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Rutgers Law School, Newark Location

Rutgers Law School, Newark Location
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102


Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Susan J. Feathers
Director, Eric R Neisser Public Interest Program
[email protected]

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Coordinator

Description of Programs

Non-curricular public interest opportunities and activities are carried out under the Eric Neisser Public Interest Program. Students who participate in a minimum of 35 hours of pro bono work during their Law School careers receive special recognition at graduation, as well as a transcript notation. Pro bono credit is awarded for work that is truly volunteer (neither compensated nor undertaken for academic credit). Many students volunteer with one of the Law School-based pro bono initiatives, while others work for outside public interest law organizations or government agencies.

Location of Programs

Eric Neisser Public Interest Program


The director of the Neisser Public Interest Program oversees the Pro Bono Program, which is located within the Public Interest Center. A student coordinator assists in administering the Pro Bono Program, and works closely with the director. The Neisser Program is the umbrella over all public interest and pro bono activities within the law school.


The Pro Bono Program is largely funded by a yearly grant from the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey. These funds are used to pay the student coordinator. The Co-Directors of the Eric Neisser Public Interest Program, who oversee the Pro Bono Program in addition to their other responsibilities, are paid by the law school.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Rutgers School of Law - Newark offers several in-house pro bono opportunities for students:

STREET LAW: In the Spring of 2006, two first-year law students with an interest in working with young people and a desire to use their legal knowledge in a classroom setting founded Street Law at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. The students sought to bring proficiency in practical law to youth and adults and to empower them to use the law and become more active citizens. To this end, Street Law partners with community organizations and local schools to add a law-related component to their programs.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCACY PROJECT: Since January 2001, the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP) has been providing direct legal advocacy to domestic violence victims in Essex County, NJ. DVAP offers students the opportunity for hands-on experience working with victims of domestic violence. No prior experience is required and first-year law students are encouraged to participate. After completing an extensive training, law students volunteer at the Essex County Superior Court in the Domestic Violence Unit. Students provide domestic violence litigants with an overview of the legal process and assist in obtaining Temporary and Final Restraining Orders. Students trained by DVAP have helped thousands of victims of domestic violence seek restraining orders

IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS COLLECTIVE: Rutgers Immigrant Rights Collective (RUIRC) was created by Rutgers-Newark law students in 2003. RUIRC's mission is to educate the Rutgers-Newark community about immigration policy and law, as well as to actively participate in immigration policy discussion by lobbying representatives and working with immigration policy groups in New York and New Jersey. RUIRC is dedicated to promoting immigrants' rights and empowering immigrants.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono


At the end of their final year of law school, all students who have provide 35 hours of pro bono service are invited to a reception at the law school. In addition, they wear a red carnation at graduation and are recognized during the commencement ceremony. Finally, the students receive a notation on their law school transcripts and a certificate upon graduation.

The University recognizes faculty members' pro bono service through the Distinguished Service Professor program.

Community Service

During the ABA's Celebrate Pro Bono Week, the law school organizes a series of "Community Engagement Placements" that allows students to engage in community service opportunities within Newark.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Susan J. Feathers
Director, Eric R Neisser Public Interest Program
[email protected]

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Public Interest Centers

Eric Neisser Public Interest Program:

Public Interest Clinics

Child Advocacy Clinic

Community Law Clinic

Constitutional Litigation Clinic

Environmental Law Clinic

Federal Tax Law Clinic

Special Education Clinic

Urban Legal Clinic


Rutgers-Newark provides our law students with the opportunity to receive credit for work done in one of several field placements:

  • Attorney General Externship
  • Federal Public Defender Externship
  • Immigration Law Externship
  • Intellectual Property Externship
  • Judicial Externship
  • National Labor Relations Board Externship
  • Field Placement

Classes with a Public Service Component

Street Law Seminar

Public Interest Journals

Women's Rights Law Reporter

Race and the Law Review



PI Career Support Center

Within the Office of Career Services, there is a dedicated public interest counselor who works with students interested in pursuing a public interest career. In addition to one-on-one counseling, the OCS provides programming and resources on a variety of public interest topics, including summer internships and post-graduate fellowships, and assists students interested in attending annual public interest career fair and conferences, including:

  • NYU Public Interest Job Fair
  • Equal Justice Career Fair and Conference
  • Peggy Browning Conference

The OCS also provides written materials, such as the "Public Interest Handbook" and "Post-Graduate Fellowship Application Guide" and subscribes to numerous online and print resources to assist students in planning their career paths. These include:

  • PSLawNet
  • Public Policy Handbook
  • University of Arizona Government Honors and Internship Handbook
  • PSLawNet's Post-Graduate Fellowship Guide

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

In 1998 students at the law school established a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for graduates who make a long-term commitment to public interest employment. The program provides financial assistance to help defray law school debt obligations for graduates who have chosen to pursue lower paid public interest/public service careers. The continuing commitment of our students, support of our faculty and administration, and generosity of our alumni/ae have strengthened the program over the years.

The LRAP is available for all graduates from the class of 1997 and forward who are employed in law-related public interest positions and whose income does not exceed maximum levels established by the LRAP board. Graduates are eligible to receive program funds for a maximum of five years. The board's current policy is to ensure that each applicant who qualifies receives a proportionate share of the LRAP funds available for disbursement. Award amounts are subject to the availability of funds and the number of applicants eligible in each award period.

Awards are made in the form of a loan and as such are not considered as taxable income to the recipient. This LRAP loan indebtedness is forgiven upon fulfillment of qualifying public interest employment, usually without adverse federal income tax consequences to the recipient as provided in applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to qualify to receive program funds, graduates must submit an LRAP application and all required documents each year; sign a Promissory Note in the amount of the annual LRAP loan; apply the loan proceeds toward the re-payment of law school educational debt; and promptly advise the LRAP administrator of any change in employment and/or financial condition.

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:


Equal Justice Works


Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Kinoy/Stavis Scholarship - Awarded to the Kinoy/Stavis Fellows to support their commitment to public interest and to constitutional rights.

Marsha Wenk Scholarship - Awarded to the Marsha Wenk Fellow to provide financial support for public interest work performed during law school.

Martin Unger Scholarship - Awarded to a student with strong academic credentials, an interest in becoming a trial attorney, commitment to public service and financial need.

Philip J. Levin Scholarship - Awarded to students based on academic potential & demonstrated commitment to public service.

Graduate Student Funded

Other Funding Sources:

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) Summer Grants

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Lawyering for Social Change - Symposium held here at the law school.

First Monday Program

Brown Bag Public Interest Speaker Series

Public Interest Fellows' Dinner

Student Public Interest Groups

Asian/Pacific-American Law Students Association (APALSA)

Association of Black Law Students (ABLS)


Association of Latin-American Law Students

Gay and Lesbian Caucus

Law Students for Choice

Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF)

Rutgers ACLU

Rutgers International Law Society

Student Lawyers Guild

Women's Law Forum