At UNH Law, social justice and public interest law are synonymous with advocating for, assisting, and empowering underserved and vulnerable populations. The Social Justice Institute (SJI) plays a vital role in maintaining public interest law as a vibrant component of the UNH School of Law experience. The Social Justice Institute's mission is to inspire and equip students to use their law degrees to advocate for and assist underserved and vulnerable populations and empower communities. SJI believes students can serve these constituencies by various means, including pro bono work, community service, or a career dedicated to the public interest.
The institute is guided by the following core values:
- ACCESS: Every person and every community in society is entitled to a meaningful opportunity to receive competent legal assistance on such matters where vital human interests are at stake.
- ADVOCACY: Lawyers have an ethical obligation to assist and advocate for vulnerable and underserved populations.
- AFFORDABILITY: A career in social justice should not have to be a choice between pursuing social justice and making a living. Rather, social justice lawyers can advance causes, influence policy, fight for the underrepresented, and still make a living.
APTITUDE: Legal education should produce competent, compassionate, and skilled social justice minded professionals who are client- and practice-ready at graduation.
"It is an exciting time to begin a legal career as a social justice advocate. SJI assists students in navigating the many resources at UNH School of Law so even first-year law students can use their education to help others."
UNH Law's curriculum offers a broad range of courses that lay the foundation for careers in a variety of social justice practice areas: criminal law, civil rights and civil liberties, intellectual property in the public interest, indigent legal services, and international human rights, to name just a few.
- A solid faculty core with public interest backgrounds and orientations
- A broad range of public interest courses with different practice areas
- An externship program that regularly places students in quality social justice positions around the country
- Clinics that provide students with supervised, hands-on training in relation to a variety of vulnerable populations
- Lectures, visiting practitioners and conferences that provide exposure to social justice issues
Read the UNH Law Social Justice Institute Student Handbook. Providing an overview of resources available at the law school to help you navigate the next three years and prepare you to be a lawyer interested in social justice.
Note: The Warren B. Rudman Center Summer 2013 Fellowship Application is now available.