Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF)

Founded in 1993, Loyola Law School's Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) is a non-partisan, student-run organization invested in fostering the careers of students dedicated to providing assistance to those traditionally underrepresented in the legal system. As the largest student organization on campus, PILF provides summer funding, one-on-one mentorships, networking opportunities, scholarship navigation services, guest speaker panels, and career planning to best equip students to meet the ever-growing need for public service legal work.

PILF Summer Funding

Every year, PILF provides critical funding to students working at public interest organizations locally and nationally, where the majority do not compensate students for commitments equivalent to full-time jobs. PILF Summer Funding is raised by PILF throughout the school year by the PILF Board through in-kind donations and administrative support. 

For many students, PILF Summer Funding is the only compensation they receive over an entire summer’s worth of housing, transportation, food, and associated work costs. PILF Summer Funding allows our students to assist those traditionally underrepresented in the legal system. The following are just a few examples of where last year’s recipients spent their summer:

  • ACLU of Southern California
  • Bet Tzedek
  • California Department of Justice
  • Children’s Law Center of California
  • City Attorney's Office (Los Angeles and San Diego)
  • Community Legal Aid of Southern California
  • Consumer Watchdog
  • Disability Rights California
  • District Attorney's Office (Los Angeles and Riverside)
  • Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
  • LevittQuinn Family Law Center
  • Human Rights First
  • Immigration Center for Women and Children
  • Immigrant Defenders Law Center
  • Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles
  • Public Counsel
  • Public Defender's Offices (Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, and Orange County)

It cannot be understated that PILF Summer Funding is often the determining factor between whether a student decides to take a second job to pay their rent or accept a summer work opportunity that may change the trajectory of their legal career.

Those interested in making a gift to PILF's Summer Fund can do so here. Every donation to the PILF Summer Fund goes directly to supporting students' unpaid public interest summer internships.

PILF Summer Funding Application

Applications to receive funding for summer 2024 open on March 5, 2024, at midnight and close on April 8, 2024, at noon. The number of students who receive funds depends on the amount raised during the year. 

Note: You cannot receive PILF Summer Funding and SPIEP simultaneously for the same hours worked. Thus, you may only receive PILF Summer Funding and SPIEP if your position extends outside the set dates for SPIEP (5/28/2024-7/18/2024) OR if you will use up all your SPIEP funds before the end of the SPIEP contract period. Please visit the SPIEP website for more information. 


  • Applicants must be a current 1L, 1E, 2L, 2E, or 3E at the time of application submission.
  • Applicants must have secured a position, identifying their employer, supervising attorney, and working schedule. Eligible positions must meet the following criteria:
    • Related to Public Interest, including roles with organizations or government entities dedicated to legal representation or policy advocacy for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, or legal clinics representing underserved groups. Positions with prosecutor or public defender offices, at state or federal levels, qualify for funding. Eligible positions may be located outside Los Angeles County and California. Judicial externships do not qualify.
    • Involving a commitment of 35 hours or more per week.
    • Either unpaid or paying under $6,000.


Complete applications consist of the PILF Summer Funding Application and the documents below. These documents may be submitted to Dropbox after applying.

Required Documents include:
  1. Letter or email confirming summer employment/activity from your employer.
  2. Resume with grades and class rank information omitted, as these will not factor into the application's score.
  3. Completed Form W-9.

Questions about PILF Summer Funding or the application can be directed to the Public Interest Department at

PILF Student-Alumni Mentorship Program

Connect with alumni in fields you’re interested in, at organizations you’d like to work with, or for general public interest career advice. Keep an eye out at the beginning of the school year for application information. Alumni interested in mentoring students can email the PILF Alumni Chairs at

Public Interest Palooza!

Save the date! The 3rd Annual Public Interest Palooza will be held on March 23, 2024.

Thank you for joining us on March 25, 2023, for our 2nd Annual Public Interest Palooza! We discussed how to overcome challenges in the legal field, and celebrated as a community that supports public interest work. At last year's Palooza, we featured a choice of three panels: (1) Practical Challenges in Immigration Law or The Road to Housing Justice, (2) Trauma Informed Lawyering or Reproductive Justice, (3) Interviewing Skills or the Loyola Interdisciplinary Journal of Public Interest Law Presents: Queering Legal Scholarship. We are so grateful for you attending the student-alumni mixer and celebration for the launch of the Loyola Interdisciplinary Journal of Public Interest Law. Stay tuned for more information about this year's Public Interest Palooza. 

    • General Tips
      • Watch Public Interest Summer Job Application Workshop 02.08.22: counselors from the Career Development Office discussed tips on how to tailor your resume and cover letter for public interest internships.
      • When to start looking for a summer internship? Some organizations start soliciting summer internship applications as early as September. Public Sector Career Day (see below) holds interviews in February, but many organizations post information about how to apply for summer jobs on their own websites before then (usually by December). Contact your career counselor for advice about when to apply to a specific organization.
      • If you did not get your top summer internship, you can always apply to intern for the organization during the school year for units (see Field Placements for more info). It is much less competitive during the school year.
    • Looking for a summer internship? 12twenty and Public Sector Job Database are great places to start your search. You can also view a list of all the public interest organizations in the Los Angeles area, which can be found within the Resource Library on 12twenty. Many organizations start accepting applications for summer internships as early as September. Most students apply for summer internships by February.
      • Public Sector Career Day: The Public Sector Career Day is an annual career fair with more than 100 government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private public interest firms collecting resumes and soliciting interviews. Many Loyola public interest students obtain their summer internship this way. Applications open mid-December to mid-January. Organizations typically include: Public Counsel, Esperanza Immigrants Rights Project, Los Angeles County Public Defender, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Inner City Law Center, Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, Consumer Watchdog.
      • Spring Virtual On-Campus Interview (OCI) Program: OCI is applying for a job with multiple employers at the same time. Spring OCI typically includes the following government agencies and public interest organizations: Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center; Disability Rights California; Los Angeles County District Attorney; Los Angeles County, Office of the County Counsel; and Ventura County Public Defender. Submit your resume to your career counselor by early January and apply to On-Campus and Resume Collect employers via 12twenty by mid-January.
    • Career Services Useful Links:
    • Funding for Summer Public Interest Internships: Loyola offers two opportunities for students to obtain funding for their public interest summer internships. First, PILF offers Summer Funding and will host an information session around March. Second, the Summer Public Interest Employment Program (SPIEP) is offered through Loyola Law School. You can find more information about the application process and requirements for SPIEP here.


  • Post-grad fellowship helps fund projects that serve unmet legal needs by paying a first year attorney’s salary for 1-2 years depending on the fellowship. Applicants must propose their own projects, usually in conjunction with an existing organization, but in some cases candidates may apply for support to start a new organization. The Skadden, Equal Justice Works, and Justice Catalyst fellowships are examples of project-based fellowships and applications are due in the fall of 3L/4E.  Loyola also offers a Post Graduate Public Interest Fellowship Program and applications are due in April of 3L/4E.

    Many organizations have internal deadlines during your 2L/3E summer to select the students they are going to host for fellowships. Consider interning your 2L/3E summer with an organization that you would like to have a post-grad fellowship with so you can get a head start on your project proposal. PSJD is an amazing resource for fellowship tips, deadline overviews, and fellowship postings.

    • Loyola Loan Forgiveness: The Public Interest Loan Assistance Program (PILAP) is offered to graduates, who were employed full-time by a public interest program earning a salary of less than $72,000. Loyola graduates receiving assistance under the PILAP will be given grants of up to 90 percent of the difference between their annual salary and the $72,000 ceiling. Those grants must be applied directly to the repayment of educational loans, with priority being given to loans undertaken to complete legal education. More information can be found here.
    • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): The Federal PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments (10 years) under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying nonprofit or government employer. View a recording of Public Service Loan Forgiveness Info Session 03.24.22 and visit here to find out more information.