Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Public Interest Law Summer Grant Program

Interested applicants and grant recipients may find details and forms on MySouthwestern (log-in required).

Southwestern's Public Interest Summer Grant Program was established in 1990 with the mission of providing a monetary award to students who seek a summer law clerkship with a nonprofit organization that provides free or low-cost legal assistance to low income or marginalized individuals or underserved communities. 

Nonprofit organizations are agencies that qualify for tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4). As most public interest law agencies do not have the financial capacity to pay summer associates, the program makes it possible for the law student to receive funding and acquire hands-on experience while helping individuals and the community.

Recipients are selected annually. The Public Interest Law Committee takes into account whether an applicant participated in Public Interest Law Week fundraising activities, public interest experience and the applicant's demonstrated commitment to public service.

Sample list of Southern California Nonprofit Organizations and Agencies

  • Alliance for Children's Rights
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC)
  • Bet Tzedek
  • California Lawyers for the Arts
  • California Women's Law Center
  • Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC)
  • Children's Law Center of Los Angeles (CLC)
  • Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
  • Disability Rights California (formerly Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (PAI))
  • Disability Rights Legal Center
  • El Rescate
  • Human Rights Watch
  • HIV & Aids Legal Services Alliance (HALSA)
  • Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association, Inc.
  • Inner City Law Center
  • Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
  • Learning Rights Law Center
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)
  • Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, Inc. (LADL)
  • Media Access Project
  • Mental Health Advocacy Services
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS)
  • Public Counsel
  • Working People's Law Center

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. It is rather a guide to help you with your search for a summer law clerkship.

Dean Leigh H. Taylor Public Interest Law Fund

On the occasion of his retirement and in recognition of his dedication to Southwestern and the Public Interest Law Program, Southwestern alumni established an endowment fund in Dean Emeritus Leigh H. Taylor's name in 2005.

The money generated by the fund will be matched by federal work study funds, enabling a greater number of students to participate in the school's Public Interest Law Summer Grant Program.

Dean Taylor, an ardent supporter of public interest programs and their invaluable contribution to society, retired as Dean of Southwestern in the summer of 2005, after 27 years of service to the school. To read more about Dean Taylor's interest and contribution to public interest, download the Summer 2005 issue of the Southwestern Law Newsletter (PDF).

If you would like additional information about the fund or to make a contribution, contact the Institutional Advancement Office.