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Funding Assistance for Public Interest Students

Summer Fellowship Program

Building on St. John’s Vincentian mission of serving those in need, and the ethical obligation of lawyers to promote social justice, the Public Interest Fellowship Program seeks to encourage and facilitate participation by St. John’s law students in the delivery of legal services and/or legal advocacy to traditionally underrepresented clients, groups, or interests.

Definition of Public Interest for Purposes of Public Interest Fellowship: An eligible “public interest” employer includes an entity –- public (i.e. government) or private -- that provides legal assistance and/or legal advocacy for low-income, underserved, or disenfranchised people and communities.  Judicial internships do not qualify.  Additional funding is available through St. John’s Law for judicial placements through a separate application.

Applications are made available in late March through the Public Interest TWEN page. The Selection Committee is composed of students [comprised of either representatives of Public Interest Center Student Leadership Board and/or the SBA], and professors/administrators.  The Committee Chair, who will only cast a vote in the event of a tie, will be the Assistant Dean for Students.   The amount of the stipend and the number of Fellowships awarded will be determined by the Selection Committee based on the available funds. 

Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The St. John’s University School of Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) provides financial assistance to qualified Law School graduates who work in public interest or government positions. Through LRAP, the Law School aims to:

  • Enable graduates to select their employment without being precluded from public interest or public service options because of financial impossibility. 
  • Encourage St. John’s law graduates to choose public interest and public service careers.

Awards are made in the form of a loan of up to $2,000 per participant, per year, for up to three years, to assist in the repayment of the participant’s law school educational loans. The loans awarded under LRAP will be forgiven one year from the date of issuance, provided that the graduate has remained in qualified employment for that year. Graduates have 3.5 years from the date of their graduation, or completion of a judicial clerkship, in which to apply for LRAP. 

2018 LRAP Application