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Despite annual exhortations to graduating law students to accept the responsibilities as well as the benefits of entering the legal profession, the prognosis for public interest law in the 1990's is uncertain. There have been significant decreases in federal and private funding of public interest organizations, sweeping changes in the composition of the federal judiciary, and a decline in the matriculation of public interest lawyers due to the increasing salary gap between the private and public sector. Together these factors raise serious questions about the future effectiveness of the traditional model of the full-time public interest litigator and call for the development of alternative models of public interest lawyering suited to the financial, judicial, and personnel constraints of current practice.