In order to complete the program, you must:

  • Spend your 1L and 2L summer working full-time for a public interest or public service employer. (The Law School assists PI/PS Fellows in finding these opportunities and provides generous summer funding through the Law School’s Summer Funding Programs.)
  • Participate in PI/PS Fellows programming and activities. 
  • Meet with the Director of the PI/PS Fellows Program on a regular basis.
  • Engage with the program after graduation.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements outlined above, fellows are expected to 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.


  • A stipend of $6,000 ($3,000 per year upon successful completion of the second and third year in the program)
  • Recognition as a PI/PS Fellow on the Columbia Law School website
  • Invitation to the Public Interest/Public Service Council Reception
  • Honoree status at Columbia Law School’s Annual Public Interest and Public Service Honors event
  • Recognition from the Dean at the Annual PI/PS Fellows Dinner
  • 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 Program, Spring Break Pro Bono Caravans, Public 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 was the highlight of my law school experience. It gave 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 also met some of my best friends. I feel so grateful to have been in a community with diverse, optimistic individuals who now use their law degrees for the betterment of our country and our world.”

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