Public Interest Fellowship Program

Overview

The Walter Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) at Villanova University School of Law provides financial support to students who commit their summers to public service legal work.  Many law students, dedicated to helping the less fortunate, are limited by financial constraints.  Similarly, public interest legal organizations often cannot afford to hire much needed summer interns.  Through fundraising, PIFP, an entirely student-run organization, provides summer fellowships to Villanova Law students, who in turn aid the larger community by working with various public interest organizations throughout the region, nation and world to deliver volunteer legal services to those in need.

PIFP Table at the Activities Fair

Since its founding in 1998, PIFP has raised over $770,000 through a variety of creative fundraising endeavors and awarded over 170 summer fellowships (each now valued at $4,500).  In addition, 2013 marked the eighth consecutive year that PIFP provided $12,000 to fund its Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP).  LRAP provides a $12,000 award, paid over three years, to a recent graduate committed to working for a public interest organization or governmental agency.

The highlight of PIFP’s fundraising efforts is its annual spring auction, which in recent years has featured 250 to 300 silent and live auction items donated by individuals and businesses throughout Greater Philadelphia and across the country.  PIFP’s 2015 Public Interest Auction will take place on Friday evening, March 20, 2015 at Villanova Law School, and marks the 18th anniversary of the event.  

Please join PIFP in helping public interest organizations to deliver volunteer legal services to those in need.  Click on the links above to learn more, and thank you for your support of public interest! 

PIFP Board

Co-Directors Sam Epstein
Meagan Potter
Volunteer Coordinators Boone Schriebman
Ian Forster
Fellowship Coordinator Zach Chapman
Special Events Coordinators Alanna Kearney
Steve Bertil
Solicitations Coordinators

Greg Matthews
Alex Madrak
Paige Devine

Alumni and Development Coordinator Jenna Peppenelli
Secretary Brittany Daniels
Treasurer Natasha Felder

Walter Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program 
Pepper Hamilton LLP 2014 Public Interest Auction

PIFP Live Auction held in the Commons

This year's auction will be held on March 20, 2015.
Details to follow.

The Walter Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) of Villanova University School of Law hosted the Pepper Hamilton LLP 2014 Public Interest Auction on Friday, March 28, 2014 at Villanova Law School.  The silent auction began at 6 PM, and the live auction commenced at 8:30 PM.  Admission was free and all were welcome.    

This year marked the 17th anniversary of the event, PIFP’s largest and most successful fundraiser, and PIFP is most grateful to Pepper Hamilton LLP for serving as the auction’s first official sponsor.

Comprised of both silent and live auctions, the event in recent years has featured 250 to 300 items donated by individuals and businesses throughout Greater Philadelphia and across the country including: lunch and golf foursomes with distinguished Villanova Law alumni, vacation stays, tickets to cultural and sporting events, and much more; and all proceeds go toward providing $4,500 fellowships to current students who commit their summers to performing public service legal work.  PIFP also awards one $12,000 fellowship each year to a recent graduate who has committed to working full-time for a public service organization or governmental agency.

Founded in 1998, PIFP is a student-led organization dedicated to supporting student legal work in the public interest sector.  Each year, volunteers work tirelessly to raise money to provide summer fellowships for their fellow students who otherwise would work in unpaid public interest positions.  This work is critically important, not only to the public interest organizations with whom the fellows serve, but especially to the lives of low income individuals, the elderly, abused and neglected children, victims of discrimination, people with disabilities, and other members of our society in need of legal advocates.

Please join PIFP in helping public interest organizations deliver volunteer legal services to those in need throughout the Greater Philadelphia region and beyond!  

Monetary Donations

We appreciate donations is any amount. Please consider sponsoring a fellow for an hour ($11.25), a day ($90), a week ($450), a month ($1800), or an entire summer ($4500).

You can make a monetary donation online by clicking here and designating your gift to the Public Interest Fellowship Program, or by sending a check payable to Villanova University School of Law to:

Villanova University School of Law
Public Interest Fellowship Program
299 North Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085

Auction Items

We are always looking for more items to put in our annual auction.  If you have an item you would like to donate please fill out one of the donation forms below.  If you have any inquiries about what type of item to donate, please contact us at pifp@law.villanova.edu.

Auction Catalogue

Click here for a list of items offered at this year's auction!

The Philadelphia Deans' Cup

VLS Students Compete in the Annual Cozen O'Connor Deans' Cup

The Philadelphia Deans’ Cup is an annual charity basketball game between Temple Law and Villanova Law designed to raise funds for the public interest organizations of both law schools—Temple's Student Public Interest Network (SPIN) and Villanova's Walter Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP).

The 2014 Philadelphia Deans' Cup took place on Friday, April 11, with tip-off at 8 PM in the Jake Nevin Field House at Villanova University, and marked the fourth annual meeting of both schools on the basketball court. Villanova won the inaugural game in 2011, Temple was victorious in 2012, and Villanova won the first Cozen O’Connor 2013 Philadelphia Dean’s Cup last spring.  2014 again saw victory for Villanova. We hope to bring home the Cup again this year!

Dean's Cup Fans Cheer on Villanova

Upcoming Events:

5 K Race

November 15, 2014
9 AM 
Villanova Law School


Past Events:

PIFP TALENT SHOW

Talent Show


Wednesday, October 15, 2014
8 PM
Ardmore Music Hall 


PIFP Pong

PIFP Pong

March 19, 2014

2014 PIFP Summer Fellows

  • Steve Bertil - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Brittany Daniels - Homeless Advocacy Project (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Azadeh Erfani , Pepper Hamilton LLP Fellow - Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (Washington, DC)

  • Natasha Felder - United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
 
  • Ian Forster, Pepper Hamilton LLP Fellow -  Office of School Wellness Programs, New York City Department of Education (New York, NY)

  • Alanna Kearney, Professor Penelope Pether Fellow  – The Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice (Bronx, NY)

  • Alezander Madrak - Department of Labor's Philadelphia Regional Solicitor's Office (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Caitlin Lambert, Cozen O'Connor Fellow  - International Criminal Court (The Hague, The Netherlands)

  • Jenna Peppenelli, Pepper Hamilton LLP Fellow  - Oneida County District Attorney's Office (Utica, NY)
 & New York Supreme Court for the 5th Judicial District
  • Casey Schweppenheiser – Chester County District Attorney's Office (West Chester, PA)
 
  • Nicholas M. Vaz - Conservation Law Foundation (Providence, RI)

Contact PIFP

Villanova University School of Law
Public Interest Fellowship Program
299 North Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085

610-519-6163

pifp@law.villanova.edu


LRAP Application

The PIFP Loan Repayment Assistance Program Application is available for download here.