Public Interest Law Special Distinction

Questions about constitutional law impact our daily activities, running the gamut from traffic stops to controversial internet posts to the right to attend public school.  These important constitutional rights are usually defended through litigation initiated by public interest groups.  Students who are interested in pursuing public service careers, or who plan to make pro bono work a meaningful part of their practice, should consider pursuing a Public Interest Law professional track or special distinction.  This type of legal work requires a solid understanding of constitutional interpretation, focused on the Bill of Rights, as well as familiarity with various litigation requirements imposed on statute or the courts.  A student who completes the Public Interest Law professional track or special distinction will be familiar with legal strategies to enforce constitutional rights. 

Public Interest Law Special Distinction Required Courses:

Advanced Family Law (3hrs) 9380

Civil Liberties or Constitutional Law: Free Speech (3hrs) 9360

Civil Rights Actions (2hrs) 9256

Immigration Law (3hrs) 9373

Poverty Law (2hrs) 9267

Take at least 10 hours from this selection of elective courses:

Advanced Criminal Procedure (3hrs) 9350

Administrative Law: Federal (2hrs) 9268

Administrative Law: Texas (2hrs) 9287

Employment Discrimination (3hrs) 9362

Field placement focused on public interest. (as available and approved by Prof. Hernandez or Professor Serr (2) 9V44

Juvenile Justice (2hrs) 9254

Legal Clinics

Municipal Government (2hrs) 9265

Nonprofit Organizations (2hrs) 9211

Separation of Church & State (2hrs) 9279

Supreme Court Seminar (2hrs) 9226

Student must complete 20 hours of pro bono public interest work.  Prior approval of work by Professor Hernandez or Professor Serr is required.

A GPA of 3.3 in all track courses * (including additional hours as required above) will be required for a student to receive the Special Distinction designation.

*If a student has taken more than the minimum number of hours of track courses and a grade in a course that is not required for receipt of the Special Distinction would result in the GPA being below the requirement, that grade need not be included in the GPA calculation.  If a grade in a track course that is required for receipt of the Special Distinction causes the GPA to be below the requirement, grades in track courses beyond the number of hours required for the Special Distinction may be included in order to raise the GPA in the track courses. 

A student who meets the above requirements for a Special Distinction shall receive that designation only if the faculty determines that the student has made meaningful contributions to the Law School program and that the student is worthy of such distinction in accordance with the traditions, expectations and mission of Baylor Law School.


Contact Professors Hernandez or Serr for additional information.