Social Impact, Policy, & Law

Interested in pursuing a future in Social Impact, Policy, and Law? Find resources, events, opportunities, and advice to confirm your interest and kickstart your career.

Explore a career path in Social Impact, Policy, and Law

Do you enjoy mission-driven work, combining your technical skills and knowledge with non-technical skills such as collaboration and communication, or solving problems that positively affect communities at the local and global scale? If so, a career in social impact, policy, or law might be a fit for you.

Woman making a speech

Social Impact

Social impact careers span across many disciplines and industries. These careers involve doing work that has a positive impact. This means you could work in many different fields and types of companies. You might work for:

  • a non-profit consulting company
  • the government analyzing renewable energy usage
  • a research institution finding cures for rare diseases
  • an academic institution providing educational opportunities to historically excluded groups
  • a large tech company using AI to make products more accessible

Find your social impact career by thinking about the skills you enjoy using and the causes you care about.

clipboard with document being presented to another person at desk

Policy

A career in policy can include working in academia, industry, government, and non-profits to create new policies or change existing policies at the local, state, national, or global scale. Policy could be a fit for you if you like thinking about the big picture and having a widespread, tangible impact. Working in policy often involves collecting and analyzing data, making recommendations based on that research, writing proposals and policies, and communicating with stakeholders to advance your recommendations.

open book in background with gavel and balance in foreground

Law

A career in law can be a great way to combine your technical interests with non-technical skills. For example, there is an increasing need for lawyers who understand technology and the law as technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Getting a law degree is required if you want to practice law. However, there are some instances in which a law degree is not necessary, for example, you don’t need a law degree to become a Patent Agent. A law degree is versatile and a career in the law would allow you to work on interesting and challenging problems with a range of colleagues and clients.

Students and alumni within two years of graduation can schedule Pre-Law advising meetings through Handshake with Tianna Ransom, MIT’s Pre-Law Advisor. Sign up for the monthly Pre-Law newsletter, which includes relevant events, updates, and announcements by updating your uConnect profile and preferences to include the Law career interest. Have questions? Contact us.

Discovering community and cultural connections

A joint humanities and engineering major, senior Grace McMillan is setting her sights on a legal career focused on education policy reform.

“When McMillan isn’t in class or hanging out with her sisters, she’s in the library studying for the …

By MIT News
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Political science and physics major Leela Fredlund wants to ensure fairness and justice prevail in humanity’s leap into space.

“I realized that I could raise very interesting questions at the intersection of astronomy and political science,” says Fredlund. Through undergraduate projects at MIT and at institutions such as NASA, Fredlund has been focused on the ways governments are shaping …

By MIT News
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Paid Positions at the Office of Sustainability

The MIT Office of Sustainability is seeking applicants for a 10-week, student researcher summer cohort program.

We have 6 hourly paid positions for graduate and undergraduate students.

This is an opportunity to dive into hands-on projects aimed at advancing sustainability …

By Tara Thakurta
Tara Thakurta Graduate Community Fellow
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LexPreLaw Program

LexPreLaw uses a cohort-based model of engaging and observing participants. In 2024, LexPreLaw will enroll 225 aspiring lawyers who already possess or will obtain a bachelor’s degree by August 2025 and who plan to seek law school admission for the …

By Tianna Ransom
Tianna Ransom Assistant Director, Career Exploration
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IAP Micro-internships are in Handshake – Apply now!

Looking for a short-term project or internship over IAP? Consider a micro-internship! Build skills, connect with employers and explore a career path. Check out these micro-internships:   

There are more projects in Handshake and it’s really easy to search for them.  …

By Tavi Sookhoo
Tavi Sookhoo Assistant Director, Career Prototypes
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Featured Resources

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Handshake 101: What it is & how to use it

CAPD is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for everyone we serve. If you need any disability-related accommodations to …

The following job and internship programs are coordinated with government agencies and involve social impact, policy, and technology work responsibilities. …

In addition to Handshake, you can use the websites below to find jobs and internships related to social impact, policy, …

Since our founding in 1999 as Opportunity Knocks, one of the first job boards focused exclusively on mission-driven careers, the …