Service & Public Interest Programs
Service & Public Interest Programs
Public Service Fellow Program
The Public Service Fellow Program recognizes students who volunteer legal service to a non-profit (501)(c)(3) organization or to a governmental agency. Fellows will be recognized at the Honors Convocation, which precedes the Hooding Ceremony, and the PSF designation will be added to student fellows' transcripts.
There are four levels of distinction:
- Public Service Fellow: given to students who accumulate between 50 and 149 hours of volunteer legal service.
- Public Service Fellow with Recognition: given to students who accumulate between 150 and 249 hours of volunteer legal service.
- Public Service Fellow with Dean's Special Recognition: given to students who accumulate between 250 and 449 hours of volunteer legal service.
- Public Service Fellow with the Dean's Highest Honors: given to students who accumulate 450 or more hours of volunteer legal service.
Who is Eligible?
All students enrolled at the Moritz College of Law who have completed at least their first semester of law school.
How Does One Get Involved?
Students must identify an eligible sponsor either within or outside the college. Cybele Smith, Director of Public Service and Public Interest, must approve sponsors outside the college.
What Activities Qualify?
From within the Moritz College of Law:
- Street Law, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, the Pro Bono Research Group, the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), and mediation in the schools (even if one is also receiving a Certificate in Dispute Resolution);
- The supervisor of each of the above programs, except PILF, is responsible for submitting each volunteer's hours to the Director. Students who received PILF summer fellowships need to apply separately, but may in fact qualify for some Public Service Fellow hours. Please see Cybele Smith if you are not sure about qualifying hours.
From outside the Moritz College of Law:
- Volunteer legal or mediation work for a legal services provider which is a non-profit organization or other 501(c)(3) organization, volunteering for a judge, prosecutor, public defender, or other government agency (if the student does not receive academic credit);
- The duties of the student will be directly and significantly related to legal research and drafting, and/or stages of legislation, regulation, litigation or alternative dispute resolution;
- The attorney or supervisor assigning duties will accept responsibility for submitting a written evaluation of the student's performance to the Director;
- The student will not be compensated for his/her performance; however, the sponsor can reimburse the student's out-of-pocket expenses.
Forms can be downloaded below or hard copies can be picked up from Room 104. Students whose volunteer service took place outside the law school in 501(c)(3) organizations or in government agencies must submit a letter from the supervisor or a college form signed by the student's supervisor with their applications.
If you are participating in the college's Public Interest Programs, VITA or PBRG, you do not need to submit your hours. Student Coordinators of those programs will be submitting updates of student volunteer hours to Cybele Smith the week of March 28 each spring.
- Application Form
- Supervisor's Agreement (only needed if activity was not organized through the Moritz College of Law)
Deadline and Successful Completion
Graduating 3Ls must submit all application materials to Cybele Smith in Room 104 by March 30 each year. 1Ls and 2Ls have no deadlines to turn in materials during these years. Applications will be accepted throughout the year.
Cybele Smith will approve a student's successful completion of the PSF Program and will so certify to the Dean and notify the Registrar to enter the appropriate designation of Public Service Fellow on the student's transcript. Public Service Fellows will be awarded certificates of recognition and will be noted at both the Honors Convocation and Hooding Ceremony.