New Funding for Public Interest Work
Columbia Law School will guarantee summer stipends for domestic and international public interest work to all JD students who apply, beginning in the summer of 2008.
The Guaranteed Public Service Summer Funding Program reinforces the Law School’s proud tradition of pro bono service, ensuring that the opportunity to explore careers in public service will continue for future generations of Columbia Law students, according to Dean David M. Schizer.
The full-funding initiative builds on current public interest programs at Columbia Law School, such as the Human Rights Internship Program, which provides students with opportunities to work for human-rights groups, criminal tribunals, environmental law offices, and other organizations around the world. Columbia is also one of the few law schools in the nation to require 40 hours of pro bono work for graduation, a requirement sparked by a student-led initiative in 1993. Since then, Columbia Law School students have logged almost 300,000 hours of pro bono service.
"Public service experience is a very important part of a legal education and professional development," added Dean Schizer. "It gives students the chance to put their legal knowledge to work and provides them with a sense of the importance of assisting people in need."
The program will be administered through the Center for Public Interest Law, which offers a wide array of rewarding internship and career opportunities.
The Guaranteed Public Service Summer Funding Program is made possible in part through the efforts of the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), which raises funds for summer public interest internships and grants to non-profit legal organizations. PILF’s numerous fundraising activities include its annual Bid for Justice Auction, which last year raised over $40,000 on donated items and brought together nearly 350 alumni, faculty and students. PILF’s 15th Annual Auction will take place on March 1, 2007 at Low Library, starting at 7 p.m.
For more information on PILF, please visit http://www.columbiapilf.org. For more information on the auction, please visit http://www.columbiapilfauction.org.