Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to apply for a summer fellowship?
All current 1L students and 2L students are eligible to apply for fellowships.

How, exactly, does the fellowship program work?
Summer fellowships are designed to provide a modest financial incentive to students who plan to pursue unpaid or low-paid summer positions working at certain public service organizations. Generally speaking, these organizations include legal service providers and other not-for-profit organizations that serve the public interest.

Students are responsible for contacting prospective employers and securing summer jobs. The fellowship program merely provides a funding mechanism for these students; the Public Interest Law Society does not pair students with prospective employers or offer summer employment.

How many fellowships are available?
The number varies from year to year based on the amount of Fellowship funding the committee can disburse as well as the number of applicants. The process is competitive.

When will I find out if I have been awarded a fellowship?
Final awards will be announced by e-mail in April after interviews are conducted. Students must either accept or decline the fellowship when notified.

Who decides whether I get a fellowship?
The selection committee which is comprised of students and faculty will interview fellowship applicants. Applicants will be ranked based on the overall strength of their written applications and their interviews. Please see the above guidelines on selection criteria and exclusions.

Am I allowed to finish my fellowship in the fall?
No. All fellowship work must be completed before the fall semester begins.

Do fellows receive overtime pay?
No. Compensation will not be provided for any work in excess of 40 hours per week. Any hours worked in excess of 40 per week will be treated as donations of time by the student to the organization for which the student is working

How is the money distributed?
Timesheets signed by the employer must be submitted to the Law Center’s human resources office every two weeks, according to a payroll schedule. Students Additional guidelines and employment forms will be provided later.

Where can I find information about prospective employers?
Students should contact Career Services in the career office for additional information about prospective employers and career paths or for a list of employers attending the annual PILS Career Fair email

Where have some fellows worked in the past?
Past fellows have worked for various organizations around the nation and in Louisiana, including the federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., the New Orleans Office of the Public Defender, and the Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office.

Can I receive a fellowship award and also receive academic credit for my work?
No. If you are receiving academic credit for your work, you cannot also receive a fellowship award for the same work.

Who will see my application?
Applications are not public. Only the Fellowship Committee will view your application during the vetting process in April. Should you receive a PILS Fellowship at the end of your clerkship you will be asked to fill out a form on your fellowship experience. At that time you will have the option to allow your thoughts on the program to be used on the website or by the organization for future promotion.

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