Student Organizations

Student Funded Fellowships

For over twenty years, Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) has funded HLS students who work in low- or non-paying public interest jobs. SFF raises the money for these fellowships by soliciting contributions from students, HLS faculty, staff, and alumni, and obtains additional funds through its firm-matching program.

Each spring, SFF conducts a telephone fund drive which represents the largest portion of funds SFF raises for summer fellowships. Callers contact every student at the Law School and request a pledge of one day's summer pay or any amount specified by the contributors.

Many HLS students want to do public interest work but have reservations about taking interesting summer jobs that may fail to cover their expenses. SFF provides supplementary income to students taking such jobs, thereby allowing them to explore the possibilities of a public service career path without going further into debt. Fellowships are awarded largely on the basis of financial need, although geographic diversity and the staffing needs of a particular organization are also considered. SFF relies on the generosity of HLS students who are eager to help their classmates explore public interest options, and is necessarily apolitical.

The public interest jobs we have funded range from positions in U.S. Attorneys' offices, the E.P.A., and Texas Rural Legal Aid, to D.C. Action for Children, Lambda Legal Defense and Education, and various district attorneys' offices.

Student Funded Fellowships invites all interested students to serve on the SFF Board. The Board is typically composed of about 15 students; the steering committee, selected from the previous year's fellowship recipients, guides the organization. Our Board is composed of students who are not necessarily on a public interest career track while in law school, but are nevertheless committed to remedying the pay inequities which keep many students from pursuing the public interest jobs of their choice.

Students interested in SFF and in public interest law opportunities should contact an SFF member through the Office of Public Interest Advising.

Amanda Sonis asonis@law.harvard.edu, 3L, Contact
Elizabeth Puskar epuskar@law.harvard.edu, 3L, Contact