Ellen P. Chapnick
Dean Emerita for SJI
Social Justice Initiatives manifests Columbia Law School’s belief that public interest experience should be part of the professional life of every Columbia student and graduate.
Social Justice Initiatives has primary responsibility for career services for Columbia Law School students and graduates interested in public interest, government, and legal volunteer work. We provide programming and individual advising regarding careers, summer opportunities, curricular opportunities, and pro bono projects. SJI also implements and oversees Columbia’s Externship Program, in which students can take a substantive seminar and a closely related field experience at a not-for-profit organization or governmental agency, as well as the Law School's Pro Bono Program, which connects students with attorney-supervised projects in the public good.
As a result of its varied activities, SJI has an extensive network of social justice organizations and practitioners in the United States and abroad. We look forward to welcoming you to it.
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Through implementation of its pro bono requirement, Columbia expresses its conviction that service pro bono publico (“for the public good”) is a cornerstone of every attorney’s professional responsibilities.
SJI is here to support Columbia Law School students and grads interested in pursuing all kinds of public service work, whether right after graduation or later in their careers.
SJI hosts dozens of events and programs throughout the year to help our community meet and mingle. Check out our calendar of information sessions, mixers, substantive panels, and more.