Public Interest Admissions Fellowships

Greene Public Service Scholars

The Greene Public Service Scholarship awards full-tuition scholarships to two incoming students who are committed to public interest or public service law and bring strong academic credentials.

This annual scholarship was established at Columbia Law School in 2017 through a generous gift from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation. According to Christina McInerney, president and CEO of the Foundation, the purpose of the gift is to, among other things, “cultivate legal minds whose focus is to serve their communities and fight for social justice.” Greene Scholars must express a strong interest in pursuing a career in public interest or public service and demonstrate a commitment to such a career. The scholarships are granted for the full three years (six semesters) recipients are enrolled full-time at Columbia Law School, provided that each student continues to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.

In addition to the substantial financial award, Greene Scholars receive other benefits and are fully integrated into the entire Law School community. For example, recipients are partnered with a faculty mentor who is a public interest activist-scholar in their field of interest, as well as with Columbia Law School alumni and upper-year mentors. They will also receive automatic acceptance into the Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program during their 1L year and the Human Rights Internship Program or Guaranteed Summer Funding Program for their first and second summers. 

Greene Scholars must work in government, human rights, or public interest law for the first summer and part of their second summer while enrolled at the Law School and are expected to work in the public interest or public service field for at least the first five years following graduation.

“I was absolutely thrilled [to receive the scholarship],” said Caitlin Lowell, a 2018 recipient. “Knowing I was going to go to a school where I could get the financial support and also the support of a public-interest community to make sure I’m successful in the work that I do was a major deciding factor” in choosing Columbia Law School, said Lowell.

There is no application process for the Greene Scholarship. Candidates are selected based on admissions materials, and individuals will be contacted directly by the selection committee and will be notified about selection upon admission to CLS.

Read about the inaugural Greene Public Service Scholars.

Diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion are core values of Columbia Law School and the Greene Public Service Scholars Program. We define diversity broadly, including, but not limited to, differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, religion, socioeconomic background, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, military service, disability status, or other historically underrepresented groups. 

Public Interest (Admissions) Fellowship (PIF)

Columbia Law School awards PIFs to a small number of incoming students who are committed to public interest or public service law and bring strong academic credentials. The scholarships provide tuition benefits for the full three years (six semesters) that recipients are enrolled at Columbia Law School.

In addition to the substantial financial award, PIFs receive other benefits and are fully integrated into the entire Law School community. For example, recipients are partnered with a faculty mentor who is a public interest activist-scholar in their field of interest, as well as with Columbia Law School alumni and upper-year mentors. They will also receive automatic acceptance into the Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program during their 1L year and the Human Rights Internship Program or Guaranteed Summer Funding Program for their first and second summers.

PIFs must work in government, human rights, or public interest law for the first summer and part of their second summer while enrolled at the Law School and are expected to work in the public interest or public service field for at least the first five years following graduation.

There is no application process for the Public Interest Fellowships. Candidates are selected based on admissions materials, and individuals will be contacted directly by the selection committee and will be notified about selection upon admission to CLS.

Diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion are core values of Columbia Law School and the PIF Program. We define diversity broadly, including, but not limited to, differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, religion, socioeconomic background, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, military service, disability status, or other historically underrepresented groups.