The Law Fund at Stanford Law School provides resources for critical needs and also gives SLS the flexibility to develop innovative opportunities for interdisciplinary and experiential learning. Without the SLS community’s strong support of the Law Fund, students would not experience the unparalleled education for which SLS is known.
In 2015, more than 2,000 alumni and friends demonstrated their commitment to SLS’s future, generously giving more than $4.4 million to the Law Fund. These gifts of all sizes come together to make an impact, one roughly equivalent to the payout of an $88 million endowment.
Gifts to the Law Fund enhance every aspect of the SLS experience today’s students enjoy, including:
- Experiential learning: students solve real problems for real clients through the policy lab and full-time clinics, a defining component of an SLS education
- Financial aid: SLS’s need-blind admissions policy and commitment to provide funding to all who qualify
- Faculty: diverse and talented educators who influence law and policy and make SLS as a leader in legal education
- Seed funding for new programs: from clinical education to the policy lab to the global law initiative, many of SLS’s cutting-edge programs were developed with unrestricted dollars from the Law Fund
- Public interest: summer and post-graduate financial assistance to students and alumni committed to launching public interest careers despite the significant disparity in pay
The unparalleled faculty at SLS is the foundation of the school’s success. By providing them with the resources to do their best teaching and scholarship, discretionary funds help retain talented faculty. With a student-faculty ratio of 7.3:1, Stanford Law School’s small size gives students the benefit of unprecedented access to the nation’s leading legal scholars.
Stanford Law School is committed to recruiting the best and brightest students regardless of their financial means. Our need-blind admissions policy necessitates a robust financial aid program – 78% of students received financial aid last year. In addition to traditional grants and loans, Stanford Law School’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program, the first in the nation and among the most generous, provides loan forgiveness for graduates seeking careers in the public interest and public service sectors.
The Global Law Initiative
The practice of law is global, and Stanford Law School is forging a new model to train our students to be tomorrow’s legal and business leaders around the world. The Global Initiative offers students the opportunity to enroll in a new case-study based course, exploring the types of challenges faced by business entities operating globally. In addition, through on-the-ground short courses in countries including Brazil and China, students witness these challenges firsthand, meeting with thought- and business-leaders, and government officials, who each experience the practice of law in a global perspective.
The Law and Policy Lab functions like a policy incubator in which faculty and students work side by side on complex real-world policy questions. Through rigorous research and analysis, students generate ideas that can provide solutions to challenging public problems. With clients ranging from the U.S. Copyright Office to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, cross-disciplinary teamwork is a necessity as law students often work alongside graduate students from elsewhere within the university.
Today, more than 60% of students participate in the hands-on learning opportunity that is The Mills Legal Clinic. We offer students 11 clinics on topics ranging from criminal defense and prosecution to intellectual property to Supreme Court litigation. Students participating in a clinic do not enroll in other classes during that quarter, giving them the opportunity to focus solely on their casework. This experience can be transformative, giving students a sense of what it means to be a practicing lawyer.
Public Service and Public Interest Law
The John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law is an important resource for all students curious about the world of public service and public interest law. In addition to being a strong advocate for public interest globally, the Center is an advocate for our students interested in pursuing careers in this area, providing mentorships, externships, and career services.