Virginia Public Interest Interviewing Program (VPIIP)

Virginia Public Interest Interviewing Program (VPIIP)

Students traveling 90 miles or more to interview with public service employers for internships and jobs may get reimbursed up to a certain amount for travel costs through the Virginia Public Interest Interview Program (VPIIP).  VPIIP is open to 2L and 3L students.  

Important Dates

  • September 1-30, 2019:  Enroll to participate in VPIIP by completing a quick survey. 

Enroll if you think you will conduct travel during the 2019-20 year that would be covered by VPIIP.  This simply reserves you a spot in the program and does not commit you to taking any interviews or applying for VPIIP benefits.

  • October 1-December 6, 2019:  Fall Semester application window for VPIIP benefits. 

Apply for standard and supplemental benefits by submitting your forms to the PSC. Remember that standard reimbursement requests must be submitted within 21 days of concluding travel.

  • January 20-April 24, 2020:  Spring semester application window for VPIIP benefits. 

Apply for standard and supplemental benefits by submitting your forms to the PSC. Remember that standard reimbursement requests must be submitted within 21 days of concluding travel.

Program Details

The Virginia Public Interest Interview Program (VPIIP) supports students who wish to pursue public service jobs and internships by providing financial assistance for the cost of interview-related travel.  Second- and third-year J.D. students who interview with public service employers and submit timely VPIIP requests are eligible for reimbursements in accordance with this policy.

What Costs Are Covered?

VPIIP provides reimbursement for the economical and necessary travel, lodging, and career fair registration expenses incurred while traveling to and from public service employer interviews.  Interview trips requiring fewer than 90 miles of travel are not covered. 

“Career fair registration” means the fee required to register for a career fair that offers in-person public service employer interviews for internships and jobs, such as the Equal Justice Works career fair.

Lodging expenses mean the costs of lodging in hotels, rental-by-owner properties through providers like airbnb, and in other public lodging facilities, as well as reasonable parking costs.  Incidental costs, such as for food, entertainment, and wi-fi access, are not covered.

Public service employers mean any government executive or legislative branch agency, whether domestic or foreign, and any non-profit entity that qualifies as a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code or its foreign law equivalent.

Travel expenses mean the costs of travel by personal vehicle (standard UVA mileage reimbursement plus reasonable parking costs), bus, subway, taxi (as well as über and Lyft), train, and airline.  Car rentals are not covered unless shown to be the most economical form of transportation. 

Travel for interviews may start and end anywhere, but the general expectation is that during the school year students will be departing from and returning to Charlottesville, and that during academic breaks they will be departing from and returning to a permanent/summer/externship residence.

What Costs Aren’t Covered?

Because the goal of VPIIP is to assist as many students as possible who need financial support, uneconomical and unreasonable charges will not be covered.  These include, for example: airline tickets other than for coach or economy class seats; non-stop airline flights when one or more layovers would be reasonable; train tickets higher than business class; luxury vehicle über and Lyft rentals; and any costly form of transportation taken when suitable and affordable alternatives are available. Meal costs are also not covered by the VPIIP program.

How Much Will Be Reimbursed?

Two tiers of reimbursement are available to students: Standard and Supplemental. 

Standard reimbursements are pre-defined, guaranteed amounts given across the board to all students who successfully submit applications for benefits. The reimbursement cap will be set at the start of each school year after the VPIIP enrollment period closes.  While the cap may vary each year, it will likely be in the several-hundred dollar range.

Supplemental reimbursements are given to students who demonstrate the need for reimbursement beyond that provided by the Standard level, due to the high cost of a single trip or the cost of multiple trips.  Supplemental reimbursements will only be awarded to the extent permitted by available VPIIP funding after Standard reimbursements are granted.  The amounts of Supplemental reimbursements will vary based on the needs of the particular student and the level of available VPIIP funds.

How Do I Get Reimbursed?

  • Enroll between September 1-30, 2019 by filling out a quick survey that will be emailed to all 2Ls and 3Ls. This will reserve a spot for you in VPIIP for the 2019-20 year.
  • For Standard Reimbursements:  Within 21 days of concluding an interview-related trip, submit a Reimbursement Request Form.  Email your public service counselor to set up a time to drop off your form, or, if you do not have a counselor, email publicservice@law.virginia.edu.
  • For Supplemental Reimbursements:  As soon as you are ready to schedule or accept an interview that will require a Supplemental Reimbursement (because the cost is higher than the standard cap), email a Supplemental Reimbursement Authorization Form to the PSC at publicservice@law.virginia.edu.
  • Remember to keep all your receipts and boarding passes so you can submit them with your forms!

Students will receive reimbursements usually no more than a few weeks after submitting a Reimbursement Request Form.  If the student has previously authorized UVA Law to provide direct deposits to a banking account, the reimbursement will be direct deposited.  If no direct deposit authorization is on file, a check will be mailed.

Reimbursement Forms