Public Interest Law Center

Scholarships and Funding a Public Interest Career

NYU has been at the forefront of creating and funding programs to address the difficult economic reality facing prospective public interest lawyers, from its generous LRAP to its renowned Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship to summer funding for all first- and second-year students. Through these programs, NYU School of Law strives to both encourage its students' dedication to public service and service to communities from Washington Square to the world over.


NYU Law has long been a leader in providing scholarships to its students in public interest. NYU Law’s flagship public interest scholarship, the Root-Tilden-Kern Program, established more than 50 years ago, awards full tuition to 20 scholars selected for their commitment to working in public service, their academic merit, and leadership potential. Other NYU Law public interest scholarships include: the Latinx Rights Scholar Program, the Latham & Watkins Award in Technology and Law, the Furman Public Policy Program, the Moelis Urban Law & Public Affairs Fellowship, the NYU Cyber Scholarship, the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, and the Derrick Bell Public Service Scholarship.


Fellowships are limited-term positions in public interest organizations, ranging in time from a few months to two years. They are prestigious entry points that often lead to future employment.

NYU Law offers a number of fellowships exclusively to its students. Please click here to view fellowship opportunities for JDs, and here for LLMs. The Public Interest Law Center can help guide you through the fellowship application process. Make an appointment with a PILC counselor today to discuss fellowship opportunities. 

PILC Summer Funding

The PILC Summer Funding Program guarantees funding for all 1L and 2L students who want to work in public interest and government positions. For students who want to be public interest lawyers, the summer provides an invaluable training opportunity; for students who choose to pursue careers in the private sector, spending their 1L summer in public service encourages the habit of pro bono work. 1L students receive $4,500 for the summer and 2Ls receive $6,500.

LRAP: Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Graduates who choose to work in public service or with nonprofit organizations following graduation will, provided their income is below a designated level, will have their debt burden paid in full or in part by NYU Law. Contact the NYU Law Office of Financial Aid to learn more about the Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

Term-time Opportunities

NYU’s location in the heart of New York City, home to countless public interest organizations and government agencies, makes it easy for NYU students to work during the academic year. There are several NYU programs that provide funding for term-time internships, some organizations pay students an hourly wage, and in other cases, students volunteer their time.