Harvard Law has launched the Public Service Venture Fund to assist new graduates in starting their own nonprofit organizations or for those seeking jobs at government agencies and public interest groups. The fund will divide $1 million per year among a pool of students who submit a proposal detailing how they would use the money in pursuit of a public interest law career.
This announcement follows on the heels of several changes Harvard made to public service incentives in the past months. In November Harvard announced the Holmes Public Interest Fellowship program. This program provides up to a dozen 2010 graduates with stipends of up to $35,000 to work in public interest law for one year. These fellowships will be available only to students who have proven that their attempts to land a job or fellowship have failed.
Harvard also announced the suspension of its Public Service Initiative. Launched in 2008, students who committed to public interest careers for at least five years following graduation did not have to pay tuition during their third year. This program remains in effect up to the class of 2012.