Skip to main content

Supporting Public Interest Work

March 29, 2024

Spring blossoms in front of Tanenbaum Hall, Penn Carey Law, with blue sky
Spring at Penn Carey Law - Tanenbaum

The University of Pennsylvania Law Review recently approved funding 11 summer fellowships for public interest work, starting this summer.

Eleven University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School students will receive funding for public interest work this summer thanks to the generosity of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

The Law Review recently announced its Public Interest Fellowships program, which will sponsor 10 second-year Penn Carey Law students and one first-year student beginning this summer. Second-year fellows will receive $8,500 for a minimum of nine weeks of work at a public interest organization or government agency, and the first-year fellow will receive $6,500.

“The Law Review Public Interest Fellowships were created in response to a single, powerful belief: access to dreams should not be dictated by financial means,” said Ecclesiaste Desir L’24, Editor-in-Chief of Volume 172 of the Law Review. “This initiative is about removing barriers and unlocking possibilities. It’s about ensuring that our most passionate, talented law students have the support to pursue their calling of shaping a more just world, regardless of their financial background.”

Michael Krone L’24, the Law Review’s Managing Editor, said he has witnessed many classmates make the difficult choice between pursuing a job they were passionate about and one that would offer better financial security.

“When Ecclesiaste and I first began to think about how we could best use the resources that Law Review has accumulated over time to support our community, it was clear from the start that helping our fellow classmates should be our top priority,” Krone said. “We heard from many students and administrators that a critical area of support needed was summer funding for public interest and government-focused students.”

Desir said the program has a deeper purpose than just giving financial aid.

“As Martin Luther King Jr. famously stated, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” he said. “This fellowship is our response to that question. It’s an investment not just in individuals but also in the future of public interest law at Penn Carey Law. Ultimately, it is a way to express our gratitude to the very institution that has nurtured our own legal aspirations.”

Felicia Lin L’08, Penn Carey Law’s Vice Dean for Student Services and Dean of Students, called the fellowships an amazing opportunity for students.

“More broadly, they reflect an ethos at the heart of Penn Carey Law’s distinctively collegial culture: a commitment to each other’s successes,” she said. “These fellowships will not only help build students’ skills and experiences but also uplift the communities their public interest work supports.”

Krone said he is hopeful about the future impact of the program.

“The fellowship program will play a major part in getting much-needed legal talent from Penn Carey Law to community organizations and in the entities that are shaping the law for years to come,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a future in which students who are deciding between public interest roles and other roles no longer need to make the decision based on financial grounds.”

Learn more about Penn Carey Law’s staunch commitment to public service.