Obligations during enrollment as a student
1. Perform required PILF public service hours. See service hours Q&A for details.
2. Remain in good standing academically. There is a one-semester grace period if you fall out of good standing.
3. Attend programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the Career Services Office or the PILF Program. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program. You will be required to sign in at each event. Full-time students are required to attend eight events per semester and part-time students four events per semester.
4. You are required to enroll and participate in a 3-credit clinic or field placement course in a public interest law placement for at least one semester during your enrollment period.
Obligations upon graduation
1. Full-time employment for four years as an attorney in public interest law within six months of passing the bar.
Employment in public interest law is defined as:
- Any position as an attorney in which one's primary employer is a government agency including federal, state, or local government
- Any position as an attorney in which one's primary employment is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization engaged in public service, including but not limited to the representation of persons with low income or without equal access to the justice system
- A position as a private attorney, including self-employment, whose primary billable hours, defined as more than 50%, are devoted to providing legal services on a no-fee, reduced fee, or court-awarded fee basis to persons or organizations that would otherwise not be able to obtain comparable services and or be adequately represented
- A position as an attorney in which one's primary employer is a legal clinic attached to a law school that provides legal advocacy on behalf of persons or organizations that would otherwise not be able to obtain comparable services and/or be adequately represented
- A position as a Judicial Law Clerk
- Other positions may be considered for eligibility by submitting a written request to the PILF Oversight Committee
Note: Under the prior PILF Loan Program, fellows who did not pursue full-time careers as attorneys in public interest law for at least four years following admission to the bar forfeited the loan forgiveness provision of their agreement and began repayment. The current PILF Scholarship Program also requires a commitment by the recipients to pursue full-time careers as attorneys in public interest law for at least four years following admission to the bar. The fact that there is no longer a loan to repay is not meant to diminish this commitment in any way.
2. Positions may be approved by UMass Law prior to commencement of employment and all decisions will be made by the PILF Oversight Committee.
3. You are required to participate in an exit interview with the PILF Oversight Committee.