Summer Public Interest Grants for UNC Law and Graduate Students

summer-job-pictureEach year, the UNC School of Law provides grants to law students taking unpaid or low-paying summer public interest jobs. Funding for these grants comes from several sources, including the Carolina Public Interest Law Organization (CPILO), private funds given by generous donors, law school funds allocated by the Dean, and student organizations that fundraise to support students working in a particular area of interest.  In 2013, the grant program awarded more than $292,000 to 85 students. In 2014, the award amount will be $500,000, which could benefit more than 160 students.

For the second year in a row, the Center for Media Law and Policy is contributing funds to assist students (both UNC law and graduate students) who have a summer job in the field of media law or media policy.  Wait, you don’t have a summer job yet?  Head over to our media law and policy Jobs Center, where you will find dozens of summer and post-graduate employment opportunities.  Still not sure what you want to do for the summer?  You can read about the summer experiences of your fellow students on the Center’s blog.

Requirements and Information on How to Apply for a Summer Grant

For UNC law students, the deadline for applying for a summer grant is March 20, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.  The application process (and general requirements) for these funds is the same as for the law school’s Summer Public Interest Grant.  Simply check the box on the general application for “Media Law or Policy” under the heading “Substantive Areas Your Summer Employment Will Involve” and you will be automatically considered for these funds.  If you have already filled out an application, just log back in and check the box for “Media Law or Policy”; you can make changes to your application until the application deadline.

For UNC graduate students, the deadline for applying for a summer grant is March 27, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.  Please download the application form and send it directly to us at medialaw [at] along with the other supporting material described below.  You will be notified of a decision in early April.

NOTE: You must have a job offer from one of the following types of organizations to be eligible: a nonprofit organization (an organization that is described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Code), a legal aid office, a state or federal government agency, a public defender office, or a district attorney office.

Applications will be evaluated based on (a) your demonstrated commitment to public service and (b) the quality of your essays (each essay must not be more than 500 words).

Required documents include:

  1. Resume (without grade information)
  2. Offer letter from your employer
  3. Essays (no more than 500 words each) *

* Essay questions:

  • Essay #1: Describe your work responsibilities and how they relate to media law or media policy.
  • Essay #2: Describe your commitment to public service. How have your past interests and work experiences contributed to your proposed summer internship responsibilities?
  • Essay #3: How do you see this summer work experience contributing to your long-term career goals?

Be sure to check out these Tips for Writing a Strong Grant Application.

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