Commonly referred to as BPILP, the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program was founded at the University at Buffalo School of Law in 1979. The goal of its founding members was to encourage law students to use their talents to bring equal access to those in need of legal help. Since 1993, this goal has been accomplished through providing competitive fellowships to law students who spend their summers working in the public interest sector.
All of the money BPILP raises throughout the year from our fundraisers, including the auction, goes to students in the form of fellowships. The public interest and not-for-profit agencies where our fellows work are often understaffed and need additional assistance, but are unable to pay students. BPILP fellowships “bridge the gap” and allow students to work in the public interest and be paid to do so.
BPILP has provided valuable placement opportunities in areas of law including domestic violence, human rights, child welfare, housing, disability, homelessness, the elderly and unemployment.
BPILP connects law students with public interest agencies each year through Celebrate Pro Bono Week and the annual Career Fair, in which students and attorneys in the public interest sector meet, discuss common interests and concerns, and exchange information about summer internship opportunities.
All of these activities are done with BPILP’s motto in mind: “There Is No Justice Without Equal Access.”