Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation (SPILF)
SPILF is a nonprofit, tax-exempt foundation established in 1978 by Stanford Law School students and alumni. Its initial purpose was to increase funding for public interest law projects serving groups that have traditionally been denied adequate access to legal representation. For example, SPILF has funded the PROMISE program for women and girls in San Francisco, Coconino Legal Aid in Arizona, AIDS Services of Austin, the Title IX Advocacy Project, and Legal Services of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina.
In conjunction with the Law School's Montgomery Fund, SPILF also funds law students directly when they work in summer public interest/public sector jobs. SPILF-funded Stanford law students have worked for California Indian Legal Services, the DC Public Defender Service, the Children's Defense Fund, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and the Center of International Environmental Law, to name only a few organizations. For the past several years, SPILF's funds have come from student members (who pledge a day's earnings from their summer jobs), law firms, alumni, and Law School faculty. Until recently, every qualified Stanford law student who sought a summer grant received one. However, Stanford's public interest programs have begun to attract more students interested in summer public interest and government work. This happy fact has increased the demand for SPILF grants beyond the foundation's traditional fund-raising capacity.
In response, SPILF has created a successful Spring Benefit Auction as an additional funding source. This annual occasion draws together the Law School community, alumni, friends, and members of the Bay Area legal community for an evening of fun and charitable donations.
SPILF's goals are to raise enough money to fund all Stanford Law School students doing public interest/public sector work at an amount that is livable, and to fund several community-based public interest law projects at a generous level.