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. 

Apply for LSA Funding »
Deadline to Apply: August 10, 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)

Fundraising from Law Firms 

Many student groups depend on sponsorship from law firms to help support the cost of programs and events. As part of a new application process this year, all student organizations soliciting funds from law firms will submit a one-paragraph fundraising proposal statement that will be included in a booklet called Chicago Law Partners. The Office of External Affairs will send this booklet to local law firms on behalf of all student organizations, thus eliminating the need for groups to outreach individually for sponsorship. Student organizations must follow the policies outlined below in order to request support from firms. 

If law firms contact your organization about sponsorships outside of this process, you must email Jamie Hillner in the Office of External Affairs at jhillner@uchicago.edu for approval. Sponsorships received from firms without approval may affect your organization's ability to continue to fundraise for the academic year and in the future. 

Apply for Law Firm Sponsorship »
Deadline: August 10, 2020


4 Steps to Apply for Law Firm Sponsorships:

1. Research past giving to your group via your group’s transition documents. Keep in mind past sponsorships and feedback as you create your application.

2. Complete a proposed programming list outlining the programs you would like funding to support. If you have rollover funds from last year, indicate how you will spend these funds in additional to any new requests. Your programming list should be separated into 3 categories:

        » On-Going Academic Year Sponsorship: recurring events, lunch talks, small receptions
        » Signature Event Sponsorship: one-time events, large-scale dinners, yearly retreats
        » Reunion or Mentoring Sponsorship: reunion events, mentoring dinners or outings
           (must submit additional statement of interest)         

3. Write a one-paragraph fundraising proposal statement that explains your student organization’s mission and provides a general description of your proposed programming. You may use your group's general description (found in the student organization directory), as the basis for this paragraph. In addition, include a general overview of the types of events you are planning for the year, and why you feel your programming is worthy of support. If you are proposing any signature events, provide an additional paragraph describing the event’s purpose, audience and impact. Keep this information concise and informative. This information will be included in the Chicago Law Partners booklet sent on your behalf by the Office of External Affairs.  

4. Upload your programming list and one-paragraph proposal statement through the Apply for Law Firm Sponsorship link above. 

5. (Optional): If your organization would like to do your own personal outreach to firms, you must create a specific ask letter for each sponsor to be sent along with the Chicago Law Partners booklet. In addition to any specific ask letters, you must also provide a complete firm contact list. 


Once Fundraising Proposals Have Been Approved:

  • Student Organizations will receive email notification from the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of External Affairs once their fundraising proposal has been approved.
     
  • Student Organizations will receive a copy of the complete Chicago Law Partners booklet for their records. The booklet will be distributed by the Office of External Affairs to participating firms.
     
  • If a Student Organization has decided to do their own outreach, they must send their ask letter along with the Chicago Law Partners booklet to their approved contact list.
     
  • Sponsorship gifts are tax deductible and will be sent by law firms directly to the Office of External Affairs to be processed. Student Organizations will be notified by the Office of External Affairs once a gift is received. The Office of External Affairs will distribute sponsorship invoices to the law firms to include with their gift.
     
  • The Student Organization must provide the sponsorship recognition affiliated with the tier of the firm’s gift in a timely manner. Gifts tiers are below:

Full Academic Year Sponsorships:

Tier 1 – Up to $500: Recognition in event communications, signage at the event, in event materials and on the Law School’s website.

Tier 2 – $500 - $1,000: The same recognition as Tier 1. Sponsors also have the opportunity to send representatives to speak at a sponsored student organization event.

Tier 3 – $1000 - $2,000: The same recognition as Tier 1. Sponsors also have the opportunity to send representatives to speak at a sole-sponsored event.

Signature Event Sponsorships:

Silver Tier – $2,500: Recognition in event communications, signage at the event, in event materials and on the Law School’s website.

Gold Tier – $2500 - $5,000: The same recognition as Silver Tier. Sponsors are also able to have 2-3 representatives attend the signature event.

 

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.

 

Other Support Available at the Law School

Office of Career Services

OCS will be unable to provide any student organization funding for the academic year 2020-2021. However, OCS will continue to offer the following support to LSSOs:

1. Advertising and promoting events on Symplicity and other platforms.

2. Assisting with identifying alumni speakers, or volunteer an OCS speaker for an event.

Contact: 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