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USC Gould launches new public interest law certificate

The certificate prepares law students for possible careers in the nonprofit or government sectors

students getting tour of skid row
USC Gould’s new public interest law certificate is for students with social justice aspirations. (Photo/Elijah Hurwitz)

The USC Gould School of Law offers a new public interest law certificate for students with social justice aspirations and interest in working in the nonprofit or government sectors after graduating.

Students can choose courses focusing on key areas of nonprofit and government law, taking on an in-depth writing project and working on real-world problems through clinics, practicum courses or externships.

“Our students have a long history of commitment to public service, but now they can direct their interests to an organized curriculum and leave law school with a certificate on their transcript that shows that commitment,” said Professor Clare Pastore, a member of California’s public interest community who oversaw the development of the certificate.

“While Gould is an excellent law school for students going to the private sector,” Pastore said, “we also prepare students for a wide range of other careers, as this new certificate program shows.”

Alumni serving as mentors will help students navigate a career path, offering connections to public service opportunities or summer jobs, along with advice about postgraduate fellowships and courses. A speaker series and events focusing on public interest law, nonprofit and government sector jobs, postgraduate fellowships and building community will round out the year.

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