JUNE 4, 2012—The University of Minnesota Law School has received a $3.5 million gift from the Robina Foundation to support a new Public Interest Scholars Program. The program is intended to create a seamless path from admission to full-time employment for students interested in public service careers.
This innovative new program will fund scholarships to attract top students committed to public interest work, summer internships to engage those students in public interest projects during law school, year-long post-graduate fellowships to help them launch their careers, and loan repayment assistance to make those careers affordable. The program builds on the University of Minnesota Law School’s long history of public service.
While many law schools offer some of the elements of the new Robina Public Interest Scholars Program, few if any combine them in an integrated program of this kind. In addition to providing transformative opportunities for interested students, the program will help badly stretched legal services providers better serve their clients and communities.
The Robina Foundation's generous gift represents a major contribution to the Law School's GENERATIONS fundraising campaign, and augments prior Robina support for faculty positions and research, student scholarships, and the Law School's Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.
The Robina Foundation was created by James H. Binger (’41) shortly before his death in 2004 to fund forward-thinking projects, to encourage exploration of new ideas and transformative approaches to critical social issues, at major institutions. The Law School, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, The Council on Foreign Relations, and Yale University were selected to receive major funding.