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 can view the SPILF informational brochure here.
Our Mission Statement:
The Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation is a dynamic student group dedicated to creating new and innovative opportunities for law students and legal professionals to engage in critically needed public interest work. Through a variety of fundraising efforts, SPILF provides financial support to law students and alumni dedicated to bringing legal services to those groups that would otherwise lack access to adequate legal representation.
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 2012-2013 SPILF Student Board consists of:
- Co-Presidents: Lorrenzo Arroyo & Mike Stewart
- Treasurers: Kelly Rosencrans & Gabe Schlabach
- VP of Auction: Thomas Rubinsky & Meredith Firetog
- VP of Fellowship: Kimberly Kim & Alex Tucker
- VP of Outside Project Grants: Nick Tsui
- VP of Student Initiatives: Sabrina Forte
- VP of Development: Corinne Keel
- 1L Auction Co-Chairs: Melissa Runsten & Jenna Williams
- Website Team: Seth Lloyd and Joel Fyke
- At large members: Christina Black & Will Cooper
Organizations that have received SPILF Outside Project Grants include:
- Colonia Property Rights Education and Organization
- Legal Aid Society of San Mateo: Teen Prgnancy Project
- Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project
- Contra Costa Senior Legal Services: Elder Abuse Project
- The Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center: The Mississippi Post-Conviction Counsel Project
- Disability Rights Advocates: Access to Health Care Insurance
- Servicemembers Legal Defense Network: The Survival Guide
- Legal Services of the Blue Ridge: Blue Ridge Domestic Violence Project
- AIDS Legal Referral Panel of the San Francisco Bay Area: On-Site Legal Clinics
- East Bay Community Law Center: Community Resources for Economic Empowerment & Sustainability
Preserving SPILF’s History
As part of our efforts to preserve a record of what brought us to where we are and to give us direction and perspective on where we are going, we have recently begun an effort to compile a social history of the organization. If you were involved with SPILF during your time at Stanford Law School or if you attended the Bid for Justice Auction or remember stories about the organization, we would love to hear from you. Simply click here for more information about how you can help.