Summer Opportunities and Funding Sources: Students interested in gaining experience in the public sector have an innumerable amount of opportunities to gain experience in their field of interest during their summer break. The earlier you begin your job search the better the chances are of obtaining a position in the field of your choice. A good place to start your search is at the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference in October. If you are planning on leaving Miami, it is a good idea to begin your search during the fall semester. Some metropolitan areas tend to hire all their summer interns by January. Others are always looking for an extra pair of eager hands. No matter when you decide to begin your search, visit the CPC for assistance. It is our promise that we will find somewhere for you to volunteer!
There are a few ways to obtain funding to work in the public sector. See below for some of the more popular opportunities, and also check out the fellowship and summer funding pages at PSLawNet.
Equal Justice Works' Summer Corps program supports law students around the country who are working to expand the delivery of legal services to those who need it most. Summer Corps is an AmeriCorps-funded program that provides 315 law students with the opportunity to earn a $1,000 education award voucher for dedicating their summer to a qualifying legal internship at a nonprofit, public interest organization. Summer Corps members provide critically needed legal assistance in low-income and/or underserved communities in the United States on a broad range of issue areas. UM Law is a member of Equal Justice Works, which allows students to apply for these grants. The earlier you apply the better your chances are for obtaining the grant, as they are evaluated on a first come, first serve basis.
Florida Bar Legal Services Summer Fellowship Program involves the provision of high-quality legal assistance to the poor through various organizations across the state. Factors considered are: experience in working with the low-income community, academic achievement, writing skills, and previous contact and long-term commitment/interest in public service/pro bono work. Florida Bar Fellows receive a generous stipend from the Florida Bar as well as an intensive training program at the beginning of the summer. Applications for this program are available in December and are due in early January.
HOPE Fellowships The H.O.P.E. Fellows Program enables law students to take volunteer positions at public interest agencies. Over the last five years, the H.O.P.E. Fellows program has grown from just two Fellows, to over 40. H.O.P.E. Fellows have developed from just a handful of local placements to international placements focusing on global advocacy initiatives in countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda and London, and the University of Miami School of Law is committed to seeing these opportunities continue to grow not only within our state but across the nation and world.
For more information on any of the above opportunities, please contact the Career Development Office.