Jill Chien, JD '24, Receives Equal Justice Works Public Interest Award

July 8, 2024
Jill Chien in law school regalia

Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, announced the 2024 Regional Public Interest Award recipients, recognizing eight law students for their exemplary commitment to public interest law and pro bono work. Jill Chien, JD '24, was one of those recipients. Here's what she said about receiving the award and how GW Law's Public Interest and Public Service Law Center prepared her for her future ahead.

"I'd like to thank GW Law's Public Interest Center for being a pivotal part of my public interest journey."

Jill Chien
Class of 2024

"I feel so incredibly honored to be a recipient of this award. Equal Justice Works and the National Advisory Committee support public interest practitioners across the country by providing fellowships, mentorship, networking opportunities, and more. This award means so much to me because it is a reflection of my own belief in the importance of public service. To me, public service means nurturing a community that nurtures you, for we are all inextricably connected. This award is also a reflection of my gratitude for every person who has shaped me into who I am today. As I navigate the challenging transition from law student to public defender, I know that I never was and never will be alone.

I'd like to thank GW Law's Public Interest Center for being a pivotal part of my public interest journey. Prior to coming to law school, I was a social worker for many years and I applied to GW [Law] wanting to learn how to be a more multifaceted advocate for my clients. From the very beginning, Dean Morrison guided me on how to tailor my law school experience to fit my unique professional goals and encouraged me to advocate for myself. The Center also generously funded my summer internship at a public defender's office, where I will be returning as their very first mental health and mitigation attorney. As I become part of GW's expansive alumni network, I hope to be able to give back and mentor like-minded law students and aspiring public interest attorneys."

Learn more about GW Law's Public Interest and Public Service Law Center.