Public Interest Fellowships

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Summer grants, available through the generosity of the H.G. & H. U. Sims Foundation, the McGrane Public Interest Fellows Program, the Beasley Allen Public Interest Fellows, and alumni gifts, are awarded to students who commit to performing 6 to 12 weeks of otherwise uncompensated public interest or public service legal work during the summer of 2016*.

Awards will be based on:

  • The educational benefit of the proposed internship experience
  • The benefit to the community of the proposed internship experience
  • The student’s expressed interest in pursuing a career in public interest work

Award Levels:

  • 6-7 weeks - $1200
  • 8-9 weeks - $1600
  • 10 + weeks - $2000

Final application deadline is April 5, 2016.  Students are encouraged to complete their application as soon as possible before the April 5th final deadline.  Please see Mrs. Adams or Mrs. Fillmore if you have any questions or would like to discuss development of a placement.  Once your volunteer placement is confirmed, have the employer send a verification letter, stating your start date and the number of weeks you are volunteering.  Verification letters must be received no later than Monday, May 16th, 2016.  Failure to submit a verification letter by the deadline will result in loss of the fellowship award.

  1. All applicants will not necessarily receive awards,
  2. The work has to be full-time (30+ hours per/week) for the stated number of weeks,
  3. Students must perform law-related work,
  4. Students must be supervised by an attorney,
  5. 1L applicants must qualify by completing the 5 steps to obtain a Symplicity account, participating in the mock interview program and a community service project.

Letters can be sent to:
Hand Delivered:   Community Mediation Center, Suite 215 ROBH
Mailed: Cumberland School of Law; CCMC Room 215; Birmingham, AL  35229 Attn:  Cassandra Adams
Faxed:  205-726-2397

Past recipients have worked for:

  • Legal Services of Metro Birmingham
  • Legal Aid Society
  • Alabama Appleseed
  • Jefferson County Drug Court, Family Court & DHR
  • Alabama Attorney General
  • Mobile County District Attorney
  • Jefferson County District Attorney
  • Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Baldwin County Circuit Court
  • Various circuit and district judges
  • Birmingham Aids Outreach
  • Federal judges (United States District Courts) in Birmingham and Mobile
  • Federal public defender’s offices in Montgomery and Birmingham
  • Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office
  • United States Attorney’s Offices in Mobile and Birmingham

Placements outside of Birmingham have included:

  • Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Coast Guard (JAG)
  • Fairfax County Attorney’s Office
  • Memphis Community Legal Center
  • Coastal Resource Division of the GA Dept. of Natural Resources

*This award is a grant and should not be construed as wages for any work performed.  Failure to comply with the requirements of this application and/or any other requirements of Samford University regarding the disbursement of funds will result in the termination of the award.


Page last updated: Thu, 02/25/2016 - 10:18