Research and Leadership Initiatives


The Levin Center’s staff leverages Stanford resources, our years as public interest lawyers, and nonprofit management experience to engage in research that supports the public interest sector. Our research agenda is focused externally – to support the development and health of the public interest legal field, with a particular interest within the US in legal services for the indigent, and internationally regarding the interaction of international human rights mechanisms with domestic reform efforts.

Research and Leadership Initiatives

Leadership Pipeline and Sustainability Project

Learn more about our leadership training program.

Beyond the Big Firm: Profiles of Lawyers Who Want Something More

In 2007, Alan Morrison (then a visiting lecturer at Stanford Law School and now the Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest & Public Service at George Washington University School of Law) had the brilliant idea that there should be a resource for those considering the legal profession who might only have heard of large corporate law firms and national nonprofits. He and Diane Chin, the Levin Center’s first-ever Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law, decided to create this resource. As practitioners and teachers of law, they wanted law students especially to understand that law is not practiced only, or even primarily, in those two types of legal organizations.

That summer, Morrison and Chin deployed dozens of our Stanford law students who (before or after their summer internships) interviewed lawyers throughout the country, in small and large organizational settings, who engaged in advocacy and used strategies inside and outside the courtroom, and who attended law schools of every different size and shape. While many of the lawyers interviewed for Beyond the Big Firm, Profiles of Lawyers Who Want Something More have moved on to new, mainly other public interest, endeavors, their stories and paths remain relevant to those whose desire is to find fulfilling legal work that matters.

The book was published by Aspen Publishers but we are happy to now be able to provide this to you in electronic form.