Stein Scholars in Public Interest Law and Ethics

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The Stein Scholars Program is a multifaceted, student-driven program designed to prepare students for public interest careers while building a diverse community of social justice advocates at Fordham Law and beyond.

Founded in 1992 by the Stein Center for Law and Ethics and administered by the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC), this three-year program combines academic coursework and student-organized discussions with hands-on experience to encourage students to engage with pressing social justice issues and find pathways to meaningful and rewarding legal careers.

  • The Stein Scholars Program combines academic coursework and student-organized discussions with experiential learning to foster a community of law students committed to public service and to prepare students for public interest legal careers. The academic component provides participating students with a firm grounding in social justice advocacy and legal ethics, and the experiential component gives students the opportunity to work in public interest law settings through summer externships. These externships are supported by stipends available through the generous support of the Stein family.

    The program also matches students with upper-class Stein Scholars, faculty, and alumni as mentors who provide guidance and opportunities to learn more about what it means to practice as a public interest lawyer.

    Academic Component

    The academic requirements of the program include:

    • 1L Stein Summer Externship Seminar
    • 2L Fundamental Lawyering Skills
    • Clinic
    • One (1) of four (4) pre-approved professional responsibility courses
    • Two (2) courses from the pre-approved Stein Scholars Critical Lens course list (e.g., Critical Race Theory; Disability Law; Race, Gender, and Crime; Movement Lawyering; etc.)

    The externship seminar must be completed during scholars’ 1L summer and Fundamental Lawyering Skills must be completed during the 2L year. All other academic requirements must be completed prior to graduation.

    Experiential Component

    1L Summer Externship

    Students must complete a summer externship during their 1L summer at a qualifying public interest organization or government agency. Stein Scholars have externed in a wide variety of public interest settings in New York City, New York State, nationally, and internationally.

    Stein Time Attendance and Participation

    Scholars must also attend weekly Stein Time meetings and participate in Stein-centered working groups and/or events.

    Program Benefits

    In addition to the tailored academic and practical public interest experience, becoming a Stein Scholar includes additional financial and honorary benefits.

    Summer Stipend and Tuition Waiver

    Students who complete their 1L summer externship at a qualifying public interest organization will receive guaranteed summer funding. Students will also have their tuition waived for the required 1L summer externship seminar.

    Transcript Notation

    Those who successfully complete the Program may receive a transcript notation indicating their achievement as a Stein Scholar.

    Bar Fund Grant

    Upon graduation, eligible students may also apply for a Stein Bar Fund grant to help cover bar-related expenses (grant amounts vary annually)

  • The application for the Stein Scholars Program is now closed. The application for the 2024/2025 academic year will open in spring/summer 2024.

  • The Stein Council is the administrative/governing body of the Stein Program. Scholars elect two (2) representatives from their respective classes to sit on the Stein Council. The Council meets regularly throughout the year and plays a large role in the administration of the Stein Scholars Program, including annual programming and mentorship.

Many Stein Scholars regard the program as one of their most rewarding law school experiences because it provides them with a supportive community of students, faculty, administrators, and alumni committed to public service as well as opportunities to explore different areas of public interest practice.

Alumni Spotlight

Stein Scholars News

Where Did Fordham Law Students and Alumni Spend Their Summer?

Where Did Fordham Law Students and Alumni Spend Their Summer?

Fordham Law students and alumni traveled all over the globe this summer—from right here in New York City, to Seoul, and Paris. We caught up with some of them to …

New York Times: Marni von Wilpert ’11 Condemns California Library Protest against Pride Books

New York Times: Marni von Wilpert ’11 Condemns California Library Protest against Pride Books

Marni von Wilpert ’11, the city council member who represents Rancho Peñasquitos (San Diego, CA), condemned a local library protest in which two San Diego residents cleared out the Pride …

Sarah Seo ’23 Selected as Inaugural NAACP Legal Defense Fund Policy Fellow

Sarah Seo ’23 Selected as Inaugural NAACP Legal Defense Fund Policy Fellow

Sarah Seo ’23 has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Policy Fellowship. Seo will be joining the Legal Defense Fund (LDF)’s New …

Ben McDonald ’25 and Anushka Sarkar ’25 Awarded Prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowships

Ben McDonald ’25 and Anushka Sarkar ’25 Awarded Prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowships

The Peggy Browning Fund has awarded fellowships to Ben McDonald ’25 and Anushka Sarkar ’25. The application process is highly competitive, and the award is a tribute to their outstanding …

Public Interest Resource Center Holds 32nd Annual Public Interest Student Awards Ceremony

Public Interest Resource Center Holds 32nd Annual Public Interest Student Awards Ceremony

On April 17, Fordham Law’s Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) recognized nearly 300 students at its 32nd Annual Public Interest Awards Ceremony, celebrating their contributions to public interest work. Dean …

Meet the Two Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

Meet the Two Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

This spring, Fordham Law School welcomed Grey Berkowitz ’25 and Taylor Young-Wells ’25 into the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics. The program is designed to cultivate …

Meet The 17 Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics

Meet The 17 Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics

This fall, Fordham Law School welcomed 17 students into the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics. The program is aimed at fostering the next generation of public …

Meet Five Members of Fordham Law’s Newest J.D. Class 

Meet Five Members of Fordham Law’s Newest J.D. Class 

As another fall semester begins, Fordham Law is welcoming a new class of 428 first-year law students to campus. We asked a few students from this year’s incoming class why …

Shivani Parikh ’24 Selected to Participate in Inaugural Summer Academy on Law, Organizing, and Power Building

Shivani Parikh ’24 Selected to Participate in Inaugural Summer Academy on Law, Organizing, and Power Building

Stein Scholar Shivani Parikh ’24 was selected to participate in the first ever Summer Academy on Law, Organizing, and Power Building, hosted by The Action Lab (TAL), the Law and …

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

Fordham Law School’s Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics is designed to cultivate the next generation of public interest lawyers through academic and specialized discussion series, mentorships, …

Public Interest Resource Center Holds 31st Annual Public Interest Student Awards Ceremony

Public Interest Resource Center Holds 31st Annual Public Interest Student Awards Ceremony

On March 28, the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) at Fordham Law held its 31st Annual Public Interest Student Awards Ceremony, recognizing and celebrating student contribution to public interest work. …

Anthony Damelio FCRH ’08, LAW ’22 Named a Skadden Fellow

Anthony Damelio FCRH ’08, LAW ’22 Named a Skadden Fellow

Stein Scholar Anthony Damelio FCRH ’08, LAW ’22 has been awarded a Skadden Foundation Fellowship, which will begin in the fall of 2022. The program, launched by Skadden, Arps, Slate, …

Meet The 20 Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics

Meet The 20 Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics

This fall, Fordham Law School welcomed 20 students into the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics. The program is aimed at fostering the next generation of public …

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

This spring, Fordham Law School welcomes six new first-year students to the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics. The program is aimed at fostering the next generation …

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law & Ethics

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law & Ethics

This fall, Fordham Law School welcomes 17 new members to the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics. The program is aimed at fostering the next generation of …

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

Meet the Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program

Fordham Law School’s Stein Scholars program is designed to cultivate the next generation of public interest lawyers. Selected students with a demonstrated commitment to public interest participate in the academic …

Meet the Stein Scholars Class of 2022 (Day Division) and Class of 2023 (Evening Division)

Meet the Stein Scholars Class of 2022 (Day Division) and Class of 2023 (Evening Division)

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law & Ethics. Seventeen 1Ls have joined the program as members of the Class …

Law and the #MeToo Movement

Law and the #MeToo Movement

On April 5—just over six months after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified against Justice Brett Kavanaugh in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee—a group of lawyers, professors, writers, and activists …

Fordham Student Awarded NLG Haywood Burns Fellowship

Fordham Student Awarded NLG Haywood Burns Fellowship

For 1L Luna Garzón-Montano, public interest work is a natural inclination. “I feel like I have a sense of purpose when I do this kind of work,” she says. Garzón-Montano, …

Standing with Refugees

Standing with Refugees

Wars, violence, and persecution uprooted a record 68.5 million people across the world in 2017, according to the UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study. This ongoing global crisis has …