January 28, 2022

Career Services Blog

Summer Funding Options

As the NW Public Service Career Fair approaches and summer positions begin to pop up, we know that many students have questions about funding unpaid summer opportunities. We want to provide you with some resources that may make these positions more accessible.

Several of these options are exclusively available to Lewis & Clark Law School students. (Not all of these are exclusive to public interest either!) We encourage you to explore all the options that may be available to you, including:

  • Oregon State Bar Diversity & Inclusion Stipends - The Oregon State Bar (OSB) Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Department administers summer employment stipend programs for law school students who will help achieve the bar’s diversity mission. 
  • Equal Justice Works Rural Summer Legal Corps - Equal Justice Works partners with the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to support 40 dedicated law students who want to serve rural communities, as part of the Rural Summer Legal Corps. You must apply by February 14th.
  • Federal Work-Study – Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a need-based financial aid program that provides funding to eligible government and nonprofit legal employers to pay law students. Your employer must participate in Lewis & Clark’s FWS program to qualify, and you must individually qualify based on your FAFSA results. To be pre-screened, complete the FAFSA.
  • Public Interest Law Project Awards - The Lewis & Clark Public Interest Law Project (PILP) provides summer awards of up to $5,000 for students working in unpaid public interest positions over the summer. To be eligible to apply, you’ll need to complete 15 hours of volunteer work with PILP (in addition to completing 15 hours of pro bono or community service work) before the application opens in mid-spring semester. If you’ve never volunteered with PILP before, there is still time to earn your hours. Email to get a copy of the volunteer orientation, take the volunteer quiz, and get started. The award application will open in the spring semester.
  • The Lezak Social Justice Fellowship - This Lewis & Clark program provides a summer award of $5,000 to students who demonstrate a commitment to social justice lawyering. The program also assigns professional mentors to each fellow. Keep an eye out for an information session and the application in March 2022.
  • PSJD.org – As a Lewis & Clark student, you are eligible to create a PSJD.org account. PSJD maintains lists of summer funding sources across the country.
  • Externships – Externships allow you to receive school credit for your summer experience. In turn, this may allow you to unlock additional financial aid eligibility (including living expenses) over the summer. This option is available to students the summer after their 1L or 2L year or during their 2L and 3L years. Please review the externship guide to learn more, and contact Associate Dean Libby Davis with questions.
  • The AccessLex Databank - This large database of scholarship and fellowship opportunities includes options that may help offset your summer expenses. We encourage you to use the filters to narrow down options that may be a good fit.

This is a non-exhaustive list of summer funding opportunities. We encourage students to explore all opportunities available to them, and to reach out to Career Services with any questions about summer funding.