Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Expands to Eight New Law Schools

The John Paul Stevens Foundation is expanding the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship program to eight new law schools, including the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, broadening its geographic reach to six new states, and providing critical financial support to law students who spend their summers in unpaid legal internships serving the public interest.

The Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Program invests in the next generation of public interest lawyers by providing grants to participating law schools to support their students working in unpaid public interest summer internships. Starting this summer, the Foundation will provide support to 28 Stevens Fellows at the eight expansion law schools, which are: Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Seattle University School of Law, University of Idaho College of Law, University of Illinois College of Law (Champaign-Urbana), Pitt Law, University of Alabama School of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law, and Willamette University College of Law. This expansion of the Stevens Fellowship program is made possible by generous funding from the Crankstart Foundation.

The Foundation Board of Directors selected the eight law schools based on various factors, including a commitment to public interest law, and demonstrated the need for financial support for the school’s public interest students. Several schools also have faculty who clerked for Justice Stevens during his tenure at the United States Supreme Court. This growth of the Fellowship program builds on the Foundation’s successful expansion last summer to all six law schools at historically black colleges and universities.

“We are delighted to be working with the leadership at these eight law schools to make this expansion possible,” says Susan Stevens Mullen, Justice Stevens’s daughter and a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. “These schools were selected based on their commitment to producing public interest lawyers and the need for additional financial support for their students. We look forward to these collaborations, which will prepare the next generation of attorneys whose public interest work will shape law and public policy for years to come.”

The schools’ 28 inaugural Stevens Fellows are placed in public interest internships at nonprofits and government agencies, joining a national cohort of 159 Stevens Fellows, the largest group since the Fellowship program’s inception in 1997. The Stevens Foundation will announce the 2022 cohort of Fellows on its website and social media on June 30, 2022.

The Stevens Fellowship Program was created in 1997 in honor of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, reflecting his profound belief that a dynamic and effective justice system depends on a cadre of talented lawyers committed to the public interest. In 2010, in celebration of Justice Stevens’ retirement from the Supreme Court, a group of his former law clerks established the Foundation to provide a formal home for the Stevens Fellowship Program. Over the past 25 years, the Stevens Fellowship program has increased the network of participating law schools to 38. It has funded over 680 Stevens Fellows who have worked at more than 300 public interest nonprofits or governmental agencies. Nearly 74% of former Stevens Fellows are now working in public interest legal positions.