Alumni of the program have had dramatic successes. A very high proportion of PILS have graduated from the Law Center with academic honors and prizes. Since 2000, three PILS graduated first among the 600 in their respective law school classes and many others have finished in the top 10% of the class.
Scholars have often served in leadership positions in the Law Center before becoming leaders in the community and nation. An initiative by one PILS led to the founding of the Law Center's Office of Public Interest and Community Service. Another was instrumental in founding the Thurgood Marshall Academy, a charter high school in a poor neighborhood of the District of Columbia that graduated its first class in 2005 – and every one of its graduates went off to a four-year college.
Many of them have held prestigious federal court clerkships, and one has served as the clerk to a U.S. Supreme Court justice. In 2000-01, two served as special assistants to U.S. cabinet members (one of them as a White House Fellow). Several alumni have returned to the Program as mentors and six have taught courses to succeeding groups of Public Interest Law Scholars.
In recent years, PILS graduates have obtained employment in Congressional staffs, federal and state government agencies like the U.S. Department of Justice, policy and legislative advocacy centers, public interest law firms, legal aid and public defenders' offices, and prosecutors' offices. Several have won prestigious post-graduate fellowships in public interest law.