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Guidelines for Grant Applicants

Selection Criteria

The most important selection criterion for projects is that they that protect the legal rights or interests of inadequately represented groups. The Initiative generally funds projects on which the applicant will work full time, after graduation from law school. Although a wide variety of projects are selected for funding, the Initiative gives priority to projects that:

  • Might provide a model for similar projects around the country;
  • Would be performed in coordination with a sponsoring organization;
  • Could be completed in a single year, or that demonstrate potential to become self-supporting or to receive support from alternative sources within the year (we will also consider projects that can be completed in less than a year);
  • Are submitted by graduates of Yale Law School;
  • Would operate in the state of Connecticut.

Priority criteria are not requirements. For example, the Initiative has frequently funded proposals from non-Yale Law students, as well as projects that operate outside the state of Connecticut. Please see our list of Past Grant Recipients

The Initiative welcomes applications for both domestic and international projects.

Please note that the Initiative seeks to fund individuals who are launching new projects, not to provide funding for ongoing work at existing organizations. The Initiative will not fund any project that focuses on conducting academic research or serving the needs of an individual client. Additionally, we will not fund a project for which the applicant will receive academic credit.

Selection Process

The deadline to submit applications to the Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale for one-year grants of up to 35,000 to be awarded in the summer of 2014 is March 8, 2015.

Grant recipients are selected in a two-step process. In preparation for the first selection meeting, every member of the Initiative’s Board of Directors will read a one-page summary of each proposal and the entirety of approximately three or four applications, for which they will lead the discussion. At least two directors will read every application. Applicants are encouraged to write both an informative one-page summary and a persuasive proposal. A group of finalists is selected at the first meeting. Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications by e-mail in March 2015.

Finalists selected at the initial meeting will be interviewed by the selection committee in April 2015. You must participate in the final selection interview in order to receive a grant. Finalists will be notified of the Initiative’s final decision by late April.

Questions about the Initiative in general or about the grant application and selection process should be directed to Jiacheng Yu and Alicia Sanchez at initiativeforpublicinterest@gmail.com.