About PILA


PILA began in 1981 as a Student-Funded Fellowships ("SFF") sub-committee of the Student Bar Association ("SBA"). The first SFF Benefit Auction was held in 1990. In 1997, SFF re-organized into the Public Interest Law Association and broadened its focus from solely fundraising for summer fellowships to general support for students’ public interest activities.


PILA is a student organization dedicated to the promotion of public interest law at the University of Virginia School of Law. Our activities include:

  • sponsoring social and networking opportunities to support students interested in public interest law;
  • raising funds, through an annual auction and other fundraisers, for Student-Funded Fellowships (SFF);
  • distributing summer fellowships through a competitive application process to support first- and second-year law students working in non- or low-paying public sector jobs during the summer.