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.  

*Update 2020-2021

Due to the risk associated with COVID-19, the University of Virginia has placed a prohibition on all University international and non-essential domestic travel. (Please see the travel section of the Return to Grounds website, found here, for more information). As a result, law students with public service interviews should make every effort to conduct the interviews remotely, if possible. If interviews must be conducted in person, students are required to seek pre-approval for VPIIP travel reimbursement, prior to travel.

Important Dates

  • September 1-November 24, 2020:  Fall Semester application window for VPIIP benefits. 

Fall Semester application window for VPIIP benefits. Apply for reimbursement by submitting your forms to the PSC. Remember that reimbursement requests must be submitted and approved prior to any travel and accompanying receipts must be submitted within 21 days of concluding travel.

  • January 25-April 30, 2021:  Spring semester application window for VPIIP benefits. 

Spring semester application window for VPIIP benefits. Apply for reimbursement by submitting your forms to the PSC. Remember that reimbursement requests must be submitted and approved prior to any travel and accompanying receipts 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?

This year, due to the unusual circumstances presented by COVID-19, reimbursements will be evaluated on a case by case basis. To the extent possible, all efforts will be made to reimburse 100% of all reasonable costs, subject to available funding.

How Do I Get Reimbursed?

  • Prior to any travel: Submit a Reimbursement Request Form to your Public Service Center counselor for pre-approval (or, if you do not have a counselor, email publicservice@law.virginia.edu).
  • After your travel: If you were pre-approved for reimbursement, resubmit the Reimbursement Request Form to the counselor with all accompanying receipts and boarding passes within 21 days of concluding the interview-related trip.

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 Form