Contact Information

Office of Public Interest
American University Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Ave, NW, Suite C115
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: 202-274-4090

If you are a current student or alumni that would like to stay connected to the Office of Public Interest and the public interest community at AUWCL "Like" our Facebook page and join the AUWCL Public Interest Students and Alumni Group on LinkedIn. In addition, please consider subscribing to the OPI Informer. Each week, the American University Washington College of Law Office of Public Interest sends a digest that includes information for students and alumni about public interest events, internship postings, pro bono opportunities, job listings, tips and a student/alumni spotlight.


Meet Our Students and Alumni


Office of Public Interest

AUWCL's public interest programs are among the strongest in the nation. This vibrant activist community offers unique opportunities for law students to gain legal experience through a broad range of pro bono and public service programs.

The Office of Public Interest (OPI) fosters a sense of community among public interest minded students, alumni, faculty, and staff by working at multiple levels to:

  • Advise students about how to best use their time in law school to prepare for a public interest career.
  • Encourage activism and social justice among the student body, particularly through projects and endeavors that help to fill the justice gap for the most vulnerable members of society.
  • Educate graduating students and alumni about loan repayment and forgiveness tools specific to the public interest field, as well as those open to all borrowers of federal financial aid.
  • Highlight the importance of public service, either through full-time employment or though pro bono contribution.
  • Facilitate connections between current students and public interest alumni.

Our Students and Alumni

Students arrive at AUWCL with a variety of backgrounds and interests including: environmental activism, women's rights, civil rights, international human rights, labor and employment, criminal justice, juvenile justice, land use, and war crimes tribunals. Upon graduating from AUWCL they continue to work on social justice issues as nonprofit staff attorneys, policy advocates, government attorneys and litigators in public interest law firms.

Research and Networking Opportunities

At AUWCL, students have the opportunity to network with practitioners while participating in many public interest activities and programs.

Students conduct research as faculty Dean's Fellows, and volunteer with the War Crimes Research Office, the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the Impact Litigation Project, the Women & the Law Program, the Criminal Justice Practice and Policy Institute, National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project, National Institute of Corrections/WCL Project on Addressing Prison Rape, the Kovler Project Against Torture and the Health Law and Justice Program, among others.

In addition, there are many domestic and international for-credit opportunities through the Clinical Program, and the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.

Every year the Externship Program coordinates an Externship Fair with typically more than 130 employers and 400 students participating. The Externship Program places hundreds of upper-level students each year in externships with government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, courts and law firms engaged in pro bono work.