Cardozo Public Service Summer Stipend

Applications for Cardozo's 2020 Public Service Summer Stipend are open. The application deadline is December 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

Cardozo's Public Service Summer Stipend program provides students with funding for unpaid internships in public service during the summer while they're in school. For the past several years, we've been able to provide funding for every student who has wanted it, obtained a qualifying internship, and completed the stipend requirements, and we hope to continue to be able to do that this year. However, our stipend program is truly a community effort, so although many of our staff and faculty work hard to raise funds and administer the program, much of its success depends on you!

Eligible registrants who complete all of the requirements below by the specified deadlines will receive a grant from the school. Deadlines are strictly followed.

1. Info Session

All students who wish to apply for the stipend must attend one of three identical info sessions held in November. The sessions are advertised through flyers, the Cardozo website, Symplicity, the Office of Career Services newsletter, and the Public Service Supplement to the OCS newsletter.

2. Application

Students who have attended one of the mandatory meetings who wish to apply for the stipend must complete an online application by December 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required to file two years of FAFSAs. Questions about completing the FAFSAs should be directed to the Student Finance Office at clfinaid@yu.edu or (212) 790-0392.

3. Internship Requirements

While you can apply for the stipend before you've secured a qualifying internship, you will need to get an internship and work there to actually receive the stipend. The internship must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. It must be at either a government entity (city, state, or federal, and this includes judges' chambers) OR a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. YOU are responsible for verifying that the employer qualifies for the stipend before accepting an internship. Be aware that a private law firm that is not a 501(c)(3), even if it has a "public interest" focus, will not qualify for the stipend.
  2. It must be supervised by an attorney.
  3. It must be legal in nature (i.e., involving substantive legal work appropriate for a law student).
  4. It must be unpaid.
  5. Your work must be performed on-site at the employer's office (i.e., no remote work). If you have special circumstances that only allow you to work remotely, you must let us know ASAP (by emailing summerstipend@yu.edu) and we may approve remote work on a case-by-case basis.
  6. You must work at the internship for at least 8 weeks full-time (i.e., 35 hours/week). This is the minimum to meet the requirements for the stipend. However, you are absolutely welcome to work longer if you wish; in fact, many standard summer internship programs are 10 weeks. (Additionally, some of our specific named summer fellowships may require you to work for 10 weeks; you'll be notified if this applies to you.)

While not strictly required, we strongly recommend that you make every effort to secure your qualifying internship by early April.

4. Public Law Advocacy Week (P*LAW)

To qualify for a summer stipend, you will be required to take part in P*LAW -- a week of panel discussions, workshops, and other events dedicated to public service and social justice in late January. Taking place shortly before the PILC Fair, P*LAW is an inspiring and informative week and will help get you ready for your PILC Fair interviews.

You can satisfy the stipend requirement by EITHER:

  • planning at least one P*LAW event/panel OR
  • attending two P*LAW events.

In January, you will be asked to pick up a P*LAW "passport" from OCS on the 11th floor. You'll need to get your passport stamped at the P*LAW events and then turn in your passport to OCS by February 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

5. Assisting with Fundraising

Fundraising for our summer stipend program is truly a community effort, so while we have dramatically reduced the burden on students as of the 2018-19 academic year, we may ask for your help in raising money for this important program.

You will not be asked to make any financial contribution as part of our fundraising for the stipend. However, you may be asked to volunteer to help plan (and also attend) our Public Service Auction. You may be asked to assist with decorations, obtaining donations from faculty, speaking to Cardozo's Board of Overseers about your summer plans, encouraging your classmates to attend the auction, and other auction tasks.

We may also ask for your help with our other fundraising efforts, such as speaking to potential stipend program donors about your summer plans and career goals. We need to get donors excited to contribute to this program, and the main way we can do that is through their getting to know you and hearing about the wonderful work you want to do!

6. Other Requirements

At the end of your summer internship, we'll ask you to complete a thoughtful written evaluation of your experience that will be available to be read by future students. For those who receive special funding, you will also be asked to write a reflection about your summer experience and express your appreciation for the funding.

Finally, we ask for your diligence, patience, and good humor throughout the summer stipend process. For many reasons we cannot control, the process is complicated and unwieldy. It involves many departments throughout the law school and Yeshiva University as a whole, many different funding streams (including federal funding), and large numbers of students. Just know that we are 100% on your side and doing everything we can to get the most funding possible for the most students!

For that reason, it is critical that you read emails from us promptly as they will often contain important instructions and respond promptly where requested. Those emails will come mainly from the email address summerstipend@yu.edu. Also, note that some students will receive stipend-related emails from other Cardozo/Yeshiva staff as the year progresses, such as Jacklyn Tavarez and Kenny Mena here at Cardozo and others in the Human Resources office at Yeshiva uptown. Because of the many departments involved in administering this program, unfortunately there's just no way around that. If you need to contact us with stipend-related questions/issues, please email summerstipend@yu.edu.

Finally, please refer only to emails that you receive from us and not to things you may hear from other students. Because we use different funding streams, there will come a point where different students are receiving different instructions, so checking with a friend will not work and may actually jeopardize your continued eligibility for the program.

Announcement of Funding Levels & Disbursement of Stipends

We will announce our summer funding levels once we have completed our fundraising efforts for the year. This will be in the spring after the Public Service Auction.

To maximize financial assistance for as many eligible students as possible, students may receive funding through either the federal work-study program or institutional Cardozo funds. Students do not have a choice of the source of their funding. Students who are paid through work-study will be placed on the Yeshiva University payroll and will receive their funding in biweekly checks. Work-study is officially considered financial aid and will be recorded on recipients' financial aid accounts at Cardozo. Students will be notified by mid-May regarding the disbursement of their funding and the paperwork they must submit in order to process the disbursements.