Legal Intern Fellowship Program

Next application submission deadline:  March 13, 2020

The Program

The MBF’s Legal Intern Fellowship Program was established in 1996 to give talented law students the experience and encouragement they need to pursue careers in the public interest law sector while providing legal aid organizations with much-needed additional staff capacity for the summer. The MBF awards at least three (3) stipends of $6,000 each to law students who intern during the summer months at nonprofit organizations providing civil legal services to low-income clients in Massachusetts. These awards are supported by generous contributions to the MBF from lawyers and judges statewide and by the Smith Family Fund. 

Application Requirements

The Legal Intern Fellowship Program invites applications from law students who have secured a volunteer internship with one (1) qualified nonprofit organization in Massachusetts. The principal activity of the internship must be the provision of civil legal services to low-income clients. The proposed internship must be designed to give the intern substantial legal experience with serving and representing clients, as well as preparing legal documents.  Please review the General Program Information guide for more details on eligibility.


  • Be currently enrolled in a United States law school. Preference will be given to permanent/future residents of Massachusetts,

  • Demonstrate a commitment to public interest law, including experience working with low-income clients and/or issues that affect this population,

  • Commit to work no less than ten (10) continuous, full-time weeks between May 1 and Sept. 30. Note: Applicants must specify the duration of his/her commitment at the time of application.

 ORGANIZATION REQUIREMENTS. The internship must be conducted at a nonprofit organization that: 

  • Is in Massachusetts,

  • Has been in operation for at least one year,

  • Has programs dedicated to providing civil (not criminal) legal services to the indigent in Massachusetts,

  • Has a staff attorney who will supervise and mentor the intern.

TIP: Many MBF IOLTA Program award recipients meet the organization eligibility requirements of the LIFP. Please be advised that applicants are not limited to these organizations.


  • Stipends may be combined with other awards.

  • Stipends will be paid directly to the intern's organization. The organization will be responsible for administering the stipend, including payment to the intern and filing appropriate tax reports.

Application Process

Please review the General Program Information for details on the application process.

A complete application will include: 

  • Application Information Form

  • Essay (Details on the Applicant Information Form)

  • Organization Supporting Statement Form

  • Resume

  • Unofficial Law Student Transcript

  • Unofficial Undergraduate Transcript

  • One Letter of Reference from a supervisor, professor, or similar professional contact

Submission Information

 Application materials must be submitted electronically and must be received by the MBF by 5:00 PM on March 13, 2020.

 A complete application will include the documents listed to the left combined into a single PDF file. Please send your application to

Please do not fax or mail hard copies of applications. 

Contact us with any questions at (617) 338-0534 or

Selection Process

A committee including Trustees from both the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and the Smith Family Fund will select the most competitive applicants to receive stipends.