Irvin and Maggie Dagen Public Interest Fellowships

The Irvin and Maggie Dagen Public Interest Fellowships are awarded to law students who are committed to working in public interest law. The fellowships are funded by the School of Law, the Public Interest Law Group, and the Irvin and Maggie Dagen Fellowship Fund. The fellowship stipends will go to students who obtain volunteer positions with public interest organizations for the summer, including government offices, whose work entails serving the underrepresented and/or ensuring justice in our society. Examples of past employers of fellowship recipients include Legal Services, the Office of the Public Defenders, the EEOC, numerous prosecuting attorneys' offices, HUD and the ACLU. This year, fellowships will have a maximum value of $3000.


Those interested in applying for the fellowship must be current Saint Louis University School of Law students who are not graduating in May 2009 and who will be enrolled as students at the law school in the fall of 2009. Applications may be submitted at any time prior to the due date.

Applications are due, IN TRIPLICATE, no later than March 20, 2009 by 5:00 P.M., and may be turned in to the Career Services office in the law school.

Application Process

In order for a law student to be considered for a fellowship, three separate items must be submitted, IN TRIPLICATE:

(1) A current resume including contact information, school and work history, and past and current public interest and volunteer experience; and

(2) A two to three page essay, outlining the applicant’s past and present public interest or volunteer activities, future plans for working in the public interest field, and reasons why the applicant wants to be involved in public interest work this summer; and

(3) A proposal for fellowship funds, detailing where the applicant plans to work, the number of hours per week and weeks during the summer the applicant plans to work, the amount of funding being requested. Please keep in mind that the cap for fellowships has been set at $3000 for this year.

Applicants wishing to work in a public interest job this summer but who have not yet secured a position should talk to John Ammann in the Legal Clinic or Mary Pat McInnis in Career Services about available positions and possible arrangements prior to the application deadline of March 20.

PLEASE NOTE: Some placements fill up in early spring with students from other law schools. To ensure a student's first choice of a placement, the student should apply for a position as soon as possible, and in doing so should inform the placement that he or she hopes to obtain a fellowship. If working for the placement is contingent on obtaining a fellowship, the student must inform the placement of that when applying.

Selection and Notification

The fellowship Selection Committee, composed of the Dean of Students, Director of the Law Clinic, Director of Career Services, a representative of the Public Interest Law Group, and two third-year law students selected by the permanent committee members, will determine who is eligible to receive a fellowship and the amount to be allocated to any fellowship recipients. The Committee has complete and final say as to fellowship allotments.

When the Selection Committee has determined the list of eligible recipients, a Committee member will contact them to inform them that they are eligible to receive fellowship money. However, before an eligible recipient becomes entitled to receive any fellowship money, he or she MUST submit a letter of commitment from the organization for which he or she will work during the summer of 2009, outlining the volunteer nature of the position and the amount of time to be worked. The letter verifying employment, once submitted, will constitute an acceptance of the fellowship offer. If the eligible recipient fails to provide such a letter, the fellowship will pass to another applicant.

The student will also sign an agreement by which he or she agrees to repay the stipend if the student fails to complete the J.D. Degree at Saint Louis University.

Fellowship payments are usually allotted in one lump sum during late June or early July. Fellowship recipients will be notified as to the timing of this distribution after their employment has been verified.


All applicants who have secured a clerkship at any Legal Services organization must make all reasonable efforts to secure work-study funding. Only applicants either denied work-study eligibility OR eligible for only partial work-study funding may be eligible for this fellowship. The Committee will give fellowship recipients receiving partial work-study funding further details regarding their special status.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact John Ammann or call 977-2778.