Updated April 23, 2010.
Prepared by Mary Whisner, Reference Librarian & Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow, 1984-85
Updated by Julia Vinson, Law Library Intern (2009).
The structure varies:
- For some (e.g., Equal Justice Works, Skadden), an applicant must have a project in mind and have the sponsorship of an organization.
- For some (e.g., WLPPFP), the fellowship organization places the fellow with an organization.
- For some (e.g., Georgetown University Law Center Graduate Fellowship Program for Future Law Professors), the fellowship is tied to academic work.
- For an overview, see PSLawNet Postgraduate Fellowships - Information and Resources.
- 2-year fellowships
- fellow + project + host organization
- Fellow gets salary, national leadership training, networking support, and loan repayment assistance
- Applications become available in the summer and are due in mid-September. Semifinalists are selected and interviewed in the fall. Offers are extended between November and January and between January and March (organization matching fund program).
- About 50 fellows per year
- UW alumni who have had Equal Justice Works fellowships:
- Casey Trupin, JD 1999 (project: street youth; host: Columbia Legal Services)
- Ishbel Dickens, JD 2002 (project: mobile home parks; host: Columbia Legal Services)
- Matthew Brinegar, JD 2004 (project: Medicaid; host: Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc., Orlando FL)
- Mike Peters, JD 2009 (project immigrant youth in juvenile justice system; host: Northwest Immigrant Rights Project)
- Profiles of current and past fellows are on the website. Reading them is an excellent way to get a sense of the sorts of projects funded.
- 1-year fellowships, with expectation of one renewal
- Fellow gets salary, benefits, loan repayment assistance
- fellow + project + host organization
- 24-28 fellows per year
- 1-year grant for a start-up program with a host organization
- Preference for Yale grads, but recent grant recipients have includes graduates of St. Mary’s (San Antonio), CUNY (Queens), Stanford, Michigan, Georgetown, SUNY-Buffalo, and UCLA.
- 1-year fellowships, but one is a 2-year fellowship in the Georgetown’s Domestic Violence Clinic (and leads to an LL.M.).
- Fellows are placed with public interest organizations in Washington, DC, participate in program events, and may audit courses at Georgetown.
- Fellows get salary and benefits
- About 6 U.S. fellows per year. Sister program: Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Program
University of Chicago Law School, Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellowships
- 2-year fellowships
- Teach first-year legal research and writing
- Stepping stone to academic career
- Applications accepted from September through May; acceptances made on a rolling basis
- 6 fellows per year
- Similar fellowship: Temple Law School Abraham L. Freedman Teaching Fellowship
- Part of the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps program
- 11 month commitment
- $30,000 - $40,000 for living allowance and supplemental benefits
- Loan repayment assistance and health care insurance
- Equal Justice Works network opportunities
- 2-year paid fellowship
- Fellows are placed with a U.S. government agency; many are law school graduates
- Only open to graduate students matriculating by August 31 of the PMF Exam year
- Requires a nomination by department of graduating institution
This guide focuses on fellowship opportunities after graduation, but there are some fellowships for summer work.
- Places students in summer jobs and school year fellowships with labor-related organizations
- Includes mentor organizations throughout the U.S.
UW Graduate School, Bonderman Travel Fellowship
- UW seniors and graduate students; several law graduates have received Bonderman fellowships in the past few years.
- $20,000 award for travel. Fellows "must travel for eight or more months, exploring six or more countries in two or more major regions of the world."
- American Society of International Law
- Annual "micro-grants" ($2000 in 2010) for "law students and young professionals [within 2 1/2 years of graduation] to pursue field work and research on significant issues involving international law, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and related areas"
- 11 grants in 2010
- The application period for 2010 grants was open Oct. 12, 2009, to Feb. 12, 2010. It is important to apply early: due to administrative constraints, ASIL only considers the first 50 completed applications.
- The Nation Institute
- $1000 honorarium for "first-year law students who intend to carry out significant activities during the summer (in between their first and second year) in the areas of civil rights and/or civil liberties. Proposed activities may include a writing or research project, work with a public interest organization in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties, work on a civil rights or civil liberties law case under the supervision of a faculty member or lawyer, or any other work in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties."
- During your 1L year, as you look ahead.
- During your 2L summer, if you want to apply for fellowships whose deadlines are in September.
- During your 3L fall, if you want to apply for fellowships whose deadlines are in the fall.
- Throughout your 3L year, as opportunities arise.
- After graduation, if you are in a clerkship or you want to change focus after your first job. Many organizations welcome applications from recent graduates.
- For a list of deadlines, see PSLawNet's Calendar of Deadlines.
It depends on the program. Some programs receive hundreds of applications for a few slots; others are less competitive.
You may be a very desirable applicant!
As they say in the lottery ads: You have to play to win!
- Yale Law School Career Development Office, Public Interest Fellowships
- UW School of Law Career Planning and Public Service, Fellowships