Public Interest Law Foundation

The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) is committed to increasing awareness of the rewards, challenges, opportunities, and needs in public interest law. Recognizing the responsibility that members of the legal profession have in working to serve severely underrepresented legal needs, PILF engages in a number of projects, including networking events like an annual Evening with Equal Justice and fundraising to support students engaging in unpaid summer public interest work.

PILF Summer Grant Program

The PILF Summer Grant Program provides funding to Seattle University School of Law students who provide quality legal services to low-income and marginalized communities through unpaid summer jobs at nonprofit or public agencies. The Program is funded through a variety of sources, including student-initiated fundraising, individual donors, and law firm and institutional partners. Hear what our 2015 PILF Summer Grant Recipients have to say about what it's like to practice public interest law in the real world!

PILF Annual Spring Event & Auction

Thank you to participants and supporters of our 2015 Spring Event & Auction! The Public Interest Law Foundation raised a record amount in support of the Summer Grant Program this year. Please save the date for our 2016 Event: Friday, February 12, 2016, in Seattle University's beautiful Campion Ballroom!

New PILF Endowment & 2015 COJK PILF Summer Grant

The generosity of Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC (COJK) has enabled Seattle University School of Law to create a PILF Endowment Fund. The fund will ensure that both current and future students can continue to make an impact as powerful advocates for justice.

COJK, a Seattle-based intellectual property law firm, is the first law firm to participate in the Fund, and we are grateful for its visionary leadership. The School of Law would like to extend its utmost gratitude to COJK for providing our students with the opportunity to serve underrepresented and marginalized populations while also giving our students transformational summer experiences.

The School of Law would also like to acknowledge and thank COJK for generously and fully funding a 2015 Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC PILF Summer Grant. And congratulations to Jennifer Schell, who has been selected as the inaugural Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC PILF Grantee for her work with the Washington Attorney General's Division of Consumer Protection!

Additional 2015 Summer Grant Partners

We would like to extend our gratitude to the following organizations and individuals who have also generously funded full summer grants for the upcoming year:


Judge Don & Lynda Horowitz

And congratulations to Mayra Rangel, who has been selected as the 2015 Latina/oBar Association of Washington PILF Grantee for her work with Colectiva Legal del Pueblo!

Grant Applications

Please check back in February 2015 for more information about the 2016 Summer Grant application process. Applications are typically made available in mid-March and are due in early April. PILF welcomes applications from all currently enrolled Seattle University law students who are interested in public interest summer jobs, provided those applicants be in good academic standing and intend on continuing enrollment at SU Law in the 2015-2016 school year.

PILF defines public interest broadly. Public interest law is an area of law that focuses on the representation and organization of groups and interests currently under-represented in our society. Rather than provide a rigid definition, PILF looks to the individual applications to explain how their summer position will advance the public interest as defined in the preceding sentence, while also meeting the criteria enumerated in the attached material.

The following list of work that would qualify for funding is intended to provide examples rather than to narrow the possibilities:

  • An effort directed at legal assistance for the victims of discrimination based on sex, color, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, language, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status;
  • An effort directed at meeting the civil legal needs of the poor, the disadvantaged, people with disabilities, the homeless, veterans, tenants, and those who have been deprived of their civil or human rights; or
  • Environmental interest groups; prisoners' rights projects; international human rights organizations; and consumer advocacy groups.

To view past Summer Journal entries, click here.

To view an information session about the grant process, click here.

Chapel of St. Ignatius