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Public Interest & Government Law

One of the strongest academic areas at UMass Law, a concentration in public interest & government law will prepare students for a career that includes work in local, state, or federal government (e.g., state attorney general's offices; legislative counsel; district attorney; public defender) or at a not-for-profit organization engaged in the practice of law to benefit the public interest across a range of legal fields (e.g., animal law, constitutional law, environmental law, health law, labor and employment law, Native American law).

UMass Law offers several opportunities to gain experience in this area. One of our law clinics is with the Mashpee Wampanoag Legal Services Office in Hyannis, serving low-income litigants in the Tribal Court located in Mashpee, MA, as well as tribal members seeking legal assistance with civil legal issues, including family law, landlord-tenant law, and government benefits law.

Students may also enroll in UMass Law's Human Rights at Home Clinic, through which students represent survivors of domestic violence, veterans, those who are or have been incarcerated, and others whose fundamental needs are unmet.

The Public Interest Law Fellowship (PILF) offers a comprehensive, integrated program designed to train students for careers in public service. Up to 25 fellowships are awarded to entering students each year in a highly competitive application process. The fellowship includes a 50% scholarship for both tuition and fees in exchange for a commitment to practice public interest law for four years upon graduation.

Examples of courses in this area include, but are not limited to: administrative law,  affordable housing law, animal rights law, bioethics and the law, constitutional law, domestic violence law, employment discrimination, environmental law, food and drug law, health law, law and religion, and special education law.

  • Administrative Law
  • Affordable Housing Law
  • Animal Rights Law
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Bioethics & the Law
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Death Penalty Seminar
  • Environmental Law
  • Food and Drug Law
  • Health Law
  • History of Civil and Human Rights
  • Information Privacy Law
  • International Law
  • Public Sector Labor Law
  • Statutory Interpretation
  • Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Law Clinic
  • Criminal Prosecution Clinic
  • Human Rights at Home Clinic
  • Field Placement

Adjunct Faculty

  • First Asst. District Attorney William McCauley
  • Russell Murphy
  • Terrence Tierney
  • Raymond Yox

See full adjunct faculty listing

  • MA Supreme Judicial Court
  • MA Attorney General's Office
  • University of Massachusetts, Office of the General Counsel
  • MA Commission Against Discrimination
  • MA Fair Housing Center
  • U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel
  • U.S. Department of the Navy, Office of Judge Advocate General Corps
  • Presidential Management Fellow, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Law Clerk, Massachusetts Appeals Court
  • Director of Budget and Policy and Legal Counsel, MA State Senate
  • Deputy Counsel and Committee for Joint Committee on Transportation in the MA Legislature
  • Counsel, MA Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division
  • Deputy Policy Director, Office of Rhode Island State Senate President
  • Budget Director and Staff Attorney, Office of the MA Senate Majority Leader
  • Legislative Aide, United States Congressman William Keating
  • Attorney Advisor, District of Columbia Office of Tenant Advocates
  • Elected Member, MA House of Representatives
  • Attorney Advisor, Federal Board of Veterans Appeals, Washington, DC
  • Counsel, United States Department of the Air Force
  • Attorney Advisor, Rhode Island National Guard

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