Guaranteed Summer Funding
“He shares our commitment to serving low-income individuals through legal means. He was very open to life experiences different than his own, and thus treated all clients with respect and empathy.” — Law School Summer Intern Supervisor
What Is Guaranteed Summer Funding (GSF)?
This is a brief overview of the GSF Program. For detailed information, download the 2019 Guaranteed Summer Funding Program Guide. The Guide is also available on our Job Search Tools page.
Columbia Law School funds first- and second-year J.D. students who meet the requirements of the GSF Program to work full-time in unpaid, public service internships over the summer. Students must adhere to all of the deadlines and meet the requirements of the GSF Program in order to receive funding.
GSF Basics (Video Tutorial)
What Internships Qualify for GSF?
Students can receive funding for legal work in public interest in the U.S. or abroad that utilizes their legal education and skills. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) public interest law organizations, government agencies (federal, state, municipal, international, and multinational), nongovernmental agencies (NGOs), international criminal courts, unions, judicial internships for which academic credit is not received, and some private public interest law firms qualify for GSF.
International human rights work is funded by the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP), which has different rules and requirements. To learn more, please see the 2019 Human Rights Internship Program Guide.
What Internships DO NOT Qualify for GSF?
Internships that consist solely of non-law-related policy or administrative work, research for a professor, or law firm work that does not meet the GSF requirements will not be funded.
Religious organizations or membership agencies (e.g., a credit union, a fraternal order, or a cooperative) whose work is primarily for the benefit of the organization's members rather than the public will not qualify for GSF. Internships with a domestic political campaign or a political party will not be funded by GSF. Judicial internships for which academic credit is received will not qualify for GSF.
The easiest way to check if an organization qualifies for GSF is to: 1) Log into LawNet; 2) Click on the public interest database and see if the organization is listed on LawNet. If a CLS student has previously worked at an organization on LawNet, you will find reviews of the summer internship and the listing will be an indication that the organization qualifies for GSF.
If you cannot find the organization in which you are interested on LawNet, please submit a completed Organization Request Form (ORF) to Iliana Ortega. You will be notified as to whether approval has been granted for the new organization to qualify for GSF.
How Do I Qualify for GSF?
In order to receive GSF, a student must register during the open registration period, secure a qualifying placement and follow the requirements outlined in this guide. Please note that there are no exceptions to the GSF registration period: a student must register between September 27th, 2018 and November 30th, 2018. You must register for GSF even if you file a statement of interest for HRIP.
- When: September 27th, 2018 - November 30th, 2018
- How: Log into www.law.columbia.edu/lawnet, click the 1L or 2L Funding Registration tab, and follow the prompts.
Important! After accepting a job, you must log into LawNet and update your profile with the following information: employer for whom you will be working and supervisor information. You will not receive funding unless you complete this final step.