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  • TRI PI (Travel Reimbursement for Interviews in the Public Interest)

In an effort to support our students who are pursuing public interest work, YLS CDO has developed the Travel Reimbursement for Interviews in the Public Interest (TRI PI) Program. This program is funded through law firm donations to the CDO Law Firm Practice Area Forum.

Activities Eligible for Reimbursement

TRI PI funds are available to reimburse travel expenses for second-year students, third-year students, and LL.M. students interviewing for summer opportunities, fellowships, and first post-graduate opportunities with a wide range of public interest employers, including non-profit organizations, government agencies, and, on a case-by-case basis, public interest law firms.

TRI PI funds are available for all students to offset registration fees and reasonable travel expenses for two career fairs: the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair and the Yale Co-Sponsored Public Interest Career Fair at NYU School of Law. Students are encouraged to come to CDO to discuss potential travel plans for any other external career fairs.

Activities NOT Eligible for Reimbursement

Interview travel expenses for first-year students are not eligible for reimbursement. Travel expenses incurred for judicial clerkship interviews, informational interviews, conferences, and presentations are not eligible for reimbursement. Travel expenses incurred for interviews regarding employment to commence after a clerkship, fellowship, or other first post-graduate position are not eligible for reimbursement.

Through the Financial Aid Office, students can seek a budget revision to secure additional loan money for certain purposes, including the purchase of a suit, judicial clerkship interview travel, 1L public interest interview travel, certain conference travel, and bar prep expenses among other things. This loan can be awarded if a student has already borrowed the maximum available to them, and will require the student to fill out a Budget Revision Form. OSA offers funding to attend a conference if you are invited to present a paper written during your time at YLS under the supervision of a YLS faculty member up to $1,000.

Reimbursement Amounts

Interview Expenses (2Ls, 3Ls, and LLM students only)

The Law School will reimburse eligible and reasonable interview travel expenses up to a per-student maximum of $800 per TRI PI Year. Students who do not exhaust the $800 cap in one year may not carry over the remainder to the next year. No food expenses will be reimbursed and all travel expenses must be economical. For example, train travel to NYC will be refunded only to Metro-North levels and all Amtrak or plane travel must be coach class. Students may seek reimbursement for one night only of lodging. All lodging choices must be economical, and lodging reimbursement covers room and taxes only. Subways, buses, and cab fares are reimbursable, as is mileage (if driving) at the current standard rate. Rental cars (and gas) are reimbursable in the event that another mode of transportation is not available.

If a student travels to more than one public interest interview in the TRI PI Year, the student can request reimbursement for subsequent interview expenses as long as the total amount requested of TRI PI that year is under the $800 cap.

Career Fair Expenses (all students)

Students attending the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair are eligible for up to $250 reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses. Students attending the Yale Co-Sponsored Public Interest Career Fair at NYU School of Law are eligible for reimbursement of $47 (the maximum rate of roundtrip Metro North train fair to NYC). If CDO determines that attendance at another career fair is in furtherance of legal employment, students may be eligible for up to $250 reimbursement in travel and lodging expenses. If approved, these career fair expenses will be considered separately from the $800 interview expenses funding.

TRI PI Year

For purposes of TRI PI, the year is June 1 – May 31. However, graduating students who have not exhausted the $800 per year cap and conduct public interest interviews after May 31 for a first post-graduate position remain eligible for reimbursement.

Reimbursement Process

Students should notify CDO prior to traveling to ascertain that funds are available and to confirm their eligibility. Reimbursement requests and supporting receipts should be submitted promptly, preferably within two weeks of travel but not later than May 31, which marks the end of the TRI PI Year.

Students should bring travel receipts and a completed reimbursement form to the Career Development Office. Students may also pick up a reimbursement form in CDO. CDO will submit your reimbursement request to the YLS Business Office. The Business Office will handle payment. For further information contact CDO at cdo.law@yale.edu or 203-432-1676.