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Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund

Stipend Application Process

Interested in applying for an OLSPIF Stipend? Please read the information below. Download the complete application packet here.

If you have any questions, contact Noah Glusman; Click Here to E-mail

A. Deadline

1. Friday, April 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm in the Administration Office. There will be a box in the Administration Office in which the applications are to be submitted.

2. Each applicant must submit ten (10) copies of the completed application materials. Each of the ten packets should be stapled together. Only one copy of the Cover Sheet and Fundraising Contribution Sheet is needed.

B. Stipend Amount

1. The full stipend amount for the summer of 2015 is $4,000.

2. A stipend applicant may request a full stipend or a partial stipend for a specified amount. Partial stipends are available for applicants who will work less than full time and/or whose sponsors are able to provide some compensation. For positions with partial compensation, OLSPIF will contribute the amount necessary to bring your total summer compensation to the full stipend amount of $4000.

3. A stipend applicant who has already received a full OLSPIF stipend is ineligible to apply again. An applicant who received a partial stipend in the previous year may apply for a stipend this year for the amount of the difference between this year’s stipend amount and the amount of the partial stipend the student has already received.

4. A student with a full OLSPIF stipend of $4000 may not receive any other stipend or form of financial support. If a stipend recipient receives a second stipend (e.g. an Oregon State Bar Public Honors fellowship or the like), the student must return the OLSPIF stipend in full.

C. Requirements for stipend consideration/Eligibility Criteria

1. You must be a full-time first or second year J.D. student in good standing at the University of Oregon School of Law.

2. You must have a sponsor letter offering legal work from a sponsoring organization. Once you receive the letter, your name must be redacted from nine of the ten copies you submit with your application. Feel free to share the following requirements with your sponsor organization to assist them in preparing the necessary materials for your application:

  • a. An offer of employment, which may be contingent upon receipt of a stipend;
  • b. A statement of the maximum amount of money, if any, that the organization can pay you for your work;
  • c. A general statement of the goals of the organization and a brief description of its work; ]
  • d. A description of your job, including responsibilities, hours, and the amount of supervision you will receive by an attorney.

3. You must write a personal statement, no longer than three pages (single space, Times New Roman, 12 point font), explaining why you and your sponsoring organization should receive an OLSPIF stipend. Your name cannot appear on nine of the ten copies of your personal statement. You may want to include the following:

  • a. The goals of your sponsoring organization;
  • b. How your work would help achieve those goals;
  • c. How your work would benefit specific groups of people or the public good in general;
  • d. Your specific duties and how your work will provide you with a good legal learning experience;
  • e. How your work will further your own career goals, especially as those goals relate to the public interest;
  • f. A description of your commitment to public interest law and/or to the particular area in which you will work, and
  • g. Any other information that would be helpful to the Selection Committee in making its decision.

4. You must have contributed ten hours toward OLSPIF fundraising during that school year. Five of these hours must be earned by volunteering with OLSPIF, and the remaining five hours may be earned by volunteering with the Public Interest Public Service (PIPS) student group or through performing five hours of pro bono work through the Pro Bono Program. This requirement must be filled prior to applying for the grant. (Please see attached Fundraising Contribution Sheet.)

Please note: The OLSPIF Stipend Application process is a competitive selection process; meeting basic eligibility criteria does not guarantee that a student will receive a stipend!

D. Job requirements

1. Your job for the summer must be in the public interest. OLSPIF’s definition of “public interest” is broad. Your Personal Statement will define for the Selection Committee how and why your job is public interest work. Narrowing the focus of your project will help the Committee better understand your prospective summer experience. If you need help finding a sponsor for the summer, contact the Career Services Office or Alternative and Public Interest Careers Associate Director.

2. To receive a full stipend, you must work full-time (approximately 400 hours over the course of the summer). Partial stipends are available for part-time work (approximately 200 hours over the course of the summer). If you do not complete approximately 400 hours you must reimburse OLSPIF pro rata (absent severe illness, injury, or other emergency).

3. The organization for which you work must be unable to pay you more than $200 per week for your work. Any salary paid by the organization will be deducted from the stipend amount and will be considered a partial stipend.

4. The organization for which the student will work must be not-for-profit, government funded, or a government agency. Because government agencies generally have more funding, they will receive more scrutiny by the Selection Committee; be sure to make clear why the particular agency lacks funds and how your contribution to the agency will promote the public interest.

5. Your project must involve legal work. OLSPIF seeks to provide you with a valuable learning experience in addition to helping the community. Your work MUST be supervised by an attorney. Note that lobbying, organizing, and political campaign work are excluded from eligibility for an OLSPIF stipend. You may work for an organization involved in these activities, but you may not participate in those activities as part of your summer work for which you are receiving an OLSPIF stipend.

E. Post-stipend expectations for Stipend Recipients: Please read carefully!

1. Upon finishing your summer public interest law work, you must write a statement about your experience. We will use the statements to inform other students about the kinds of public interest law work available and to show those who donated to OLSPIF how their donation was used. Additionally, if your stipend comes from funds provided by the UO Law School Alumni Board, we may ask you to write a thank you letter, with a description of your summer work experience, to the Board.

2. You may be asked to give a short oral presentation of your work experience at a future OLSPIF meeting or event. These presentations are critical to maintaining the history and momentum of the OLSPIF organization.

3. You may be asked to participate in a video production for future auctions or for the OLSPIF webpage to demonstrate the benefits of OLSPIF’s fundraising.

4. While you are still a student at University of Orefon School of Law, you are expected to attend future OLSPIF auctions as a volunteer and/ or as an ambassador for OLSPIF.

5. OLSPIF seeks to form long-term relationships with its stipend recipients for the benefit of current and future students. As an attorney, OLSPIF may ask for your continued support in the form of attending events and speaking on behalf of OLSPIF, and where possible, contributing financially to OLSPIF as you are able.

F. The selection process

1. The selection process is anonymous. All materials, with the exception of the “Cover Sheet” and the “Fundraising Contribution Record,” must be submitted to the Selection Committee without names. To the extent that you know members of the Selection Committee please avoid discussing the stipend application process with them.

2. The OLSPIF Community Board selects stipend recipient.  The Community Board members include local lawyers and judges. 

3. Stipends shall be awarded on the basis of the following:
A. The applicant’s ability to make an impact with his/her target population/cause or organization;
B. The merits of the proposed project;
C. The organization’s monetary needs;
D. The project’s benefit to the student’s legal education and career goals;
E. The applicant's prior commitment to public service as demonstrated by jobs, internships, public service student group involvement, and pro bono work;
F. Commitment to OLSPIF’s mission as indicated through service to OLSPIF in excess of 10 hours.
The Community Board may give added weight to:
A. Projects for organizations that directly serve vulnerable/disadvantaged populations such as the poor, elderly, children, domestic violence survivors, migrant farmworkers or the like;
B. Projects that serve communities in the Pacific Northwest.
The grants shall not be awarded based upon academic achievement or financial need. Grant applicants must include any other sources of funding they have received for the project. A grant applicant may request a full grant or a partial grant for a specified amount. An applicant who receives a full grant is no longer eligible to apply for another OSLPIF grant. An applicant who receives a partial grant in one year may apply for another grant in the amount of the difference between a full stipend for that year and the amount of the partial grant the applicant previously received. Requests for full and partial stipends should be treated equally.

4. Stipend recipients will be announced by as soon as possible. All applicants will be notified by email.

5. All applicants will be notified of any changes to the important dates in the selection process.


Download the complete application packet here.

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