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Emory Law News Center


New summer stipends to fund student pro bono experiences

Emory Law |
Emory Law students at the recent Career Center event, Meet the 1Ls

This semester, Emory Law is launching a new stipend program for first- and second-year juris doctor students who accept summer volunteer jobs at legal public sector and public interest organizations.

“Many valuable summer legal experiences are unpaid, and we want students to be able to consider them,” said Emory Law Assistant Dean for Career Development Natasha Patel.

The new public sector stipends are designed to encourage students to pursue summer legal experiences, including judicial internships, that they might not consider because of financial concerns, Patel said. 

“The stipends will be awarded to students who have accepted positions that clearly reflect their career goals,” Patel said. “The intent is to defray living expenses for students who have accepted pro bono summer jobs at a nonprofit or government agency, including the judiciary.”

To qualify for the $3,500 award, the position must last a minimum of six weeks, working 35 hours per week. On-campus jobs will not be considered, but the stipend can be used for qualifying work abroad. Students will receive 80% of funding at the start of their internship, and the balance upon completion. Students may only receive one stipend per summer, and it cannot be combined with an Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) summer grant or other public interest fellowship.  

Since 1989, EPIC has awarded competitive grants. Last year, the committee awarded 49 summer grants so students could work at organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, The Southern Center for Human Rights, and prosecutor and public defender’s offices around the country, among others. EPIC grants have more requirements, such as logging 1L pro bono hours and attending pro bono conferences and events prior to applying.

The new stipends will not replace or impact those grants, Patel said. EPIC is a student-run organization that fundraises throughout the year to provide students with summer opportunities. The new stipends will be funded and administered by the law school, Patel said. Currently enrolled students may apply for a summer stipend here.