Stein Scholars Program for Public Interest
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The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC), with the Stein Center, oversees the student driven Stein Scholars Program, an academic and service program in which selected students participate through all three years of law school, and throughout their career.
All entering first-year students are eligible to apply for for Fall admission to the Program. All admitted students are emailed an invitation to apply; 20-22 students are selected from 60-80 applications annually. And each Spring, all first-year students are again eligible to apply, and an additional 1-4 students have traditionally been admitted in late Spring.
Students are selected for the program based on a demonstrated commitment to public interest law combined with diversity factors to maximize a richly diversified community. The program combines 3 academic requirements (course work focusing on legal ethics and public interest law) with non-academic components to develop and enhance leadership and communication skills. These non-academic activities include conceiving and producing an annual series of eight events that include discussion. These discussions bring in professors, public interest law practitioners, other experts and scholars to address current events and issues in public interest law, and the ethical questions they raise.
During their first summer in law school, Stein Scholars are required to extern with a public interest organization, such as Legal Services or a governmental agency. These externships take the Stein Scholars to many different locales, in New York City, in other states, and abroad. The Public Interest Resource Center assists the Stein Scholars in finding these opportunities and provides a stipend ($4,000 for the 1st summer; $5,000 for a 2nd and 3rd summer) to ensure that they can engage in this work. [There is no 2nd summer or post-grad employment requirement.] Many Stein Scholars also engage in public service projects through one or more of the varied student-run organizations in the Public Interest Resource Center.
Deliberately chosen from diverse backgrounds, Stein Scholars community reflects the broad spectrum of culture, education, and experience that is the United States today. This diversity is one of the strengths of the program, enabling students to learn from each other, and to appreciate differing views, as they pursue common goals.
By supporting the students’ interest in public service through these specialized academic requirements, summer externships, interaction with practitioners and academics, and the opportunities to engage in community service, the Stein Scholars Program encourages students to maintain their commitment to, and prepares them for, the practice of law in service to the public.
For more details visit the group's bulletin board located Garden Level, immediately outside PIRC.