The Public Interest Law Foundation has led the charge of public service for University of Mississippi School of Law students since 1989. Run by students for the students, PILF members seek to educate their peers on the struggles faced by people who have fallen through gaps in the legal system. We encourage 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. Those stipends can be a deciding factor in whether or not to interview for an unpaid position. In the past year, your support helped us deliver $12,000 in stipends to students who were pursuing important public interest work. These stipends were especially significant in summer 2020, as students still chose to work advocating for others during a global pandemic. This demonstrates again that public interest work requires 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 conducting a legal advice seminar or preparing a complex 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.
Bane applied for and received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work for the Community Legal Center for two years after graduation. She is filling a justice gap for immigrants who need civil legal help.
We want Bane’s experience with a PILF summer stipend to be available to more students in 2021, helping them seek valuable work even when the internships are unpaid. Many more UM Law students could use their skills to help others – if you help our students.
Please assist UM Law students as they serve the people who need them most with your financial support for 2021. Every gift of every size combines to make a difference!
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But First... Breakfast!
Thank a law student for their service to others by taking them out to breakfast... virtually, at least.