​Public Interest Law

Why Public Interest Law?

Students often come to law school looking to serve the public by making positive changes in their own community. USD's renowned legal research, advocacy and policy centers, such as the Consumer Protection Policy Center, Children's Advocacy Institute and Energy Policy Initiatives Center, are hubs for teaching, research and advocacy. They are nationally recognized for their work in training future public interest lawyers and their integration of students into meaningful advocacy work.

Students can focus their studies with electives that emphasize many areas of public interest law, including consumer protection, children's rights, and civil right

JD with Public Interest Law Concentration

  • Total required credits: 18
    • To attain this concentration, students must successfully complete all core courses and a sufficient number of credits from the approved electives to reach a minimum of 18 credits.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA): 2.2
    • The minimum cumulative GPA required to obtain the concentration will be based on an average of grades received in courses eligible for concentration credit.
  • Recognition: Certificate and transcript notation
  • Application Process: JD concentration applications must be submitted no later than the applicable deadline stated below. Concentration applications are evaluated after all grades for the graduation term are finalized and JD degrees are officially conferred. Applicants will be notified of the status of their concentration application via email once evaluations are complete.

    application deadlines

    Graduation Month

    Concentration Application Deadline


    April 1 of graduation year


    July 1 of graduation year


    November 1 of graduation year

Concentration Application

  • Courses for the Public Interest Law Concentration
  • Centers for Public Interest Law
  • Experience in Public Interest Law
  • Get Involved