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Public Interest

Tulane’s Career Development Office (CDO) provides support to students interested in public service.

Students engaged in roundtable discussion

The CDO provides information about networking and job opportunities, as well as educational panels and seminars focusing on public interest jobs.  All career counselors at Tulane use a variety of resources to assist students with their job searches.

Alumni Network

Tulane has many distinguished alumni serving in the public interest arena who are willing to mentor and serve as resources for current law students considering public service careers. Graduates have pursued government employment as prosecutors, as public defenders, and in a variety of government agencies at all levels. Others work at a wide range of traditional public interest organizations in environmental law, criminal justice, civil rights, housing, health care, and more.

Public Interest Fellowships

On a regular basis, Tulane Law School graduates have been awarded public interest fellowships from organizations including Equal Justice Works, Georgetown University (Prettyman Fellowship), and New Voices. These fellowships have made it possible for Tulane graduates to work for such entities as Florida Institutional Legal Services, the Texas Civil Rights Project, the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Greater Chicago, the Georgetown Criminal Justice Clinics, and the Innocence Project, among others.

Loan Repayment Assistance

Tulane’s loan repayment assistance program can be a significant economic incentive for students who opt to pursue certain public service careers. The program helps eligible graduates pay off a portion of their law school educational loans for a specified period of time. As the program is currently structured, graduates are eligible to apply for loan repayment assistance benefits if they: (a) earn less than a specified annual amount and (b) work full-time as lawyers for certain types of public interest legal service organizations. The program requires that eligible graduates devote a certain percentage of their income toward repayment of non-family law school loans. Tulane Law School reimburses students for their loan repayments above this amount for up to five years.

In addition, Tulane has received a grant from the Kendall Vick Foundation to provide loan repayment assistance to individuals pursuing public service work, including government employment, in the state of Louisiana. The federal College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which went into effect in 2009, also provides income-based repayment and loan forgiveness options to individuals pursuing public service employment.