27 Jan Nonprofit Public Interest Law Careers – Issue-Specific Advocacy
Tough economic times have slowed job growth in many legal sectors. With the amount of people graduating from law school remaining the same, but fewer openings in the sort of high-paying corporate jobs many aspiring lawyers anticipated, the job market for lawyers can look like it is suffering.
In many sectors of the law, though, that is far from the case. The nonprofit sector is thriving, particularly because of the stresses put upon many groups by the troubling economy. For lawyers who would like to make a difference in America by fighting for the causes they care about, it is a great time to be an attorney.
Many nonprofit organizations are hiring lawyers fresh out of law school that have the energy to fight for causes they believe in. Issue-specific advocacy is one of the primary areas of nonprofit legal work, with many nonprofit organizations focusing on specific legal issues or supporting specific groups of people in need.
Issue-specific advocacy by nonprofit legal services organizations can take a number of forms, though it usually falls into either directly representing clients within a specific group or through policy work and lobbying, or a mix of all three. Sometimes this work will overlap with that done by public defenders or legal aid societies—one of the most prominently featured issues in the area of nonprofit legal advocacy comes with the defense of death row inmates.
Here are some examples of issues for which groups advocate:
- Child welfare
- Civil liberties
- The environment
- Human rights
- Justice system
- Labor and employment
If you have an interest in the law and a cause you believe in, nonprofit legal advocacy may be the career for you.