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Federal Work-Study Program

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally subsidized program that provides opportunities to students for on-campus or off-campus legally related employment. Off-campus employment may include nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

FWS allows students to work in law-related positions at a low cost to their employers. Nonprofit employers are required to contribute only 25% (33% during the summer, if student is not in summer classes) of the student's gross earnings while for-profit employers contribute 50% (58% during the summer, if student is not in summer classes). The remainder of the student's earnings are funded by the federal government.

Students obtain work study positions independently. If you would like to work at a firm, organization, or school, simply contact them and ask if they would like a work-study student to work for their office. Many organizations in the Boston area are familiar with this program and some may have a separate application for you to complete. Regardless of the possibility of a separate application process, be sure to complete the New England Law application on time.


Basic Award Information

America Reads Program

PILA Grants & Other Opportunities for Summer Public Interest Interns

Applications and Deadlines

  • Academic year 2017-2018 applications will be emailed to all returning students in August 2017.  The academic year work-study period runs August 21, 2017 until May 7, 2018.  An email notification will be sent to you after review of your application, to let you know what the next steps are.
  • Summer 2018 work-study review is based on the upcoming year 2018-2019's financial aid forms (FAFSA and E-App).  Students interested (especially those who will participate as a judicial intern or will be applying for a PILA or Womens Law Caucus Grant) should complete these forms ASAP and notify the Office of Financial Aid by email when they have a work-study position secured for the summer.  An email notification will be sent to you after review, to let you know what the next steps are.  Summer work-study is unrelated to the Summer Fellowships.


2L or higher; based on financial need determined by completion of your financial aid forms.  1Ls are strongly encouraged to not work during their first year at law school.  1Ls who are found eligible to work have limited hours.  Employment must be legally related and students must be sure that their employer agrees to pay a portion of their wages.

Work-study funding is limited. The Office of Financial Aid cannot guarantee awards for all eligible students. If requests exceed available funds, awards will be based on the earliest financial aid file completion date.

America Reads Program

We strongly encourage students to consider participating in the America Reads Program, which allows students to visit a local area public school and tutor kindergarten to elementary school aged children in reading. Participants are paid for their time through the work-study program, at a rate of $20/hour. There is no minimum time requirement for the program and the host school is not billed for your hours. Participants are responsible for finding a host school at which to work - we suggest you contact the school's administration or community outreach director. Please complete an academic year application or send us an email and let us know that you are planning to look for work through the America Reads Program when you submit your form.

Basic Award Information

Award Amounts:

  • Pay rate is $11 per hour
  • $20 per hour for America Reads positions

Award Period:

  • Academic Year: starts first day of classes, August 21, 2017
  • Summer: starts May 8, 2018

Notification of Award:

  • Academic Year: Beginning late August 2017
  • Summer: Beginning late April 2018

Work-Study and Effects on your Financial Aid Budget:

Work-study impacts borrowing abilities.  Students are allowed to borrow/receive awards up to a certain pre-set moderate budget each year. Summer Work-Study funds awarded are applied to the upcoming academic year budget, and as a result, the amount that can be borrowed through loan programs will be reduced. Please put aside funds you earn during the summer and budget them accordingly.  If you are on summer work-study and you are attending any summer classes, during the period in which you are attending those classes, the work-study would be applicable to the summer program's budget.

Obligation of Award/Employment Options: 

Students are allowed to work a maximum of eight hours per day (with a 30 minute break), 20 hours per week (10 hrs/week for 1Ls); during the summer and breaks, students may work up to 40 hours per week.  Students can have more than one FWS job however cannot exceed the maximum total hours worked per day/week limit. 

Reporting Work-Study Hours/Payment:

Paychecks will not be released until all appropriate forms have been returned by the student and the student's employer. Timesheets must be turned into the Office of the Controller by noon on the timesheet due date. The following are options for sending in timesheets:

- Properly approved timesheets may be dropped off to payroll in the Office of the Controller, 46 Church Street.
- Properly approved timesheets may be faxed to the Office of the Controller at (617) 422-7376, attention Work Study Payroll.
- Properly approved timesheets may be e-mailed to

Pay Schedule and Timesheets:

Please contact the Office of the Controller for a current pay schedule and timesheet submission information: or 617-422-7302.

Public Interest Law Association (PILA) Grants

PILA is an on-campus organization that provides funding for students working in public interest law during the Summer Work-Study Program.  This award is especially significant for students who may be working for an agency who cannot pay them - the PILA grant covers what would have been the employer's share of the student's pay through FWS.  Applications for this grant are available through PILA; funding is limited, so it's suggested to apply as early as possible.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid or PILA (via Twen on Westlaw) for more information about this grant.

Womens Law Caucus - Mary Jo Frug Grant

The Womens Law Caucus offers the Mary Jo Frug Grant to a limited number of students who will be working the public interest field in an unpaid internship during the Summer Work-Study Program.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid or the Womens Law Caucus (via Twen on Westlaw) for more information about this grant.