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Career & Professional Development Center

Federal Work Study

Federal Work-study offers students legal public interest and public service experience while reducing reliance on student loans. The program also gives non-profit and government legal offices access to low-cost student workers.

How it works

Annually, the school receives federal funding to divide between on-campus and off-campus non-profit and government legal employers. Employers who are awarded funding hire students who are work-study eligible based on their financial aid package. Work-study students are employees of the off-campus office; although, Lewis & Clark handles payroll while the work-study contract is active. Employers are responsible for 50% of the student’s salary plus workers compensation insurance and are billed by Lewis & Clark monthly. Once work-study awards are depleted, employers move students to their internal payroll.

Documents

2014-2015 Employer Work-study Application due April 30, 2014 for priority distribution.

Timeline

January to April
Employers request work-study funding from Lewis & Clark for the upcoming summer and following school year.
March to April
Lewis & Clark awards work study contracts to employers.
June to the following May
Students perform work.

Employers may recruit work-study students before contracts are awarded on a contingent basis, or wait until contracts are announced. Non-profit and government legal employers may be able to use students who are not work-study eligible as pro bono volunteers or externs for credit.

Occasionally, extra funds are available to make individual work-study awards outside of the normal timeline. This is particularly useful for students who, on their own, find employers willing to host.

Employer eligibility

  • Employers must be governmental agencies or non-profits.
  • Employers must have an attorney to supervise and train the student.
  • Employers must provide reasonable monitoring of student hours.
  • Employers must act in the public interest, benefiting the community.
  • Employers must be able to pay their portion of student salaries.
  • Employers must provide work that enhances the student’s legal education.
  • Employers must not replace or displace other employees with students.
  • Employers must not require religious or political involvement from students.

Student eligibility

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines student eligibility and must be completed by March 1. First year law students are not eligible during the academic year; however, they may receive funding for work during the summer following first year. Anyone receiving summer work-study must intend to enroll in the fall as a Lewis & Clark law student.

Students who have completed the FAFSA for the current or following school year can contact Student Financial Services to get an estimate of eligibility.

Finding positions

Pre-approved opportunities

Employers who receive or expect to receive work-study funding often post positions through our job postings. Most of our work-study employers also interview through the NW Public Service Career Fair. Positions are typically listed in at the beginning of the school year, in late fall or in early spring, but some jobs may become available throughout the year.

Other opportunities

Employers who do not regularly participate in our work-study program may be willing to participate. Students will sometimes find these positions in our job postings and you will sometimes find these positions on their own. Once found, the employer must apply for work-study funds. Typically, there is a limited pool of funds available for funding these positions.

Financial aid effects

Student eligibility for work-study is need based and the amount a student can earn varies. When a student receives work-study, earnings substitute dollar for dollar for another form of aid, typically loans.

For a student who has taken the maximum amount that they can borrow, this means they will likely be able to borrow less as a result of receiving work-study funds. Although the maxed out student might not end up with more money to spend, work-study dollars do not need to be paid back over time as loans do.

Students who have not taken out the maximum amount they can borrow may be able to reduce further how much they borrow or may be able to have additional spending money without increasing their loan expenses.

What happens once a student is hired?

In order for a student to be paid through the work-study program, the employer must already have a work-study contract. Once that contract is in place and the student is hired these steps must be taken:

  1. If not already done, the student should confirm their work-study eligibility with Student Financial Services.
  2. The student must retrieve and complete paperwork from Law School Business Services including an I-9, W-4, automatic deposit request, and obtain their employer’s signature on a Student Employment Request/Authorization Form.
  3. The student must submit a Business Services supplied employer signed Lewis & Clark time card at the end of each month they work.

Students are paid in the middle of the month following time card submission.