Public Interest Law Clinic

Public Interest Law Clinic offers students who have completed Public Interest Law and Practice an opportunity to design an individualized research and/or advocacy project and earn additional units during their third year. Clinic projects can be anything from a straight research-and-writing project (which may be published in the California Regulatory Law Reporter as a feature article, and which may satisfy USD’s written work requirement) to the drafting, introduction, and lobbying of legislation; the drafting and argument of a petition for rulemaking; or participation in public interest litigation in which CPIL is involved—so long as the project is related to regulatory and/or public interest law. The number of units for any particular Clinic project depends on the project, and is decided on a case-by-case basis. The project may be spread over multiple semesters. Public Interest Law Clinic is a non-graded course (high pass/pass/fail).

Julianne D. Fellmeth Public Interest Law Scholarship

The Julie D. Fellmeth Public Interest Law Scholar Program awards a $5,000 scholarship to a 2L, 3L, or 4L law student who has demonstrated a commitment to Public Interest law and social innovation.  The Julie D. Fellmeth Scholar will dedicate 150 hours in law school to developing an innovative “big idea” for using the law as a tool for positive social change, working under the supervision of the Center for Public Interest Law attorneys.  The Scholar will also complete a reflection essay identifying what he or she learned, and the takeaways he or she will bring to their practice of law upon graduation.

Enrollment in Public Interest Law and Practice is a prerequisite for this scholarship.  Scholars have the option to receive academic credit for their work.  If for some reason the Scholar is unable to complete the requisite hours, he or she will be responsible for returning the scholarship on a pro rata basis relative to hours worked.

The Julie D. Fellmeth Public Interest Law Scholar Program has been established to honor Julie D’Angelo Fellmeth, who served as CPIL’s administrative director for 30 years.


Kelsey Burns

Kelsey Burns (JD Candidate '20)

Kelsey will focus on researching the success of the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act of 2010 (TSCA), over its first ten years.  TSCA was enacted after the U.S. Department of Labor released a report identifying 122 goods from 58 countries believed to be produced by forced or child labor. The Act requires large retailers and manufacturers doing business in California to disclose on their respective websites the efforts taken to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains, in an effort to educate consumers on how to purchase goods produced by companies that responsibly manage their supply chains, and, thereby, improve the lives of victims of slavery and human trafficking. Ms. Burns will evaluate whether the TSCA has achieved its intended purpose and, if not, propose potential amendments to remedy any failures.

Burns is a second year law student at USD School of Law. She is President of the Environmental Law Society, President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Vice President of USD Law Democrats.  She was awarded the Law School Honor Scholarship and Alumni Achievement Scholarship. She volunteers for Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego. After law school Ms. Burns hopes to pursue a career in Public Interest law, focusing on policy.



Kayla Watson

Kayla Watson (JD '19)

As a  second year law student at USD School of Law, Kayla was the first winner of the Julianne D'Angelo Fellmeth Scholoarship.  Kayla was a member of the San Diego International Law Journal and the Moot Court Associate Board.  She competed in the Pacific Northwest Region of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition, where the team won first place and advanced to the International Competition taking place in Washington, D.C. in early April.

After law school Ms. Watson hopes to pursue a career in Public Interest law, focusing on policy impacting California consumers. As the Fellmeth Scholar, Watson’s project focused on researching and proposing a series of recommendations to improve consumers’ access to the information available in the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) online licensing and discipline system, BreEZe.  Specifically, she aims to partner with consumer review websites such as Yelp to raise awareness about BreEZe, and the information it provides, so that consumers can make informed decisions about their providers.