LMU Law Launches Fundraising Campaign for Student Public Interest Fellowship Program


Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law (LMU Law) is excited to announce the launch of a fundraising campaign to support its new Student Public Interest Fellowship (SPIF) program. With a commitment to improving access to the legal profession and legal services in Southern Appalachia and other underserved regions, LMU Law is prioritizing efforts to make public interest work more accessible to its law students.

The campaign began with a “Leap into Public Interest” event for donors on February 29 and will continue with the first annual SPIF auction and fundraiser on October 24.

The SPIF program aims to address the financial challenges often faced by students seeking public interest legal work. Many students express a desire to dedicate time during law school to providing legal services to individuals in need or to serving the public. However, public, and non-profit legal employers frequently lack the funds to compensate student interns, leading many students to opt for paid work in the private sector in order to make ends meet.

Recognizing this critical gap, the SPIF program steps in to provide stipends to students who undertake public service-oriented positions. These positions may include placements with non-profit legal services providers, prosecutor and public defender offices, other government agencies and judges. By offering financial support, the SPIF program empowers students to pursue their passion for public interest law without sacrificing their financial stability.

 “I cannot think of anything more mission oriented for LMU Law than providing support to our students who are seeking to gain valuable legal experience in the public or non-profit sectors,” said LMU Law Vice President and Dean Matt Lyon. “The SPIF program also provides an opportunity for us to galvanize our entire LMU Law community around the importance of serving others and our communities.”

The launch of this initiative underscores LMU Law’s dedication to serving its community and advancing the cause of justice. Alumni, friends, and supporters are invited to contribute to the SPIF program, knowing that their support will directly impact the lives of aspiring attorneys and the communities they serve.

Every dollar contributed to the LMU Law SPIF program this year will go directly to law students pursuing traditionally unpaid, but high-impact, public interest work. The result will be more students assisting with meeting vital public legal needs and considering public interest work for their post-graduate careers.

To learn more about the Student Public Interest Fellowship program and how to contribute, click here.

The Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law is located in Knoxville’s Historic Old City Hall Building. LMU Law is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of lawyers to provide sound legal service in the often-underserved region of Appalachia and beyond.


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