Public Service/Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF)

Anna Beadle

Staff attorney for MJF, Anna has an office in the Legal Practice Center.

Public Service: Making a difference

William Mitchell is ranked 12th among the nation’s best public interest law schools by The National Jurist magazine (November 2008).

The law school’s Public Service Program, directed by Professor Peter Knapp, operates in cooperation with the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF). Working hand-in-hand with our Clinical and Externship programs, Mitchell’s public service program provides opportunities for students to volunteer their time doing pro bono work.

Whether through MJF, clinics, externships, or student organizations, Mitchell students develop a commitment to public service, ethical understanding, and insight into the legal process. And, most importantly, they make a difference in the community.

Students volunteer to serve

Busy with studies, jobs and family, William Mitchell students still find time to donate thousands of volunteer hours every year. While we do not require students to do pro bono work, we encourage it and find that most do. Almost 50 percent of our students are recognized upon graduation for donating 50 or more hours to public service.

For example, ever since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Cost, Mitchell students have spent their spring breaks helping residents there with legal needs. Mitchell students regularly provide legal assistance for homeless people at Project Homeless Connect events in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Minnesota Justice Foundation: Serving those in need

The Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) is nonprofit organization committed to promoting social justice and improving legal services to those who have been under-represented by the legal profession. Every year, more than 50 percent of Mitchell students participate voluntarily in pro bono work through MJF.

Minnesota Justice Foundation website


A valuable resource

To facilitate pro bono work, the MJF matches interested law students with volunteer opportunities. MJF is a membership-run, nonprofit organization that promotes social justice and improves legal services to those who have been under-represented by the legal profession. Through MJF, students have the opportunity to work with lawyers in a variety of legal advice settings or to complete research projects for lawyers who have taken clients and cases on a pro-bono basis.

In addition, the MJF coordinates a Summer Clerkship Program, providing paid clerkships at public interest law offices in Minnesota.

MJF at William Mitchell

Public service programs at William Mitchell College of Law are funded, in part, by the Faegre Baker Daniels Public Service Endowment.

Some places our students serve

  • Legal Aid Society of Mpls., Senior Law Project
  • Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS)
  • Public Health Law Center
  • Public Defender’s Office (Buffalo, MN)
  • Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Mpls.)
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review, Bloomington
  • Office of Regional Counsel, Minneapolis Veteran’s Hospital
  • Neighborhood Justice Center
  • St. Paul City Attorney—criminal division
  • U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforce.
  • MN State Tax Court Bankruptcy Judge
  • Military Law matters (for returning service people)
  • Ramsey County Guardian Ad Litem Program
  • Minnesota Kinship Caregivers Association

Recent Public Service Stories
  • USPTO Acting Director to Speak at Mitchell

    Teresa Stanek Rea, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), will speak at the 4th Annual Patterson Thuente Lecture.

  • Mitchell students offer free assistance with advance health care directives

    If something unexpected happens and you can’t communicate your health care wishes, how will your loved ones know what to do? A completed advance health care directive can help ensure there will be no questions about what you want, and William Mitchell students and alumni are offering free assistance with legally documenting your wishes during […]

  • Conference explores fracking, global warming, and the domestic natural gas boom

    From fracking to global warming, the domestic natural gas boom is reshaping the policy landscape.

  • Public Health Law Center puts students on front lines of improving country’s health

    Mitchell students who are looking for a career that combines law and public health have a nationally-recognized resource right on their campus. The Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law focuses on encouraging healthier lives, by working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use, prevent childhood obesity, support healthy eating, and […]

  • Mitchell Self-Help Clinic: Students build skills, provide community service

    It’s only been around for three years, but the student-run William Mitchell Self-Help Clinic has become a popular place for students to get hands-on experience while teaching people how they can help themselves. Mitchell students and alumni provide people representing themselves in court—called pro se litigants—with access to legal support. Co-sponsored by the Minnesota Justice […]