The Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) is pleased to announce that applications are now available for its Legal Intern Fellowship Program (LIFP). Through the LIFP, the MBF awards $6,000 stipends to law students who intern during the summer months at nonprofit organizations providing civil legal services to low-income clients in Massachusetts. Founded in 1996, the LIFP seeks to encourage careers in the law that further the goals of social justice, while contributing valuable legal support to organizations serving the state’s low-income population.
MBF Trustee and LIFP Committee Chair Jenny C. Chou explained, "With these grants, organizations that address the legal needs of the poor are able to get much-needed assistance from law students. And having had the experience of working with a legal aid organization, these students may be more inclined to enter the arena of public service law. It is really a win-win situation."
Generous funding from the MBF Fellows Fund and the Smith Family Fund makes this program possible. Established together with the MBF in 1964, the MBF Fellows Fund consists of donations from Massachusetts lawyers and judges who serve as fellows to the foundation. Proceeds from this fund are used for initiatives that support the MBF’s mission: to improve the administration of justice, promote an understanding of the law, and ensure equal access to the legal system for all residents of the commonwealth. The Smith Family Fund was created as a permanent endowment to the MBF in 1989 to provide legal services to low-income individuals, especially to children.
As one of the MBF’s most successful initiatives, the LIFP has enabled law students to put lessons learned in the classroom into practice at organizations across the state. Students repeatedly rave about their experience. For example, Adam Homicz, 2003 MBF Fellow, noted, "The experience gave me invaluable insight into the intricacies of legal aid and taught me more about how law is actually practiced than my entire first year of law school."