Project fellowships are designed to fund the creation of new, innovative public interest law projects or to serve the unmet legal needs of communities and individuals. Each applicant must develop a project proposal, usually in conjunction with a “sponsoring” organization (a non-profit employer that agrees to work with and host the candidate during his/her fellowship), and apply to foundations that pay the selected fellows’ salaries and provide support during the fellowship period. Skadden and Equal Justice Works are the most well-known project fellowship sponsors, but there are several other organizations that fund project fellowships in specific locations and/or in specific practice areas.
Prospective fellows can apply for a fellowship in one of two ways: First, students can apply to an organization that is already advertising for a potential fellow. Solicitations from various organizations for project fellows cover the geographic and issue-area spectrums and can be found on PSJD or Symplicity as early as June! Second, students can work with an organization that is not already soliciting for a fellow to create a fellowship of their own design. To do this, students research organizations and talk with current staff about the prospect for creating a fellowship together. Once a fellow and a host begin working together, they then create fellowship application materials to submit to Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or other various sponsors.
Note: Project-Based Fellowships are different than staff attorney or organization based fellowships which are established positions within existing organizations offered either at pre-determined intervals (e.g., every one or two years) or as funding allows. Hundreds of staff attorney fellowships are available every year. Applications for staff attorney an organization-based fellowships are often due later in the fall, winter, or early spring and will be announced through PSJD and Symplicity.
if you plan on applying for a 2014-2015 Post-Graduate Fellowship, please set up an appointment with an OPICS counselor now so that we can help you begin the process.
Posted by Lauren Dubin at 10:00 AM