Since 1984, Boston University’s Public Interest Project (PIP), a student-run organization, provides grants to students who accept unpaid summer positions with non-profit, public interest or government organizations. Our mission is to foster a commitment to non-profit, government, and pro bono work and promote community service for all interested BU Law students and alumni, whether they ultimately pursue a public interest career or work in the private sector. Here we honor our PIP members and exceptional BU alumni who continue to promote and support our mission.
Irene Burga, Class of 2014: 2012 PIP Grant Recipient
I chose South Coast Air Quality Management District for my 1L summer internship because I knew I was interested in Environmental Law and wanted to experience it from the government angle. I was also interested in working at the District because they do great work cleaning up the air of the Los Angeles basin, one of the most polluted areas in the country. During my internship at the SCAQMD,I spent most of my time researching federal, state and local air quality regulations, which were used in air pollution compliance and enforcement cases.The attorneys at the District were incredibly friendly and allowed me to sit in on various case and committee meetings. I assisted mostly through enforcement litigation research and discovery. I was also able to participate in SCAQMD’s rulemaking process on air quality issues by attending District committee meetings and hearings relating to the Air Quality Management Plan adoption. Working at the District was a great experience overall and I would especially recommend it to anyone interested in environmental law, government or both. The PIP grant helped me fund my summer expenses and allowed me to take an unpaid internship at an agency that does really great work, in a field that I am passionate about.
Eric Christianson, Class of 2014: 2012 PIP Grant Recipient
I applied for a PIP grant because I thought that working in a public interest environment during my 1L summer would be a great way to gain real legal skills and experience, serve a population that rarely receives quality legal representation, and to learn about possible pro bono opportunities to pursue after graduation. I really appreciate BU making PIP grants available to such a large number of its students; doing so demonstrates BU’s genuine committment to public interest legal work, both during law school and afterwards.This summer I worked for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF), an non-profit legal organization that provides quality legal services to low-income residents of the Chicago area at no cost to the clients. I worked in LAF’s immigration law practice area. My primary projects included helping undocumented crime victims apply for legal status and assisting clients in defending against deportation proceedings in immigration court. Doing public interest work last summer was definitely a fulfilling experience. Just before my internship ended, we wrapped up a 10+ year deporation case favorably for our client. Afterwards, the client huged me outside of the courtroom – that was a very rewarding moment. Also, I appreciated the fact that LAF, like many public interest organizations, is not afraid to give its interns real independence and responsibility.