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Work Study

The Federal Work-Study Program was created to stimulate and promote part-time employment for students who have financial need and who need earnings to pursue a college education. It allows students to meet their educational expenses without incurring a lot of debt and is intended to provide worthwhile job opportunities for qualified students. To participate, you must be awarded Federal Work-Study (Work-Study) with your financial aid.

Your Work-Study award contributes more than financial assistance to your college education. It offers you a double bonus--education plus job experience. In increasingly competitive job markets, employers seek applicants who have employment as well as academic experience. Your award may also provide:

  • Practical training and experience in your chosen field.
  • Positive job experience to help you identify career objectives.
  • An impressive resume and recommendations from former employers.

The questions summarized in this guide are frequently asked by students who have received Work-Study awards. Please read the information carefully. REMINDER: You must have a PAID position in order to receive federal summer or academic year work-study.  You cannot receive workstudy if your position is an UNPAID internship or externship (includes King Hall Legal Foundation Grant recipients).

If you secure a position with a non-profit organization or government agency, have the organization or agency contact the Work-Study Coordinator at (530) 752-7151 to determine whether they are an eligible Work-Study employer.

Federal Work-Study is a cooperative program administered by UC Davis whereby the federal government pays a portion of your wages and your employer pays the balance. Employment is with off-campus employers.

Note: If you receive Federal Work-study, you are considered a casual, restricted UC Davis employee.

Law students employed through the Work-Study Program have the opportunity to work in positions which are designated by UC Davis as community service positions. Community service employers provide services designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low income individuals. Most of these positions will be for employers who are located off-campus.

Law students have worked for off-campus agencies such as the Attorney General, Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento District Attorney, San Francisco City Attorney and the Yolo County Public Defender. Pay rates range from $10.00 to $20.00 per hour.

You may not hold two Work-Study jobs simultaneously, so it is important to select a job that will provide you with enough hours to earn the total amount of your award.

In order to change jobs, you must terminate your current Work-Study position. Obtain a memo from your employer stating your last day of employment and the balance of your Work-Study award. Take that memo and a completed Work-study Request Form to the Law School Financial Aid Office BEFORE beginning your new position.

Most employers try to coordinate your work schedule with your academic schedule. You may not be paid for more than 40 hours per week with Work-Study funds. If you work "overtime" on your Work-Study job, your employer must pay the entire amount of your earnings that exceed 40 hours.

Students may use Symplicity, Law Career Services' recruiting and job search database, at to access job listings, to participate in on-campus interviewing and to view the calendar for upcoming career services programs. During your interview, be sure to discuss the following points with your prospective employer:

  • Your job responsibilities
  • Your work schedule
  • Your ability to earn the full amount of your Work-Study award

Download the Law Summer or Academic Year Federal Work-study application from the Financial Aid Resources page and submit the application to the Law Financial Aid Office. After you are awarded Federal Work-study, contact Lisa Harry, King Hall Human Resources Analyst to make arrangements to complete the necessary employment forms. You may not begin working until you complete these procedures.

The Work-Study award listed on your Financial Aid Notice represents the maximum amount you may earn through the Work-Study Program over the course of the summer or academic year (employer and Work-Study contributions combined).

Time records, signed by you and your supervisor, are submitted monthly for law students to the King Hall Human Resources unit located in the Dean's Office, Room 2020F. 

University paychecks for students paid monthly, are available between the fifth and seventh work day of the month. You may have your check forwarded by campus mail to your department or deposited to your bank account.

Yes. Work-Study earnings are subject to state, federal withholding taxes, and Medicare and Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) savings. Law students employed at the University must meet both of the following criteria to maintain their exemption from Medicare and DCP taxes:

  • They must be appointed 49% time or less (not actual hours worked) AND
  • They must carry the campus required minimum course load of 10 units per semester.

Student employees who lose their exemption because they do not satisfy both the work and course load requirements will receive two payroll deductions. One deduction for 7.5% of the paycheck to an individual account in the University's Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) as an alternative to Social Security, and another for 1.45% to Medicare.

To be eligible for Work-Study, Law students must maintain 10 units per semester. A reduction in your unit load or withdrawal from school affects the amount of your Work-Study award.

The 2016 Law Summer Work-Study period is May 16 to August 19. The 2016-17 Law Academic Year Work-study period is August 22 to May 19. Unearned Work-Study is forfeited on June 30 and may not be transferred to the next fiscal year.

Take your job seriously. The experience you gain in a Work-Study position can be invaluable.

  • Report to work promptly.
  • Notify your supervisor as soon as possible if you will be late or unable to work.
  • Do not conduct personal business on the job.
  • Report your hours accurately on your Time Record.
  • Submit your Time Record by the due date.
  • Consider your employer's needs as well as your own when requesting time off.
  • Dress appropriately for your work location.

If an employment problem develops or if you have difficulty earning the full amount of your Work-Study award, discuss the situation with your supervisor. You might also consult the Work-Study Coordinator, Student Employment Center, Dutton Hall, (530) 752-0117, about other employment options. If you decide not to use your Work-Study, contact the Law Financial Aid Office to discuss replacing your Work-Study with other funding.

Remember: You are required to report any increase in non-Work-Study earnings or other resources to the Financial Aid Office via My Awards.