Office of Public Interest and Community Service
Created in 1996, the Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is the hub of the public interest community at Georgetown. In addition to coordinating many of the Law Center's public interest programs, OPICS is the primary career office for students interested in exploring public interest and government legal opportunities. The office also administers the Law Center's extensive pro bono program, which encourages and facilitates pro bono legal service by students and other members of the Law Center community. Through our myriad services and activities, OPICS seeks to foster in all law students a commitment to service that will continue through their legal careers.
OPICS' four professional career advisors meet with hundreds of students and a growing number of alumni each year. The advisors assist with overall public interest career planning, provide information on summer and academic year opportunities and post-graduate employment, review resumes and cover letters, conduct mock interviews, and assist with post-graduate fellowship and government honor applications.
The office's recruiting initiatives include three major job fairs each year: the Government Interview Program, held annually in September, the Spotlight on Government Networking Fair, held annually in October and the Public Sector Recruiting Program, conducted jointly with George Washington University Law School and held each year in late January/early February. In addition, we coordinate ongoing public sector resume collections and administer an extensive public sector jobs database.
Our career-related educational programming includes a variety of workshops, information sessions and alumni and employer panels. Each year, we host a series of programs on public interest internships, ongoing public interest panels featuring alumni and local attorney speakers, and a range of topical programs on subjects as diverse as interview preparation, fellowship, and summer funding workshops, and debt management and loan repayment information sessions.
One of our signature programs for incoming students is the Public Interest Fellows Program, which provides a comprehensive support system for public interest-minded students from the first day of law school until graduation. To learn more about the program and how to apply, explore the Public Interest Fellows Program page.
OPICS also coordinates the Law Center's Pro Bono Pledge, which challenges each student to perform 75 hours of law-related pro bono service before he or she graduates. Those who complete the Pledge receive a certificate signed by the Dean and special recognition at graduation. During the 2010-2011 academic year, students signed up for the Pledge collectively performed more than 10,000+ hours of pro bono service at organizations such as DC Legal Aid Society, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and the DC Employment Justice Center.
Of particular note to prospective students is our 1L Pro Bono Project, which places first-year students in law-related volunteer positions with legal services organizations in the DC metropolitan area. Students provide assistance with client intake, basic legal research, and other matters appropriate for beginning law students. More than 100 students sign up for the 1L Pro Bono Project each year.