Summer Public Interest Grant Applications FAQ:

Q:  Where can I get the application?
A: You can find the online application and the instructions here.

Q:  When and where are the applications due?
A:  Wednesday, April 1st, at noon. Any applications received after the deadline will not be considered unless funds remain after distributing money to those who applied on time.

Q:  What if I don’t yet have a qualifying summer position?
A:  You can apply for a Summer Grant even if you don’t have a position secured yet.  Put in details about what sort of position you are seeking, and update the grant committee as soon as you secure a summer position.  But most importantly, apply before the deadline to save your spot!

Q:  Does my job qualify?
A:  Summer grants are available for a wide range of unpaid public interest jobs.  This includes judicial intern/externships, other government positions, NGOs and non-profit organizations.  Your position can be located anywhere in the world, and involved in any sort of public interest work.  It just can’t be a paying position.

Q: What if my job pays a partial stipend of some sort (not salary), but not enough to cover my summer expenses?
A:  You can apply for a grant to make up the difference.  Part of the application will ask you to detail any other sources of income you have for the summer, and that will be taken into account in deciding your award amount.

Q:  What if I’m getting credit for my externship?
A:  You are still eligible for a Summer Grant.  However, you will be subject to certain book-keeping requirements to show that the grant money you receive is spent on “covering expenses reasonably related to the externship”, rather than money taken as compensation from the externship.  If you are getting academic credit, please pay close attention to those requirements, detailed in the application.

Q: How long will it take me to fill out the application?
A:  Expect the process to take several hours – you’ll need to gather information related to your summer placement, demonstrate that you fit into one or more of our grant categories, report your volunteer hours during the past year, write an essay about your commitment to public service, plan your budget for the summer period covered so we can calculate your award, and write a short paragraph on what you would do if you do not receive a grant or if your grant doesn’t cover your need.  Be sure you plan enough time to get the application in on time!

Q:  What if my application is late?
A:  All applications are due Wednesday, April 1st.  If your application is received late, we won’t consider your application unless additional funds remain after processing the applications that were received on time.

Q:  How much money should I expect to get?
A:  The amount of money will vary for individuals based on need, available funds, commitment to public service work, and other individual circumstances.  You may receive an award that is less than you ask for, and you should have a back-up plan.  In fact, the application asks you to talk about what your back-up plan is in case funds aren’t available for you.

Q:  When will I have a decision?
A:  The applications are due April 1st.  The Grant Committee will meet over the next few weeks and notify grant recipients of their awards as soon as possible.

Q:  What if I have another question not covered here?
A:  Please contact us! or

Our grant application process starts in the spring.  The application is anonymous.  Grants are distributed by the Centralized Grant Committee.  The Committee consists of Dean McGuire, a faculty member, the two EJF co-presidents, and a 3L that is not an active member of EJF.  Last year, EJF raised and distributed about $22,000.  Grants typically range between a hundred and several thousand dollars.  Combined with additional funds available to the Centralized Grant Committee, around $108,000 were given to students doing unpaid public interest internships.  There are a number of criteria for applying for a grant.  You must be planning to do a public interest job, and it must be unpaid.  The application committee will look at, among other things, your application, which includes an essay, and generally at your commitment to public interest work, including your engagement both with this law school community and the community outside the law school.  The primary way we do this is by looking at your logged Boyd Service Hours, so always report them, and do so in a timely fashion!  Most likely, in the spring semester, we will have a meeting to go over the application process and the selection criteria in more depth.

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