BU Law Public Interest Retreat

Connect with BU Law students, faculty, and alumni to learn about approaches to public interest lawyering

September 23October 5, 2020

The Public Interest Retreat is an annual event planned by BU Law students with the support of BU Law faculty and staff. The retreat is an opportunity for BU Law students interested in public interest law to connect with one another while engaging with leaders in the public interest field and learning about emerging legal issues and approaches to public interest lawyering.

The 3rd Annual Public Interest Retreat at Boston University Law School. This year’s retreat, “Interdisciplinary Lawyering: Think Outside Your Field,” will consist of five virtual events from September 23October 5, 2020. Please click here to register.


Wednesday, September 23, 8:009:30 p.m.

Building Your Public Interest Community

Hosted by the Public Interest Retreat & Public Interest Project

Join 1L, 2L, and 3L law students interested in public interest work for a community building night to get to know each other, share advice, and build community. All are welcome – including students who may not consider themselves “public interest students” but hope to engage in that work in some form throughout their career.

Thursday, September 24, 1:002:30 p.m. 

Intersection of Civil & Criminal Public Interest Lawyering

This panel discussion will address the notion that different types of public interest advocacy exist in conjunction with one another. Our criminal and civil legal systems intersect and overlap. How can we take advantage of these intersections as public interest lawyers? Hear from panelists about how they work at these intersections and how we can fill the gaps between our civil and criminal systems by coming up with efficient solutions that are contextualized by a variety of social issues of our time.

Tuesday, September 29, 1:002:30 p.m.

Sharing Expertise through Coalition Building

Lawyers must think outside their field when building a coalition to affect change. We must broaden the scope of who we identify as stakeholders in a particular issue and thus with whom we ought to work or consider when identifying solutions. This creativity benefits all parties in various ways, such as sharing of expertise between fields when issues are interconnected and preventing unintended harm. 

This panel includes a group of experts who have all worked on at least one project with a strong or creative coalition that proved valuable in this way.   The goal of this panel is to demonstrate, through discussion between several attorneys working in seemingly unrelated fields of law, that their work is more related than it appears; that reaching outside of your field for expertise is valuable to address any issue; and that coalition building can prevent causing further harm.

Thursday, October 1, 8:3010:30 p.m.

Pub Style Trivia

Join a team of up to six to test your trivia knowledge. Some general trivia and some law-specific trivia. You can form your own team or we can assign you one.

Monday, October 5, 6:308:30 p.m.

Non-Carceral Strategies to Ending Gender Based Violence

Many protections for gender-based violence survivors involve incarceration and criminal justice. This panel engages with an emerging critique of the current remedies addressing gender based violence. It will look at remedies to gender-based violence that do not involve interactions with the criminal justice system, including restorative justice and civil remedies. Panelists will include attorneys, activists, and scholars.

Please email the Student Planning Committee at publicinterestretreat.bulaw@gmail.com with any questions.