It's no secret that it's hard to secure even minimal funding for summer internships with government agencies and public interest organizations even though these organizations offer invaluable, highly specialized legal experience. And sometimes it seems the very organizations that provide the best experience are least able to provide financial support.

At Michigan Law, we think it's central to our role as a top-ranked public law school to continue making it possible for our students to pursue careers that serve the greater good. Frankly, we don't want financial hardship to come between our talented and energetic students and their ability to contribute those talents and energies to public service. The 2L Public Service Guarantee, which aims to continue our long and distinguished history of supplying superbly trained lawyers to the public and nonprofit sectors, is proof of that commitment.

 

The Public Service Guarantee offers up to a $6,500 summer stipend for all 2Ls who obtain summer internships with qualified government or public interest organizations.

Questions?

Application Information

Before You Apply

  • What are the limitations on this funding?
    • You must work full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks at a qualified government or public interest organization. The organization must be either a government agency (federal, state, or local) or a non-profit organization and the work performed must be non-partisan, legal in nature, and supervised by an attorney.
    • Judicial internships do not qualify for the 2L Public Service Guarantee. You also cannot get Guarantee funding for coursework (including Officer Candidate School) and you cannot get credit and Guarantee funding for the same work per ABA regulations.
    • To be eligible for the full $6,500 in Guarantee funding, you may not earn more than $7,500 for the entire summer from all sources of funding. If you exceed this $7,500 cap, the Guarantee funding amount will be reduced. For example, if you earn $1,500 from your summer internship with the ACLU, you would only be eligible for $6,000 in Guarantee funding.
    • If you are a Michigan Law PRAL fellow, you may be eligible for a prorated share of Guarantee funding if your work at a qualified employer or employers is for at least 10 weeks and you do not exceed the $7,500 cap from all sources of funding. Please contact mls-psg@umich.edu to discuss your PRAL fellowship and 2L Public Service Guarantee Funding.
    • An Equal Justice Works Summer Legal Corps award ($1,000) does not count towards the Guarantee funding caps.
    • 2L Public Service Guarantee funding may be considered taxable income even if a W-2 is not issued. This should not be construed as tax advice, however, and we encourage you to consult with a tax advisor for more information.
    • Students interested in receiving Law School funds for a summer or post-graduate position outside the United States must consult with the Office of Career Planning regarding University-required paperwork that must be completed before funds can be released. Further, the University's International Travel Policy lists University Travel Restricted Destinations, and activities in these destinations are not eligible for University funding. Because the list of Travel Restricted Destinations is subject to change, students should be aware that it is possible that funding is not ensured, and should therefore keep in close contact with OCP about potentially affected destinations.
    • Guarantee funding is meant to fill-in gaps when other funding is not available to you. If your employer offers a stipend, you should accept the stipend and apply for a reduced amount of Guarantee funding, as appropriate.
  • How do I find an internship with a qualified organization?

    To be eligible for 2L Public Service Guarantee funding, you must obtain a full-time internship for a minimum of 10 weeks with a qualified government or public interest organization. The organization must be either a government agency (federal, state, or local) or a non-profit organization and the work performed must be non-partisan, legal in nature, and supervised by an attorney.

    The choice of where you spend your 2L summer, the skills you develop, the practice area you choose, and the connections you make can have an impact on your postgraduate career plans.

    Speak to an advisor

Apply Now

  • Process Overview

    You must:

    1. Secure a qualified internship with a government or public interest organization that is full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks.
       
    2. Complete the application form.
      Complete the Application Form
       
    3. Have your employer submit an Employer Verification form.
       
    4. The application deadline is 11:59pm on May 28. You must submit both the Employment Verification form AND the application form by that deadline.
       
    5. At the end of your internship, submit an online summary of your experience to be shared with other Michigan Law students through the Public Service Network.
  • Report Your Job

    Before you can apply, you need to report your job to the Office of Career Planning. 

    Report Your Job

    After you report your job, your employer will appear under Public Service Work Experience within a day or two. 

    Is My Employer Listed?

  • Your Summer Summary

    Once your employer is listed under Public Service Work Experience, please click on the employer name to review, complete, and submit the form.

    Is My Employer Listed?

  • Employer Verification

    Your employer will need to complete the Employer verification form.

    Employer Verification Form (pdf)

  • Application Status

    To check on the status of your application, click on Check on Guarantee Application under Public Service Work Experience.

    Check Status

FAQs

  • Can I split my summer?

    Yes, you may choose to work at more than one qualified government or public interest organization. To be eligible for Guarantee funding, you have to work for a total of 10 or more weeks at these agencies/organizations and you must work for a minimum of 6 weeks at one of these agencies/organizations. 

    You may also spend a portion of the summer working at a non-qualifying legal employer such as a private firm, or in a legal research assistant position, but to be eligible for Guarantee funding, you must work at least 10 weeks at a qualified government or public interest organization and your Guarantee funding amount will be reduced if you earn more than $7,500 for the entire summer from all sources of funding. For example, if you complete a 10-week unpaid internship with Legal Aid and then work for a private firm for 4 weeks and earn $6,000 from the private firm, you would only be eligible for $1,500 in Guarantee funding.

  • Do I have to secure a job before I submit the application form?

    Yes. The deadline is set for late May to allow most, if not all, students to secure a summer internship by that date.

  • I am Pursuing a Dual-Degree. Am I Eligible To Receive the Guarantee Twice?

    Yes, you may be eligible to receive the 2L Guarantee for both your "2L summer "(i.e. after your second year of law school) and your "dual degree summer" (after your dual degree year but ONLY IF you have already completed your first year of law school as well). To qualify for the 2L Guarantee twice, your internships must otherwise qualify and you must show evidence that you applied for the maximum funding available for your "dual degree summer" from your graduate program before applying for the 2L Guarantee. Money obtained from the graduate program may impact the amount of funding you obtain from the 2L Guarantee given the $7500 cap. For example, if your dual degree is at the Ford School and you obtain $3000 from them, you will be awarded $4500 from the 2L Guarantee.

  • When and how do I get the stipend?

    Your Guarantee stipend will be disbursed in one payment after the close of the winter semester. We strongly encourage you to set up direct deposit in Wolverine Access to ensure timely receipt of your stipend. If you have not arranged for direct deposit, please make sure that Wolverine Access is updated with your current address so that a check can be mailed to you.

    The date you received the funding depends on when your application and employer verification form are received. Stipend payments will be processed starting at the beginning of May.