Public Interest Resources
Office of Public Interest
WCL’s Office of Public Interest can provide you information and assistance in obtaining information about funding for the summer or a post-graduate career. OCPD can provide you with assistance in completing applications, mock interviews, and other aspects of the application process. Seeking out funding is a very individualized process, and usually requires more than one counseling appointment and several resources. However, here are a few basic tips to get you started.
Summer Funding for Public Interest Work
Although some summer public interest positions are paid, most are not. It is recommended that you research summer funding opportunities as well as employment opportunities. The Office of Public Interest and PSJD provide a comprehensive guide to summer funding. Deadlines are earlier than you might expect, so plan ahead.
- Equal Justice Foundation
This WCL student organization awards $4,000 summer fellowships to students working for public interest organizations. Applicants must volunteer at least 10 hours with EJF to be eligible for the grant. Applications are generally due in March.
Visit the Summer Funding section for funding sources nationwide.
- Equal Justice Works Summer Corps
Equal Justice Works provides small grants of an $1,175 education award voucher through its Summer Corps program for public interest internships. Apply on the Equal Justice Works website in the Spring.
Funding for Post-Graduate Public Interest Positions
Most individuals are aware of the larger and more well-known funders such as Equal Justice Works and the Skadden Foundation. But, there are many other funders depending on the project or type of organization you seek. PSJD has a comprehensive list of funding options. If you’ve missed those deadlines or otherwise are looking for other funders, there are additional resources. The Office of Public Interest can assist you with this information.
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs)
Loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) generally help defray the educational debt payments of graduates who go into qualifying public service. LRAPs can be offered by law schools, employers, states and at the Federal level. To learn more about LRAPs, visit The Office of Public Interest. Information about WCL’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program can be found here:
- Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program (WCL's LRAP called PILRAP)
Federal Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs
Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is available for all federal student loans (graduate and undergraduate). Under IBR, monthly payments are capped at an amount intended to be affordable based on income and family size. The type of employment is not a factor in the calculation, only income and debt. For public sector employees, all federal loans must be in the federal direct loan program for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). For some graduates, their Grad PLUS loans are federally-guaranteed (FFEL) loans and must be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation loan for PSLF. IBR is not available for private loans. Information can be found at: https://www.myedaccount.com/. Additional information available at: WCL Financial Aid Office and The Office of Public Interest.
Office of Career & Professional Development • American University Washington College of Law
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