PreLaw Magazine named West Virginia University College of Law among the top schools for public service and public interest.
WVU College of Law's public interest program was ranked fifth in the nation, according to the magazine. The rankings are in the magazine's winter issue. The university received a combined grade of 3.90 and had 11.2 percent of its graduates holding public interest jobs.
The lawyers who practice in public interest law help individuals who cannot afford legal services on their own, as well as those who are underrepresented, like the elderly, children, domestic violence victims and the poor.
Bowman | Courtesy of the WVU College of Law
"Excellence in public service is in our DNA, and it’s an integral part of our mission as a land-grant law school," Gregory Bowman, dean of the College of Law, said. "We are committed to helping our students excel in public interest law while providing a much-needed service to our state and nation."
Currently, the College of Law strives to support work in public interest law, offering a concentration in the field.
Each year, students are provided funding to work in public interest agencies like ChildLaw Services, Legal Aid of West Virginia and Mountain State Justice.
WVU College of Law's Clinical Law program also provides more than 40,000 hours of pro bono legal services each year to those in need.
The City University of New York School of Law ranked first in public interest, having an unprecedented 40.6 percent of its graduates holding public interest jobs and having a score of 4.23. The University of California-Berkley School of Law ranked second with a score of 4.13 and had 11.7 percent of its graduates holding public interest jobs. Northwestern University scored 4.10 and had 11.8 percent of its graduates holding public interest jobs. Georgetown University had a score of 3.98 and 9.7 percent of its graduates holding public interest jobs.