Lawyers do work in the public interest in a wide variety of practices. This Pathway is meant to give guidance to students who would like to prepare for work in a practice that focuses on providing services to low-income clients.
In Minnesota, there are six larger legal services programs, which combine to have office providing services throughout the state and employ in total over 150 attorneys. There are also at least twenty additional direct services providers that target special populations and/or particular geographic areas.
The Legal Practice Center is the heart of William Mitchell’s practical legal education, with nationally ranked skills courses, clinical programs, and real-world learning opportunities. It’s where students work with professors to put the theories they’ve learned in the classroom to work for real clients who might not otherwise have access to legal representation.
The lawyers who work for these different programs practice in a wide range of areas, helping clients in matters involving public assistance, housing, employment, consumer rights, and family law. Legal services providers also have specific projects that focus on education law, domestic violence, elder law, immigration, and disability rights. While much of the work involves representation of individual clients, lawyers working for these public service providers may also represent community organizations and other small non-profit businesses and participate in many different community education programs.