Public Interest Law Initiative

Law School-Funded Internship Opportunities

DePaul University College of Law

Each year, the Center for Public Interest Law awards summer stipends that enable dozens of students to take unpaid public interest jobs that provide valuable experiences and skill that will help with their job search. CPIL administers the following summer funding opportunities for students through a unified application process during the beginning of the spring semester.

IIT Chicago – Kent College of Law

The Kent Justice Foundation coordinates fundraising efforts and administers summer public interest law fellowships for Chicago-Kent students who work in low-paying or volunteer public interest positions during the summer by helping to defray costs. Applicants apply in the early spring and are reviewed based upon financial need, personal statements, participation in KJF fundraising and volunteer events, and participation in outside volunteer activities. In past years, four to eight students have been awarded $500-$4500.

Loyola University Chicago – School of Law

The Public Interest Law Society Summer Fellowship is Loyola’s own, funded through the PILS Auction and other fundraising activities of the Public Interest Law Society. Any interested student may apply for a grant after obtaining a sponsoring organization. Applications are reviewed and recipients selected by a committee consisting of faculty members, students, and administrators. In recent years, PILS fundraising has supported 10-12 grants to first and second year students who have worked in non-profit and governmental law offices nationwide and even internationally. Other funding options are also available.

Northern Illinois University College of Law

The Public Interest Law Society chapter holds an annual auction to raise funds for summer stipends for students who accept positions in the public sector. The amount and number of stipends depends on the total amount raised and the number of applications.

Northwestern University School of Law

Northwestern Law has a variety of programs to provide financial assistance to students and alumni working in public service positions. The law school provides both funding for summer public interest employment and a generous loan forgiveness programs for graduates who enter public service.

Southern Illinois University School of Law

The Joseph R. Bartylak Public Interest Fellowships were created in 2004 to honor Joe Bartylak, a former Executive Director of Land of Lincoln, by the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Law. They fund summer work by a law student in a public service setting.

University of Chicago Law School

The Law School is committed to supporting a range of summer public interest employment opportunities and provides a guaranteed summer funding award of $5,000 to any Chicago law student who chooses to work in a public interest law position during the summer. Students are eligible for this stipend during the summer after their first year, or the summer after their second year, or both. First-year students must work in eligible nonprofit or government law positions for at least eight weeks of their first-year summer, and second-year students must work in eligible positions for ten weeks of their second-year summer.

University of Illinois College of Law

The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) is a student-managed organization dedicated to bringing public interest law careers to the attention of law students. Each year PILF raises money to provide grants to University of Illinois students undertaking public interest work over the summer. The size of the grant awarded to each student varies.

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