The Chicago Law Foundation (CLF) is a student-directed, not-for profit group that awards grants to law students who devote their summers to working in the public interest. Because few public interest organizations and government agencies have the money to pay law students for summer employment, CLF assists law students who would not otherwise be able to work for such organizations. Together with support from the Law School, CLF is now able to guarantee summer public interest funding to any second-year law student who works ten weeks in a public interest law position at a nonprofit or government agency.
CLF is non-partisan and funds projects that fall anywhere on the political spectrum. Past CLF grantees have worked for a wide variety of organizations including: the American Civil Liberties Union; the AIDS Legal Council; the Institute for Justice; Public Citizen Litigation Group; Brooklyn Legal Services; the Illinois Migrant Legal Assistance Project; the Center for Individual Rights; the Authors' Guild; the National Wildlife Federation; and a host of federal, state or local governmental agencies.
CLF raises most of the money for its summer grant programs from law students, many of whom donate a portion of their summer earnings; some law firms also match their summer associates' contributions to CLF. In addition, CLF conducts an annual Charity Auction to raise grant funds. The Law School and its faculty and staff also contribute to CLF.