photo of Victoria Roden ’21 standing outside of Erie County Family Court building.

Victoria A. Roden ’21, recipient of a Family Violence Clinic Summer Fellowship Award, outside of Erie County Family Court.

Summer Public Interest Funding & Fellowship Program

Delivering access to justice while preparing students to become excellent, ethical, and engaged lawyers.

Our Summer Public Interest Funding & Fellowship Program provides financial support for students immersed in an invaluable internship experience while providing access to justice to those that need it the most, in a broad range of emerging issues. Each summer, generous donor support allows a number of students to be selected for our fellowship program; these students have strong academic backgrounds, a dedicated heart for serving in the public interest, and a proven commitment to the providing access to justice.

In their own words

Visit our blog, UB School of Law Responds, to read about our summer fellows experiences.

Currently, our Summer Public Interest Funding & Fellowship Program provides $1,500-$4,500 stipends to students with financial need who intern at a nonprofit organization, governmental agency, or in a law-related position designed to further the public interest. Funding is for students who work a minimum of 8 weeks, full-time work schedule (280 hours total). Students who work fewer weeks will receive a pro-rated stipend.

Available Fellowships External Fellowships FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive summer funding?

All law students who will still be enrolled after the summer ends (e.g., 1Ls, 2Ls, joint degree students who haven’t yet graduated from the Law School) with financial need are eligible. Students who are graduating and will not return to the law school after the summer ends are ineligible.

How do I apply?

The application is available online and will be due at 5:00 pm on April 1, 2022. You will need a statement of interest which includes details about your summer position (or proposed position), resume, and unofficial transcript.

What if I don't have an offer by the deadline?

Students are not required to have accepted an offer at the time of application. All students who anticipate that they may want the summer stipend must apply. You may withdraw if your plans change but funding will be provided on a rolling basis. You do not need to submit documentation verifying your internship until May at the earliest. Occasionally, students finalize their offers even later. However, funds cannot be disbursed until all the required documents are received.

What kind of organization qualifies for summer funding?

This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. Qualifying organizations may include domestic 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations or international tax-exempt non-governmental organizations that provide legal services for underrepresented communities or otherwise serve the public interest, government entities, and some private public interest law firms. Some judicial externships may be eligible for summer funding. The purpose of this funding program is to provide law students the opportunity to explore potential future careers in public service and public interest law, and therefore internship opportunities outside of these areas will generally not be funded. If you are uncertain whether your potential employer will qualify, please submit a written request via email to law-fellowships@buffalo.edu.

What if I cannot work the whole 8 weeks?

The Law School expects students to work full-time for at least 8 weeks. If there is a reasonable reason you cannot work at least 8 weeks, we can make exceptions. Please contact law-fellowships@buffalo.edu. Note that anyone who works less than 8 weeks may receive pro-rated summer funding.

How do I get paid?

Upon the awarding of a fellowship, students will be required to submit a W9 for the fellowship stipend. Once your contract has been finalized with all of the required information, including W9, you will receive a check for the entire amount of the fellowship. Processing takes about 10 business days and checks are expected to be delivered at the end of the Spring semester, dependent on the final paperwork received.