PIRC Summer Funding
The summer is an excellent time to immerse yourself in full-time public service work, apply and further develop your skills, gain experience and make a real difference. There are a number of sources of funding for your summer interest work.
Academic credit may be available for public service internships through the J.D. Externship Program.
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
PUBLIC SERVICE SUMMER FELLOWSHIPS
The Summer Fellowship application is closed for Summer 2023 and will likely reopen in January 2024 for Summer 2024.
The summer provides an opportunity for Fordham Law students to engage in rewarding and meaningful full-time public service work. These fellowships are administered by or through Fordham Law School in furtherance of its mission to educate attorneys to work “in the service of others.” Several of the fellowships provide awards to more than one student. These fellowships are described below.
Note, if you have not secured a public interest internship yet, but plan to, you may still apply. You may amend your application with a “Letter of Commitment” from your employer as soon as you receive it even if it is after the application deadline. Once you receive the letter please email it to Assistant Dean Leah Horowitz at [email protected].
Summer Fellowships Descriptions
Ann Moynihan Fellowship at The Legal Aid Society, Civil or Criminal Defense Practice ($5,000 for 1Ls, $6,000 for others) commemorates the life and work of Ann Moynihan, a life-long advocate for the poor, trial and appellate attorney in both the Civil and Criminal Defense Practices of The Legal Aid Society, Associate Clinical Professor and Associate Dean for Administration at Fordham Law School, and co-founder of Fordham’s Interdisciplinary Center for Family & Child Advocacy. The Fellow will assist lawyers in their representation of low-income people in either civil areas such as government benefits and housing or in criminal defense.
Blakely, LAW ’91, and John Stinebaugh Public Interest Summer Fellowship ($5,000)
Established through a generous pledge from Blakely, LAW ’91, and John Stinebaugh, this fellowship provides financial support to a current Fordham Law student with an unpaid summer internship position at a non-profit or government agency.
The Dean Thomas Schoenherr Honorary Summer Fellowship ($5000) This fellowship was created from numerous donations honoring the founder and former assistant dean of the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC), Dean Thomas Schoenherr, at his retirement after 30 years of service. Dean Schoenherr has spent his life and career advancing social justice by dramatically improving the public interest law school landscape. His tremendous influence can be seen throughout FLS, in the thousands of alumni he has guided, and at law schools across the country. The student chosen for this fellowship will embody Dean Schoenherr’s dedication to public interest legal work. The fellow will be expected to write a summary of their experience at the conclusion of their internship as part of a letter to Dean Schoenherr.
The Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) Summer Fellowship ($5,000) is awarded to Fordham Law students who secure summer placements in organizations or agencies dedicated to protecting the rights of survivors of domestic violence. Students are selected based on demonstrated interest in domestic violence advocacy and representation.
The Edward G.H. and Sylvia Fung Chin Fellowship ($5000) was established by Sylvia Fung Chin (FLS ’77) in memory of her husband Edward G.H. Chin (FLS ’77). The fellowship is awarded to a student who’s summer internship is dedicated to full time civil public service work.
Feerick Center Mayo Crowe Fellowship ($5,000) Established by Mayo Crowe LLC, this fellowship enables a rising 2L, 3L, or 4L to spend their summer working at a civil legal services organization. The Feerick Center selects the fellow. See Feerick Center’s website for additional information. The selected fellow will write a letter report to the donor.
The FLAA Irish Soda Bread Fund Summer Fellowship ($5000) was created by the Fordham Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, with additional funding from other alumni in the FLS community, to provide financial support for students’ public interest work over the summer. Selected fellows will be asked to present at an annual FLAA meeting in the fall.
The Hon. Denny Chin Public Interest Fellowship ($5000) celebrates Judge Chin's 25 years of dedicated service on the bench of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, respectively.The fellow will be asked to write a thank you note to Judge Chin and donors.
The Honorable Kevin J. Quaranta Fellowship ($5,000) commemorates the life of Justice Quaranta who distinguished himself in public service through the Army Judge Advocate General Corps, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, and as a town justice. Judge Quaranta was a strong supporter of social justice, which he learned from his mother, Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta, who was dean of the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service and was a founding board member of the Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice. The fellowship will be awarded to a student with an internship devoted to civil public service with a nonprofit organization. Funded by the family of Justice Quaranta in honor of his life and work, the Fellow will work on a substantive project focused on a social justice issue within the scope of the Feerick Center. Potential areas include access to justice, economic justice, domestic violence, and unaccompanied immigrant children and immigrant families.
The Jean Dah-Chao Loh, RN, MN and Hsing Cheng Loh, MD Fellowship ($5000) was established by Hao-Li and Evan Loh, MD (PAR ’22), in memory of Jean and Hsing Loh, both of whom were first generation immigrants to the US, arriving in the mid-1950’s, who cared deeply about establishing a life well-lived and oriented towards service to science, nursing and medicine. The fellowship is awarded to a rising 3L FLS student who is a first-generation aspiring attorney from underrepresented populations, whose community involvement or studies focus on either social justice or economic inequality. Students involved in student diversity groups who aim to devote their summer to full-time public service work are especially encouraged to apply. The selected fellow will be expected to contact Dr. Loh after completion of the summer fellowship to share both highlights from their public service experience and how the experience will enrich and broaden their career considerations.
John M. Cannella Fellowship ($5,000) commemorates the life of Judge Cannella, who devoted his career to public service, including 31 years of service on the bench of the United State District Court for the Southern District of New York. This fellowship will be awarded to a student who’s summer internship is devoted to civil public service work.
Joseph W. Halliday ‘63 Summer Fellowship ($5,000) Established to commemorate the life and work of Joseph W. Halliday, a graduate of Fordham University and Fordham Law School. Mr.Halliday practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom for over 20 years.
Joseph Vitale ’89 Labor Fellowship ($5,000) was established thanks to the generous support of several members of the Law School’s Class of 1989 and the estate of Marc Tenenbaum. The Fellowship will be administered by Fordham Law School’s Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) and will be awarded to at least one student who devotes his or her summer to public service work through labor unions in the New York area.
Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation ($6,000) The John Paul Stevens Foundation is dedicated to promoting public interest and social justice values in the next generation of American lawyers. Through the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Program, the Foundation supports law students who spend the summer working in public interest law internships. The Fellowship Program reflects Justice Stevens’s deep belief that a dynamic and effective justice system depends on a cadre of trained and committed lawyers doing public interest work.This fellowship may not be combined with any other source of funding (including Fordham Law School, payment from an employer, or payment from any other funder or organization). Learn more here: https://jpstevensfoundation.org/.
Judge Ruben Martino Fellowship ($5000) commemorates the life and work of Judge Ruben Martino, a wise, kind and brilliant jurist whose life exemplified the pursuit of equal justice. Judge Martino grew up in the South Bronx and served as an advocate for low-income clients as a staff attorney for Bronx Legal Services and later a staff attorney and supervising attorney for Bronx Legal Aid. Judge Martino was appointed a Housing Court Judge in 1994 and a Family Court Judge in 2003. From 2004 to 2014, he served as the presiding judge at the Harlem Community Court, and in 2017 became the Supervising Judge of Bronx Family Court. He was a member of both the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Latino Judges Association. The Fellowship seeks to encourage first generation law students, as well as law students from communities that are underrepresented in the legal profession. Qualifying employment includes work at a non-profit or government agency. Fellows may be required to meet with donors.
Kirpalani Summer Fellowship ($4,500 for 1Ls, $5,000 for others) Susheel Kirpalani '94 is a generous donor to Fordham Law School and recognizes the great importance of public interest work. Mr. Kirpalani cares deeply about using his financial means to support public interest work, particularly for students engaged in public interest summer internships. Kirpalani Fellows will be required to send a thank you note to Mr. Kirpalani (prior to receipt of the funding) and attend an organized breakfast/lunch to meet Mr. Kirpalani.
Kirpalani Summer Fellowship in Housing Law ($4,500 for 1Ls, $5,000 for others) Susheel Kirpalani '94 is a generous donor to Fordham Law School and recognizes the great importance of public interest work. Mr. Kirpalani cares deeply about using his financial means to support public interest work, particularly for students engaged in public interest summer internships. The work must be centered on housing law. Housing law is an exciting, timely, and critically important area of law—this fellowship provides funding specifically for students to intern at an organization doing this work. Kirpalani Fellows will be required to send a thank you note to Mr. Kirpalani (prior to receipt of the funding) and attend an organized breakfast/lunch to meet Mr. Kirpalani.
Laurie Berke-Weiss, LAW ’83 Public Interest Fellowship ($5,000). Established through a generous pledge from Laurie Berke-Weiss, LAW ’83, this fellowship provides financial support to a current Fordham Law student who’s summer internship is devoted to public service work at a non-profit or government agency.
Leo Greenberg, LAW ‘05 Public Interest Fellowship ($5,000) Established through a generous donation from Leo Greenberg, LAW ’05, this fellowship provides financial support to a current Fordham Law student who devotes his or her summer to full time public service work at a non-profit or government agency. The selected fellow will be expected to write a detailed thank you note to Mr. Greenberg and to meet with him over the summer.
Lillian Rosenbaum Gabriner LAW’25 Summer Fellowship Fund ($5,000) Established by her grandson Peter Friedman and his family, the Lillian Rosenbaum Gabriner, LAW’25 Summer Fellowship honors Ms. Rosenbaum’s legacy as one of Fordham Law School’s earliest women graduates. Preference is given to a woman who is the first of her family to attend law school and who will be working with a non-profit organization that works in one of four areas--immigration, voting rights, criminal justice reforms, or wrongful convictions. Learn more about Ms. Rosenbaum and this fellowship here. The selected fellow will be expected to write a detailed thank you note to the Friedman family and meet with them.
Maureen Cronin Rimon, Esq., LAW ‘02 Public Interest Summer Fellowship ($5,000) Established through a generous pledge from Maureen Cronin Rimon, Esq. LAW ’02, this fellowship provides financial support to a current Fordham Law student who devotes the summer to full time public service work at a non-profit or government agency. As a 2002 graduate of the Law School, Ms. Cronin Rimon understands the experience of attending law school during a tumultuous period. She established this fund to provide financial support for students as they navigate an academically difficult time that is further compounded by global and economic challenges. Fellowship recipients will be asked to send a stewardship letter to Ms. Cronin Rimon discussing their summer placement and career plans.
Michael Aaronson, LAW’20 Public Interest Summer Fellowship ($5,000) Established by his family, friends and Norton Rose Fulbright, the Michael Aaronson, LAW ’20 Public Interest Summer Fellowship was created to honor Michael’s memory and his connection to Fordham Law School. The selected fellow will be expected to write thank you notes to the family and to the Norton Rose Fulbright team.
The NALSC/Sirras Family Summer Fellowship ($4500) The NALSC/Sirras Family Fellowship was made possible through the generosity of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants (NALSC). NALSC established the NALSC/Sirras Family Fellowship to honor the contributions made by long-time Board member and Past President Marina Sirras and her husband, Jim. As Principal of Marina Sirras & Associates LLC, Ms. Sirras has dedicated her career to helping lawyers and firms secure the best talent, serving as a leader and trusted advisor in the legal recruitment community for more than 32 years. The selected fellow will be required to write thank you notes to the donors.
New York Council of Defense Lawyers Summer Fellowship ($5,000) Established through a generous donation from the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, this fellowship provides financial support to a current Fordham Law student who devotes the summer to full time public service work with a nonprofit organization defending the rights and liberties of underrepresented individuals and organizations (such as, but not limited to, the Legal Aid Society). The selected fellow will be expected to write a detailed thank you note to the donors.
Robert J. Reilly Summer Fellowship ($5,000) This fellowship is in honor of former Assistant Dean Robert J. Reilly, who gave over 36 years of service to the Fordham Law School and Fordham University community—in a variety of roles—and who has dedicated himself intensively to philanthropic efforts. Until his retirement from the Law School in June 2018, Dean Reilly was an integral part of the Feerick Center for Social Justice, where he was involved in access-to-justice efforts, interfaced with the alumni community, and helped lead special initiatives. The Robert J. Reilly Fellow will work full time at a legal services organization that provides civil legal services to low-income individuals, ideally in an area of law in which the Feerick Center for Social Justice does work, which includes access to justice, consumer protection, domestic violence, educational equity, immigration, and veterans’ issues. Summer fellowship opportunities involving civil legal services work related to public benefits, disability, food insecurity, housing, and homelessness are also encouraged.
The Urban Law Center (ULC) City Law Summer Fellowship ($5,000) is awarded to Fordham Law students who secure summer placements working in city or other local government positions. Students are selected based on demonstrated interest in public service, particularly at the local level, and will be required to share their internship experience with the ULC Board of Advisers at the Board’s Annual Meeting. For more information about the Center’s research and thought leadership on the intersection of law and cities in the United States and globally, please see https://www.urbanlawcenter.org/.
Apply to the following fellowships separately:
Venable Foundation Fellowship for 1st Year Students ($5,000) was created by the partners of the law firm of Venable LLP and provides a stipend to two Fordham Law School 1L student intending to serve in a legal capacity during the summer after first year at a non-profit or federal, state, or local government agency located in one of the cities where Venable LLP maintains an office (Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Wilmington, DE; New York City; Rockville, MD, Towson, MD; and Tysons Corner, VA). This fellowship is designed to further the Venable Foundation’s various goals, including providing support to the needy and underprivileged in our communities, bettering the lives of diverse groups and individuals in society, promoting the legal profession, and fostering the arts and culture. The recipients will be chosen by a selection committee at Venable LLP, in cooperation with PIRC, on the basis of the recipient’s academic performance, demonstrated qualities of leadership and commitment to the use of the law to further the public good. The recipients of the Venable Foundation Fellowship will be invited to visit the Venable office during the summer, and at the end of the summer will be expected to submit a short essay about his or her experience with the Fellowship. See more information and application instructions here.
The Catalyst Public Service Fellowship Program ($5,000) was created to encourage and enable first year law students who would not otherwise be able to do so, gain practical legal experience in the public sector. The selected fellows will receive stipends for otherwise uncompensated summer internships with public service employers. See more information and application instructions here.
Fall Semester Fellowship:
Thomas J. Concannon Memorial Internship Fund ($4,500) Thomas J. Concannon Memorial Internship Fund was established through The New York Community Trust/Community Funds, Inc. to support summer internships at Federal Defenders of New York, Eastern District in memory of Tom Concannon (FLS ’69), Attorney-in-Charge of that office from 1980 to 2005. He inspired many with his dedication to representation, caring and respect for his indigent clients. This fellowship was created to promote the continuation of his valiant efforts. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in defending the indigent or providing similar public service. One intern will be nominated for each summer’s fellowship, subject to the approval of the Federal Defenders of New York, Eastern District. Each year, the selected fellow is connected with Tom’s wonderful wife, Jan.
The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) coordinates the application process of summer public service fellowships funded and administered by law firms and their related foundations. The application process and deadlines for these fellowships will be announced and described in the fall through email to your Fordham Law email account, on the PIRC website, and posted by the CPC on Symplicity. These fellowships include:
- Venable Foundation Summer Fellowship: Initiated by the law firm Venable LLP, it provides a Fordham Law School 1L or 1LE with a $5,000 scholarship to participate in summer public service work.
Some government agencies –at each level of government (federal, state, municipal)-- have developed funded summer internship programs. An excellent source of information about the programs is the Government Honors and Internship Handbook, Contact the CPC ([email protected]) or PIRC ([email protected]) to obtain current user name and password
The Appendix to the Government Handbook and Internship Handbook will list the deadlines by agency and by class year.
PSLawnet.org and the CPC’s Symplicity site may have additional listings for paid positions within government agencies or departments.
Some public service employers are able to pay law students for their work, generally at an hourly rate. Check Symplicity, maintained by the Career Planning Center, and PSLawNet.org regularly for updated job listings.
Some private, public interest law firms hire summer associates. The Private Public Interest and Plaintiff’s Firm Guide (made available through the courtesy of the Center for Public Interest Law at Columbia Law School and the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School) includes a directory of such firms.
Excellent resources to identify summer fellowships are available on PSJD.org.
We highlight several of the largest:
- Equal Justice America Summer 2023 Fellowships ($5,000) To apply, students need to have placement lined up with an organization that provides civil legal assistance to people in need. EJA Fellowships pay up to $5,000 for 10 weeks of full-time work. Students awarded funding from the Law School or elsewhere are eligible to receive supplemental EJA funding up to a $12,000 maximum from all funding sources. Due date to apply is April 15, 2023.
- Equal Justice Works Summer Corps: Provides an educational award of $1,000 to be applied to your law school tuition and may be combined with other fellowship stipends. Only limited awards are available to fund work with nonprofit public interest organizations. The deadline is the early spring and will be available online at https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/law-students/part-time-summer/rural-summer-legal-corps/
- Haywood Burns Memorial Fellowships for Social and Economic Justice is a project of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) as part of its tradition of providing legal, political and educational support to the important progressive movements of the day and to strengthen the student’s long-term commitment to promote justice and equity. The $2,000 Fellowship helps support 10 weeks of full-time work (which can be supplemented by other funds secured by you) with any existing organization whose mission addresses the needs of underserved individuals and groups. The Fellowship encourages applicants to identify grassroots and non-traditional work opportunities for which there is a serious current societal need.
- New Jersey Summer Public Interest Legal Intern Summer Fellowship Program: Available for internships with New Jersey public interest legal organizations to promote awareness of and commitment to careers in public interest law. 2006 Interns were paid at a rate of $500 per week for rising 2nd year students and $750 per week for rising 3rd year students. Placements are typically for a 10 week period, but frequently can be extended. All applications are considered in the order in which they are received after November 15th and hiring decisions are made on a rolling basis. Interested students are therefore strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible.
- The Peggy Browning Fund Summer Fellowship Program: The mission of the Fund is to educate law students about the rights and needs of workers. Typically, more than 50 funded ten-week Summer Fellowships were offered in a variety of unions and other legal organizations. The stipend for the ten-week fellowship is $4,500 (which may be supplemented by the organization you are placed with) unless otherwise indicated by the Mentor Organizations who may supplement the stipend. Information and instructions on how to apply are available at http://peggybrowningfund.org/ and click on Summer Application Form. The deadline is typically in early January.