Our History

  • SPILF is a student-run, community-funded foundation that enables students to pursue public interest work at Stanford Law School, both during their three years of study and after graduation. SPILF was formed in 1978 by a group of SLS students and alumni. The Foundation has been supporting public interest work at SLS for over 40 years.
  • Since its inception, SPILF has played a pivotal role in growing the public interest community at Stanford Law. One of SPILF’s first initiatives was to raise money to provide summer funding for students who wished to pursue public interest opportunities over the summer. Before the Levin Center was founded in 2007, SPILF consistently provided students with this crucial funding to support their career goals. Eventually, the Levin Center began providing this funding to students, and still does today. Now, the majority of SLS students pursue public interest work during their 1L summer, thanks in large part to this generous grant system. The Levin Center further supports students pursuing PI work by providing similar grants for their 2L summers. 
  • SPILF has also played a central role in supporting students pursuing public interest work after graduation. From 2008 to 2014, SPILF co-funded the SPILF-SLS Public Interest Fellowship, which provided funding for recipients to work full-time for one year in a law-related endeavor designed to further the public interest. The fellowship included a one-year salary, benefits that the sponsoring organization would ordinarily provide to an employee at the recipient’s level, and a free bar course in the recipient’s state of choice. You can read more about past fellowship recipients here
  • In 2014, Stanford Law School adopted this fellowship program. SLS now provides funding for several public interest fellowships to graduating 3Ls. You can read more about SLS’s public interest fellowships here, at the Levin Center’s website.