Public Interest Law Center

About the Program

In addition to full tuition, Root-Tilden-Kern Scholars benefit from a special scholarship program, which is intended to supplement, not replace, the normal curriculum. The program is administered by faculty director Professor Meg Satterthwaite ‘99, alumna of the scholarship. It features monthly dinner meetings where scholars meet informally with professors, alumni, and share information with each other. First year scholars benefit from an overnight orientation and a mentoring program, where they are each paired with a 2L and 3L scholar. In addition, first-year scholars are required to attend the weekly Leaders in Public Interest Series, open to the NYU School of Law community, at which a wide spectrum of public interest lawyers from around the country discuss public service and meet in small groups with scholars and other students.

In the summer after their first year, scholars complete a ten-week summer internship. This internship, supported by a stipend, enables students to integrate the practical experience of full-time work with a government agency or public interest law organization with his or her formal legal training. A second internship is required either during the second or third school year or during the second summer. Scholars also contribute to the public service community at the Law School by performing certain administrative responsibilities and are required to maintain a “B” average.

Like other students at NYU, scholars have the opportunity to benefit from individualized career counseling from professors and PILC counselors in charting their careers.

The Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship is awarded to students who intend to pursue careers in public service. NYU defines public service broadly to include employment with U.S. or international non-profit organizations, government policy and legal positions (including judicial clerkships), academia, electoral politics, social entrepreneurship, community development, and law firms whose primary mission is serving the public interest or under-represented clients. Most students do, in fact, enter public service after graduation. Those Scholars who, for the first ten years following graduation, work in public service will have no obligation to repay their scholarships. Scholars who do not pursue careers in public service law for at least ten years following graduation are morally obligated to repay their scholarship. The named scholarships—D’Agostino for Women or Children, D'Agostino in Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and/or Criminal JusticeJacobson, Lindemann, and Sinsheimer—require a three year obligation to work in specific issue areas.