Public Interest Law Fund (PILF)

The UCI Public Interest Law Fund provides financial support to UCI Law students working to address gaps in our justice system and to assist those with the greatest need in our community.

PILF seeks to enable all interested UCI Law students to serve the public interest—a core mission of UC Irvine School of Law—by providing work stipends, networking opportunities and informational resources so that students can work at non-profit organizations and agencies, helping real clients with real problems.

Because public-interest organizations rely on volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono assistance, the PILF stipends allow UCI Law students to cover basic living costs while they are working without pay. Since 2010, more than $1,782,000 has been distributed to UCI Law students for summer stipends, allowing students to volunteer over 145,000 hours to assist underserved communities.

Thank You to Our 2020-21 PILF Donors

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  • Allyssa Scheyer, Class of ’20

    “I worked with the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC) this past summer and was able to assist with a variety of direct immigration services. I was able to work directly with clients and help prepare U-Visa applications, VAWA applications, DACA renewals, Naturalization petitions, and applications for Legal Permanent Residency (LPR). My favorite part of this summer was the many DACA renewals I was able to complete--seeing my clients' faces and their relief at having help renewing was one of the best experiences of my life. As a descendant of immigrants, I felt connected to this job immediately, but this job was also the first time where I felt simultaneously fulfilled and challenged on a daily basis. This opportunity opened my eyes to the reality of an immigration lawyer's work and made me consider immigration as a future career path. Without PILF's support, I could not have worked at an unpaid job like the LIJC and helped so many people achieve their immigration goals.”

  • Li Chia, Class of ’19

    "I worked at the Washington, D.C. office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. I prepared legal resources for asylum-seekers in detention centers all around the country who were trying to navigate the U.S. immigration system. I also worked on issues affecting the stateless population living in the United States. Without PILF, I would not have been able to accept a position in D.C. during a time when highly controversial immigration policies were being implemented by the federal government. This experience exposed me to the functions of international asylum and refugee law, and how they intersect with domestic immigration procedures."

  • Travone Davis, Class of ’20

    “I spent my summer working at the Federal Public Defender's Office for the 9th Circuit Central District in Los Angeles. I was able to serve a number of indigent clients in very helpful ways. The experience was rewarding and invaluable and I was only able to make it happen because I received the PILF stipend which eased many of my financial burdens.”

  • Jennifer Ledesma, Class of ’20

    “This summer I worked as a law clerk at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), providing immigration relief to children who are fleeing violence and abuse in their home countries. The PILF stipend allowed me the privilege of improving my client interaction skills and knowledge of immigration law while working with vulnerable and underserved children. My experience this summer reinforced my passion for doing public interest work without having to worry about the cost of living and transportation expenses in Downtown Los Angeles.”