Public Interest Law and the Public Interest Career Fair
One of the important messages we try to communicate to our students involves public interest. A law degree is a tool of empowerment and it is important that we use that tool to give back to the community.
Our students and graduates take that message to heart. Many of our graduates volunteer their time to assist in providing legal services to the poor. Many others work in the public interest law field. Martha Jane Patton '78, for example, is the director of the Legal Aid Society of Birmingham. Jimmy Fry,'79, is the Director of the Legal Services Corporation of Alabama and Kelli Mauro '94 has just been named the Director of the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyer Program.
Many of our students do the same. Last summer, a record number of our students participated in our summer public interest stipend program which provides financial assistance to students who volunteer to work in a public interest law placement for the summer.
Today is another important step in connecting our students to a public interest practice. The Cumberland Career Services Office is holding its annual Public Interest Career Fair. This event has grown exponentially over the past few years. In the law school Great Room, there are over 35 groups including government agencies and non-profit organizations in attendance. Representatives of these groups are available to our students to discuss full time employment opportunities as well as summer volunteer opportunities which will then lead to summer stipends. This is an outstanding way for our students to connect with public interest entities.
Thanks to the many organziations in attendance.