The NYTimes comments on the trend of promising associates, who have accepted deferrals from private firms, working in the public interest sector.  Not surprisingly, many associates walkaway with a positive experience and some even decide to stay in the public interest sector.

"Young Lawyers Turn to Public Service" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/us/20defer.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=defer&st=cse