Eligibility for Funding
The following groups and individuals may request funding for events through the JD Grants Committee:
- Co-curricular activities for JD degree students: law journals, Mock Trial, Moot Court
- Registered Student Organizations for JD degree students. More information on how to register an organization »
- Individual students currently enrolled in the JD degree program
The JD Grants Committee's goal is to provide fair, considered, and equitable disbursement of the available funds. Because the committee considers funding requests for many types of events, the criteria are somewhat broad, and a number of the following factors may influence a decision to grant or deny a given request. Not all of the criteria may apply to every event.
- The educational value of the event or travel to the Law School community, the student organization, the co-curricular activity, or the student participants (e.g., hosting speakers, organizing law conferences, representing the Law School at moot court or mock trial competitions);
- Any additional value of the event or travel to the larger Law School, academic, or legal community (e.g., pro bono service, public outreach or public relations, events related to diversity, equity, inclusion);
- The logistics of the event or travel, such as cost, location, size of audience, number of students who benefit;
- The efforts by the applicants to secure—and the availability of—alternative funding for the event or travel (within any constraints set by the University and Law School);
- The quality of the application (e.g., complete, accurate, timely) and adherence to the required application process;
- The amount of funding already received by the student group or individual in the current academic year for other events or travel; and
- The history of good stewardship and accountability by the group or individual over previous Law School funding.
The committee does not fund expenses prohibited by State, University, or Law School rules or policies. Depending on the available funds, not all qualifying requests may receive funding, and some events or travel may receive only partial funding. Additionally, funding in one year does not guarantee future funding or funding amounts, even for the same type of event or travel.
Consistent with the criteria above, the committee rarely, if ever, funds:
- Primarily social events
- Primarily networking events
- Attendance at seminars or conferences that benefit only individual students
- Interview trips for individual students
The most important criterion for JD Grants funding is educational value: funded events must primarily provide educational opportunities for participating students or for the student organization or co-curricular activity that they represent. For example, a symposium sponsored by a student group will provide educational value to the students who plan the event and to other members of the group, Law School community, or others who attend. A trip to a competition provides a significant educational experience to the students who prepare for and participate in the competition.
Related factors include the number of students who may benefit and cost per student. For example, a local educational event benefiting several students is more likely to be funded than an educational travel opportunity for fewer students with a higher cost per student.
Networking events, however, are not primarily educational because they focus on providing opportunities for individuals to make professional contacts that may help them with a job search or professional development. For example, a local networking event might be hosted or sponsored by a law firm or other employer for a specific student group or for the wider law student community. The firm or employer should provide the venue and pay for these events. Events that a student group sponsors are also primarily networking when the event's purpose is to provide group members with the opportunity to meet people who work in their area of interest.
The primary purpose of trips to seminars or conferences may be less clear because these events often combine education and networking. Usually regional and national conferences sponsored by affiliated law student organizations are considered primarily educational even though students may have some networking opportunities during the event. In contrast, a trip to an ABA section meeting is likely to have a networking component that is greater than any educational value.
The JD Grants Committee requires that students who attend conferences and seminars give a presentation about what they learned at the event to their student group or to other members of the Law School community. Sharing this educational content helps to spread the benefits of attendance more widely.