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Home CAREER DEVELOPMENT OFFICE Public Interest Fellowships

Post-graduate fellowships are a great way to launch a public interest career. Fellowship organizations allow applicants to address the legal needs of under-served populations. They typically last for one or two years, and applicants receive a stipend or salary along with other benefits. There are a few different types of fellowships, but two are highlighted below:

Project-Based Fellowships:

Project based fellowships allow applicants to develop a specific project that addresses a legal need with the help of a sponsoring organization. This requires applicants to find a host organization and the applicant then submits a project proposal to the fellowship organization detailing which specific population this project aims to serve and how this project aligns with the host organization’s objectives.

Organization-Based Fellowships

Many nonprofit organizations have their own fellowship programs that allow applicants to work on projects that have already been developed. This is a great option for applicants who would like to work for a specific organization or demographic.

A typical fellowship will have a deadline sometime in the fall prior to the fellowship start date. When applying to a fellowship it is important to notate the deadlines and plan accordingly. Spring and summer of that same year will be spent locating a host organization and putting together a proposal (if applicable) and completing the fellowship application.


Resources:

Here are some resources through the National Association of Law Placement (NALP) that can help give some guidance in applying for a fellowship, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the Career Development Office (CDO) for more support in exploring and applying for fellowships!

Application Slides           Application HO1


Fellowships:

Here is a short list of a few public interest fellowships that are available along with links to their respective websites. This is not an exhaustive list, and applicants should consider doing their own searches on sites such as psjd.org, usa.gov, and simplicity.com

Echoing Green
Echoing Green provides seed money for applicants who have ideas for developing public service organizations that impact social and environmental initiatives. This is not strictly a law fellowship, but applicants who are interested in creating social and environmental change should consider one of these fellowships.
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Environmental Law Institute (ELI)
The Public Interest Environmental Law Fellow works with ELI domestic and international professionals to advance environmental protection.
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Equal Justice Works
The Equal Justice Initiative Legal Fellowship is a project-based fellowship that is funded for two years. EJW is a human rights organization that provides legal services to underserved and / or vulnerable populations.
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Immigrant Justice Corps
The organization offers two-year fellowships to applicants interested in expanding access to immigration legal services. Their overall mission is to increase the number of immigration lawyers to meet the high level of demand.
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Independence Foundation
This organization funds new lawyers who are passionate about public service. Fellows work with a sponsoring legal service organization and the foundation requires that the focus of all fellowship work be on direct representation of disadvantaged clients.
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Juvenile Law Center
The Zubrow Fellowship supports initiatives that impact child delinquency issues through training, legislative efforts, and policy work.
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Oceana
There are numerous RAY fellowships funded by the Oceana advocacy group that seeks to protect the world’s oceans. They use scientific research to help shape policies regarding the world’s largest bodies of water.
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Prison Law Office
The Prison Law office Legal Fellowship offers recent law school graduates a chance to work within the prison system to advocate for incarcerated individuals. The Prison Law Office provides free legal services to adult and juvenile offenders to improve the conditions of confinements.
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Skadden Foundation
The Skadden Foundation offers project-based fellowships to provide legal services to underserved and / or vulnerable populations. Projects can also include economic and community development.
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Soros Advocacy Fellowship
The Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship supports crime prevention initiatives. They fund many organizations that advance reforms in the U.S. criminal justice system.
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Tom Steel Post-Graduate Fellowship
The Pride Law Fund helps support a new lawyer to work on a public interest project that supports the LGBTQ community.
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Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program
This fellowship offers work experience where fellows work on women’s legal issues with a public interest organization, a governmental agency or as a clinical teaching fellow at Georgetown Law.
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