Public Interest Fellowship Funds Double with Addition of Two New Programs

February 11, 2013

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma College of Law has doubled its funding that supports students working in public interest fellowship positions with the addition of two new fellowships, the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship and the GableGotwals Public Service Fellowship.

The Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship provides $10,000 annually, with two students receiving $5,000 each summer. The GableGotwals Public Service Fellowship awards $2,000 to one student annually. Both fellowship programs begin this summer.

The John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Foundation, which funds the fellowship program, was established by Justice Stevens’s former law clerks to honor and extend the retired U.S. Supreme Court justice’s legacy of public service. One of his former clerks is OU Law Professor Joseph Thai, who is co-sponsoring the OU Law fellowship with his wife, Theresa Thai. 

“Part of what makes law a noble profession is that we not only represent paying clients, but we also serve the public as guardians of the rule of law for those who cannot afford to pay,” Thai said. “Students often enter law school with lofty ideals, and we hope to encourage a career of public service by supporting fellowships that enable students to engage in public interest work while in school.”

Other OU Law fellowships include the David L. Boren and Molly Shi Boren Public Interest Fellowships, the Marjorie P. Maute Memorial Public Service Fellowship, the Cindy Foley Memorial Fellowship, and the Coats Fellowship for Summer Public Service.

The number and amount of fellowships are determined on the basis of available funding in any given year. In 2012, OU Law awarded $12,500 in summer fellowships. In 2013, OU Law will award $25,000. All fellowships require students to complete 200 hours of work and submit a report to the sponsors at the end of the summer.

For more information about OU Law and the public interest fellowship program, visit

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