The 33rd Public Interest Legal Career Fair, the largest event of its kind in the country, set an attendance record on February 4 and 5 at NYU School of Law. Organized by the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), the fair hosted over 2,300 students from 21 law schools—about 200 more students each day than last year—and representatives from 210 public interest and government employers from across the country. 

Students and employers participated in 3,592 interviews during the two-day event. In addition to the individual interviews, students visited information tables set up around the Law School, sat in on "table talk" information sessions, and attended lunchtime presentations by prominent public interest lawyers. On the first day, the lunch panel “Working for Justice in the South” featured speakers from the Orleans Public Defenders, the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, and other organizations working below the Mason-Dixon Line. The next day Karen Greenberg, executive director of the Center on Law and Security, led a screening and discussion of “Tortured Law,” a new documentary produced by Alliance for Justice, which examines the role lawyers played in authorizing American torture of suspected terrorists.

The lunch speakers proved motivating for Loui Itoh '12. Itoh had a few interviews on the first day, but none in her area of focus, criminal law. Her interest was piqued after hearing Orleans Public Defenders’ Deputy Chief Public Defender Christopher Flood '00 speak in the “Working for Justice in the South" panel. “I became inspired about doing criminal defense in the South,” Itoh said. “That night, I read the intern reports and became very excited about working for the Orleans Public Defender this summer.” The next day she came back to the fair to meet with Flood, and he offered her a position. The PILC Summer Funding Program will provide funding for Itoh's summer with the Orleans Public Defenders. 

“The Career Fair is a great celebration of public service,” said Deb Ellis, assistant dean for Public Interest Law. “It is wonderful to see the enthusiastic students getting a chance to meet all the dedicated public service employers, who traveled here from as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, and California.” 

Posted February 9, 2010