Rebecca Knox Public Interest Law Summer Fellowship
The Rebecca Know Public Interest Law Summer Fellowship is funded by the Public Interest Law Society Auction each year. The purpose of this fellowship is to provide funding to students who serve community needs by working in a legal position in the public sector. Public interest work is defined, for the purposes of this fellowship, as work for a non-profit organization that serves a low-income, underfunded and/or underrepresented community. Preference will be given to students who choose to work for Legal Aid or Legal Services agencies. Students selected for this fellowship will positively reflect the goals and objectives of the Public Interest Law Society and the Shepard Broad Law Center, and will have demonstrated an interest in serving the public interest community. Students selected to receive these fellowships must meet all the criteria outlined below.
In order to be considered for the fellowship, students must:
- 1. Be a first- or second-year (and third-year evening) law student currently enrolled at the Shepard Broad Law Center;
- 2. Make arrangements for a pro bono placement at a qualifying public service organization prior submitting a fellowship application; and
- 3. Must commit to the public service organization and certify on the application that a minimum of 200 hours will be completed over the summer.
Students may not receive pro bono or academic credit for their fellowship work. However, students who volunteer in excess of the required 200 hours may receive pro bono credit for those additional hours.
Students who intend to transfer to another law school should not apply. Students who are awarded fellowships but subsequently transfer may be required to repay their stipend.
Amount of Award
The Rebecca Knox Public Interest Law Summer Fellowship awards will generally range from $1,000 to $2,000 each, but will be determined annually based on the number of funds raised during the annual Public Interest Law Society Auction and the number of eligible applications.
The application must be fully completed and submitted by the first Friday in April each year. No exceptions will be made.Â Informal interviews may be conducted if the number of applications greatly exceeds the number of available fellowships.
1. A complete application consists of the following:
- a. Name, NSU #, and anticipated date of graduation;
- b. Address, telephone number and non-NSU email address;
- c. Expected place of pro bono employment and number of hours per week you intend to work;
- d. Any additional sources of funding you are applying for/expect to receive for your work or additional summer income from other resources;
- e. A statement describing your financial need, including debts incurred, means by which you are paying for your legal education, and any other proposed sources of funding; and
- f. At least one reference (preferably from NSU).
2. An approved resume by the Career and Professional Department.
3. A one-page personal statement explaining why you believe you should receive the stipend. This statement should reflect any prior commitment to the public interest law community, other community involvement, description of your duties, reason for wanting to work with the current organization, and any other factors that maybe pertinent to the application.
4. A letter or written statement of verification from expected employer, detailing the job description and verifying that you have been hired or are currently being considered for the available position.
The deadline for submitting a completed application is the first Friday in April. Please submit completed applications directly to Jennifer Gordon, Esq., Director of Public Interest Programs in the Public Interest Law Center.
Applications will be reviewed a committee composed of Public Interest Law Society members working with at least one faculty member or administrator. Academic and financial information will be reviewed only by a faculty member and/or administrator.
Responsibilities of Fellowship Recipient
Students who receive fellowships must fulfill the terms as submitted in the application. If a student does not complete such terms, he or she will be required to repay all money awarded.
Additionally, students must complete timesheets during the fellowship time period on a bi-weekly basis and turn in the timesheets directly to the Director of Public Interest Programs in the Public Interest Law Center.
Upon completion of the fellowship, students will be required to submit a report to the Director of Public Interest Programs in the Public Interest Law Center by the first Friday in September describing and evaluating his or her experiences. Student fellowship recipients should also be prepared to make themselves available to promote the fellowship by speaking and giving testimonials about their experiences to interested groups of fellow law students and for promotional materials.
Additional Information and Assistance in Finding a Summer Placement
For resource materials for finding a summer placement, and counseling regarding this and other public interest law opportunities, please visit the Public Interest Law Center.
Rebecca Knox graduated from the Law Center in May of 2004. While at NSU she was president of The Public Interest Law Society.Â She also performed over 780 hours of pro bono service at Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, where she later became an attorney representing victims of domestic violence.Â Rebecca passed away on August 20, 2006.Â This fellowship is supported by donations in her memory.