NCLA is fighting on the front lines of cutting-edge administrative law litigation–and you have an opportunity to be a part of that fight! NCLA is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated solely to litigating administrative law issues and restoring respect for our civil liberties. A clerkship with NCLA is an unparalleled opportunity to learn first-hand how we’re challenging Chevron, Auer, and Brand-X deference and reinvigorating the nondelegation doctrine. While most law students simply learn the state of the law and how to apply these doctrines, you could be a part of the team moving the law forward.
You’ll get to meet incredibly resilient clients. NCLA represents clients who are willing to stare into the abyss of the Administrative State and fight back to defend our civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution. Our clients know that they might face a long, uphill battle—but they also know that NCLA will fight alongside them and will not back down when the going gets tough. Often, our clients come to NCLA when they’ve exhausted their financial resources fighting against abuses of power but haven’t lost the will to stand up for what they believe is right. As a non-profit public interest law firm, we’re able to assess cases without concern about the client’s ability to pay—NCLA represents clients pro bono publico, that is, for the public good.
Do something you believe in every day. Most attorneys have heard the “so why’d you decide to go to law school?” question. And you’ve heard the familiar answers: Perry Mason. Atticus Finch. Matlock. Elle Woods. Randy Barnett. “To help people.” I hope I’m not the first to tell you this, but the sad truth is, not all attorneys are able to do the work that motivated them to go to law school. My colleagues and I are incredibly fortunate to use our legal training and experience to defend civil liberties against encroachment by the Administrative State—and you can, too!
One Summer can change your life. I’m not exaggerating! If you clerk for a public interest firm, love it, and pursue it as a career, of course that will change your life. But even if you decide to continue along a different career path, a summer (or semester) clerking with NCLA will change the way you look at the legal landscape, and possibly the world. We’ll expose you to a different perspective than you hear in law school and you’ll research and write about things you may have never considered otherwise.
It will make you more interesting. Any law student can research caselaw and write memos, but the exposure to ideas and skills you’ll gain at NCLA will set you apart from the rest of your law school classmates. I clerked for a public interest law firm during my 1L summer, and someone has asked me about that experience in every interview I’ve had since then—because it’s exciting work!
Be part of something bigger. Have you ever worked somewhere that you cared more about accomplishing the goal than achieving individual success for yourself? It will make you jump out of bed in the morning and then keep you up at night. You’ll annoy your friends and family because you can’t stop talking about the newest development work. It’s awesome! If you’ve always wanted to be on a national championship team, but lacked the athletic capabilities or other physical requirements, public interest law might be the right place for you.
 If that doesn’t sound familiar, if you’ve taken a class because it sounded fascinating, even though it was at 8 am on Fridays and didn’t count towards any credits you needed for graduation? Then a career in public interest might be right for you!
Jessica Thompson is a Litigation Counsel with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, which represents clients pro bono against the Administrative State.