Can’t make it to the auction? You can bid online for a chance to win items.
The Walter A. Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law provides financial support to students who commit their summers to public service legal work. Many law students are dedicated to helping the less fortunate but 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.
Comprised of both silent and live auctions, the annual PIFP Auction is a highlight of the semester for students and alumni. It features items, baskets, and experiences donated by individuals and businesses throughout Greater Philadelphia and across the country. All proceeds from the event go toward providing fellowships to current students who commit their summers to performing public service legal work.
Omeed Firouzi ’18
ABA Section of Taxation 2018-2020 Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellow (Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic Attorney)
“My experience as a Public Interest Fellow was incredibly valuable to me. It allowed me to become part of public interest networks and communities, which has allowed me to meet incredible practitioners and work with wonderful clients to help them resolve their issues. Further, I got to become part of the community too, as I got to know other students and alumni who became good lifelong friends and colleagues. Being a part of PIFP led to my current job. I work at the Philadelphia Legal Assistant tax clinic in summer 2016. Thanks to the fellowship, I grew close with my supervisor who remains my boss there today.”
Gabrielle Outlaw ’19
Associate Attorney, Wade Clark Mulcahy LLP
“I loved being a public interest fellow because I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of those in the greater Philadelphia community. PIFP has a positive impact on both the students who are fellows and the clients that they work with in their fellowships. Public interest work is so important and PIFP is a great vehicle for getting students involved.”
Richard Prebil ’17
Staff Attorney, Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
“Being a Public Interest Fellow at Villanova Law helped me connect with others interested in this field. I gained invaluable real-world experience, which helped immensely when I started looking for employment post-graduation. PIFP allows students with a passion for public service to assist individuals most in need, while providing the financial backing to do it. It is an incredible program that leads down the path of public service.”
Waqar Rehman ’19
Assistant Public Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia
“My experience as a Public Interest Fellow has been invaluable to my formation as a public interest lawyer. Interning at Community Legal Services opened my eyes up to how the law could be used to serve indigent clients. When I was a Public Interest Fellow at CLS, I was assigned to work in the Homeownership and Consumer Rights Unit, where lawyers fought for the right for their clients to remain in their homes after foreclosures notices were issued. The approach that CLS took in representing their clients was novel in that the staff had an understanding of systemic failures that contributed to clients' legal problems.
The Public Interest Fellowship allows students to utilize the legal knowledge we acquire in law school for the betterment of people who might not be able to secure legal representation because of a lack of money. We are taught that justice is blind, but the reality shows otherwise. When lawyers and aspiring attorneys work in Public Interest fields, they are fighting for a world that brings us closer to that ideal.”