One option for students who want to pursue public interest work after graduation is to apply for a post-graduate fellowship. These are funded opportunities to work for non-profit organizations for a limited time period, usually one or two years. The range of practice areas and geographic locations available are numerous. The process does require initiative and advanced planning, but fellowships are excellent opportunities to begin your public interest career!
Learn more about fellowships and view 300+ fellowship listings at www.pslawnet.org/postgraduatefellowships.
If you are considering applying for a project-based fellowship, check out this article.
ILLINOIS EARLY CHILDHOOD FELLOWS
The Fellows Program attracts talented, committed people with a background in early childhood, leadership skills, an understanding of the role of public policy and systems in shaping the life experiences of children, and a commitment to working to improve early childhood and education for all Illinois children. See the Illinois Early Childhood Fellows website for more information. Applications are due in mid-February.
EQUAL JUSTICE WORKS AMERICORPS LEGAL FELLOWSHIPS
The Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship program is one of the most productive and highly regarded national service programs in the country. The AmeriCorps Legal Fellows serve their communities by facilitating pro bono opportunities and expanding the legal resources in low-income and underserved communities. Visit the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships website for more information. Applications are available online in June.
FULBRIGHT PUBLIC POLICY FELLOWSHIP
The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will allow young U.S. professionals who meet academic and professional experience requirements to contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad. They will serve in professional placements within foreign government ministries or institutions while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project. Fulbright Public Policy Fellows will serve in partner countries, which include: Bangladesh, Cote d'Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand and Tunisia. Candidates must be in receipt of a Master's Degree or J.D. by the beginning of the Fellowship or must be currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program. Visit the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship website for more information.
EQUAL JUSTICE WORKS FELLOWSHIP
This is a two-year fellowship with applications and instructions available online in early July. The deadline is usually in September for a fellowship to commence the following September. Visit the Equal Justice Works website for more information.
PUBLIC DEFENDER CORPS
Equal Justice Works and the Southern Public Defender Training Center have partnered to develop the Public Defender Corps, a project that will provide fellowships for top students to engage in indigent defense with a strong training and support structure. These will be three year fellowships inside select public defender offices.Visit the Equal Justice Works website for more information. Applications are due in mid-September.
JUVENILE LAW CENTER, ZUBROW FELLOWSHIP IN CHILDREN'S LAW
The Zubrow Fellowship is the only post-graduate fellowship that provides an opportunity to engage in a wide variety of advocacy efforts on behalf of children in the delinquency and dependency systems. Zubrow fellows are involved in training, legislative efforts, litigation, policy work and some direct representation on issues ranging from the rights of dependent youth aging out of the foster care system to the needs of juveniles reentering the community from delinquent placements. Visit the JLC website for further details. Applications are due in early October.
Awarded for one year with expectation of renewal for a second year. Applications are generally available in the spring and due in the fall for fellowships to commence the following year. Visit the Skadden Fellowship Foundation website for details. Applications are due in early October.
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST,
The Polikoff-Gautreaux Fellowship offers the opportunity for recent law school and public policy school graduates to develop the experience, skills and network critical to a rewarding career in public interest advocacy. Visit the BPI website for more information. Applications are due in mid-October.
HANNA S. COHN EQUAL JUSTICE FELLOWSHIP
Applications are currently being accepted from students entering their third year of law school for the Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellowship - an exciting, two-year, public interest fellowship opportunity. The Fellowship is a full-time position; applications are being accepted for the term beginning September 2013 and ending August 2015. To learn more, please see the application. Applications are due in mid-October.
ABA SECTION OF TAXATION PUBLIC SERVICE FELLOWSHIP
The Public Service Fellowship program, which began in 2008, reflects the Section's desire to advance public service efforts in tax law and to foster a more fair and equitable tax system. To learn more, please visit the ABA Section of Taxation's website. Applications are due in November.
CENTER FOR CALIFORNIA STUDIES CAPITAL FELLOWS PROGRAM
The Capital Fellows Programs are administered by the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento and are an outstanding opportunity for graduates to engage in public service and prepare for future careers. Fellows work 10-11 months as full-time staff members in the California State Assembly, California State Senate, California Executive Branch, or the California Judiciary. Visit the Center for California Studies Capital Fellows Programs website for more information. Applications are due in early February.
ILLINOIS LEGISLATIVE STAFF INTERN PROGRAM
For over 50 years, the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) has provided 24 unique internships for keenly interested, deeply motivated and talented individuals to work within state government. ILSIP interns work full-time for 10.5 months for a monthly stipend of $2,026 along with a tuition waiver for eight graduate credit hours at the University of Illinois at Springfield and the option for student health insurance paid as a benefit of the program. To learn more, visit http://ilsip.uis.edu. Applications are due in early March.
SOROS/OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE - JUSTICE ADVOCACY FELLOWSHIPS
18 month fellowships for projects that address criminal justice issues. Visit the Soros website for more information. Application deadlines vary.
LAW FIRMS WITH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS
Gibbons P.C. - John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law
Relman & Dane PLLC - Relman Civil Rights Fellowship
Hunton & Williams LLP - Pro Bono Fellowship
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP - Public Services Fellowships