Legal Career Resources

Public Interest Attorney: In the Service of the Underserved Society
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Introduction

Public interest attorney jobs are prevalent in legal services, law reform groups, educational institutions, charity organizations, and law firms involved in pro bono work. However, these are jobs that you have to go out in search of; you have to hunt for them. Nonetheless, the fruits are worth the labor and effort. They provide profound experience, excellent training, and enormous job satisfaction for primarily the jobs serve the underserved section of society and help causes that desperately cry for legal representation without being able to afford them. Like other cities in the U.S., Atlanta too has its share of cases that can only be addressed through the people holding public interest attorney jobs in Atlanta.

Before you peruse job-search engines for job-listings, LawCrossing.com is a great one for comprehensive and detailed listings. Please understand that public interest jobs pay a meager but livable salary. This field is meant for people who care about what they do and not merely care about how much they earn. Issues that you will probably be dealing with and using your legal acumen toward are addressing the widespread unfairness, injustice, and bias prevalent in today’s world. This would probably mean ensuring healthcare for the poor and elderly, holding industries responsible for environmental degradation, helping refugees seek political asylum, and other similar cases.

  
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It is fairly obvious that your values, your commitment, and the desire to use your expertise to change society will be the motivating factor. Money for what this legal field will earn you is rather skimpy. Your commitment and your desire to contribute to the wellness of society may far outweigh other considerations. If you are going to compare what you earn with what attorneys in other fields earn, the results will be dismal and probably Public Interest is not the field you should venture into.

Salaries are nothing to write home about. Starting salaries would be in the range of $30-40,000.However, government public interest jobs draw a higher salary, which could be between $70-100,000.

Of all places in the U.S., Atlanta is perhaps the right choice for public interest work. Its poverty rate is extremely high and nearly 20 percent of the people here are food insecure, meaning that they are not sure if they’ll manage two full meals a day. Nearly 30 percent of the city’s children live in food insecure families and at least one in ten elderly people lives below the poverty line.

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Although you may not earn much in terms of money, you are likely to gain much more experience than you would get doing more conventional legal work. Since the clients you work for are getting your services gratis, you have more direct client contact, you have extensive courtroom experience and the issues that you deal with are of a very serious nature, e.g. fighting for someone on death row, cases of racial discrimination, seeking asylum for fugitives, and fighting big guns for prejudices against workers based on their color, creed or origins.

Public interest attorney jobs in Atlanta are for those who want to use their years of effort at law school and hard earned expertise in the legal arena to help the downtrodden and the oppressed and to redress their woes without hankering after money. Putting a smile on their faces and helping equalize a social lacuna is the reward such attorneys give themselves.



 

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