PILF Grant Recipients

Last year PILF had a record number of applicants for the PILF Grant, a PILF funded scholarship that awards students a summer stipend to work in Public Interest Law. These grants were awarded to students who demonstrated a dedicated commitment to Public Interest work and who completed over 25 hours of pro-bono service at local legal aid organizations across LA County and the country.

2018 & 2019 By the Numbers

With the help of our donors and owing to the hard work of last year’s PILF Board, we were able to fund a record number of grants:

23

grants to 1L students

5

grants to 2L students

4

Summer Bar Stipends to 3L students

Last summer, PILF was able to assist 32 students in their pursuit of a Public Interest career!

Alumni Support

Unfortunately, due to the high number of students who participated in PILF and applied for grants last year, we were not able to award every applicant a summer grant. PILF continues to seek the support of alumni to fund these grants so that students who are interested in pursuing a career in Public Interest upon graduation can explore opportunities while they are in school.


A total of 28 grants were awarded last summer, a 36% increase from the year before, in which 18 grants were awarded 

Summer grant recipients 2020

Class of 2022

summer 2019 grant recipients

Class of 2021:

  • Ashley Bangunan:  Bet Tzedek Legal Services
  • Tzivia Bowman:  Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers
  • Morgan Brock-Smith:  Neighborhood Legal Services
  • Craig Farner:  Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee  
  • Alexandra Gersdorf:  Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office
  • Natalie Katz:  Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office
  • Emily Kong:  Manhattan Legal Services
  • Forest Lieberman:  Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Ryan Mellino:  Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles 
  • Cooper Murphy:  Veterans Legal Institute
  • Julie Petuhova:  Project for the Innocent
  • Kayla Phillips:  San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program
  • Sabrina Putri:  Los Angeles D.A.’s Office, Family Violence Division
  • Claire Reidy: Public Counsel
  • Nina Rosser:  Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office
  • Carly Rustebakke:  Los Angeles D.A.’s Office, Major Crimes Unit 
  • Scott Shapses:  The Center for Law and Military Policy 
  • Ashley Smith:  Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office
  • Sophie Sylla:  ACLU of Southern California 
  • Sarah Taranto:  Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office
  • Christian Torres:  ACLU of Arizona
  • Trinh Truong:  Orange County Counsel 
  • Sarah Zollner:  East Bay Community Law Center

Class of 2020:

  • Krisha Mae Cabrera: Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat
  • Michael Citrin: The Bronx Defenders
  • Rosie Frihart: Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office
  • Casey Mangan: Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Courtney Mendoza: National Health Law Program

Summer 2018 Grant recipients

  • Krisha Mae Cabrera: OneJustice
  • John Oltean: Learning Rights Law Center
  • Michael Citrin: Gideon’s Promise
  • Aliyah Redic: Children’s Law Center
  • Izabella Ferayan: Gideon’s Promise
  • Carson Scott: Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
  • Katie Garcia: Bet Tzedek
  • Morgan Simpson: Cancer Legal Resource Center
  • Erin Kelley: Children’s Law Center
  • Desiree Sulzmann: Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Paulina Knotts: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Rebecca Taylor: Women’s Link Worldwide
  • Abby Lu: Federal Public Defender
  • Eduardo Vargas Cortes: Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
  • Casey Mangan: Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
  • Taylar Walz: Children’s Law Center
  • Courtney Mendoza: Mental Health Advocacy Services
  • James Zapp: Riverside Public Defender’s Office