The Public Interest and Social Justice Law Board provides financial support to students and alumni through three programs: Public Interest and Social Justice Summer Grants, the Income Supplement Grant program, and Public Interest and Social Justice Scholarships.
1. Public Interest and Social Justice Law Board Summer Grants, Father Paul Goda and Mary Emery Summer Grants
These grants support students working in summer public interest positions as volunteers or for low pay. Competitive applications describe in detail how proposed work activities will serve the needs of marginalized, subordinated, and underrepresented groups, persons, and or causes in society. With the help of the Santa Clara Jesuit Community, the Law Board funded over $90,000 in 2016 summer grants to students volunteering with public interest and social justice legal organizations. This year, again with the Community’s help, several grants honor beloved law faculty member Fr. Paul Goda and Mary Emery.
For summer 2016 the Law Board funded 23 law students working as volunteers with public interest and social justice organizations. These organizations include: The Family Violence Appellate Project, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley – LACY, Bay Area Legal Aid, Homeless Advocacy Project, HomeBase, Watsonville Law Center, Sustainable Economies Law Center, National Employment Lawyers Association, County of Santa Clara Office of the District Attorney, Contra Costa County Public Defender, Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, California Coastal Commission, Santa Clara County Superior Court, and the Office of the Attorney General – New Jersey.
Completed application forms for Summer 2017 grants will be due at Noon on March 16, 2017, at the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, Santa Clara University, 3rd Floor Bannan Hall.
2. LGBT Legal Issues Summer Grants
Santa Clara University School of Law students who plan to work full-time in a position doing legal work on LGBT issues may apply for this LGBT Legal Issues Summer Grant. Applicants should show a demonstrated commitment to and interest in the rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender individuals and people living with HIV, regardless of their sexual orientation. Two grants of $5,000 will be awarded.
Completed application forms for LGBT Legal Issues Summer 2017 grants are due at Noon on March 16, 2017, at the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, Santa Clara University, 3rd Floor Bannan Hall.
3. Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowships
Beginning in Summer 2000, these Fellowships have been providing financial assistance to Santa Clara law students to fund public interest and social justice law summer positions. It is intended that students working in these positions will promote the public interest values that have characterized the work and career of Justice Stevens. Four Fellowships were awarded for Summer 2016 work, each in the amount of $5,000.
Fellowships will be awarded to Santa Clara law students who have completed at least one year of full-time or part-time study by the time the Fellowship is to begin.
Each applicant must have arranged a full-time summer law position with a public interest and social interest organization. Qualifying organizations include legal service agencies and government offices, but not judicial externships. Private sector public interest law firms also will be considered as qualifying employers, provided the firm provides a letter or other descriptive material that supports its public interest status.
Completed application forms for Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowships for 2017 are due Thursday, February 16, 2017, at the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, 3rd Floor Bannan Hall.
To honor the memory of their parents, Rich Gluck, ’90 and Mitchell Gluck established the Harry and Jean Gluck Social Justice Law Fellowship at Santa Clara Law. Beginning in summer 2010, this grant provided financial assistance to a Santa Clara law student working in a public interest or social justice law summer position that will promote the public service values that characterized the work and lives of Harry and Jean Gluck. Harry Gluck devoted his professional life to bettering the lives and working conditions of public employees throughout California, while Jean Gluck worked tirelessly providing comfort and aid to the homeless and mentally ill. Both also contributed their talents, time, and money to organizations dedicated to promoting equal rights and fighting discrimination in all forms. Applicants should show a demonstrated commitment to and interest in one of these areas of law.
5. Supriya Bhat Public Defender Summer Grant
In memory of Supriya Bhat ’04, alumni and friends established the Supriya Bhat Public Defender Summer Grant. Beginning in summer 2015, this grant will provide financial assistance to a Santa Clara Law student working in a public defender office. Ms. Bhat’s tireless advocacy as a public defender demonstrated her commitment to marginalized, subordinated, and underserved clients and communities. It is intended that the selected student will promote the public interest values that characterized the work and career of Ms. Bhat.
Interested students must 1) complete the Public Interest and Social Justice Law Board Grant Application* 2) submit a resume with a brief statement describing your summer work, how public defender work connects to your professional interests/goals, and your commitment to public interest and social justice law.
Each applicant must have arranged a full-time summer law position with a public defender office. One grant was awarded in summer 2016 at $5,000.
Completed application forms for Summer 2016 grants are due at Noon on March 16, 2017, at the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, Santa Clara University, 3rd Floor Bannan Hall.
* Applicants not awarded this grant will automatically be considered for the Public Interest and Social Justice Law Board Grant.
The Income Supplement Plan ensures a minimum income to selected graduates accepting public interest and social justice jobs at low salaries. The Law Board awarded one grant in 2012.
Those receiving awards had law school debt ranging from $77,000 to $185,000. After applying the prescribed formula, which takes into consideration loan repayment expense and other deductions, the applicants were found to be eligible to receive a total of $6,000 among them. Sufficient Law Board’s income was available to fund 100 percent of that amount. These graduates worked for organizations that seek to improve the lives of the marginalized, subordinated, and underrepresented clients and causes.
Income Supplement Grants are awarded for the period September 1 through the following August 31. The application deadline is January 9, 2015, and those receiving awards will be notified in early April 2015. Applications should be submitted to the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, 3rd floor Bannan Hall, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real.
Public Interest and Social Justice Scholarships assist incoming students with a demonstrated commitment to public interest and social justice work. Five $5,000 scholarships were awarded to incoming students and ten were renewed for continuing students.
Additional financial support is available through the Herman and Edith Wildman Writing Award.
“My experience at Bet Tzedek working in the Employment Rights Project was quite rewarding. I was fortunate enough to use my legal education to help the community where I grew up while gaining valuable legal experience.This summer reinforced my commitment to public interest law and reminded me of why I came to law school.”
Andrew Rivera ’16