Securing Funding

Law Students Association (LSA) Funding

LSA receives an annual budget which is used to fund LSSO programming and other community events at the Law School. LSA also maintains a small contingency fund to provide supplemental funding for LSSO events and programs throughout the year. The entirety of LSA’s budget is funded by the Graduate Student Services Fee. Funding awards are determined exclusively by LSA. 

LSSO budget allocations are determined during the summer for the following academic year. LSA will consider membership and contribution to life at the Law School, among other things, in determining an organization’s funding allocation.

Apply for LSA Funding »
Deadline to Apply: July 15, 2020 

Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Funding

Your student organization advisor and the Center for Leadership and Involvement Staff are available to guide your RSO through the benefits and responsibilities of leading your student organization. Click here for more information and guidelines regarding your RSO’s resources.

External Fundraising (Law Firms & Outside Organizations)

Student Organization Fundraising Campaigns

Many student groups depend on sponsorship from law firms for events and conferences. Courting these sponsors is not an easy task and takes dedication and follow up. Student organizations interested in securing law firm sponsorship must review and follow the policies outlined below. These policies will be posted to the Law School’s website for easy access/reference; listed in the Student Handbook; and presented to organization leaders at an annual meeting.

Steps for Soliciting Law Firm Sponsorships:

  • Research past giving to your group via transition documents, your student organization advisor, and past board members.
  • Create a proposed programming list outlining the programs the funding will support.
    • Distinguish which programs will be supported by full academic year sponsorship (e.g. lunch talks, networking receptions, mentoring program, community service projects, conference attendance, etc.) and/or whether your organization is proposing any signature events (ex. Reunion programming, large receptions, retreats, alumni events, etc.).
    • If proposing Mentoring or Reunion programming, that needs to be included with detailed descriptions for this proposal as well as complete the additional statements of interest at the Law School.
    • In order to host and fundraise for a student organization event, the proposed programming needs to first be reviewed and approved by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of External Affairs.  
  • Generate a budget that determines what sponsorships your group will need for the full 2020-2021 academic year.
    • Differentiate how your organization plans to spend funding from the previous academic year and your plan for the additional fundraised budget.
  • Create a paragraph describing your organization's fundraising efforts to be included in the Chicago Law Partners proposal that will be sent out to law firms from the Office of External Affairs.
    • Include your student organization’s mission and the proposed programming their sponsorship will support.
    • Keep your paragraph concise and informative. 
    • If proposing a signature event, provide an additional paragraph describing the event's purpose, audience, and impact.
  • If your organization would like to do your own personal firm outreach for your fundraising efforts, create a specific ask letter for each sponsor and law firm contact list.
    • Your organization will send the ask letter with the full Chicago Law Partners proposal.
    • The law firm contact list has to include all of the firms you plan to reach out to and all of your contact information for the contact at that firm.
    • If a law firm contacts your organization directly and were not included on your original firm contact list, email Jamie Hillner in the Office of External Affairs at jhillner@uchicago.edu for approval. Sponsorships received from firms that were not included on your original firm contact list may affect your organization's ability to continue to fundraise for the academic year and in the future.
  • Keep in mind past sponsorships and feedback when drafting all of these materials.
  • Submit the materials outlined above with your LSA Budget Request. The template for both of these requests is ailable at (Box Link). Submissions will be accepted from June 15, 2020 through July 15, 2020. Fundraising proposals will not be accepted after July 15, 2020. 
  • Student Organizations will receive a notification from the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of External Affairs when their fundraising proposal has been approved or if there are any questions on the proposal.

Once Fundraising Proposals Have Been Approved:

  • LSSOs will receive the complete Chicago Law Partners proposal to distribute to their contact list.
  • The LSSO should then send their ask letter along with the full Chicago Law Partners proposal to their approved contact list.
    • If a firm contacts your organization directly and were not included on your original firm contact list, email Jamie Hillner in the Office of External Affairs at jhillner@uchicago.edu for approval.
  • Once sponsorship funding has been received, the student organization will be notified by the Office of External Affairs. The student organization will then have to provide the sponsorship recognition affiliated with the tier of the firm’s gift.
  • The sponsorship gifts will be processed as a tax deductible gift to the Law School and then transferred directly into the student organization’s account.
    • Coordination of deposited funds should be discussed with the Office of the Dean of Students.

Please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@law.uchicago.edu with general questions. If you have a specific external fundraising question, please contact Jamie Hillner in the Office of External Affairs at jhillner@uchicago.edu.

Example Documents:

Example Proposed Programming List

Example Budget

Example Chicago Law Partners Fundraising Proposal Paragraph(s)

Example Ask Letter

Example Firm Contact List

Funding Available at the Law School

Office of Career Services

The Law School’s Office of Career Services has a limited amount of funding available that may be requested by LSSOs.  In order for OCS to provide funding for a LSSO event, the following criteria must be met: 

  1. the funding must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance of the event;
  2. the topic at the event must be career related;
  3. the LSO must be willing to cosponsor the event with OCS; and
  4. the event must not be at a time that competes with an event sponsored by OCS or the Clerkship Committee. 

An LSSO is eligible for support only once during the academic year. To request such funding, contact the Career Services Department at career_services@law.uchicago.edu 

Office of the Dean of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students has limited funding available to LSSOs seeking assistance for a program or event.  An application for funding from the Office of the Dean of Students can be submitted to https://www.law.uchicago.edu/DOSFundingRequest. Except in very limited instances, all of the criteria outlined on the form must be met to be considered for additional funding from the Office of the Dean of Students.

International Programs Department

The International Programs Department has funding available to support events related to international law. Submit proposals to Aican Nguyen, International Programs Director, at aican@uchicago.edu.

 

Funding Available Across the Midway

As a general rule, the Law School does not provide funding for students to attend student organization conferences.  The exception to this rule is when the conference is academic in purpose and the student is attending as a presenter rather than as a participant.  In these cases, there may be funding available for student attendance.  If available, the funding is typically capped at $500 per student and is awarded only after the student provides proof that s/he has exhausted all other funding possibilities (the Center for Leadership and Involvement, Student Government Funding Committee, Graduate Council Travel Fund and LSA may have funding available).  An application for travel funding can be submitted to https://www.law.uchicago.edu/TravelFunding

LSSOs seeking travel funds must meet each of the following criteria: 

  1. Each student must contribute financially to the cost of the proposed trip.  A student is expected to contribute at least 10% of the costs of the trip (including transportation, lodging, and any applicable registration fees) or $75, whichever amount is greater
  2. The proposed trip does not require the student to miss class or reschedule exams.  This requirement will not be waived under any circumstances.

Upon return from the conference, the student is required to:

  1. Submit presentation materials to the Office of the Dean of Students for review
  2. Share conference presentations with his or her Law School colleagues through a lunchtime event or other presentation