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Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) is an organization dedicated to creating new and innovative opportunities for law students to engage in critically needed public interest work. PILF supports and promotes public interest work by funding law students who dedicate their time to serving our community. We support Fowler School of Law students through summer grants so they can serve in unpaid/volunteer positions in the public interest field.

PILF believes that everyone should have access to competent legal counsel regardless of economic status. PILF works to innovatively promote and support public interest legal work by educating, encouraging and providing financial support for law students to consider and explore careers and pro bono opportunities in public interest law during law school and beyond.  

One of PILF's primary initiatives is to provide summer funding for Fowler students working in public interest jobs. PILF helps to support students who have proven dedication to using their legal skills for the public interest.

+ - Student Testimonials

April Cristal (JD '16)"During summer 2014, I aided attorneys who represented children in child welfare proceedings. I researched and prepared motions, legal guardianship papers, and restraining orders. Additionally, I attended confidential juvenile court proceedings, and interviewed the children that my supervising attorneys represented. These experiences were valuable to me and to the attorneys, but, most importantly, to the children and their families. This would not have been possible without the PILF Scholarship, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to choose to work in public interest due to the monetary aid that the PILF grant gave me." - April Mara Cristal (JD '16).

Julia Pavel"The PILF Scholarship Program gave me the flexibility to take unpaid internships in the summers of my first and second years of law school, allowing me to work in public interest and give back to the community. During those summers, I worked for the Riverside Superior Court as a Mediator and for the Orange County District Attorney. My experience helped me develop my skills in ADR and research and writing. Because of the PILF Scholarship, I was able to pick an internship based on my interests, and not worry about my summer expenses. I am very grateful to PILF for making the Scholarship available for students interested in public interest work." - Julia Pavel (JD '16).

Madiha Shah PILF Student Testimonial

"As a summer 2013 PILF Scholarship recipient, I worked as a Law Clerk for the General Counsel of Norwalk - La Mirada Unified School District. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a grant that helped fund the commuting costs for my internship, which was over an hour from my house. Having the PILF Scholarship allowed me to be more flexible about choosing the summer employment experience that would be most rewarding. I would highly encourage students to take advantage of such a meaningful opportunity and recommend donors help support such a worthy cause." - Madiha Shahabuddin (JD '15)

Michelle Standfield PILF Student Testimonial"I received a PILF Public Interest Scholarship for the summer of 2013. I worked at an amazing non-profit organization, Family Crises Center in Los Angeles. The center provides legal services for low income clients, including victims of domestic violence living in the center’s shelters. It was wonderful to be able to work for an organization that helps so many people and still receive some monetary compensation. Because of the scholarship, I was able to enjoy my job without worrying about gas money. I would recommend that anyone looking to work in an area of public interest apply for the scholarship.  Thank you PILF!" - Michelle Standfield (JD '14)

John Hughes PILF Student Testimonial "The PILF Scholarship allowed me to take an unpaid internship with the California Public Utilities Commission in the summer of 2013. My experience at the CPUC exposed me to how government regulatory agencies operate to protect California citizens. I was also able to develop my legal research and writing skills while learning about telecommunications law—an area of law I would not have been otherwise exposed to in law school classes. I am grateful for the PILF Scholarship because it helped me cover my living expenses during the summer so I could focus on getting the most out of my internship." - John Hughes (JD '15)

Nusha Ahmed PILF Student Testimonial"The PILF summer 2013 grant greatly helped me work with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office (OCPD). Last summer I worked at the Santa Ana Court House for the OCPD; mainly working in the court room assisting Public Defenders dealing with Probation Violation cases. I live in Corona and commuted every day to Santa Ana. The PILF grant tremendously helped me pay for my commuting expenses so that I could have the great experience of helping the indigent groups in our community and making a difference for them. For that I am truly grateful to PILF." - Nusha Ahmed (JD '14)