Student Life

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 Annual Spring Event & Auction

Thank you to attendees, sponsors, and donors to the 23rd Annual PILF Spring Event and Auction, held on February 12, 2016!  

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. 

2016 PILF Summer Grant application materials can be found below. If you are interested in learning more about the Summer Grant application process, come to an information session on either Thursday, March 10, at 12pm in Room C1 OR Monday, March 21, at 5pm in Room C1.

Application Process

To apply, applicants must: 1) complete the Application Information Form; 2) answer four short answer essay questions; and 3) complete an Employer Profile Form. You must submit your completed application electronically by 11:59pm on Monday, April 4, 2016 to


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 2016-2017 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.

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! To view past Summer Journal entries, click here.

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

PILF Endowment & Summer Grant Partners

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 funding a  Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC PILF Summer Grant.