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2L Public Service Guarantee

It's no secret that it's hard to secure even minimal funding for summer internships with government agencies and public interest organizations even though these organizations offer invaluable, highly specialized legal experience. And sometimes it seems the very organizations that provide the best experience are least able to provide financial support.

At Michigan Law, we think it's central to our role as a top-ranked public law school to continue making it possible for our students to pursue careers that serve the greater good. Frankly, we don't want financial hardship to come between our talented and energetic students and their ability to contribute those talents and energies to public service. The 2L Public Service Guarantee, which aims to continue our long and distinguished history of supplying superbly trained lawyers to the public and nonprofit sectors, is proof of that commitment.

The Public Service Guarantee offers up to a $5,000 summer stipend for all 2Ls who obtain summer internships with qualified government or public interest organizations.

Current students, please click on the headings below for more information.

How Do I Apply for the 2L Public Service Guarantee?

To apply, you must:

  • Secure a qualified internship with a government or public interest organization.
  • Work full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks at this government or public interest organization.
  • Have your employer submit an Employer Verification Form.
  • Complete the application form.
  • The deadline for Summer 2015 is 11:59pm on Friday, June 5, 2015.
  • At the end of your internship, submit an online summary of your experience to be shared with other Michigan Law students through the Public Service Network.

How Do I Find an Internship with a Qualified Government or Public Interest Organization?

To be eligible for 2L Public Service Guarantee funding, you must obtain a full-time internship for a minimum of 10 weeks with a qualified government or public interest organization.  The organization must be either a government agency (federal, state, or local) or a non-profit organization and the work performed must be non-partisan, legal in nature, and supervised by an attorney.

The choice of where you spend your 2L summer, the skills you develop, the practice area you choose, and the connections you make can have an impact on your post-graduate career plans.  For assistance with your 2L summer job search, you can schedule an appointment with Alyson Robbins (Public Interest Director) or Robin Kaplan (Government Advisor) by visiting the Office of Career Planning in 1100 South Hall, calling the office at (734) 764-0546, or scheduling online.


What are the Limitations on This Funding?

  • A student must work full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks at a qualified government or public interest organization.  The organization must be either a government agency (federal, state, or local) or a non-profit organization and the work performed must be non-partisan, legal in nature, and supervised by an attorney. 
  • Judicial internships do not qualify for the 2L Public Service Guarantee.  You also cannot get Guarantee funding for coursework (including Officer Candidate School) and you cannot get credit and Guarantee funding for the same work per ABA regulations.
  • To be eligible for the full $5,000 in Guarantee funding, you may not earn more than $7,500 for the entire summer from Michigan Law sources of funding.  If you exceed this $7,500 cap, the Guarantee funding amount will be reduced.  For example, if you earn $3,000 from your summer internship with a Michigan Law clinic, you would only be eligible for $4,500 in Guarantee funding.
  • To be eligible for the full $5,000 in Guarantee funding, you may not earn more than $7,500 for the 10-weeks of qualified work from all sources of funding.  If you exceed this $7,500 cap, your Guarantee funding amount will be reduced.  For example, if an employer provides a $5,000 stipend for the 10-weeks of employment, you would only be eligible for $2,500 in Guarantee funding for these 10-weeks. 
  • To be eligible for the $5,000 in Guarantee funding, you may not earn more than $10,000 for the entire summer from all sources of funding.  If you exceed this $10,000 cap, your Guarantee funding amount will be reduced.  For example, if you complete a 10-week internship with the ACLU and then work for a private law firm for 4 weeks and earn $6,000 from the private firm, you would only be eligible for $4,000 in Guarantee funding.
  • If you are a Michigan Law PRAL fellow, you may be eligible for a prorated share of Guarantee funding if you work at a qualified employer for at least 10 weeks and you do not exceed the $7,500 cap from Michigan Law sources of funding. 
  • An Equal Justice Works summercorps education award voucher ($1,175 for 2014) does not count towards the Guarantee funding caps.
  • 2L Public Service Guarantee funding may be considered taxable income even if a W-2 is not issued.  This should not be construed as tax advice, however, and we encourage you to consult with a tax advisor for more information.
  • Students interested in receiving Law School funds for a summer or post-graduate position outside the United States must consult with the Office of Career Planning regarding University-required paperwork that must be completed before funds can be released.  Further, the University's International Travel Policy lists University Travel Restricted Destinations, and activities in these destinations are not eligible for University funding.  Because the list of Travel Restricted Destinations is subject to change, students should be aware that it is possible that funding is not ensured, and should therefore keep in close contact with OCP about potentially affected destinations.
  • Guarantee funding is meant to fill-in gaps when other funding is not available to you.  If your employer offers a stipend, you should accept the stipend and apply for a reduced amount of Guarantee funding, as appropriate.

Can I Split My Summer?

Yes, you may choose to work at more than one qualified government or public interest organization.  To be eligible for Guarantee funding, you have to work for a total of 10 or more weeks at these agencies/organizations and you must work for a minimum of 6 weeks at one of these agencies/organizations.  You may also spend a portion of the summer working at a private firm, but to be eligible for Guarantee funding, you must work at least 10 weeks at a qualified government or public interest organization and your Guarantee funding amount will be reduced if you earn more than $10,000 for the entire summer from all sources of funding.  For example, if you complete a 10-week internship with Legal Aid and then work for a private firm for 4 weeks and earn $6,000 from the private firm, you would only be eligible for $4,000 in Guarantee funding.


Do I Have to Have a Job Secured Before Submitting the Application Form?

Yes. The deadline is set for mid-June to allow most, if not all, students to secure a summer internship by that date. 


I am Pursuing a Dual-Degree. What Summer Do I Qualify for the Guarantee?

You would qualify for the Guarantee after your second year of law school OR a later summer. You can only receive the stipend once. Also, you are only eligible to receive Dean's Public Service Fellowship funding OR Guarantee funding during your time at Michigan Law, not both.


When and How Do I Get the Stipend?

Your Guarantee stipend will be disbursed in one payment after the close of the winter semester. We strongly encourage you to set up direct deposit in Wolverine Access to ensure timely receipt of your stipend. If you have not arranged for direct deposit, please make sure that Wolverine Access is updated with your current address so that a check can be mailed to you.

The date you received the funding depends on when your application and employer verification form are received. Stipend payments will be processed starting at the beginning of May.


How Do I Check on the Status of My Application?

You can, and should, check on the status of your application here.  Please allow up to 5-10 business days after submission of the employer verification form for your status to be updated.


Questions?

If you have any questions about your eligibility for the 2L Public Service Guarantee, you can reach the Public Interest Director, Alyson Robbins, at alyr@umich.edu or (734) 764-0546.

 
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