by Kala Mueller
Nationally, fewer than 20% of law graduates each year pursue careers in public service with a non-profit or government organization. At the same time, the Legal Services Corporation’s 2017 Justice Gap Report estimates that 86% of the civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans receive inadequate or no legal help, and in the criminal justice system, many public defenders and prosecutors are overburdened with heavy caseloads.
We are proud of the fact that Nebraska Law graduates are pursuing careers in public service at a higher rate than the national average – 27% over the last 5 years combined. However, we endeavor to create an even stronger culture of public service – to cultivate an environment that provides students with the skills and desire to fight for and increase access to justice and make meaningful contributions to their communities, regardless of whether they are working in the public or private sector.
JDs Advancing Justice was created to share the stories of the Nebraska Law students, alumni, and faculty who are dedicated to serving unmet legal needs in communities across the country and, as the name implies, advancing justice, which, as you might expect, can take on many different forms. We hope to educate you by examining the resources that exist to support this type of work, but more importantly, to inspire you by showcasing the incredible achievements and far-reaching impact of those in the Nebraska Law community.
Kala Mueller is the Director of Public Interest Programs at the University of Nebraska College of Law and a member of the college's Pro Bono Committee. She received her B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she served as a senior editor for the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society. Before joining the law college, Kala worked as a prosecutor and with a civil litigation firm.
If you are a member of the University of Nebraska College of Law alumni community and are interested in telling us about the ways in which you are advancing justice, please contact Kala at email@example.com. We would also encourage you to join the conversation in our corresponding Facebook group.