A representative from the Western New York Law Center speaks to a law student.

A representative from the Western New York Law Center speaks to a law student at our 2017 Career Fair.

Become a BPILP Fellow

Applications for BPILP fellowships are distributed during the spring semester of each year. To receive a fellowship, students must already have an internship secured for the coming summer.

When grading fellowship applications, BPILP involvement (the number of hours you contribute to the organization) is heavily weighted. It is important that students interested in a BPILP fellowship get involved early. BPILP has events throughout the year, and our auction in early March is a great opportunity to volunteer.

On this page:

General Fellowship Qualifications for Fellowships

  1. Applicants must be 1L or 2Ls at the University at Buffalo School of Law.
  2. Applicants may work for a legal organization or social agency performing direct legal work in the public interest such as Legal Services offices, Public Defenders or District Attorney’s offices, or any other agency that employs practicing attorneys.
  3. Applicants may work on legal issues at a non-profit agency or organization that directly performs public interest endeavors but does not necessarily practice law. Examples may include homeless shelters, health centers, veterans support services, or similar organizations.
  4. Applicants may work for a government agency so long as its goals and the applicant’s project are consistent with working in the public interest.
  5. BPILP will consider funding proposals for other organizations, other than those outlined in numbers 2, 3, and 4 above, which address broad public policy concerns, such as, but not limited to, public health, poverty, civil rights, criminal prosecution and defense, consumer issues, labor, environment, and immigration. Examples include organizations such as the Sierra Club, NOW, NAACP, Public Citizen, individual labor unions, or public interest law firms.
  6. BPILP will also consider funding internships with judges if the student can articulate why his/her particular judicial internship serves a public interest.
  7. Proposals for employment in a political/government campaign or for a political party will not be considered.
  8. Applicants may participate in lobbying efforts in the form of legislative advocacy for populations or concerns detailed in number 5 above.

BPILP Fellowship Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed and ranked by the BPILP Fellowship Committee.  Applications will be ranked using the following criteria and scale:


Possible Points


Applicant's BPILP Involvement




Project's value to Community/Letter from Employer








Personal Statement/Past Commitment to Public Interest Work




Letter of Recommendation




Statement of Proposed Internship








Contractual Obligations for BPILP Fellowship Recipients

Fellowship recipients are required to sign a contract verifying:

  1. Commitment to the public interest employer for no less than 8 weeks at 35-40 hours/week.  The fellow will be expected to work for at least 8 weeks during the summer for the sponsoring organization upon which the application is based.
              This may be negotiated for students working part-time and only receiving a BPILP Grant.
  2. Commitment to fulfilling the requisite number of hours of service to BPILP and/or the cooperative organization that is co-sponsoring the fellowship.
  3. Commitment to turn in a verification of hours worked halfway through and at the completion of the internship from the fellow’s employer.  The final verification is due by August 31, 2019.
  4. Commitment to turn in a summary of the fellowship work by August 31, 2019.
  5. Students who receive the Law Alumni Association Fellowship must attend a Law Alumni Association meeting in the Fall of 2019 where he/she will talk about his/her experience and how he/she has benefitted from the summer placement.

Recipients of any of the BPILP awards are required to volunteer a certain number of hours to help fundraise for BPILP throughout the academic year following their summer fellowship. (These hours owed range from 10–15 hours based on the amount of your award.)  If you intend to transfer out of the University at Buffalo School of Law, please do not accept the fellowship money because you will not be here to fundraise for the following year.


Failure to fulfill the volunteer time commitment mentioned above will result in a partial or full forfeiture of the fellowship and a check stop on your HUB account.