For first- and second-year law students looking to finalize their summer plans, the prospect of accepting a dream position in the form of an unpaid internship may come with a discouraging financial burden. The Innovation, Business & Law Center (“IBL Center”) is here to help alleviate that burden with its 2018 Summer Stipend Program.


Each year, the IBL Center awards stipends to up to four students working in unpaid summer internships in innovation and business law-related fields. These stipends are provided to 1L and 2L law students who will be spending their summers working in areas such as intellectual property, corporate, business, and health law.


Examples of past internships include positions at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, at hospitals, or in nonprofit organizations that focus on legal issues in the arts and sciences.


Last summer, Andrea Rastelli (2L) used her IBL Center summer stipend to embrace the opportunity to intern at John Deere Financial in Des Moines, Iowa. At Deere, she gained hands-on experience in multiple areas of law, including a special focus on Article 9 and data privacy issues. 


“Working at John Deere was one of the best experiences I have ever had,” said Ms. Rastelli. “My focus was primarily business law, but I also worked on a few IP issues. I learned so many skills, and I was able to network extensively with many law firms in the Des Moines area.”


In addition to making connections and developing practical skills, Ms. Rastelli’s summer at Deere Financial also helped define her career path.


“I learned a great deal about data privacy law last summer, which I know now is what I want to do after law school,” said Ms. Rastelli, who was a computer science minor in college and worked for a number of tech companies before coming to law school. “This summer I will be working for a law firm in Des Moines. I hope to be able to work with similar issues, such as data privacy and technology issues.”


Looking back on her 1L summer, Ms. Rastelli was able to offer some general advice to current first years who are looking to make the most of their 1L summer job.


“The best thing you can do is network until you have met everyone you possibly could,” she said. “When I worked at Deere, I was able to meet attorneys from most major law firms in the Des Moines, and believe me, it helped me find a 2L summer internship during on-campus interviews.”


Summer stipend awards may range up to $2000. Applications can be accessed here: The deadline for submitting application materials is noon on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Questions should be directed to Professor Jason Rantanen, 335-9109 or