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Public Interest Fellowships

The Public Interest Law Fellowship Program (PILF) offers a comprehensive, integrated program designed to train students for careers in public service. The program provides specialized counseling, frequent exposure to public interest lawyers and policy makers, and numerous opportunities for "hands on" experience in public interest law internships.

Up to 25 Fellowships are awarded to entering students each year in a highly competitive application process. You may appy for the PILF Program with your UMass Law application. The Fellowship includes a 50% scholarship for both tuition and fees in exchange for a commitment to practice public interest law for four years upon graduation. Participation in various public service programs while enrolled at the law school is required. These  include performing 200 hours of community service while enrolled and participating in various co-curricular events each semester.

Internship/Externship opportunities

Through UMass Law's extensive network of public interest law placements, PILF students have numerous opportunities to get "real life experience" in a field that is of interest to them. We offer a wide variety of programs through which students may get placed in an internship or externship, which will expand their knowledge and provide them with invaluable experience.‌‌

Programs include:

  • field placements
  • clinics
  • public interest summer stipends
  • traditional internship opportunities

UMass Law students have been placed in public interest placements including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Judicial Clerkships
  • District Attorneys' offices
  • Public Defenders' offices
  • Legal Services Agencies
  • State Agencies' legal departments
  • City Solicitors' offices
  • State Legislative offices
  • Congressional offices

PILF panels and guest speakers

The PILF program regularly hosts or co-hosts guest speakers and panel discussions by lawyers with backgrounds in public interest law and policy. Each event focuses on a specific area of public interest law and policy, which exposes the law school‌ community to various employment opportunities that may exist upon graduation. Additionally, these PILF sponsored events are great opportunities for students to meet and network with current public interest law practitioners. Among the speakers we have hosted include:

  • U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz
  • Attorney General Maura Healy
  • State Auditor Suzanne Bump
  • Congressmen Barney Frank and Bill Keating
  • Justice Margot Botsford of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

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