Public Justice Foundation (PJF)
Hofstra Law’s Public Justice Foundation helps to ensure that quality legal services are provided to those who would otherwise be marginalized or forgotten in the justice system.
This is achieved through Public Interest Law Fellowships, which are awarded to students who devote their summers to working in an area of public interest law, such as Legal Aid, the District Attorney's Office, Child Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United Nations, among others.
Fellowship recipients have worked at some of the following places: Nassau/Suffolk Law Services, District Attorney's Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, New York State Division of Human Rights, New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, South Brooklyn Legal Services, New York Legal Assistance Group, Legal Assistance Corp. of Massachusetts (Family and Child Department), Domestic Violence Coalition, Public Defender Office, and many, many more.
Last summer, 23 students received Public Interest Law Fellowships.
Jonathan Goldhirsch 2L, U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration: The Public Justice Foundation's grant allowed me to spend my summer working full time at the U.S. Department of Labor. At DOL, I assisted attorneys in their investigations of retirement and welfare plans, helping to recover delinquent contributions to these plans. I reviewed thousands of emails and plan agreements to determine whether employers were providing adequate benefits to their employees. I also researched high-profile employment law issues like cross-plan offsetting and wrote research memorandums to assist attorneys to better understand recent case law and the secretary of labor’s position on such issues. This internship allowed me to hone my research abilities and develop my analytical thinking, ultimately improving the quality and efficiency of my work.
Samantha Levitz 2L, Nassau County District Attorney's Office, District Court: Thanks to the generous funding that I received from PJF, I was able to spend my summer shadowing experienced attorneys at the Nassau County District Attorney's Office. During my internship I observed various court proceedings and assisted in preparing for hearings and trials. This experience solidified my passion for criminal prosecution and was an invaluable contribution to my legal education.
Mia Polizzotto 3L, The Legal Aid Society and the Domestic Violence Project of the Urban Justice Center: With the generous funding I received from PJF fellowships, I was able to spend two summers doing public interest work. I interned the summer after my 1L year for The Legal Aid Society's Immigration Law Unit and the summer after my 2L year for the Domestic Violence Project of the Urban Justice Center. These experiences affirmed my passion for public interest work and gave me invaluable experience.
Cory Robinson 2L, Nassau County District Attorney's Office: The Public Justice Foundation gave me the opportunity to spend my summer at the Nassau County District Attorney's Office. I have been pursuing my dream of becoming a prosecutor for years. But when I got to law school, I was worried about paying bills and the expenses of commuting while also saving money to pay for loans after school. Because of PJF, I did not have to sacrifice experience for a paid summer. I was able to have the best of both worlds. To any and all potential donors, I thank you in advance. You all are the very reason that I can pursue what I love and what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Support summer fellowships for students pursuing unpaid internships in government and nonprofit agencies.