbia Law School's most esteemed alumni.

Center for the Study of Law and Culture's Public Lecture Series - The Center's goal is to facilitate interdisciplinary study, research and scholarship on the intersections of law and culture. Starting from the twin premises that law is a cultural form and that culture carries the regulative force of legal practices and norms, the CSLC seeks to advance a wide range of work in law and culture studies.

Latin America Speaker Series - Social Justice Initiatives presents talks by Latin American lawyer-activists and academics, as part of its public interest and human rights work in the region.

Supreme Court Round Up - A roundtable review and discussion of important public interest decisions of the prior term and a look ahead to the current term.

Public Interest Faculty Teas- Public Interest Faculty Teas are informal monthly gatherings where students can drink tea, eat cookies and participate in a discussions led by public interest faculty members about how they have combined passion, theory and practice in developing their careers.

Samuel Rubin Program for Liberty and Equality through the Law - Lecture program established to advance the ideals of Samuel Rubin, a leading businessman and innovative philanthropist, who was sensitive throughout his life to the needs and rights of the poor and defenseless, and dedicated to the concern for universal human rights and the peaceful resolution of economic and social conflict.

Barbara Black Lecture Series - Lectures organized around the general principal of interesting work by or about women and the law.

Public Interest Lawyering 101- An annual panel discussion about different ways lawyers pursue social justice.

Harold Levanthal Memorial Lecture - Distinguished scholars invited to lecture on major issues of public law.

Horace S. Manges Lecture and Conference- A series of lectures, conferences, symposia, workshops, panels and publications in relation to the law and public policy affecting authors' and publishers' rights.

John G. Palfrey Memorial Lectureship - Series of lectures focusing on law, science and public policy.

The Clifford Chance Endowed Lectures Series - Lectures on issues of race and inequality.

Center for Public Interest Law Career Programs - In addition to the above, CPIL hosts continuous programming throughout the year on various public interest career related topics, including: Workshops on job search strategies, and cover letters and resumes for public service employment; panels on pro bono in law firms, the revolving door career between the public and private sector, judicial clerkships and the public interest, using your public interest experience as the basis of a note, and debt management; and "Working In Panels" by subject(eg: international public law, civil rights, criminal justice, environmental law, on the Hill, etc...).

Student Public Interest Groups

ACLU Columbia Law School Chapter

African Law Student Society

American Constitution Society

Amnesty International

Asian Pacific Law Students Association

Black Law Students Association

Civil Rights Law Society

Columbia Coalition for Life

Columbia Law Women's Association

Criminal Justice Action Network

Domestic Violence Project

Environmental Law Society

Federalist Society

For Enacting a Humane Drug Policy (FEHDP)


Just Democracy - Active only in 04-50

Latino/a Law Students Association

Muslim Law Student Association

National Lawyers Guild

Native American Law Student Association


Public Interest Law Foundation


Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Society of Law, Health and Bioethics

Student Alliance for Gender Equality

Youth Justice Association

August 6, 2018