PILS began in 1988 as an enriched academic and professional development program for select students who intended to pursue public interest legal careers. The program quickly became the foundation of a public interest community that 30 years late boasts a standalone public interest career office (OPICS), guaranteed public service summer funding, the top-ranked clinical program, and one of the most generous law school loan repayment assistance programs. PILS also spurred the creation of the Public Interest Fellows program, which provides enhanced curricular, community, and career support to students desiring a concentrated public interest experience at the Law Center; PILS members automatically become Public Interest Fellows.
PILS itself has grown and adapted since its auspicious beginning. In 1996, the program began offering partial tuition scholarships in order to help minimize the debt burden that PILS members were increasingly incurring as law school tuition rates rose. As of 2017, the program now offers up to full tuition scholarships.
Though PILS has changed a bit over the years, and the larger Law Center public interest community has grown substantially, one thing has remained constant -- the commitment of PILS members. Today, the vast majority of PILS graduates continue to serve in the public interest.
Check out some of the accomplishments of PILS alumni, here.