Post-graduate public interest fellowships are wonderful opportunities for recent graduates to secure entry-level positions with non-profit organizations that otherwise might not have the resources to hire them. Most fellowships are for terms of one to two years. Some organizations secure funding to hire fellows after the term of the fellowship.
Some fellowships are available to attorneys with a few years practice experience, while others may be geared to applicants mid-career. Fellowships are available in a wide range of practice areas and settings which include civil legal services, criminal defense/criminal justice, civil rights. Fellowships are available to support work in the United States as well as abroad.
The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) provides support to students interested in applying for fellowships and helps you get started in exploring fellowships:
Types of Fellowships
The various types of fellowships include:
(1) Project Based Fellowships in which the applicant develops a project in conjunction with a non-profit ("sponsoring") organization and which is jointly submitted to fellowship funders.
(2) Organization Based Fellowships offered by a non-profit organization to carry out specific work.
(4) Law School Sponsored Fellowships offered by the law school attended. Fordham Law sponsors the James E. Tolan Fellowship in International Human Rights.
(5) Law School Based Fellowships which may lead to an LL.M. at a sponsoring law school and/or Clinical Fellowships to work in a law school clinic as an instructor.
(6) Firm Sponsored Fellowships offered by a private law firm which enable an entry level attorney to work primarily or exclusively on pro bono matters either at the firm or at a partnering organization.
(7) Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships. Financial and intellectual awards given for graduate study abroad or in the United States in recognition of outstanding personal and academic achievements and one's future potential for scholarly distinction.
A list of some examples of fellowships for the various types of fellowships is available by clicking here.