Public Interest Fellows

Stanford Law School is committed to supporting students seeking full-time careers in public service. Our Public Interest Fellows program provides special support to those third-year students who have a history of public service, provide leadership within the law school, and are committed to beginning their careers as lawyers in the public service. The Fellows Program exists to create a community of support for the cohort of students seeking post-graduate public interest jobs during their third-year or post-clerkship and assist them in that endeavor. Levin Center staff will provide ongoing tailored career development support to the Fellows, including trainings, panels, and workshops to prepare students for public interest legal careers; and opportunities for intensive mentorship and guidance from staff, alumni and other leading practitioners.

All rising third-year law students who meet the following criteria can become Public Interest Fellows for the upcoming Academic Year:

  • Spent at least eight weeks during one summer working full-time in public interest law;
  • Held a leadership role in the public interest community by 1) serving as a 2L Public Interest Mentor in the Levin Center’s mentoring program; 2) leading one of the social justice reading groups; or 3) coordinating one of the Levin Center’s pro bono projects, including Alternative Spring Breaks;
  • Engages in at least 25 hours of pro bono service by Spring quarter of 2L year;
  • Intends to start their career in public service immediately upon graduation or following a judicial clerkship; and
  • Willingly accepts the responsibilities set forth below.

Those selected as Public Interest Fellows will work with the Levin Center in developing its various initiatives. The obligations of Public Interest Fellows include the following:

  • Attend at least two of the three major Levin Center events (the Fall welcome reception, Fall Awards Dinner, and end of year Spring reception) AND organize at least one additional Levin Center event (e.g., organize an event for 1Ls considering skipping OCI);
  • Serve as a mentor in the first-year mentoring program, which requires coordinating group meetings and meeting with your mentees at least twice each quarter;
  • Participate in quarterly meetings with Levin Center staff during the academic year;
  • Assist Admissions in recruiting prospective students interested in public interest by being available via email to prospective students (especially admitted students during Winter and Spring);
  • Serve on one committee (options to be determined based on student interest); and
  • Immediately inform Levin Center staff and withdraw from the Program if your plans change and you accept an offer from a law firm or other non-public interest employer.

Third-year students who plan to start their careers in the private sector and return to public service later should register for the Public Interest Associates program.

The Public Interest Fellows program has been in place for decades, but it was only in spring of 2007 that we shifted to the current structure which offers objective selection criteria. Starting with the class of 2008, all graduating 3L students who meet the prerequisites and accept the responsibilities are eligible to be named Public Interest Fellows. Thus, we have only included below the Fellows who have served since this change.