Ford Foundation Grant to Fund Public Interest Fellowship Program

Stanford Law School students interested in a career in public interest law will be getting some much welcomed aid thanks to a Ford Foundation grant. Administered by the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School, this new grant from Ford will support 10-week fellowships that are focused on international as well as domestic public interest practice for 25 students to work in the field next summer (2013). Those selected will each receive $15,000, giving them the opportunity to have substantive and transformative experiences as interns in the field of public interest law.

“For over forty years, the Ford Foundation has been a leader in making sure lawyers can pursue public service,” says M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean. “This is an impressive new investment by the foundation. Recipients will benefit from incredibly generous support, develop a deeper understanding of global and domestic issues, and become the leading edge of the new generation of lawyers devoted to advancing the public good through law.”

Ford Fellows will also participate in a program throughout the summer that will help them develop leadership skills in the field. Information gathered from the fellows each year will inform the program’s potential development and growth. “This program opens up a new pathway for law students to gain practical and transformative experience working on many of the defining social justice issues of our age,” says Luis A. Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation. “We believe it will offer them invaluable knowledge and understanding that will inform their careers whether public or private, while bringing fresh talent to organizations working to advance fairness and freedom.”

“The Ford Foundation is taking an important step forward in its commitment to fund progressive lawyering through these new fellowships,” says Diane T. Chin, associate dean for public service and public interest law, who oversees the Levin Center—the hub of the public interest community at Stanford Law School, providing programming and support for students and alumni pursuing public interest, government, and pro bono opportunities in school and after graduation. “I’m confident our students will develop a deeper understanding of global and domestic issues by becoming a part of what undoubtedly will be an impressive cohort of 100 fellows around the world. That Ford is also investing in their development as leaders is truly significant.”

Stanford Law is one of four law schools to receive part of the total $1.7 million grant; the other recipients are the law schools at Harvard University, New York University, and Yale University.