In 1978, a group of Stanford law students and alumni, including Karen Chapman (JD ’79) and Mark Chavez (JD ’79), created the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation (SPILF). Through this student group, the Stanford community strives to support groups that lack adequate legal representation.  You may view the SPILF informational brochure here.

Our Mission Statement:

 The Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation is dedicated to creating and supporting opportunities for the Public Interest Community to engage in innovative public interest work. Led entirely by students, SPILF raises money to provide financial support to members of the Stanford Law community working to further the public interest. SPILF’s goals are to:

  1. Bring legal services to those groups that would otherwise lack access to adequate legal representation;
  2. Strengthen the network of students and alumni involved with public interest;
  3. Provide training and support to students interested in pursuing public interest work at Stanford Law School and after graduation; and,
  4. Increase participation in and the visibility of public interest initiatives at Stanford.

In its earlier years, SPILF provided grant aid to Stanford law students who find summer employment with public interest groups. Many of these jobs pay little, if at all, and SPILF helped students support themselves while they explored fields outside of the more lucrative private sector.

In recent years, Stanford Law School has expanded its summer grant program and now fully funds the program for public interest students. As a result, SPILF now turns greater attention to its founding mission of creating new and innovative opportunities for law students and legal professionals; for the past several years, SPILF’s funds have supported public interest fellowships for recent Stanford Law graduates, Stanford-affiliated public interest initiatives, and outside project grants to non-profit organizations engaged in public interest legal work. This year, SPILF will be awarding two year-long public interest fellowships.

Each year, student members raise all SPILF funds through the Annual “Bid for Justice” Benefit Auction, Hotel Voucher pledges, alumni and faculty donations, and law firm contributions.

The SPILF Student Board

  • Co-Presidents: Karen Ding & Camille Peeples
  • Treasurers: Karen Ding & Helen Lawless
  • Vice Presidents of Auction: Nick DeFiesta & Erika Hoglund
  • Vice Presidents of Bar Grants: Makeba Rutahindurwa
  • Vice Presidents of Student Initiatives: Savannah Fletcher, Emma Eastwood-Paticchio & Edward Nugent
  • Vice Presidents of Development: Zach Watterson
  • Secretary: Abby Walter
  • Hotel Voucher Program: Zach Watterson
  • Auction Advisory Committee: Edward Nugent, Makeba Rutahindurwa & Zach Watterson

The 2018 Bid for Justice Auction Board:

  • Co-Chairs: Maddy Bullard & Tyler Bishop
  • Venue Chair: Jeffrey Ho & Steven Jaffe
  • Students Chair: Sarah Mitchell
  • Marketing Chair: Rachel Waterman
  • Management Chair: Diana Sanchez
  • Inventory Chair: Lori Ding
  • Faculty Chair: Hannah Begley & AJ Jeffries
  • Alumni Chair: Quinn Walker & Isabella Fu
  • Firms Chair: Stephen Tang & Rebecca Michelson
  • Wine Chair: Melissa Giangrande & Allison Wettstein
  • Entertainment Chair: CJ Harrington
  • Local Business/Food Chairs: Pauline Ryan, Ashley Brooks & Tyrik LaCruise
  • Web Chair: Caroline Jo & George Brown