Public Service Fellows
The mission of the Stetson University College of Law Public Service Fellows is to:
1. Promote the concept and awareness of public service legal work on our law school campus.
2. Involve Fellows directly in public service legal assistance activities, and
3. Promote pro bono legal services by students on campus and by members of the legal profession.
The 1983-84 grant year marked the start of Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA's) law student assistance (LSA) grant program. Since that time the foundation has initiated and discontinued different law student grant projects to promote public interest and pro bono activities among law students and in their subsequent legal careers. Changing needs and opportunities and the availability of funds have determined the number and level of grant projects. The programs that promote public interest and pro bono work remain the central focus of the LSA grant program.
Since the law student assistance grant program began, the foundation has awarded over $3 million to seven accredited Florida law schools under the IOTA Public Service Fellows Program. This program promotes public service/pro bono activities among law students and continuing public service/pro bono activities among lawyers and has been a mainstay project of the LSA grant program.
The public service fellows program at each law school includes direct participation (meaningful public service activity by students who are receiving IOTA financial aid awards) and indirect participation (activities which inform the remainder of the student body of the responsibility of the legal profession to provide public interest legal service). These programs include in-house and external civil clinical programs providing direct assistance to the needy and agencies serving the needy; legal public policy research and writing activities; and forums and seminars on public service topics at law schools.
IOTA Public Service Fellows grants are awarded directly to the law schools, which then select the students who will receive the financial aid using criteria approved in advance by the foundation. IOTA funds generally are utilized to provide fellowships or stipends to participating law students.