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Due to the changes employers are making to their summer programs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,  for the summer of 2020 prorated SPIF awards will be provided for a minimum of 140 hours of work completed over a minimum of 4 weeks. This will only apply to the summer of 2020.

The maximum award provided is based on 280 hours of work completed over a minimum of 8 weeks, with a bonus available at the end of the summer for rising 3Ls who complete a 9th or 10th week. A maximum of 37.5 hours per week is counted towards the hour requirement and any work beyond the 37.5 hours is considered volunteer and will not count towards the requirement.

Eligibility for SPIF awards is based on a student’s current academic progress towards their JD, whether they receive financial aid, and if they have a dependent child .  These factors also determine the funding cap that is applied. SPIF awards for up to 280 hours of work over a minimum of 8 weeks are the same for 1Ls, 2Ls, and SJDs. Below is a chart that shows the maximum SPIF award for each length of work during the summer of 2020:

4 Weeks – 140 hours 5 Weeks – 175 hours 6 Weeks – 210 hours 7 Weeks – 245 hours 8 Weeks – 280 hours
On Financial Aid* $2,750 $3,438 $4,125 $4,813 $5,500
Not On Financial Aid $1,800 $2,250 $2,700 $3,150 $3,600
    * “on financial aid” is defined as being eligible for and receiving at least $20,500 in funding that is certified by the Student Financial Services office. The funding can include (but is not limited to) grants, loans, fellowship, and/or scholarships from outside sources. Federal Work Study, SPIF stipends or grants, and SPIF loans do not count towards the $20,500 threshold.


In most cases, SPIF awards are distributed before the work is completed. Therefore, we use the Supervisor Evaluation and Time Log (that are due September 11th) to verify completion of the 280 hour requirement. Students who do not meet the requirement of 280 hours over a minimum of 8 weeks, for ANY reason, will be required to forfeit the entire SPIF award which HLS recoups by adding a charge to the student’s account. In rare instances, primarily in cases where there are unforeseen circumstances outside of a student’s control, the SPIF Committee may allow the student to keep a prorated portion of the award at the end of the summer. In those cases the student’s account will only be charged for the portion of the award for which they were ineligible.

Additionally, if a student receives supplemental funding over the course of the summer which increases their total funding for their SPIF position above the funding cap, they are required to return a portion of their SPIF award in order to maintain consistency with the funding cap guidelines.

2L and SJD Bonuses

2Ls and SJDs are eligible to receive an additional check at the end of the summer for completing 315 or 350 hours of work. As with the 280 hour requirement, a maximum of 37.5 hours per week will count towards the total number of hours worked. So a minimum of 9 calendar weeks are needed to reach 315 hours and 10 calendar weeks are needed to reach 350 hours. The 2L and SJD awards and bonuses are structured as follows and must comply with the funding cap guidelines:

Hours Completed Total Award if On Financial Aid Total Award if Not on Aid
315-349 $6,187 $4050
350+ $6,875 $4500

Joint degree students who have completed 2 years at HLS are considered 2Ls for SPIF purposes. Those joint degree students who have only completed 1 year at HLS are considered 1Ls and are not eligible for the bonus.