Public Interest Law Fund Fellowships

Dale F. Shughart Community law Clinics

Several types of fellowships are available to students participating in public interest work, including the student-run Public Interest Law Fund (PILF), which funds students at organizations throughout the country and internationally, such as the recent placements below.

Alisa Peterson '20

PILF Fellowship Placement: MidPenn Legal Services – Carlisle, PA

Alisa Peterson '20“Thanks to the Public Interest Law Fund's 2019 Summer Fellowship, I had the opportunity to gain hands-on legal experience working for MidPenn Legal Services in Carlisle, PA. Due to my certification as a C.L.I., I was able to represent dozens of clients in Protection from Abuse Court and other legal areas. This representation included interviewing clients, preparing legal filings, negotiating agreements, and conducting hearings with supervision. This experience provided me with invaluable professional growth and personal fulfillment that have helped shape my future goals.”

Bianca Nalaschi '20

PILF Fellowship Placement: Federal Public Defenders – Harrisburg, PA

Bianca Nalaschi '20“As a law clerk at the Federal Public Defender’s, I spent my summer working with attorneys from the Trial Unit (which represents indigent clients throughout criminal proceedings before the District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania) and the Capital Habeas Unit (which challenges the constitutionality of indigent clients’ convictions and death sentences). While there, I had many opportunities to research interesting, complex subject matter; to engage in various types of legal writing; to interact with clients, experts, and lay witnesses; and to work among seasoned attorneys and paralegals with differing responsibilities and client goals.”

Jenifer Bergman '20

PILF Fellowship Placement: Pennsylvania Innocence Project – Philadelphia, PA

Jenifer Bergman '20“As a summer intern at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project—a criminal justice impact litigation non-profit centered around fighting for PA prisoners' claims of factual innocence—I was afforded the invaluable experience of seeing the vast scope of post-convictions litigation while getting to participate in that worthwhile work. I now feel as though I better understand all facets of the criminal justice system, am informed of and amazed by the dedication of everyone involved in PIP, and am better prepared as I approach a post-graduate career in public defense. It would not have been possible for me to take this internship in Philadelphia without the help of a PILF summer fellowship.”

Lucia Cuenca '20

PILF Fellowship Placement: Her Justice – New York City, NY

Lucia Cuenca '20“I spent my summer interning with the immigration team at Her Justice helping survivors of domestic violence living in New York City obtain legal status in order to obtain secure futures for themselves and their children. This was invaluable experience for my career in public interest law, and I could not be more grateful for PILF's help.

Becoming a Public Interest Advocate

Students at Dickinson Law perform pro bono services for nonprofits, law firms, government, and legal services agencies. As a way of celebrating your commitment to the community, once you’ve completed at least 60 hours of qualifying service, you’ll become eligible to apply for certification as a Public Interest Advocate.

Students who complete a minimum of 60 hours of service can receive recognition for their work in any qualifying public interest law setting, even if they have received credit or compensation for the work. Special recognition will be given to those students who complete at least 60 hours without receiving compensation.

All students must report their qualifying work to the Miller Center Pro Bono Program, and specifically apply for recognition as a Public Interest Advocate. Public Interest Advocates are recognized at a formal reception as well as at graduation. Learn more.