In order to complete the program, you must:

  • Participate in mandatory components of the PI/PS Fellows Program, such as the PI/PS Fellows orientation, small cohort mentor meetings, and PI/PS Fellows programming.
  • Meet with the Assistant Director of the PI/PS Fellows Program on a regular basis.
  • Spend your 1L and 2L summer working full-time for a public interest or public service employer.*
  • Engage with the program after graduation.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements outlined above, it is expected that fellows will be active participants within the PI/PS Fellows community, complete coursework and extracurricular activities related to public interest/public service, and meet with SJI career advisers on a regular basis.

*The Law School funds first- and second-year J.D. students who meet the requirements of the Summer Funding Programs to work full-time in unpaid public interest or government internships over the summer. Most fellows will spend their full 2L summer working for a public interest or government employer. In rare circumstances, fellows may apply for an exception to split their 2L summer.


  • Recognition as a PI/PS Fellow on the Columbia Law School website
  • Recognition from the Dean at the Annual PI/PS Fellows Dinner
  • A small PI/PS Fellows stipend upon successful completion of the program
  • PI/PS Fellows Program certification of completion upon graduation

PI/PS Fellows can also access benefits and programming offered by Social Justice Initiatives to the larger student body, such as Guaranteed Summer Funding, the Human Rights Internship ProgramSpring Break Pro Bono CaravansPublic Service Bridge Loans, and the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). (Note: Fellows must satisfy all application requirements and other criteria and will not get special access by virtue of being a PI/PS Fellow.)

Bianca Larez Chavez

“The Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program has been the highlight of my 1L year. It has given me the chance to form relationships with members of the faculty and encouraged me to think strategically about my three years at Columbia Law School. Through the PI/PS Fellows Program, I have also met some of my best friends. I feel so grateful to be in a community with diverse, optimistic individuals who intend to use their law degrees for the betterment of our country and our world.”

Bianca Larez Chavez ‘22, Public Interest/Public Service Fellow