Funding for Public Interest Work More Than Doubles

May 07, 2004

Funding for summer public interest work for Northwestern law students has more than doubled since last year, thanks to the efforts of the Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship (SFPIF) and increased availability of Federal Work Study funds. A total of $248,000 is available to students working in public interest positions over the summer, compared to $111,000 last year.

Members of SFPIF worked hard to increase their total fundraising from $60,500 last year to $92,000 this year. This spring SFPIF created and sponsored the First Annual Public Service Benefit Dinner, honoring three Northwestern alumni for their public service, which raised more than $18,000. Thirty-four students completed SFPIF volunteer hour requirements and were eligible for SFPIF grants. Many other students who did not apply for a SFPIF grant volunteered at SFPIF events and contributed to the fundraising successes.

The Law School also increased its access to Federal Work Study money available for summer public service work from a total of $37,000 last year to $133,000 this year. Students will use this money to work at the Bluhm Legal Clinic and at public interest organizations across the country.

The Law School continues to award four competitive public interest fellowships for summer public service work: the Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowships and the Albert and Anne Mansfield Foundation Fellowships. Two Stevens Fellowships in the amount of $5,000 each are awarded to students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public interest work. This year's winners are second-year students Sarah Hefling and Erin Lovell. Two Mansfield Fellowships in the amount of $6,500 each to work at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago are awarded to students who have demonstrated a strong interest in legal services work. Michael Shollar and Pam Kim, both JD '05, are this year's winners.

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