Public Interest Funding Opportunities

The RWU Law Center for Justice Fellowship is open to only RWU Law graduates and employs recent graduates of Roger Williams University School of Law as staff attorneys for a two-year fellowship period.

RWU Law understands the financial challenges of pursuing a public interest career.  We are here to help you whether you want to be a full-time public interest lawyer or a private sector attorney doing pro bono work.  We have financial programs designed to help you come to RWU School of Law (Public Interest Scholarships), to help you gain public interest experience through unpaid summer internships while you are here (Public Interest Summer Stipend Program), and to enable you to afford to take a public interest job when you leave (Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program).  We also subscribe to organizations that provide a range of funding and job opportunities: www.PSJD.org and www.equaljusticeworks.org.

Scholarships

Public Interest Scholarships are awarded to students who have shown a strong commitment to public interest law and a willingness to enter into public interest law after graduation. These scholarships are awarded at the time of admission.

Summer Stipend Program

Public interest summer internships are invaluable opportunities to gain experience, make contacts and build upon your commitment to public interest. Because many public interest opportunities are unpaid, students can apply for a summer stipend through the Office of Career Development's competitive Public Interest Stipend Program. Historically, twenty-five to thirty stipends are awarded each year.  Stipends have allowed students to work for employers such as the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the Bronx Defenders, and South Coastal Counties Legal Services, and in locations as far and wide as Ghana, Nepal, Alaska, and Mississippi. Read some recent experiences:

Tunde T. Adepegba, RWU Class of 2014

Asia-Sierra Millette, RWU Class of 2014

Jennifer Roth, RWU Class of 2014

PILRAP

RWU Law's Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program (PILRAP), created in 2008 through the incredible generosity of Jack and Sara McConnell and the University, provides up to $4000 for up to 3 years to graduates who pursue careers representing low-income clients in either civil or criminal proceedings.  Graduates may apply the spring after they graduate.  Whether or not students qualify for PILRAP, loan repayment assistance may also be available through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, enacted in 2008 (information is available through the Equal Justice Works at http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/ed-debt or through www.askheatherjarvis.com).

Postgraduate Fellowships

Students may also apply for highly competitive post-graduate public interest fellowships sponsored by many different organizations.  The most well-known programs are the Equal Justice Works Fellowship Program and the Skadden Fellowship Program. These programs require students to begin planning in the spring of their second year as applications are generally due in September and require a substantial project proposal, several recommendations, etc.  If you would like to explore this possibility, feel free to make an appointment with someone in the Feinstein Center and we can help you plan.

Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.

Elective

After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.

Seminar

Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.

Clinics/Externships

Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.