Public Interest Law Foundation Student Stipends
Your Support Allows UM Law Students to Serve Others
The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) has led the charge of public service for UM Law students since 1989. Run by students for the students, PILF seeks to educate their peers on the struggles faced by many people who have fallen into gaps in the legal system and encourages students to pursue internships or careers that reach out to the underserved.
Public interest law internships are usually unpaid, which make them impossible for many students who need to support themselves over the summer. That’s where PILF – and you – come in.
PILF provides students with stipends to work in unpaid, public interest-focused internships over the summer. Those stipends can be a deciding factor in whether or not to interview for an unpaid position.
Following a career path driven by profit has its own difficulties, but there are far more obstacles to following a career path fueled by passion. The students who receive PILF stipends strive to eradicate injustices. Your support encourages them and makes their work possible.
Public interest law can be work for a government agency or government-funded program like the public defender office, prosecutor office, or a legal services agency. Students can work for a non-profit or in criminal law, family law, immigration law, or property law. Public interest internships can be as simple as a legal advice seminar or as complex as a criminal appeal.
Serving others through public interest law is challenging, time-consuming and often emotionally draining. Taking the financial pressure off students for a summer of public interest work can make them more effective advocates. Financial support also helps students see a future in public interest law as a viable career.
Brittany Bane, a 2018 graduate of the UM School of Law, received a stipend for summer 2017 after being involved with PILF for two years. She worked for the Community Legal Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where she forged connections and fortified her passion for public interest work. Brittany applied for and received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work for Community Legal Center for two years after graduation. Brittany is filling a justice gap for immigrants who need civil legal help.
We want Brittany’s experience with a PILF summer stipend to be available to more students in 2020, helping them pursue valuable work even when the internships are unpaid. Many more UM Law students, who share our desire to make a difference, could use their skills to help others – if you would help the students.
Please join us in showing passionate UM Law students they are appreciated and supported. Every gift of every size matters!