Fundraisers like the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program’s annual auction helps to raise funds, making it possible for students to follow their passions without using their savings.

Fundraisers like the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program’s annual auction helps to raise funds, making it possible for students to follow their passions without using their savings.

Public Interest Fellowship Opportunities

The following are some funding sources for law students who take on non-paying public interest internships for the summer.

School of Law Sources:

National Sources:

School of Law Sources

Buffalo Human Rights Center (BHRC) Fellowships

The Buffalo Human Rights Center (BHRC) Summer Human Rights Fellowships are granted annually to a select number of highly motivated law students committed to combining practical field work experience and scholarly inquiry in the human rights field. Fellows are placed with a domestic or international human rights organization of their choosing to engage in human rights field work over the course of a summer

Buffalo Public Interest Law Program (BPILP) Fellowships

Commonly referred to as BPILP, the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program raises money to support students who work in the public interest each summer during law school.  All of the money BPILP raises throughout the year from fundraisers, including the auction, goes to students in the form of fellowships. The public interest and not-for-profit agencies where 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.  Applications are typically due early April each year.

Kaplan & Reynolds Fellowships

This fund awards fellowships to 1 or 2 students each summer who have a demonstrated commitment to overcoming discrimination in underrepresented populations or the effects of past discrimination in underrepresented populations in our society.  Applicants may work for a legal organization, social agency, non-profit organization or government entity/agency that deals regularly with public interest legal issues.  Applications are posted in LOCK and are due typically in typically due early April.

Suzanne E. Tomkins Women, Children and Social Justice Advocacy Fellowship

This fellowship will fund work by a law student during the summer on a specialized advocacy project focused on intimate partner violence issues.  Applicants must have an offer in hand to work for a legal organization, social agency, non-profit organization or government entity/agency that deals regularly with intimate partner violence legal issues.  Professor Tomkins has spent much of her Law School career creating, implementing and evaluating multidisciplinary responses to violence between intimates.  Applications are posted in LOCK and are due typically due early April.

Various Alumni-Named Fellowships

These fellowships vary year to year, depending on funding.  Some have specific criteria such as a student has to work at a particular organization or in a particular area of law.  Applications are posted in LOCK and are typically due early April.

National Sources

AmeriCorps JD Fellowships

The Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps JD Program provides law students with the opportunity to earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award in the amount of $1222 for dedicating 300 hours of service to a qualifying legal project with a non-profit organization or other qualifying organization. Applications for summer are typically due mid-May each year. This is a free resource for law students and alumni of subscriber schools, in which the School of Law is a member.

PSJD Resource Center

PSJD – formerly PSLawNet – is a unique online clearinghouse for law students and lawyers to connect with public interest job listings and career-building resources. Their Summer Public Interest Funding Resources page lists over 50 funding opportunities from organizations that offer summer stipends and/or paid placements with public interest employers across the country.  This is a free resource for law students and alumni of subscriber schools, in which the School of Law is a member.