Public Interest Law Fund: Friends and Family Campaign 2017-2018
The Public Interest Law Fund (PILF) at UCI Law provides financial support to UCI Law students working to address gaps in our justice system and assist those with the greatest need in our community.
"My experience has solidified my desire to continue working with this organization throughout my career. Whether I primarily work in public interest or not, public interest and pro bono matters will be a large part of my life." - Mona Goodarzi, 2017 PILF Recipient
The Goal: Enable students to work at non-profit organizations and agencies, helping real clients with real problems.
"I would honestly say that I directly impacted all of my clients lives. Domestic violence is a very sensitive area, and even the smallest amount of assistance to help a survivor take their life back is hugely impactful." - Erika Bertelsen, 2017 PILF Recipient
Why? Because public-interest organizations rely on volunteer attorneys. PILF stipends allow UCI Law students to cover basic living costs while they are working without pay.
"This summer would not have been possible without PILF. The stipend I got this summer allowed me to travel to and work in New York and pursue my dream." - Brennan Lowe, 2016 and 2017 PILF Recipient
How? PILF provides:
- Work stipends
- Networking opportunities
- Informational resources
"This experience introduced me to the thrill of litigating a case and the tremendously rewarding experience of contributing meaningful legal work in pursuit of justice. It showed me that my career needs to involve both litigation and racial justice in some form." - Jason Tkaczuk, 2017 PILF Recipient
The results: Since 2010:
- More than $500,000 has been distributed to UCI Law students for summer stipends
- Over 60,000 student volunteer hours have assisted underserved communities
- Students have worked for organizations including the ACLU of Southern California, US Department of Justice, Orange County Public Defender's Office, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, and more
To date, PILF has been able to provide a stipend to every student who has applied. But as our class sizes get bigger, we will need to rely on your generosity more than ever before. We cannot do it without your help! Your donations will help our students provide critically necessary legal services in some of our most vulnerable communities.
"This summer I helped a woman file her Divorce petition. She did not have a car and took the bus for two hours every day. Once I had finished the paperwork for her, she was excited but stressing out how she would get to the courthouse. With my supervisor's permission, I drove her to the court and stood with her in line for support. When we walked out of the filing office, she had the biggest smile that lasted the entire day. It was the first time I had seen her smile, and it was beautiful." - Judith Ramos, 2017 PILF Recipient
Since the founding of the Law School in 2009, a commitment to public service has been at the core of our mission. We hope you can contribute to this mission by making a donation to the Public Interest Law Fund today!
Thank you from all of us at UCI Law!