Post-Graduate Fellowships & Scholarships

Students interested in public service careers should consider summer and post-graduate fellowships available through Suffolk Law and from external funding sources.

Public service fellowships are available for both summer and post-graduate work, and are often connected to specific practice areas. Generally, post-graduate public interest fellowships award a stipend for a period of one to two years to recent law school graduates working in public interest programs. These awards offer a unique and valuable entry into public interest law.

Last summer, nearly $200,000 of financial support was provided to Suffolk Law students working in public service (not including the significant contribution to the SPILG domestic fellowships from the federal work-study program).

Fellowships & Scholarships

The Thomas J. Drinan Memorial Fellowship is awarded annually to fund the summer employment of a designated Suffolk University Law School student in the criminal justice field. In honor of its namesake, the Fellowship is awarded to a Suffolk Law student who demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of integrity and advocacy within the criminal justice system, and the character and skills necessary to achieve these standards. The individual chosen will be placed and funded for a ten week summer position in a public office in Massachusetts engaged in the prosecution or defense of criminal cases. Such employment shall be available in offices such as those of the United States Attorney, the Massachusetts Attorney General, Committee for Public Counsel Services, and the Federal Public Defender. This Fellowship is available to second year day division and third year evening division students.

Selection Criteria

Considerations which will influence selection of the Drinan Fellow include the following:

  1. Demonstrated interest in and commitment to working in the criminal justice system;
  2. Excellent legal skills; and
  3. Personal integrity and character.

Application Process

To apply, please submit the following materials via Symplicity (OCI Session: Drinan/McLaughlin) by 10am on September 26, 2018:

  1. Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable);
  2. Resume;
  3. Letter of intent/personal statement, indicating your demonstrated interest in and commitment to working in the criminal justice system; and 
  4. A list of three references (one should be a faculty member) with title and contact information.

Note: If you are applying for both the Drinan and McLaughlin fellowships, you must submit a separate set of materials for each.

Application Deadline

September 26, 2018 by 10am through Symplicity (OCI Session: Drinan/McLaughlin).

As a tribute and memorial to Paul R. McLaughlin's life, an endowed fellowship fund was established at Suffolk University Law School in his name through the contributions of hundreds of his friends, colleagues, admirers, and loved ones. The Paul R. McLaughlin Memorial Fellowship Fund awards $7,000 each year to support a summer internship for one Suffolk Law student interested in pursuing a career in criminal law in the public sector. The student selected to receive this prestigious fellowship will work in a District Attorney's office, the Attorney General's office, or within another government office of the criminal justice system. This Fellowship is available to second year day division and third year evening division students.

Selection Criteria

Considerations which will influence selection of the Drinan Fellow include the following:

  1. Demonstrated interest in and commitment to working in the criminal justice system;
  2. Excellent legal skills; and
  3. Personal integrity and character.

Application Process

To apply, please submit the following materials via Symplicity (OCI Session: Drinan/McLaughlin) by 10am on September 26, 2018:

  1. Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable);
  2. Resume;
  3. Letter of intent/personal statement, indicating your demonstrated interest in and commitment to working in the criminal justice system; and
  4. A list of three references (one should be a faculty member) with title and contact information. 

Note: If you are applying for both the Drinan and McLaughlin fellowships, you must submit a separate set of materials for each.

Application Deadline

September 26, 2018 by 10am through Symplicity (OCI Session: Drinan/McLauglin).

Students are expected to complete 250 hours of work at their placement to receive the full semester stipend (up to $5,000), or 350 hours to earn the full summer stipend (up to $7,000). The hours for a semester stipend need not be fully completed during the semester; they can be partly earned by continuing in the placement. If a student is not able to complete the full hours ordinarily expected to earn the stipend, the award will be prorated to reflect the extent of the student’s participation. The stipend will be released to the student in two installments—the first installment when the student submits documentation to the Fellowship Selection Committee demonstrating that he or she has completed 50% of the work expected for the stipend, and the second installment when the student submits documentation to the Fellowship Selection Committee demonstrating that he or she has completed the internship.

Applicant Eligibility

All Suffolk Law students in good academic standing are eligible to apply.

Selection Criteria

Considerations which will influence selection of Consumer Law Fellows include the following:

  • Interest in and commitment to working in the field of consumer rights and protection;
  • Commitment to public service as shown by past paid and volunteer work experiences and extracurricular activities; and
  • Academic achievement.

Eligible Internships

Positions at government and nonprofit organizations engaged in the practice of consumer rights and protection are eligible for the fellowships.  Examples of eligible placements include, but are not limited, to:

  • Boston Community Capital Foreclosure Relief Fund;
  • Greater Boston Legal Services, Consumer Rights Unit;
  • Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation;
  • National Consumer Law Center;
  • Rhode Island Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Unit;
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and
  • U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

The above list is not exhaustive and students may design their own fellowship at a qualifying organization.  Job responsibilities should involve substantive legal work commensurate with the student’s skill level.  Work of a primarily clerical nature does not qualify.  The student must also have an attorney as a direct supervisor.

Application Process

The following is the schedule for application submissions for the coming year:

Fall 2017

  • Application Opens: Thursday, July 6, 2017
  • Deadline: Friday, August 4, 2017

Spring 2018

  • Application Opens: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
  • Deadline: Friday, December 1, 2017

Summer 2018

  • Application Opens: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
  • Deadline: Friday, March 23, 2018 (extended)
To apply, please submit all of the following materials via Symplicity by 10:00am according to the schedule above:
  1. Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable);
  2. Resume;
  3. Personal statement describing your interest in and commitment to the area of consumer law.   While it is not necessary to secure an internship prior to applying for a fellowship, applicants should include information pertaining to their internship prospects.   The statement should be no longer than 2 double-spaced pages; and
  4. Two references.

Awards ordinarily will be announced within three weeks of the application deadline. Fellows will be required to submit weekly time sheets to a member of the Fellowship Selection Committee.

Please contact Quaime V. Lee in the Office of Professional and Career Development if you have any questions.

The Suffolk Public Interest Law Group (SPILG) Fellowship program provides funding for students working in otherwise unpaid summer internships with non-profit and government organizations. The purpose of the fellowship program is to support Suffolk Law students dedicated to public service while providing an invaluable service to non-profit and government organizations and the communities they serve. The number of fellowships awarded each year varies but fellowships are typically available for approximately 60 students each summer.

SPILG Fellowship: Frequently Asked Questions

THIS APPLICATION IS A TWO-PART PROCESS, BOTH DUE IN MARCH 2019:

  1. Students must apply for a SPILG Fellowship in March (through Symplicity, date TBA).
  2. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2019-20 must be completed. The 2019-20 FAFSA is available now. In addition, you must submit the 2018-19 FAFSA if you have not already done so. 

NOTE: You are not required to have a summer position secured in order to submit a SPILG/FWS Application.

Contact Sarah Bookbinder, Associate Director for Public Interest Advising and Pro Bono Programs, in PCD if you have any questions.

The Suffolk Public Interest Law Group (SPILG) International Fellowship provides a grant of up to $5,000 for students working in summer international internships with non-profit and government organizations.  The purpose of the Fellowship program is to support Suffolk Law students dedicated to international public service while providing an invaluable service to non-profit and government organizations and the communities they serve.

SPILG International Fellowship Summer 2019 Application

Eligibility

Suffolk University Law School students who will graduate in January or May of 2018 are eligible to apply.  Students are not required to have a position secured before applying for the award.   Awards will be contingent on the recipient passing the bar exam and obtaining employment with a qualifying public service employer.  The Fenton Awards are the highest paid public service awards given by Suffolk Law.

Eligible Placements

The Fenton Awards program seeks to assist students in obtaining highly responsible positions at government agencies and nonprofit organizations.  Employment responsibilities should involve substantive legal work.  Work of a primarily clerical nature does not qualify.  Examples of eligible employment include, but are not limited to, state and federal government agencies, prosecutor and public defender offices, legislative offices, public interest litigation, advocacy or policy groups, and nonprofit legal services organizations.  There are no geographic restrictions.  The following types of employment are NOT ELIGIBLE: employment with private law firms even if the firm does pro bono work; employment as a judicial law clerk; and employment with political campaigns.

Award Selection Criteria

Fenton Award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit without regard to political affiliation.  Financial need, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid, may be a consideration.  The awards seek to aid students who embody John E. Fenton, Jr.’s passion for public service.  The selection criteria include:

  1. Demonstrated, exceptional commitment to public service law as a career, as evidenced by paid and volunteer work experience, activities, and academic work;
  2. Academic achievement and/or significant achievement in a clinical, trial training (including mock trial competition) or law practice setting; and
  3. Consideration may be given to whether the work of the agency or organization provides access to justice or services to traditionally underserved clients.

Application Process

To apply for a Fenton Award, please submit the following materials via Symplicity (click on the OCI tab and choose the “Fenton” session) by March 20, 2018 by 10:00am:

  1. Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable);
  2. Resume;
  3. Personal statement describing why you wish to embark on a career in public service law and highlighting your past experiences and/or achievements in this area (no longer than 2 double-spaced pages).  If you have already accepted a qualifying public service position, indicate where and briefly describe your anticipated responsibilities.  If you have not yet secured a job, indicate the positions and employers you are pursuing and the progress of the application process.  Upload as “cover letter” on Symplicity;
  4. A list of two professional and/or academic references with title and contact information.  Upload as “other document” on Symplicity; and
  5. A document, signed and dated by the applicant, stating the following: “I understand that the Fenton Selection Committee may consider financial need and I hereby authorize the Office of Financial Aid to release information contained in my financial aid file to the Selection Committee.”  Upload as “other document” on Symplicity.  

Application Deadline

March 20, 2018 by 10:00am