SFPIF makes it possible for students to afford the jobs they really
want. A summer job working in public interest or government can be a
rewarding, even life-changing, experience for many students. But many
of these jobs can also take a toll on students' pocketbooks since most
not-for-profit and government organizations simply don't have the
financial resources to offer their summer interns a salary. But
Northwestern University's Student Funded Public Interest Fellowships
(SFPIF) presents one creative solution to this funding challenge; SFPIF
members work tirelessly throughout the year to raise money for public
Last year, relying on the tax-deductible contributions of students,
faculty, alumni, law firms, and local businesses, SFPIF was able to
raise more than $90,000 that was used to fund 39 Len Rublnowitz Public
Interest Fellowships. Fellowship recipients used their grants at a
variety of local and national government and non-profit agencies,
including the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, a U.S. Attorney's
Office, a Federal Defender's Office, the ACLU, the U.S. Department of
Justice, the UN International Criminal Tribunal, the Midwest Center for
Justice, the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, and Equip for
Equality. (For more information on the various organizations where
Northwestern's Len Rubinowitz fellows worked this summer, please click
How does SFPIF raise its money? Annual fundraising events include:
fall auction, which raised over $30,000 last
than 100 law firms, businesses, students, and faculty members
donated auction items, including a vacation trip to the Caribbean, a
weekend in Cape Cod, box seats at Bulls and Blackhawks games, bottles
of wine, dinners, sight-seeing tours and cooking lessons.
L-STAR Program, through which students doing
interviews with participating firms can stay with friends or family in
the area they are interviewing and let the firm donate the money that
they would have spent on hotel rooms to SFPIF.
Barrister's Ball, a winter formal attended by
Alumni Public Service Benefit Dinner, which
three law school alumni for their contributions to public interest law.
The dinner – now in its 8th year – raised approximately $20,000.
annual pledge drive during which students
working at law
firms for the summer donate a day of their salary.
- Six used book and supplement sales held throughout the course of the year.