Upon entering law school, first-year students often find themselves overwhelmed with academics. Participating in extracurricular activities and connecting with the local community; however, provides real world legal training, as well as a proper balance with academic studies.
Which Student Organizations at WCL focus on public interest?
WCL is home to a number of student groups that provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop their dedication to public interest law. Some of these groups sponsor hands-on public interest activities outside of the law school community.
For a complete list of WCL student organizations, please visit the Student Organizations website at: http://wcl.american.edu/org/. To find out about additional public service activities at WCL, check The Docket, a weekly bulletin available during the academic year from WCL's homepage or directly at: http://wcl.american.edu/docket/.
WCL's public interest-focused student groups include:
Action for Human Rights - The Action for Human Rights group, supported by the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, holds a bi-weekly coffee hour, organizes the Experiential Learning Projects and Alternative Spring Break service trips. Website: http://www.wcl.american.edu/humright/center/hrelp.cfm
Election Protection - This student group monitors election procedures throughout DC and in the surrounding area of Maryland and Virginia.
Equal Justice Foundation - The Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) is part of a national organization of law students working toward equal access to justice. The WCL chapter fundraises to provide scholarships to students who engage in fulltime volunteer work with a public interest organization over the summer. Many public interest organizations do not have the budget to pay their summer interns; thus, EJF plays a vital role in many first-year students' summer experience. Website: http://www.wcl.american.edu/org/ejf/
Health Law and Justice Initiative - The Health Law and Justice Initiative (HLJI) seeks to promote health from a rights-based approach by encouraging professional development, expanding WCL's health law curriculum, and raising community awareness of the right to health. HLJP sponsors panel discussions with practicing attorneys and professors; organizes community service events; and hosts "downtown practitioner meetings" which give students the opportunity to meet with practicing lawyers to discuss current issues and career development. Website: http://www.wcl.american.edu/org/health/
Immigrant Rights Coalition - The Immigrant Rights Coalition (IRC) brings together members of various organizations at the Washington College of Law (WCL) to address immigrant rights. The IRC strives to educate the WCL student community on immigrant rights issues, while working accountably with non-legal and legal community organizations on immigrant rights. It also serves to generally promote the rights of immigrants in the United States and abroad. Website: http://www.wcl.american.edu/org/irc/constitution.cfm
LINK (Linking Communities for Educational Success) - LINK was founded in 1999 by a group of students from Washington College of Law. The primary objective of LINK is to support junior high school students in their pursuit of academic, social, and community development. In collaboration with administrators, teachers, and students, LINK provides both direct services to the students and support services to their schools. Website: http://www.linkdc.org
National Lawyers Guild - The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is a national alternative bar organization for progressive lawyers. Since its founding in 1937, the guild has provided legal support to numerous social, political, and economic movements. The guild has also played a critical role in the development of progressive legal institutions and doctrines and has been the conscience of the bar in the United States. NLG campus activities include sponsoring fora and speakers on topics pertinent to maintaining civil rights and liberties, contributing to lobbying efforts, and participating in relevant demonstrations, such as support for DC statehood, gay and lesbian rights, and police brutality issues. Website: http://www.wcl.american.edu/org/guild
Poverty Law Society - The Poverty Law Society's mission is to revive the field of poverty law at WCL, encourage a deeper understanding of domestic poverty issues among law students, foster ambitious thinking on the ways in which lawyers can work to address the systemic roots of poverty, and highlight the legal and policy aspects surrounding poverty. The Poverty Law Society stresses its belief that lawyers can do more to make a difference, and that poverty is an injustice. Website: http://www.wcl.american.edu/org/pov/
- Public Interest Community Liasons - The Public Interest Student Coalition (PISC) is a broad coalition that serves as a hub for WCL's public interest community of students who want to participate in public interest activities at WCL as well as those who want to launch careers in public interest law. The Coalition activities build relationships between students, faculty, administration, alumni, and public interest practitioners, and serves to strengthen the student voice in the administration and student bar association's discussions relating to public interest opportunities at WCL.
Students United - Students United supports at-risk youth in their academic and life ventures by fostering positive relationships between law students and residents at Oak Hill Youth Center. Law students build supportive relationships with Oak Hill residents while residents are detained and also during their reintegration into the community. Website: http://wcl.american.edu/org/su/