Public Interest Month initiatives are a great opportunity to get students AND your law school community reinvigorated about exploring public sector job paths. Once OCIs are over, and the sun is setting on offers from private law firms, many students will be considering different directions for their job searches. And a Public Interest Month initiative is the perfect antidote to student lamentations that Career Development professionals only focus on private law firm careers.
Dedicating a week or a month to showcasing public interest allows you to introduce positivity to job search conversations. Instead of thinking only about job opportunities that are lost after OCIs, students receive the message that great opportunities are still available since public interest, and government employers have later hiring timelines. And students who have always been dedicated to careers in public service from the get-go will feel supported and accepted, as their law school creates a forum designed for them.
Start by hosting employer panels full of happy public interest and government attorneys who are thrilled with their jobs and did not land them until 3L year or even after graduation. This will turn the conversation away from any negative fall-out from the OCI process, by encouraging students who are still looking to THINK, early-on, about a career that will lead them to career satisfaction.