Public Interest Summer Funding Application Guidelines and Acknowledgments


What is the Public Interest Summer Funding Program?

Public Interest Summer Funding Program is a program that provides modest funds to Stanford Law school students who choose to intern at public interest and some government organizations during the summer. It is intended to encourage students to explore future career options in public service and public interest law. It is not intended to support academic research or interests in the private sector.

Who is eligible to receive Summer Funding and how much will be awarded?

  • Funding is provided to qualifying students in exchange for a 9 week, full-time work schedule (equaling a maximum of 360 hours). Funding will be provided via summer funding stipend or Federal Work Study award.
  • 1L and JSD students are guaranteed up to $7,560 if they work a 9 week, full-time work schedule. 2L students who are doing a second summer in public interest law and work a 9 week, full-time work schedule will receive up to $8,560. Those 2Ls whose 1L summer internships do not qualify for the enhanced $8,560 grant are still eligible for the basic $7,560 grant. Students who work fewer than 9 weeks may receive prorated grants.
  • Joint-degree and JSD students may participate for a maximum of three summers. Joint-degree JD students may receive the increased grant for only one summer. JSD students are not eligible for the increased grant.
  • We encourage students to secure other funding from employer contributions and/or outside summer funding programs. Outside funds may result in a reduction of the Stanford Law School grant, as there is a “salary cap” of $12,000 total from all sources. For example, if you receive a $6,000 award from an outside source, we will reduce our grant to $6,000.

Eligibility Requirements for Summer Funding:

  • Intern at a qualifying public interest or public service entity in a law-related endeavor designed to further the
    public interest;1
  • Work full-time for at least 9 weeks in a law-related public interest position during the summer;2
  • Hybrid work schedule or on-site at the proposed entity, supervised by a lawyer with at least two years of
    post-Bar experience;
  • Affirm that the proposed internship is not directly related to your research; AND
  • Have at least $16,500 in eligibility for need-based loans in the 2024-2025 school year.3

Funding Sources and Federal Work Study Requirements:

  • SLS Public Interest Summer Funding is made possible through a variety of Stanford Law School sources
    (“SLS Summer Program Funds”).4
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program: SLS receives work-study money from the University and dedicates the
    allocation to summer funding. Most domestic interns will be paid via this fund.
  • Students paid through FWS will be paid on a semi-monthly basis upon submission of a completed timesheet.

FWS funds are subject to tax withholding. Students in this program will also have to complete all forms necessary to receive payment through Stanford payroll. Non-U.S. citizens and students at foreign placements and certain federal government agencies that are ineligible for FWS will be paid one lump-sum through SLS Summer Program funds.

1This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. Qualifying organizations may include domestic 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations or international tax-exempt non-governmental organizations that provide legal services for underrepresented communities or otherwise serve the public interest, government entities and some private public interest law firms. Judicial internships and non-profits that serve the private sector (e.g., StartX) are not eligible for summer funding. You are not required to have an official offer by the application deadline, but employment must be verified before your receipt of summer funding. Students may consult Levin Center staff to confirm employer eligibility.

2SLS expects students to work full-time for at least 9 weeks, but exceptions can be made for students unable to work that amount and funds will be prorated accordingly. Stanford will pay for up to 9 weeks of work. Working more than 9 weeks does NOT mean an increased grant. Any additional time students work can be submitted for credit towards Pro Bono Distinction. Exceptions may be also made for students unable to work 9 weeks. However, any student failing to work for a minimum of 8 weeks may still be deemed to have earned $6,667 (or $7,556 for 2Ls) for purposes of calculating financial resources for the following year. In addition, such failure may result in a reduction of Stanford University support of law
school work-study funding in the future.

3All financial data to be considered will be limited to the upcoming academic year. Note: 57% of summer earnings above $7,500 will be counted as available for contribution to financial resources for the following academic year. Please see the Financial Aid office if you have questions about how summer funding may impact your financial aid package.

4In the past, this has included generous donations from the Kenneth & Harle Montgomery Public Interest Grant Program; the Folger, Levin & Kahn Public Interest Fellowship; the Rothfeld Scholarship Fund; and the Isaac & Madeline Stein Public Service Fellowship.


The summer funding application is available online here.

Submission deadline: 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2024.

  1. I will work full-time for at least nine weeks at a qualifying public interest or public service entity in a law-related endeavor designed to further the public interest.
  2. I will inform a Levin Center staff member if I plan to work on campus during the summer in addition to my Federal Work-Study or Summer Funding jobs.
  3. I will work on-site or a hybrid schedule at the proposed entity, will be supervised by an attorney with at least two years of postgraduate experience, and affirm that the proposed internship is not directly related to my academic research.
  4. I understand that my eligibility for funding is dependent upon the determination of my financial need. I hereby authorize the Stanford Law School Financial Aid Office to compute my financial need and release the results to Stanford Law School administrators for the sole purpose of this application.
  5. I agree to immediately inform Levin Center staff if I receive any money from an employer or outside scholarship program. Outside funds may result in a reduction of the Stanford Law School grant so that I receive no more than $12,000 from all sources. I acknowledge that if I receive $12,000 or more from outside sources, I will not receive Summer Public Interest Employment Funds and will withdraw my application.
  6. I understand that I must complete and submit the online Application Form by 1:00 pm on Wednesday, April 8, 2024, regardless of whether or not I’ve secured a summer position, if I wish to receive funding.
  7. I understand that I may be required to attend a summer funding workshop in early May.
  8. I understand that it is my responsibility to ensure that the required documents are in my file with the Levin Center staff and that I am responsible for consulting with my tax advisor regarding any resulting tax implications of receiving summer funding from SLS.
  9. I understand that I will be required to have my employer complete either (a) an employer internship verification form or (b) a federal work-study contract and employer authorization form. I understand that I have to submit bi-monthly timecards to receive summer funding if I am among the group receiving Federal Work Study funds.
  10. I understand that I will be required to complete an Internship Evaluation, listing the contact information for my internship program and briefly describing the work of my summer organization, before the end of my internship, and that my funding may be withheld or revoked pending submission of the Evaluation.
  11. I understand that failure to provide truthful information or to abide by the terms of the summer public interest funding program will result in the revocation of said funding.