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Public Service Scholarship Program

Drake Law School awards Public Service Scholarships each year to students with strong academic credentials and who demonstrate a commitment to public service.

Brinet B. Rutherford
Public Service Scholar
Brooklyn, NY

"Giving back to others is an enormous part of who I am. I came to law school because I want to serve marginalized individuals and communities. By not having to worry about all the money I need to pay for school, I am able to give 100 percent of my efforts to working hard—both in school and in the community."

Program Overview

Drake Law School awards up to two full-tuition Justice Chester Cole Public Service Scholarships each year to entering first-year law students. 

Public Service Scholars will be included in a program of activities designed to encourage them to explore the wide variety of public service career opportunities and to prepare them for a career of public service.

Each of the Justice Chester Cole Public Service Scholars (and numerous other law students interested in public service and summer internship opportunities) are mentored and assisted in their search for employment.


The following are expectations the program has for its scholars:

1. Each scholar will be matched with an attorney mentor who has a public service position or background. Each scholar will meet with his or her mentor throughout the course of the academic year to discuss public service and public service legal career opportunities. In addition, the program director will be designated the scholar's faculty advisor.

2. Scholars will be required to participate in biweekly Public Service Program meetings and various program functions. The biweekly meetings will include an annual public service speaker series and will provide opportunities for scholars to discuss public service issues and employment opportunities, including students' summer intern experiences.

3. Scholars must also perform administrative and other curricular responsibilities as assigned by the program director. Administrative tasks might include assisting at the Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service or Halloween Hoops (a community outreach event for youth); researching internship or placement opportunities or grant funding sources; and scheduling speakers. Scholars are expected to contribute 30 hours each academic year.

4. In the summer following either the 1L or 2L year, scholars will participate in an internship with a public interest or public service organization for academic credit. Participation in the Drake legal clinic during the summer following completion of the 2L year will also satisfy this requirement. Scholars will receive summer scholarship assistance to cover the tuition of either the internship or the clinic.

5. A second internship or clinical experience is required either during the second or third year or during the second summer. To fulfill this requirement, scholars must participate in an internship with a public interest or public service employer approved by the director. The internship can be done for academic credit or as a non-credit internship. The internship is without pay from the program; however, the employer may provide compensation. If the internship is not done for academic credit, the scholar must submit a written report on his or her experience to the director.

Summer funding opportunities exist for Public Service Internships.


Download the Public Service Scholarship Form.
For best consideration, entering students should apply by March 15th.

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