Students are selected for the program based on a demonstrated commitment to public interest law combined with diversity factors to maximize a richly diversified community. The program combines 3 academic requirements (course work focusing on legal ethics and public interest law) with non-academic components to develop and enhance leadership and communication skills. These non-academic activities include conceiving and producing an annual series of eight events that include discussion. These discussions bring in professors, public interest law practitioners, other experts and scholars to address current events and issues in public interest law, and the ethical questions they raise.
During their first summer in law school, Stein Scholars are required to extern with a public interest organization, such as Legal Services or a governmental agency. These externships take the Stein Scholars to many different locales, in New York City, in other states, and abroad. The Public Interest Resource Center assists the Stein Scholars in finding these opportunities and provides a stipend ($4,000 for the 1st summer; $5,000 for a 2nd and 3rd summer) to ensure that they can engage in this work. [There is no 2nd summer or post-grad employment requirement.] Many Stein Scholars also engage in public service projects through one or more of the varied student-run organizations in the Public Interest Resource Center.