Summer Funding

Students pursuing public interest legal work often find that organizations helping under-represented people and causes cannot afford to compensate law students for summer work. Lewis & Clark offers several unique funding sources intended to close the gap between students’ needs and the limitations of nonprofit and government organizations. Students interested in unfunded or underfunded public interest summer work are encouraged to meet with the Director of Public Interest Law to discuss possible funding options. 

PILP Awards

In 1991, Lewis & Clark law students held the first Public Interest Law Project (PILP) auction raising enough money to help two students take jobs at the Legal Aid office in Portland during the summer. With the effort of student volunteers and the support of the school and alumni, PILP has held an annual auction nearly every year since 1991 helping students take public interest positions in Oregon, across the country, and around the world during the summer months. Stipends are awarded based not only on the work that the host organization does, but also on the experience and supervision the student will receive. 

Visit PILP’s Summer Award page for more details.

Locations where our students have worked using their PILP Summer Awards

Lezak Social Justice Fellowship

Sid Lezak was one of the longest serving US Attorneys in the history of the United States, the father of alternative dispute resolution in Oregon, an activist, a community servant, and a mentor to many Oregonians. The Lezak Social Justice Fellowship is designed to honor his legacy by granting summer stipends to law students to encourage them to serve the Oregon community, and by providing mentorship and guidance to these students. 

Visit the Lezak Social Justice Fellowship page for more details.

Work Study

Lewis & Clark’s federal work study program can provide summer funding to eligible students working on campus and with partner agencies over the summer. For more information, visit the work study page. 


Students who receive credit for their summer work through our externship program may be eligible for financial aid to help meet their summer living expenses. For more information, please contact the financial aid office. 

Outside Funding

Several organizations offer outside funding to students pursuing unfunded or underfunded public interest opportunities.  Because Lewis & Clark is a member school of Equal Justice Works, students can apply to the AmeriCorps JD and other Equal Justice Works programs.  For a comprehensive list of funding sources, please visit the Summer Funding site and the resource library in Career Connect.