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Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowships


The 2013-2014 Ford Foundation Public Interest Fellows from all four law schools pose with Ford Foundation Program Officer Douglas Wood, seated at center, at the Fall 2014 symposium at Ford Foundation headquarters in New York City.


We are delighted to participate in the 2014-2015 Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowship Program. This program was originally established to enable a cohort of first- and second-year law students from the four participating law schools (Stanford, Yale, Harvard and NYU) to have a substantive and transformative experience as summer interns with domestic and international Ford grantee organizations. The Ford Foundation expanded the program in 2013-2014 to include postgraduate fellowships.  For more information about this initiative, please see the Ford Foundation website.

Working closely with lawyers and advocates, students will gain exposure to a variety of diverse settings and will be exposed to such topics as reproductive rights, civil rights, gay, lesbian, and transgender rights, immigrants’ rights, prisoner and ex-offenders’ rights, voting rights, children’s rights, and other areas of concern with respect to social justice and equity.

In its inaugural year, the Ford Foundation connected a total of 100 law school students (25 students from each of the four law schools) to grantee organizations both domestically and internationally for ten week placements during Summer 2013.  See this page for a list of Stanford's Summer 2013 Ford Fellows. 

The Ford Foundation re-structured the program for the second year. There were three postgraduate fellows per law school serving in year-long placements with Ford Foundation grantees.  The postgraduate fellows earn $45,000 per year plus benefits, for a total of $60,000.  The addition of postgraduate fellows meant we reduced the number of summer fellows. There were 20 Ford Foundation Summer Fellows per law school for summer 2014.  See this page for a list of Stanford's Summer 2014 and postgraduate Ford Fellows.

In 2014-2015, there will now be six postgraduate fellows and 20 summer fellows at Stanford Law School.  More details on the application process for the postgraduate fellowships are available here. Details on the summer fellowship are offered below.



Second-Year Law Students 


 First-Year Law Students


Application deadline

Early Action Deadline: Friday, December 12, 2014 at 12 noon

Standard Deadline: Monday, February 23, 2015 at 12 noon

Monday, February 23, 2015 at 12 noon

Selected Applicants notified

Early Action: January 5, 2015

Standard: March 9, 2015

 March 9, 2015



The SLS application process requires you submit the following information online.  Please go to  You will need:  

      - Your Student ID number.  The selection process will be anonymous.  A committee will review the applications and select SLS's participants. 

      - Resume

      - Personal Statement (750 word maximum) that includes a description of:

           a) Why you want to participate in the Ford Law School Public Interest Fellowship Program

           b) What you want to accomplish as a Ford Fellow next summer

           c) Past examples of leadership and potential for future leadership

       - Identify the Ford Foundation grantee organization with which you will work next summer


Once selected for this program, Ford Foundation Law School Fellows will be required to engage in activities designed to enhance connection with other fellows, and to assist development of the program. 

1)    Prior to the start of the summer internship, each Fellow will be required to read:

    a.     Quigley, Letter To a Law Student Interested in Social Justice (2007)

    b.     Scheingold and Sarat, Something to Believe In, Politics, Professionalism,         and Cause Lawyering, Chapter 2 (Cause Lawyering, Civic Professionalism, and       the Organized Legal Profession: A Brief History)

    c.     Bellow, Steady Work: A Practitioner’s Reflections on Political Lawyering,         31 Harv. C. R. – C. L. L.  Rev 297 (1996) 

    d.     Bell, Serving Two Masters, 85 Yale L. J. 470 (1976)

2)    During and at the end of the summer program, each Fellow will be required to write three reflection papers, which will be submitted by pre-agreed dates to DianeT. Chin at, and address:

a.     Reflection Paper #1.  Submit during the first week of internship describing organization’s mission, supervision structure for internship, personal and professional goals for summer internship, and a “response” to any or all of the readings.

b.     Reflection Paper #2.  Submit during Week 5 of internship describing major projects, assessing whether the goals described in Reflection Paper #1 are being or are likely to be accomplished or whether they need to be adjusted, analyzing an issue related to the structure of the internship organization and an issue raised in one or more of the readings.

c.     Reflection paper #3.  Submit during the last week of internship providing an overview of accomplishments, describing the most surprising aspect of internship, and assessing accomplishment of goals.  (This is separate and distinct from an evaluation of the organization.)

3)    Internship Evaluation

Fellows will complete the same internship evaluation completed by other SLS students who receive summer funding. Within 2 weeks of the last day of the internship, an evaluation must be uploaded to the SLS website.

4)    Program Support

Each Fellow will be asked to assist with recruitment of students for the following year.  

5)    Fall Colloquium at Ford Foundation

In fall 2015, the Ford Foundation will host a colloquium in New York for the Fellows to meet in person, to continue their learning from the summer, and to further deepen the connections of the cohort group. The Ford Foundation will reimburse reasonable travel costs to attend the colloquium. 

If you have any questions about Stanford's program, please contact Anna Wang at