Public Interest Law Center

About the Program

In addition to full tuition, Root-Tilden-Kern Scholars benefit from a special scholarship program, which features monthly dinner meetings where scholars meet informally with professors and 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.

Scholars are expected to complete at least one ten-week public interest summer internship. This internship, supported by a stipend, enables students to integrate formal legal training with the practical experience of full-time work with a public interest law organization or government agency. Scholars are also expected to contribute to the broader public service community at the Law School.

Like other students at NYU Law, 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 immediately after graduation or the completion of one or more judicial clerkships. NYU defines public service broadly to include employment in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, academia, social entrepreneurship, 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 five years following graduation or the completion of one or more judicial clerkships, work in public service will have no obligation to repay their scholarships. Scholars who do not pursue careers in public service for at least five years following graduation are morally obligated to repay their scholarships. The named scholarships—D’Agostino for Women's and Children's RightsD'Agostino in Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and/or Criminal JusticeJacobsonLindemann, and Sinsheimer—require a three-year obligation to work in specific issue areas.

The Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship believes that diversity is critical to fostering a strong public interest profession, and welcomes applications from candidates of every race, sex, class, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, educational and professional background, geographic origin, and socio-economic background.