Fellowships and Funding
OU Law sponsors five summer funding programs: the Boren Fellowship for Summer Public Service, the Coats Fellowship for Summer Public Service, the Marjorie P. Maute Memorial Fellowship, the John Paul Stevens Summer Fellowship, and the Cindy Foley Memorial Indigent Defense Fellowship. The number and amount of fellowships are determined on the basis of available funding in any given year. In 2012, the College of Law awarded more than $20,000 in summer fellowships.
Eligible students must demonstrate completed arrangements to work unpaid for a public service or public interest organization over the summer. Appropriate host organizations include, but are not limited to, Legal Aid, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Public Defenders, District Attorney’s offices, Catholic Charities, ACLU, Trinity Legal Services, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Oklahoma Indigent Defense Services and other local, state, or federal government offices.
Fellowship applications will be available in the spring. Generally, applications are due in late March or early April, and summer fellows are recognized at the PILSA annual awards reception in late April.
Other Funding Resources
Some of the most interesting and rewarding summer jobs are unpaid law clerk positions with public interest organizations, government agencies, and the judiciary. There are a variety of sources of funding for rising 2Ls and 3Ls to support their summer public interest work.
- The Equal Justice Works Summer Corps (opens in new window) provides fellowship funding to students providing legal services to low-income and underserved communities.
- PSJD, fomerly known as PSLawNet, has compiled additional funding resources (opens in new window).
If you are concerned about how to pay back your student loans after graduation while pursuing a public interest career, several resources are available.
- Start with the Federal Student Aid website (opens in new window) and the Equal Justice Works website (opens in new window).
- Entrepreneurial post-grads who are interested in starting their own public interest law programs can research the Equal Justice Works Fellowship (opens in new window) and the Skadden Foundation Fellowship (opens in new window).