Office of Public Interest

Benefits & Responsibilities of Scholars

Build your network.

  • Monthly Meetings
    First year PIPS scholars meet monthly with the Office of Public Interest and other PIPS scholars.
  • Networking
    Scholars have many opportunities to develop relationships with other PIPS Scholars and PIPS Scholar Alumni while at AUWCL, ultimately graduating into a global network of other like-minded lawyers whom they can call upon throughout their professional careers.
  • Mentoring
    Each scholar is assigned a faculty mentor, upper-class PIPS Scholar mentor, and PIPS alumni mentor to assist them in the transition to law school and throughout their academic career.
  • Special Programming
    PIPS scholars participate in special programming such as academic roundtables; advising sessions; faculty meetings; and career counseling created just for them.

Lead your community.

Each scholar commits to giving back to the AUWCL community, organizing programs and public service events that help inspire their law student colleagues to participate in pro bono activities and public interest advocacy.

  • In My Back Yard (IMBY) Public Service Day
    In order to enhance the awareness and interest of the entire AUWCL community towards public service, during the spring semester and through the summer following the first year, PIPS Scholars  plan and organize a public service day (IMBY) for the next incoming first-year class, to precede AUWCL's formal orientation program.
  • Pro Bono
    Scholars must participate in AUWCL's Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program, which requires that 75 hours of pro bono and/or public interest work be completed by graduation.
  • Service Projects
    Second and third-year PIPS Scholars work with the Office of Public Interest to develop a public service project that includes representation and/or advocacy on behalf of underrepresented, low-income, or otherwise disadvantaged individuals and communities. Scholars also commit to fully engage in the WCL public interest community by taking leadership roles in student groups and publications.
  • Writing
    Scholars are required to produce a piece of written scholarship on a public interest issue, which may satisfy the upper level writing requirement if it meets the formal requisites.
  • Post-Graduate Public Service Work
    Scholars commit to pursue public interest/public service employment after graduation.
  • Matriculation. Scholars are expected to maintain matriculation at American University Washington College of Law until graduation.

As a condition of receiving the scholarship, incoming PIPS Scholars will be asked to sign an agreement indicating their understanding and acceptance of the foregoing terms and conditions of the award.