There are ultimately three avenues to a public interest legal career. The first is a postgraduate fellowship with a public interest organization. The second is a judicial clerkship; clerkships demonstrate a commitment to public service that can attract public interest employers. While these paths to a public interest career are certainly desirable, it is probably fair to say that most future public interest lawyers pursue a third avenue: taking whatever comes, maintaining a long-term perspective, and doing one’s best to exemplify a commitment to public interest in the meantime.
Neta, Leeor, "The Most Common Path to a Public Interest Career Is Also the Least Discussed" (2012). Publications. 457.