Academics and Clinicals
Participate in a Curriculum Inspired by Rich Traditions
The Public Interest Law area of concentration provides education for public interest and public sector careers, as well as an overview of various ways lawyers can advance the interests of the poor, disabled, consumers, elderly, and others who lack equal access to the legal system on some of the most pressing social issues of our times. These issues profoundly affect the lives of individuals, the growth of social institutions, the substance of culture, and the workings of political economies.
Learn Beyond the Classroom
UC Davis School of Law specializes in creating practical legal experiences for all students. To put their education into practice, UC Davis Law students choose from a tremendous assortment of clinicals—Immigration Law, Civil Rights, Prison Law, and Family Protection. These opportunities allow students to work directly with clients who otherwise could not afford legal representation.
Legislative and Policy Coordinator
California Youth Connection
King Hall Legal Foundation
The King Hall Legal Foundation (KHLF) is a non-profit law student organization dedicated to promoting public interest legal work and making it possible for law students to address the needs of those without adequate access to legal services. KHLF raises funds to award grants to law student applicants who are dedicated to serving the public interest. Law students, alumni, faculty, and staff come together to support an annual auction that provides the funding for these grants. It is a great Law School tradition that highlights the active support for public interest at UC Davis.
Gain a Multi-Disciplinary Perspective
UC Davis offers an incredible array of classes in many different public service and public interest fields, including civil and disability rights, housing, education, immigration, juvenile and elder law, legislative process, nonprofit organizations, and critical race theory. The curriculum builds upon the strengths of a diverse group of faculty whose renowned teaching and scholarship probe the links between inequality and the U.S. legal system.
Certificate in Public Service Law
The Public Service Law Program is an academic certification program developed for students seeking public service careers. Students are eligible to enroll at any time throughout Law School, but are encouraged to enroll in their first year. Enrollment in the Program demonstrates to employers a commitment to serving the public. Certificate requirements include academic and experiential components. Certificates are awarded to third-year students at the annual Public Service Graduation ceremony.
Academic Course Requirements
Program candidates must complete a minimum of 15 credits of public service coursework from an approved course list. Coursework requirements begin in the second year. Units from clinical fieldwork are counted towards coursework requirements.
Public Service Legal Work Requirements
Program candidates must complete a minimum of 175 hours of legal work in public interest organizations, government agencies, or courts. The work must be performed under the supervision of an attorney or a member of the Law School faculty. It can be for clinical units or a paid or volunteer position. The experiential component provides students the opportunity to make important contacts with public service attorneys. In addition to assisting public service organizations to meet their needs, this work also offers students opportunities to interact with attorneys and gain practical legal work experience.
Public Interest Courses
Elective courses are offered on a rotating basis. Not all courses will be taught in any given year. Please check the Course Descriptions webpage for current course offerings.
- Administrative Law
- Civil Rights Law
- Community Education Seminar
- Critical Race Theory
- Disability Rights
- Education Law Seminar
- Elder Law
- Elections and Political Campaigns
- Employment Discrimination Action
- Housing Law
- Immigration Law
- International Human Rights
- Juvenile Justice Seminar
- Labor Law
- Latinos and Latinas and the Law
- Law and the Mental Health System
- Law of the Political Process
- Legislative Process
- Local Government Law
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Public Interest Law Seminar
- Public Sector Labor Law Seminar
- Refugee Law Seminar
- Sex-Based Discrimination