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Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC)

PIRC Student Log Form (pdf)

Students should use this form to track their volunteer hours.

The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) helps students engage in public interest work by providing information and resources about placement opportunities. Currently 80 different pro bono placements are available, allowing for 200 students to get public interest experience at any given time.

Every year, close to 100 students are honored at graduation with pro bono distinction. In addition, students are honored for their distinguished service at the student awards ceremony and at the annual PIRC Reception. Local and state bar association receptions also are given to honor students’ pro bono services.

How Public Interest Work Can Benefit You

Although PIRC placements are non-paying and non-credit, they provide exciting benefits. Public interest placements help build your résumé and give you the opportunity to network with legal professionals. You put your legal skills to practical use while learning from experienced professionals eager to share their expertise with you. PIRC tracks your volunteer hours and recognizes exceptional service.

Opportunities to Make a Difference

Public interest law encompasses legal services that benefit charitable, civic, community, religious, educational, or government organizations that assist individuals of limited means as well as legal services that benefit groups that protect civil liberties or public rights. If you have completed your first semester of law school in good academic standing, PIRC can offer you an opportunity to get hands-on experience while helping those in need. For example, PIRC students participated in the Katrina-Gideon Interview Project and worked with New Orleans pretrial detainees whose cases were delayed due to Hurricane Katrina. Students provide a range of local services, from teaching young children about finances and helping low-income individuals apply for a much-needed earned income tax credit to helping Delaware residents apply for pardons and helping survivors of domestic violence navigate through the legal system.

Accessing PIRC Resources

PIRC offers many resources to students who are interested in public service. Come visit us to find out about

  • Careers in the public interest
  • Fellowships and loan repayment assistance to help fund summer internships and public interest careers
  • How to network with public interest lawyers at events like the fall Public Interest Law Lecture and spring Public Interest Reception
  • Community service projects for your student bar association group

“Get out there and get involved – you’ll meet some extraordinary people, and you’ll learn more from them about the law and the legal profession than anything you’ll find in one of your textbooks. ”

- Ryan Cicoski 
Class of 2010

Contact Info:

PIRC office, Main Law Building
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or by appointment
Email: PIRC@widener.edu

Nicole Barkley, director
Email: ncbarkley@mail.widener.edu
Phone: 302-477-2702

Vanessa Gosa, secretary
Phone: 302-477-2174
Fax: 302-477-2227
Email: vngosa@widener.edu

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