Many GW Law students choose to perform public interest legal work during the summer. In order to make this choice more financially feasible, the Law School and other organizations provide summer subsidies.
GW Law awards approximately $295,000 in the form of cash grants and tuition remission to law students who will engage in summer public interest work. Students are able to submit applications for the subsidies after receiving an offer of summer employment from a non-profit or government employer. Awardees can serve in organizations in Washington, DC, as well as around the country and abroad. Students who receive one of these stipends may also be able to receive academic credit for their public interest work through the law school's Field Placement Program.
In addition, the law school's student-run Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) holds an auction each spring that funds summer public interest grants. Applications for summer EJF grants are available early in the spring semester. Applications are due in early April following the auction.
Sources outside GW Law provide funding as well. These funding sources have deadlines throughout the spring semester. If you have questions, contact the Career Development Office's Public Interest Advisor, Tamara Dévieux-Adams, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GW Law's J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Public Service Fellowship Program annually provides financial aid for third-year students (and evening students who have completed at least 56 credits) who agree to work 20 hours per week at public interest organizations in the Washington, DC area during the fall and spring semesters.
Awardees may receive as much as $7,500 in tuition remission. Preference is given to employers who represent, directly or indirectly, indigent individuals or populations, interests that would not otherwise be adequately represented, and environmental organizations. Awardees may not receive academic credit under this program. Further information is available through the Career Center.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program
The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) at The George Washington University Law School helps our J.D. graduates enjoy careers in public interest law despite their student loan obligations. With funding from a dedicated endowment, substantially supplemented by the Law School Dean’s office, LRAP makes individual loans to our graduates each year; if a graduate remains in public interest employment at year’s end, these loans are forgiven. Forgiveness of these particular loans is not considered income for tax purposes.
New applicants may apply at any time of year for LRAP assistance. Continuing applicants are asked to apply by a set deadline, usually in May, but all applications – initial or continuing – are evaluated on a rolling basis as they are received and completed, even if received after the deadline.
Applicants are asked to investigate the U.S. Department of Education’s income-driven repayment plans. These programs will consolidate all outstanding public or government-subsidized loans (but not loans from private entities) and then set an affordable monthly loan payment obligation, which is changed each year to reflect changes in income. Applicants can begin the application process for LRAP before or after enrolling in a given repayment plan.
LRAP recipients work in a wide variety of occupations: public defenders and prosecutors, legal aid and military justice, legislative and public policy attorneys, and more. We help GW graduates across the nation and abroad to realize the public interest careers they sought when first entering law school.
Documents and Forms