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Public Service Law Program

The Public Service Law Program is an academic certification program developed to give students seeking public service careers a theoretical and practical foundation on which to build. Students who have not yet made a decision on a career path or who choose careers in the private sector are also strongly encouraged to participate in the program, to explore a wider range of law-related careers and to receive recognition for service performed while attending UC Davis. Program participants will sharpen their minds and strengthen their legal skills through academic and experiential components. To earn the certificate, students must complete both the academic coursework and public service legal work requirements.

Each year, a high percentage of King Hall graduates receive their Public Service certificate, demonstrating a school-wide commitment to serving the community. These certificates are awarded at a special Public Service Graduation ceremony designed to honor certificate and award recipients. Students are eligible to enroll in the program at any time throughout law school but are encouraged to enroll soon after registering for an approved course or obtaining a qualifying position. After enrolling, candidates for the Public Service Law Program Certificate may notate their candidacy for the certificate on their resumes.

Academic Coursework Requirements

Program candidates must complete a minimum of 15 credits of public service coursework from the list below. The courses which can be counted toward the public service requirement are also denoted on the Course Descriptions page. Coursework requirements begin in the second year, as all first-year students follow a required curriculum. The academic coursework requirements are attainable for almost every student who seeks to incorporate the approved courses into their studies. Many classes from different areas of interest qualify each semester, enabling students with a broad range of concentrations to complete the requirements while taking classes relevant to their career path. Units from clinical fieldwork may also be counted towards coursework requirements.

Public Service Legal Work Requirements

Program candidates must complete a minimum of 175 hours of legal work in public interest organizations, government agencies, and courts. The work must be performed under the supervision of an attorney or a member of the Law School faculty. It can be paid, volunteer or for clinical units. The experiential component provides students the opportunity to make important contacts with public service attorneys. In addition to assisting public service organizations meet their needs, volunteering offers students opportunities to interact with attorneys and gain practical legal work experience.

For additional information contact Timothy Griffiths, Associate Director for Public Interest & Public Sector Careers at 530.752.5135 or

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Local 1199 Salute to Freedom, March 1968