J.D. Certificate Program in Public Interest Law

Students at IIT Chicago-Kent who have a special interest in human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, social justice, increasing access to justice, and battling discrimination can carve their own professional niche by pursuing a Certificate in Public Interest Law. The certificate program enables a student to demonstrate a commitment to public interest law, define public interest career goals, customize coursework to match both interests and career objectives, and connect with related events, conferences and professional opportunities.

Chicago-Kent's long-established institutional commitment to this field has inspired a comprehensive curriculum, including concentrated course work, and a focused volunteer service requirement. The program's distinguished faculty has years of practical and research experience in this competitive field.

The Chicago-Kent Career Services Office, furthermore, has two full-time staff members who help students define career goals and create a public interest career path that could zero in on immigration, international human rights, housing, animal rights, sexual orientation rights, bankruptcy and consumer debt, and a host of other options. The office also advises and assists students in conducting job searches and cultivating professional relationships.

Before selecting the 12 credit hours of coursework required, students meet with the program's director to choose courses and at least one clinic or externship experience related to career objectives, which provides opportunities to work on real-world cases.

The Dean's Certificate of Service, earned by completing at least 50 hours of pro bono activities under the auspices of the Chicago-Kent Public Interest Resource Center, is also a requirement for the Certificate in Public Interest Law.