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 2016-2017 SPILF Student Board

  • Co-Presidents: Natalie Karl & Isaiah Deporto
  • Treasurers: Zoé Friedland & Karen Ding
  • Vice Presidents of Auction: Camille Peeples & Karen Ding
  • Vice Presidents of Grants: Omar Qureshi & Elena Mercado
  • Vice Presidents of Student Initiatives: Savannah Fletcher & Katie McKeon
  • Vice Presidents of Development: Lauren Gorodetsky & Elizabeth Costello
  • Secretary: Natalie Karl
  • Hotel Voucher Program: Leonardo Villalobos

The 2017 Bid for Justice Auction Board:

  • The 2017 Bid for Justice Auction Board
  • Co-Chairs: Nick DeFiesta & Erika Hoglund
  • Alumni Chair: Abby Walter
  • Entertainment Chair: Parker Cragg
  • Faculty Chair: Thomas Butterfoss
  • Firm Chair: Hannah Coleman
  • Food Chair: Eddie Nugest
  • Inventory Chair: Makeba Rutahindurwa
  • Local Businesses Chair: Emma Eastwood-Paticchio
  • Management Chair: Andra Lim
  • Marketing Chair: Hannah Matsunaga
  • Students Chair: Emily Hawley
  • Venue Chair: Helen Lawless
  • Web Chair: Michael Abramson
  • Wine Chair: Clarisse de la Cerda