Spotlight on 2011 PILF Grantee, Michael Lay

By far one of the greatest ways USF Public Interest Law Foundation helps to make an impact in our community is by providing grants to USF Law students who choose to pursue unpaid summer legal work. This past summer, 25 remarkable students were selected to each receive grants of $4,000.We are proud to offer these grants through the generous donations we receive throughout the year as well as through several fundraising events sponsored by USF and PILF.

Our largest fundraising opportunity is the Annual PILF Gala and Auction. This year’s Gala and Auction takes place on November 4th. As the Auction draws nearer, we want to take a moment to introduce our most recent 2011 Summer Grantees in the Q&A’s below.

 2L Michael Lay Talks About His Summer At The San Joaquin Public Defender’s Office

Michael Lay, from Stockton, California, attended the University of California, Davis as an undergraduate. This past summer he worked in the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s Office.



Why did you choose law school, and why USF in particular?

I wanted the great opportunities for public interest work and experience. The diverse student body was also appealing.

What kind of work did you do this summer or what type of projects did you work on?

I gained roughly 10 hours of court experience a week (a mixture of adult, juvenile, and mental health court), interviewed indigent clients, and wrote motions and writs.

What do you find most inspiring about the work you are doing or the organization you are working for?

Public criminal defense is very emotionally and mentally challenging. I find that very exciting. The office employs very intelligent attorneys, and I was impressed everyday by their passion.

Are you interested in public interest legal work as a career? What sort of law would you like to practice?

Yes. I would like to be a public defender in the future.

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