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 now started to build what will become 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 Social Justice Scholarship and 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), which is awarded with a co-op stipend, applicants must first gain admission to the law school. All applications to the law school received by January 10, 2014, will be automatically considered for this scholarship. Students who wish to bolster their candidacy for PILS may also submit any or all of the following materials directly to the School of Law Office of Admissions no later than January 10, 2014. These materials are truly optional.

Please include your full name, LSAC number, and the heading "PILS Supplement" on all of the optional materials you submit. Materials may be emailed directly to the Office of Admissions at (preferred format) or may be hard-copy mailed to:

Office of Admissions
Northeastern University School of Law
400 Huntington Avenue
Suite 101 Knowles
Boston, MA 02115

Optional Supplemental Materials (due by January 10, 2014)

    • Public Interest Experience/Work List
      Please submit a list of all activities that are related to your public interest experience. Relevant experiences may be volunteer or paid positions and may go back as far as your high school years. Please list these experiences in a grid with the name of the organization, type of activity and dates/times spent in each activity.
    • Public Interest Essay
      Please discuss, in no more than two pages, 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 social issue. How do you expect the knowledge you gain from legal studies to advance your ability to address this or similar issues?
    • Letter of Reference [Up to two]
      Please provide up to two additional letters of reference addressing your commitment to public service.

Optional Scholarship Materials Due January 10, 2014
Finalist Interviews March 28, 2014
Awards Made by mid-April, 2014


Finalist Interviews and Awards

PILS finalists will be invited to campus for PILS Interview Day on March 28, 2014, and awards will be made by mid-April, 2014. Interview Day is a great way to meet fellow classmates, current and alumni/ae PILS Scholars, faculty, and staff, and to learn about Northeastern's rich and storied history as a premier public interest law school.

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 or (617) 373-2395.