The Public Interest Law Project (PILP) is currently seeking law clerk and externship applications from law students for the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2022 terms. We focus our litigation practice areas on issues surrounding Affordable Housing and Public Benefits.

PILP advances justice for low income people and communities by building the capacity of legal services organizations through impact litigation, trainings, and publications, and by advocating for low income community groups and individuals.

Since 1996, PILP has provided critical litigation and advocacy support to local legal services and public interest law programs throughout California. Responding to the elimination of federal funding for state and national legal services support centers, PILP was established to ensure that local legal services programs could continue to participate in major litigation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons.

Through impact litigation and support to our local partners, our work enables systemic, anti-racist advocacy to increase and preserve affordable housing, fight displacement, eliminate discriminatory zoning, support unhoused communities, and protect and expand people’s entitlement to public benefits, income support, and supportive services.

Law students at PILP receive mentoring and training from our staff attorneys and gain exposure to the mechanics of litigation while developing a better understanding of the systemic legal barriers facing low-income and other underrepresented communities in California. PILP engages our law students in every phase of complex litigation, working with highly skilled and experienced attorneys. For example, we have involved students in all aspects of preparing an affordable housing/fair housing case for trial, including drafting discovery motions, participating in strategy sessions with co-counsel, and settlement negotiations with opposing counsel.  Other law students have researched the legislative history and case law related to various provisions of affordable housing and public benefits laws; drafted portions of trial court and appellate briefs; assisted taking depositions; and drafted procedural and substantive legal memoranda, motions, and stipulations. Law students have also gone into the field, interviewing clients and drafting declarations for submission to the court.

Law students may be eligible for a stipend if funding is not available from their school or other sources.

Since 2020, we have been able to adapt to remote work for our law students and we will continue to make this option available for those who are interested.

Candidates should email application materials as word or pdf attachments to lawclerks@pilpca.org.  Please provide a cover letter that includes a brief statement of interest, résumé, and writing sample. In your cover letter, also indicate the term you are interested in (Spring, Summer, or Fall), your law school year, and any past or current public interest law experience. If you prefer an alternative method of submitting these materials please contact us at the above email address.

Note to first-year students:
Historically the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) set guidelines for schools and employers regarding when law students could receive career counseling and apply for jobs. NALP recently decided to no longer provide such guidelines.

While each school will separately define their own advising policies and timelines, we believe that first-year students deserve time to settle in before they have to think about summer job opportunities and all of the additional time and effort applying and interviewing for positions entails. We will begin reviewing first-year applications starting December 1, 2021 for Spring and Summer 2022 positions.

Public Interest Law Project (PILP) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We strongly encourage people of color, women, people with disabilities, older adults, LGBTQ people, and individuals from other underrepresented groups to apply. It is PILP’s policy to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to establish and maintain equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, disability, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, medical condition, veteran status, national origin, marital status, familial status, or any other protected status.