Public Service Programs
At the University of Minnesota Law School, students are considered a part of the legal profession from their first day as law students. The Law School’s Public Service Program (LSPSP) encourages students to take part in the legal profession’s commitment to public service. The LSPSP urges students to perform 50 hours of voluntary, law-related public service during their three years in law school. Although participation in the LSPSP is not required, hundreds of law students volunteer each year with public interest agencies all over the country. Students who complete at least 50 hours of service through the LSPSP are recognized for their dedication with a notation on their transcript and at the graduation ceremony.
The public service program is administered by the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF), a nonprofit agency dedicated to encouraging public service in the Minnesota law schools. The MJF works with legal services, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to organize volunteer opportunities for law students in areas such as criminal, housing, juvenile, immigration, human rights, disability, domestic violence, tax, and elder law.
The MJF meets with students individually to assure that every volunteer placement matches a student’s interests and time constraints. Volunteer opportunities are available for all law students, including first-year students. Through volunteering, students gain skills such as client interviewing, legal research and writing, fact investigation, and community legal education. To date, University of Minnesota students have provided more than 35,000 law-related service hours to the community.
"Whether you work as a corporate lawyer or as a legal aid attorney, we are all going to be public servants. We need to use the legal skills we are gaining to give something back to our community."
University of Minnesota law student