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.