The Ms. JD 2021 Public Interest Scholarship program provides a stipend to students as they pursue careers in public interest law. Ms. JD is thrilled to continue our support of women pursuing public interest careers and soften the burden faced by those who accept public interest internships, which are often unpaid. We are awarding $25,000 in scholarships based on the generous contribution from our sponsor, Zox.

The definition of public interest law is broad and includes both domestic and international work; direct service, impact litigation, and policy work; and government and non-profit work. Former public interest scholarship award recipients have pursued internships in immigration law, women’s rights, public health, public defense, government at all levels, and criminal justice reform.

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GET TO KNOW OUR SPONSOR

We are honored to have Zox sponsor the 2021 Ms. JD Public Interest Scholarship.

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ELIGIBILITY

  • The Scholarship is open to all law students who identify as women. Ms. JD recognizes women in all their diversities.
  • Applicants should be entering their second or third year at an ABA-accredited U.S. law school as of summer 2021.
  • Applicants should be planning to work at least 30 hours per week for a minimum of 4 weeks over the summer of 2021.
  • Eligible placements include positions with a government agency, nonprofit organization, or unpaid judicial externship.
  • Applicants do not need to have a confirmed placement at the time of application, but will be asked to submit an offer letter confirming their public interest placement before funds are disbursed in June 2021.
  • Applicant must be a member of the Ms. JD Online Community. Join here
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HOW TO APPLY

Complete the online application, including answering the essay prompt in 800 words or less, found in the application form.

Before starting your application, please be sure to have the following files available to upload to your application: a copy of your resume, your unofficial law school transcript(s), one letter of recommendation, and a headshot.

Letters of recommendation should be submitted via email to publicinterest@ms-jd.org.

Applications are due on Monday, June 7, 2021 by 11:59pm EST.

The selection committee aims to award scholarships to applicants who will become leaders in the public interest community and who will follow through on a plan to pursue public interest career paths. This commitment can be demonstrated through prior public service work experience (not necessarily legal in nature), engagement in public service during your undergraduate and legal education, and service and volunteer work. Successful applicants demonstrate an understanding of the rewards and challenges of a public interest legal career.

An official announcement will be made by Friday, June 11, 2021.

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THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC INTEREST

Thanks to the generous contribution from Zox, we are awarding $25,000 in scholarships to support law students who accept public interest internships, which are often unpaid.

MEET OUR 2020 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

FAQs

What is the Ms. Public Interest Scholarship?

The Ms. JD 2021 Public Interest Scholarship program provides a stipend to students as they pursue careers in public interest law. Ms. JD is thrilled to continue our support of women pursuing public interest careers and soften the burden faced by those who accept public interest internships, which are often unpaid.

What are the expected requirements as a Public Interest Scholarship recipient?

Public Interest Scholarship recipients are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete their summer placement working at least 30 hours per week for a minimum of 4 weeks over the summer of 2021.
  • Participate in Public Interest Scholar virtual presentation program to share public interest internship experience with the Ms. JD community in August 2021.   

How are Scholarship recipients selected?

The process of selecting recipients is holistic. Scholarship recipients are selected based on academic performance, leadership, and dedication to advancing the status of women in public interest law.

I am not a second-year law school student ("2L" or rising 3L).  Can I still apply to the Scholarship?

First of all, thank you for your interest in the Ms. JD Public Interest Scholarship!  The Scholarship is only open to second-year law students or 2Ls.  If you are a 1L, we strongly encourage you to apply next year. 

Where should I submit a letter of recommendation?

Your recommender should send their letter of recommendation directly to publicinterest@ms-jd.org. Letters of recommendation should be sent to publicinterest@ms-jd.org by Monday, June7, 2021 for review and consideration.

Can you add some information to my application after I have submitted it?

No, we cannot alter or add information to your application form, manuscript, or statement of plans once we have received it (the only exception is if you or your recommender’s contact information changes). Please make sure your application is ready and complete before you submit it. Please do not contact us to let us know one of your manuscripts has been published or received an award; this information will not have any bearing on our decision.

How are applicants selected?

Applications are read thoroughly by a committee. The committee members then score applicants based on a rubric and then discuss the most promising applicants they consider the most suitable to receive the Ms. JD Public Interest Scholarship.