Student Support


Scholarships

Create a current-use scholarship (fund is expendable each year) or contribute to an established endowment.  These funds help students attend Cornell Law School.

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Public Interest Low-Income Protection Plan

Graduates practicing law in the public interest still have student loans to repay. Help defray their costs.

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Public Interest Fellowships

Help our students meet costs-of-living while they lend their legal expertise to non-profit and public-sector employers in the U.S. and abroad.  International PIFs are essential to students whose overseas postings preclude use of summer work-study grants.

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Moot Court

Our moot court teams travel to competitions nationwide.  Help underwrite their expenses.

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Scholarships

The total annual cost of attending the J.D. program at Cornell Law School is almost $80,000 and tuition alone is nearly $60,000, making scholarships more important than ever.  Most students who matriculate at Myron Taylor Hall receive a measure of tuition assistance, which Cornell Law School awards to individual students based on academic merit and financial need.  Drawn from named scholarship endowments and general student financial-assistance resources, the average grant Cornell Law School made per student for the 2014-2015 academic year was more than $20,000.  To provide a like amount each year would require a principal endowment of approximately $460,000 (assuming a 4.5% annual return-on-investment).  However, scholarship support at any level benefits our students; the prospective $4,500 generated by an endowment of $100,000—the endowment threshold required to name the scholarship—would join funds from other sources to reach the value of our average grant.

Alternately, donors willing to underwrite the entire tuition cost of the J.D. program for one student can make a current-use gift each year to the Charles Evans Hughes Scholars program.  A Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell Law School receives a full-tuition scholarship on the basis of academic excellence.  The cost of providing a scholarship to a Charles Evans Hughes Scholar is approximately $60,000 for one year.

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Public Interest Fellowships

Pubic Interest Fellowships (PIFs) fund costs-of-living for first- and second-year students who take unpaid summer jobs with public-sector entities or non-profit organizations. The value of a PIF is generally $1,600 and Cornell Law School typically awards 80-100 PIFs each year. Students help us raise some of this money themselves by volunteering to stuff envelopes and dial telephones both before and during the PIF Phonathon, and by participating in other fund-raising activities. The dollar value of a PIF is modest but the difference it makes is great, especially to a student who has already taken on substantial educational debt.

International Public Interest Fellowships (International PIFs) provide "make-up" funds for students who secure summer internships at governmental agencies or non-profit organizations overseas. Such postings cancel a student's eligibility for work-study funds, thus creating an instant shortfall of $2,400 in his or her budget. International PIFs provide this amount so that our students with overseas internships in the public sector will receive a full summer stipend. At this time, Cornell Law School grants five International PIFs each year in conjunction with particular "choice" postings at such NGOs as The United Nations, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Labour Organization, and others. Gifts to fund additional International PIFs will enable more of our students to pursue similar opportunities.

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Public Interest Low-Income Protection Program

The chief concern of most students committed to practicing law in the public interest is how they will repay their student loans and also meet the costs-of-living while earning salaries many times less than those of attorneys in private practice. To allay the anxiety our new public-interest J.D.s feel about beginning their respective careers in debt, as well as to provide tangible support, Cornell Law School offers the Public Interest Low-Income Protection Plan (PILIPP). Grants made through the PILIPP vary greatly depending on need, which we gauge by applying a formula that takes into account the applicant's geographical location, number of dependents, and spouse's salary / indebtedness, as well as reckoning the applicant's salary and repayment obligations. PILIPP grants help recent graduates bridge the gap between disposable income and disposable diapers—and/or other necessities appropriate to a reasonable standard of living.

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Moot Court

Every year, CLS students participate in moot court competitions held at the Law School under the auspices of the student-run Moot Court Board: the Cuccia Cup Moot Court, held during the Fall term and concluding in late October or early November; the Faust F. Rossi Moot Court, which begins shortly after the intersession recess and concludes in February; and the Langfan Family First-Year Moot Court, which gives first-year CLS students a chance to compete against each other as solo practitioners.  The monetary prizes, trophies, and plaques given to the winner and runner-up in each competition—as well as to the authors of Best Brief in the Cuccia and Rossi competitions, respectively—depend on the generosity of a handful of thoughtful and enthusiastic donors, while the operational costs associated are underwritten by Cornell Law School.  Gifts designated to Moot Court would offset these expenses and those associated with sendingour "in-house" winning teams and individuals into four extramural, nationwide competitions, the final rounds of which are judged by appeals-court judges, including a circuit judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals.  Alumni and friends attracted to the proposition and practice of Moot Court can support these talented students by providing current-use funding for special awards and recognitions within each competition, or by establishing an endowment for comprehensive support of "in-house" and extramural aspects of the program.

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