Not only do PILS recipients have academic profiles that boast strong scores and grades, they also have very strong backgrounds in fields that pertain to social justice and public service. Many have worked for years in areas such as human rights, healthcare, environmental advocacy, international development, immigration, social work, child advocacy, prison reform, politics and welfare reform.

Launched in 1999 by generous donors who believed that the mission of the law school naturally led to the need for such a scholarship, the first class of scholars graduated in 2003. These graduates have built a strong network, giving back to the program and assisting new students as they begin their pursuit of public interest law careers. Once scholars have graduated from the School of Law, it is hoped that a significant portion of their careers be dedicated to public interest law.


We also offer a variety of other scholarships, such as the Peace Corps and Teach For America Scholarships, for those students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice and a solid academic background.

Selection Process

To be considered for the full-tuition Public Interest Law Scholarship (PILS) applicants must first gain admission to the law school. The consideration period for the PILS Award for Fall 2015 entry has passed. For Fall 2016 entry, all applications received by January 15, 2016, will automatically be considered for the PILS Award.

Students who wish to bolster their candidacy for PILS may also submit an optional one-page essay with their application matierals via LSAC.org. The public interest essay prompt is as follows:

We are a nationally recognized leader in public interest law. Our Public Interest Law Scholarship (PILS) program offers full-tuition scholarships to selected students. All completed applications submitted by January 15, 2016, will be automatically considered for this program; however, you may wish to submit an optional essay regarding your public service commitment. Please discuss your view of the role of law as a vehicle for influencing social change. Please focus on your professional and/or personal experiences with a specific issue. How do you expect the knowledge you gain from legal studies will advance your ability to address this issue or similar issues?

PILS Day

Finalists should plan to join us on campus for a special event in the Spring of 2016. Date TBA.

Questions or Concerns?

Please don't hesitate to be in touch with the Office of Admissions if you have any questions about the Public Interest Law Scholarship. You can contact us at lawadmissions@neu.edu or (617) 373-2395.