Stanford provides academic, summer and post-graduate financial assistance to students and alumni committed to public interest practice. We give direct grants totaling over $4 million each year to support current students and alumni. This reflects our institutional commitment to ensuring equal access to the legal system. It also recognizes the significant disparity in pay between private and public interest practice.
Stanford Law School funds several postgraduate public interest fellowships for recent Stanford Law School JD graduates. These fellowships help our alumni launch their public interest careers through a paid one-year fellowship in a law-related endeavor designed to further the public interest.
The Levin Center administers the fellowship programs and will award eight postgraduate fellowships for the 2018-2019 program year. We provide each Fellow with a $45,000 salary and up to $15,000 to cover the benefits to which an employee of the host organization would be entitled. Fellows are typically employed by their nonprofit hosts, who will receive a $60,000 grant from Stanford Law School. Applicants who wish to serve their fellowships with governmental agencies or intergovernmental entities that cannot accept grants from Stanford Law School may be approved on a case-by-case basis, as there can be additional costs and delays when payment cannot be made directly to the nonprofit.
SLS’ Loan Repayment Assistance Program will provide additional funds to meet educational loan repayment obligations during the fellowship year. Only SLS JD alumni are eligible to apply for most of these fellowships. SLS advanced degree alumni may apply to the International Fellowship.
- Stanford Law School Fellowships (multiple positions)
- Stanford International Postgraduate Fellowship (multiple positions)
- Stanford Law School Criminal Defense Fellowship (one position)
- Stanford Law School Civitas Fellowship (one position)
- Sullivan & Cromwell’s Fellowship at Public Counsel for SLS Students (one position)
- International Court of Justice University Traineeship Fellowship for SLS graduates (one position)
All Stanford law students who qualify for financial assistance are guaranteed to receive a summer stipend if they work at a government agency or non-profit in a law-related endeavor designed to further the public interest. First-year and JSD students typically receive up to $5,800 and JD students who are doing a second summer in public interest law receive up to $7,500. Joint-degree and JSD students may participate for a maximum of three summers. We spent over $800,000 to support 146 students during the summer of 2017. The registration deadline for summer funding is 1:00 pm on April 4, 2018. Please read the 2018 Summer Funding Guidelines prior to filling out the application.
- 2018 Summer Funding Guidelines
- 2017 Supplemental International Summer Funding Application Guidelines (will be updated by March 2018)
- Essential Summer Funding Forms (will be updated by March 2018)
Frequently Asked Questions
Stanford Law School has made a strong commitment to ensuring our students and our alumni can pursue careers in public interest law. Our Summer Public Interest Funding Program provides $5,800-$7,500 grants to students with financial need who intern at a nonprofit organization or governmental agency in a law-related endeavor designed to further the public interest. The Law School will offer the full grant to students who work a 9.5 week, full-time work schedule (386 hours total). Students who work fewer weeks will receive a pro-rated grant. Some private public interest firms may also be eligible after review by Levin Center staff. Academic research (i.e., serving as a research assistant to a faculty member) and judicial externships are not eligible for these grants. Interning with a law school clinical program is considered equivalent to interning for a nonprofit organization.
Most students receive $5,800 grants, though second-year JD students who worked in public service during their first-year summer can receive up to $7,500. For purposes of the enhanced 2L grant, judicial externships count as public service employers and each year more than 130 students participate in this program.
If 1Ls and JSD students work the full 9.5 weeks (386 hours), you will receive $5,800. Students who work fewer weeks will receive pro-rated grants. For example, if you work 9 weeks (360 hours), you will receive $5,400. If you work 8 weeks (320 hours), you will receive $4,800. Anyone who anticipates working less than 8 weeks must see Anna Wang for approval to receive a summer funding grant.
Funding for this program is provided by the Law School and its Federal Work-Study funds. While many upper-class students continue to refer to this program as "SPILF funding," the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation no longer supports the summer funding program.
The Financial Aid office determines whether students are eligible to participate. If you qualify for $8,500 in unsubsidized federal loans, you are eligible to participate. The Financial Aid office cannot confirm until you have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2018-2019 school year. Please submit your FAFSA via the website and make sure you apply for the upcoming academic year. You will need to complete your 2017 tax return before you can submit your FAFSA.
Please note that if you are not a U.S. citizen (and thus unable to receive federal subsidized loans), you may still be eligible to receive funding from SLS directly. Please submit to the Financial Aid office a narrative listing expected 2018 income, expected cash as of 9/1/2018, estimated amount of all other assets including value of any primary or secondary residences, 2017 estimated spousal income and assets if any, number in the household and number in the household who is enrolled in college at least 1/2 time.
The following three awards are presented each spring at the law school’s annual Public Interest Celebration.
Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowships
The Justice John Paul Stevens Foundation generously established the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Program to support four Stanford Law School students committed to public service. Stevens Fellowships provide financial assistance to students who will spend their summer volunteering at a public interest organization or governmental agency. First- and second-year students with financial need who meet all requirements for our internal Stanford Law School summer public interest funding grant are eligible to apply. The Stevens Fellowship will be in place of the typical $5,000 SLS grant.
Past recipients include:
2017 – Lauren Gorodetsky, JD ’18, David Huang, JD ’19, Andrew Flood, JD ’18, and Adrienne Pon, JD, ’18
2016 – Sophia Carrillo, JD ’18; Daniel Nesbit, JD ’17; Abbee Cox, JD ’17; and Kate Fetrow, JD’17
2015 – Amari Hammonds, JD ’17; Malia McPherson, JD ’16; Cindy Garcia, JD ’16; Liz Jones, JD ’16
2014 – Gagan Gupta, JD ’16; Nikki Marquez, JD ’15; Jacob Raver, JD ’16; and Michael Skocpol, JD ’16
2013 – Jake McMahon, JD ’15 and Farbod Faraji, JD ’15
2012 – Kristen Robin Bell, JD ’13 and James Allen Aiken Klonoski, JD ’13
2011 – Tori Ballif, JD ’12 and Dan Galindo, JD ’12
2010 – Stephen Dekovich, JD ’11 and Kevin Lo, JD ’11
2009 – Nicole Daro, JD ’10 Rachel Marshall, JD ’10
2008 – Aaron Konopasky, JD ’09 Jessica Oats, JD ’09
2007 – Jesse Hahnel JD ’08 and Tommy Nosewicz JD ’08
The family and friends of Lisa M. Schnitzer, a first-year Stanford Law School student who died in a car accident in 1987, established this scholarship to be a lasting tribute to her and in recognition of her deeply-held commitment to helping others, particularly those less fortunate. Each spring, the $3,000 scholarship is awarded to a female first-year student who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping the disadvantaged, who meets the Office of Financial Aid’s criteria of financial need, and who will work for a nonprofit organization or government agency during the summer following her first year.
2017 – Rachel E. Green, JD ’19
2016 – Morgan Lewis, JD ’18
2015 – Amari Hammonds, JD ’17
2014 – Sarracina Littlebird, JD ’16
2013 – Tiffany Yang, JD ’15
2012 – Sabrina Forte, JD ’14
2011 – Ingrid Price, JD ’13
2010 – Meredith Johnson, JD ’12
2009 – Jacqueline de Armas, JD ’11
2008 – Rachel Marshall, JD ’10
2007 – Larisa Bowman, JD ’09
2006 – Nancy Glass, JD ’08
2005 – Kristina Filipovich, JD ’07
2004 – Jessica Wolland, JD ’06
2003 – Stephanie Beckstrom, JD ’05
2002 – Angie Schwartz, JD ’04, and Sarah Varela, JD ’04
2001 – Jennifer Chang, JD ’03
2000 – Sharon Ruiz, JD ’02
1999 – Jennifer Wedel, JD ’01
Deborah L. Rhode, the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, has endowed this award, which is presented annually to a graduating student (or a team of graduating students) who has demonstrated outstanding nonacademic public service during Law School. The Rhode Public Interest Award recognizes graduating students who have made outstanding contributions to underrepresented groups or public interest causes outside the Law School and/or in public service at the Law School. Individuals and teams may be nominated by other students, faculty, staff, or self-nominated. The $3,000 award is given on the basis of merit; all 3L students who meet the award criteria, regardless of financial need, may be nominated.
Past recipients include:
2017 – Sophie Hart, JD ’17 and Annick-Marie Jordan, JD ’17
2016 – Ginny Halden, JD ’16, Cindy Garcia, JD ’16 and Ruhan Nagra, JD ’16
2015 – Jessica Dragonetti, JD ’15
2014 – Lila Miller, JD ’14, and Sabrina Forte, JD ’14
2013 – Angela McCray, JD ’13
2012 – Maggie Filler, JD ’12
2011 – Stephen Dekovich, JD ’11, Maureen Keffer, JD ’11, and Chessie Thacher, JD ’11
2010 – Emily Galvin, JD ’10, and Zoe Palitz, JD ’10
2009 – Larisa Bowman, JD ’09, Ling Lew, JD ’09, and Alexa Van Brunt, JD ’09
2008 – Andrew Bruck, JD ’08
2007 – Salena Copeland, JD ’07, and Craig Holt Segall, JD ’07
2006 – Lauren Brady, JD ’06, Nicole Janisiewicz, JD ’06, and Matthew Liebman, JD ’06
2005 – Selena Kyle, JD ’05, and Yael Zakai, JD ’05
2004 – Angie Schwartz, JD ’04, and Sarah Varela, JD ’04
2003 – Corene Kendrick, JD ’03
2002 – Grady Jackson, JD ’02
2001 – Michael Chu, JD ’01, and Jennifer Wedel, JD ’01
2000 – Dan Chiplock, JD ’00
1999 – Toni Broaddus, JD ’99
1998 – Aaron O’Toole, JD ’98
Each year, the Center provides financial support that assists students to attend relevant conferences and symposia around the world. Students have received up to $600 each to subsidize their travel expenses.
Pro Bono Project Support
The Levin Center’s commitment to public service is also manifested through its financial assistance to students who incur expenses related to their volunteer efforts. Over the past few years, we have sent students to assist clients and organizations in New Orleans, LA; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; and San Diego, CA over the winter and spring breaks. Students have received up to $750 each for travel expenses.