Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program

About the Program

Each year, HOPE selects rising 2L students with a genuine commitment to public interest work for its Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program, which involves full-time work at a South Florida non-profit or government agency.

The fellows experience firsthand how lawyers can make a significant difference in the lives of clients by representing them in domestic violence, education, disability, housing, and immigration cases, as well as in other proceedings.

Meet the 2022 Summer Public Interest Fellows

See Past Fellows: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014

Program Specifics 

  • Students will attend two pre-departure meetings in April.
  • Students will participate in a mandatory in-person orientation/training on May 25th and 26th, followed by an 8-week, full-time internship at a local public interest or government agency.
  • Students will receive a $2500 stipend.
  • Students will participate in a Social Justice Lawyering Course that meets twice weekly in the evenings (3 credits/no charge for tuition/university fees will apply).
  • Students will submit weekly journals with feedback from a HOPE staff attorney.
  • Students will attend webinars with leading public interest attorneys.
  • All 1Ls who are in good academic standing, with a GPA of 2.5 or above, are eligible to apply.
  • Fellows must complete a minimum of 300 hours of work, or approximately 37.5 hours per week, over the course of 8 weeks.
  • Students who have already secured an internship at a qualifying local non-profit or government agency are eligible to apply. Otherwise, HOPE will match fellows with South Florida agencies such as: Legal Services of Greater Miami, Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office, Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, Dade Legal Aid, and Catholic Charities Legal Services, among others. Please note that judicial internships do not qualify.

 


Christian Swanepoel"My experiences growing up in post-apartheid South Africa inspired me to pursue a legal education with a focus on public interest law. Continuing racial and economic disparity in South Africa and here in the U.S.. motivated me to serve low-income communities and advocate on behalf of underrepresented populations that lack meaningful access to the justice system. The SPIF program granted me the opportunity to challenge institutions of mass incarceration, generational poverty, and disenfranchisement."

Christin Swanepoel, Class of 2023


 

APPLY

The 2023 application is available here

The application deadline is February 20, 2023. For more information, email umhope@law.miami.edu.