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Practice Area Resources

We have developed this list of online (and a few print) resources to help you explore a range of different practice areas commonly associated with public interest law. We link to career guides that contain generally an overview of such practice areas, and often include lists of relevant organizations and agencies, job search and career building tips, and also may include interviews with practitioners. We also list some bar associations and their committees that are involved in the work.

Note on bar associations: While we link primarily to sections and committees of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association, we encourage you--depending upon your preferences--to look at other states' bar associations, county or city bar associations, specialized associations within practice areas, associations of lawyers of color, national origin, and sexual preference.

This list is by no means comprehensive. Think of it as a start to your investigation into opportunities or careers in areas that interest you. These materials compliment the databases maintained by, which are excellent tools to identify particular organizations and agencies by practice area. You are also welcome to suggest additions to our links by emailing us at


Animal Issues

Online Career Guides
Animal Law (2008), DC Bar (an overview of the practice area with attention to pro bono and full time opportunities)

Career Center, Center for Animal Studies at Lewis & Clark in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (links to protection and advocacy organizations, as well as internship and fellowship opportunities

Animal Legal Defense Fund

  • Q&A with ALDF Staff Attorney about Pursuing a Career in Animal Law (2010)
  • Making Animal Law Your Career (2007)
  • GP Solo - Animal Law and Your Practice (2009)

Animal Law Career Guide (2009), Animal Law Section of the Oregon State Bar

Bar Associations

  • ABA Animal Law Committee
  • NYSBA Committee on Animals and the Law

Capitol Hill

Online Career Guide
Working on Capitol Hill (2010) Yale Law School


Civil Rights/Liberties

Online Career Guides
Careers in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (2007), Harvard Law School

Bar Associations
NYSBA Committee on Civil Rights

Community Economic Development

National Director of Community & Economic Development Attorneys - July 2012

Conservative/Libertarian Public Interest Law


Bar Associations
ABA Consumer Protection Committee

Criminal Defense and Prosecution


Online Career Guides
Careers in Indigent Defense: a Quick Guide to Public Defender Programs (2010), Harvard Law School

Public Defender Handbook (2013), New York University School of Law

Bar Associations (defense and prosecution)
ABA Criminal Justice Section NYSBA Criminal Justice Section


Online Career Guides
Sizing Up the Prosecution, A Quick Guide To Local Prosecution(2010), Harvard Law School

Criminal Prosecution (2011), Yale Law School


Legal Overview
A Guide to Disability Rights Law (2009), U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Divisions, Disability Rights Section

Bar Associations
ABA Commission on Disability Rights NYSBA Committee on Issues Affecting People with Disabilities

Domestic Violence

Economic Development

Legal Overview (print resource)
Building Healthy Communities: A Guide to Community Economic Development for Advocates, Lawyers and Policymakers (2009), American Bar Association

Online Career Guide
Guide on International Development: Public Service Careers and Opportunities (2011), Harvard Law School

Bar Associations
ABA Forum Committee on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law

NYSBA Business Law Section


Online Career Guides
Education Law: A Career Guide (2015), Harvard Law School

Is a Career in School Law Right for You?, National School Boards Association's Council of School Attorneys (brochure describing school law careers and resources)

Bar Associations
ABA Committee on Public Education



Online Career Guides
Environmental Trial Guide (No year given), Harvard Law School

Environmental Law Guide (2011), Yale Law School

Bar Associations
ABA - Environment, Energy, and Resources Section

NYSBA - Environmental Law Section


Print Resource
Family Law Careers (1998), America Bar Association

Bar Associations
ABA - Family Law Section

NYSBA - Family Law Section



Online Career Guides
Health Care Law: A Career Guide (2004), Harvard Law School

Careers in Health Law (2010), Loyola University Chicago

National Organizations
National Health Law Program

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Bar Associations
ABA - Health Law Section

NYSBA - Health Law Section


Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw

International Law (including Human Rights Trade)

Online Career Guides
Career Opportunities in Human Rights (2009), Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (a summary of the field with links to further resources)

Opportunities with International Tribunals and Foreign Courts (2010), Yale Law School

Careers in International Law (2007), Loyola University Chicago

International Public Interest Law (2008), Yale Law School

PSLawNet's International Resources

Bar Associations
ABA - International Law Section

NYSBA - International Law Section

ABA - Center for Human Rights


How to Become a Judge, NYC Bar Association, Special Committee To Encourage Judicial Service (2010)

The Path to the Federal Bench, American Constitution Society for Law & Policy and Consortium of Bar Associations

Labor/Employment Law

Law Firms (Private Public Interest/Plaintiff)

Online Career Guide
Private Public Interest and Plaintiff's Firm Guide (2010), Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT)

Native American/Tribal Law

Legal Overview
A Reporter's Guide to American Indian Law(2006), The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press

Bar Associations
National Native American Bar Association

Political Campaigns

Online Career Guide
One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State (2007), Harvard Law School


Prisoner Issues

Online Resources
Prison Activist Resource Center

National Organizations
ACLU National Prison Project

Public Policy

Public Policy Handbook (Password may be obtained from the Career Planning Center or the Public Interest Resource Center.)

Reproductive Issues

Online Career Guide
Guide to Internships and Fellowships in Reproductive Rights and Justice (2011), Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ)

Security/Defense/Arms Control

Online Career Guide
Careers in National Security Law (2008), American Bar Association

Bar Associations
ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security


Online Career Guides
Guide to Careers in Tax and Trusts & Estates Law (2011), Pace Law School

Bar Associations
ABA Section of Taxation

NYSBA Tax Section

Women's Rights

Online Career Guides
Women's Rights Guide (2007), Harvard Law School

Bar Associations
ABA Center on Women in the Profession

NYSBA Committee on Women in the Law

Fordham Law School's Public Interest Resource Center would like to thank the authors and institutions who created the materials listed (credited with each link) for making their resources available to the public. The public interest community is a generous and collaborative one!