Post-Graduate Fellowships

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.

Getting Started

Exploring post-graduate fellowships is exciting.  It may provide you an opportunity to create your dream job!   You will enjoy the process more if you start early.  Things to do:

  •  Become familiar with the various types of fellowships: project –based, organization-based, entrepreneurial, law school based fellowships, firm-sponsored, prestigious/scholarships, as well as post-graduate government honors program.  The summer after your first year is an ideal time to begin. Begin by reviewing resources describing fellowship opportunities, both domestic and international.
  • Attend PIRC programs on post-graduate fellowships during your first and second year. Handouts from this year's programs are available: Post Graduate Public Interest Fellowships: An Overview Of The Process and Post Graduate Criminal Justice Fellowships.
  • Meet with a PIRC counselor in your second year to discuss your interests and particular fellowships.
  • Meet with faculty.  Support is available from the Faculty Fellowship Committee, Fordham Law professors who are former fellows or have significant grant writing experience.  Faculty advise students on the fellowship application process, review fellowship proposals and conduct mock interviews.  PIRC can help partner you with a faculty member.
  • Talk with prior fellows.  Current and former fellows are excellent sources of advice.  PIRC counselors can help connect with the Fordham Law alumna who are recipients of a wide range of fellowships including those with the ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, Echoing Green, Equal Justice Works, Fulbright, Georgetown Law Clinical Fellowships, New Voices, the Skadden Foundation.

Types of Fellowships

Project –Based Fellowships:  The majority of these fellowships are awarded by two organizations, Equal Justice Works and the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.

  • Equal Justice Works (EJW) has one of the largest national public interest fellowship programs providing financial and technical support to lawyers working on innovative and effective legal projects.  EJW funds approximately 50 fellows annually.  The two-year fellowships offer salary and generous loan repayment assistance, a national training and leadership development program, and other support.  Fellows develop and launch projects with host non-profit organizations that benefit individuals or groups and/or promote issues not otherwise adequately represented by the legal system.
  • Skadden Foundation Fellowship (Skadden) awards some 30-35 fellowships yearly to graduating law students and outgoing judicial clerks.  Fellows provide legal services to the working poor, elderly, homeless and disabled, as well as to those deprived of their human or civil rights.  In recent years, fellows have also worked on issues concerning economic development and community renewal.  The aim of the foundation is to give fellows the freedom to pursue their interests in public interest work.  Fellowships are for one year, with the expectation of renewal for a second year.  For those fellows not covered by a law school loan repayment assistance program, the firm will pay a fellow's law school debt for the duration of the fellowship.

Organization Based Fellowships:  The practice areas of these fellowships are very broad and include children’s rights, civil liberties, health law, media law to name just a few.  The organizations are based throughout the country, with a concentration in NYC and Washington, DC.  The Comprehensive Fellowship Guide has an extensive list.  Some fellowships include: 

  • American Civil Liberties (ACLU) which has fellowships in issues and geographic areas including:  Aryeh Neier Human Rights Fellowship (NYC), Brennan First Amendment (NYC ), Capital Punishment (Durham, North Carolina), Drug Law Reform (Santa Cruz, CA), National Prison Project (Washington, DC), National Security Applied Research (NYC), Karpatkin Racial Justice (NYC), Reproductive Freedom (NYC) and Women’s Rights (NYC).
  • Equal Justice Works Public Defender Corps provide representation to indigent criminal defendants. 
  • Human Rights Watch for fellowships in international human rights.

Entrepreneurial Fellowships.  Funders of such endeavors include:

  • Echoing Green Foundation offers full-time fellowships to emerging social entrepreneurs.  The foundation applies a venture capital approach to philanthropy by providing seed money and technical support to individuals creating innovative public interest projects that seek to catalyze positive social change  in the U.S. or abroad.
  • The Berkeley Law Foundation  funds two grants per year to individuals undertaking public interest law projects that will serve legally disadvantaged or politically under-represented groups and views the grants as seed money for innovative projects that will immediately provide sorely needed legal services and continue providing such services for years to come.

Fordham Law School Sponsored Fellowships.  Fordham Law sponsors the James E. Tolan Fellowship in International Human Rights is a post-graduate Fellowship that will fund a Fordham Law School graduate to work for an international human rights organization for one year.  Three Tolan fellowships were awarded in 2009.

Law School Based/Clinical Fellowships:  A growing number of law schools are offering fellowships to work in clinical programs. The Comprehensive Fellowship Guide has a section of such fellowships.  One of the largest such programs is based at Georgetown University Law Center, through its Clinical Graduate Fellowship Opportunities in Teaching & Advocacy which offer new and experienced attorneys the opportunity to combine study with practice in the fields of clinical legal education and public interest advocacy. Each fellowship is associated with one of the Law Center's clinical programs.

Firm Sponsored Fellowships:   Several private firms sponsor fellowships which allow entry level attorneys to work primarily or exclusively on pro bono matters either at the firm or at a partnering organization, for example:

  • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (Fried Frank) sponsors fellowships with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and InMotion which give junior lawyers the chance to spend two years in the litigation department of Fried Frank's New York office and then two years at either the LDF or MALDEF, or to spend one year as a Fried Frank litigator and then one year as a staff attorney at InMotion.  After satisfactory completion of the program, fellows may return to Fried Frank, with full seniority, or if there are openings, they may continue to work as staff attorneys with LDF, MALDEF, or InMotion.
  • The John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law is housed at  Gibbons P.C. and provides for fellows to  undertake public interest and constitutional law projects and litigation on behalf of public interest organizations, legal services or public defender offices, government agencies, private non-profit corporations, courts and individuals. 

Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships:   Fordham University’s own 

  • Campion Institute/Office of Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships prepares students to compete for such scholarships and fellowships as the Rhodes, British Marshall, Fulbright, George Mitchell and Luce. 

Government Honors Programs:  Many of the programs, sometimes considered as fellowships, provide a guarantee of permanent employment upon successful completion of the program.

  • Government Honors & Internship Handbook, an on-line resource,   (contact the CPC (careers@law.fordham.edu) or PIRC (PIRC@law.fordham.edu ) to obtain current username and password) contains an excellent directory of many of the federal, and some state and city government offices and agency which offer honors programs for recent graduates.  The directory includes application timelines/deadlines.

Alumni Recipients

Contact information for each follow may be obtained through the Public Interest Resource Center by contacting us at PIRC@law.fordham.edu.

ACLU National Projects:

2008-2009 Marvin M. Karpatkin Racial Justice Program, New York, NY
I. India Geronimo, Class of 2007

2008-2009 ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, New York, NY
Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, Class of 2007

2007-2008 National Security Project, New York, NY
Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, Class of 2007

American Society of International Law (ASIL) Helton Fellowship
2010: Soo-Ryun Kwon, Class of 2008: Human Rights Watch, Uganda

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, President’s Fellow
1999 - 2000
Dennis M. Cariello, Class of 1999

Center for Appellate Litigation

2014-2015
Antoine Morris, Class of 2014

2012-2014 Staff Attorney Fellowship
Nicholas Schumann, Class of 2011

Center for Reproductive Rights:

2012 -2013 International Division
Katherine Mayall, Class of 2011

2005 - 2006 Blackmun Fellowship
Jordan Golberg, Class of 2007

Michele Pallak Movahed, Class of 2006

Aya Fujimura-Fanselow, Class of 2005

Clinical Teaching Fellow, Immigration and Human Rights Clinic and Civil Litigation Clinic, Center for Social Justice, Seton Hall Law School, Newark, NJ
2009-2011
Leena Khandwala, Class of 2004

Crowley Fellow, Crowley Program in International Human Rights, Fordham Law School

2011-2012
Aya Fujimura-Fanselow, Class of 2005

2009-2010
Katharine Hughes, Class of 2008

2000 - 2001
Jeanmarie K. Grubert Fenrich, Class of 1997

1999 - 2000
Luke A. McGrath, Class of 1996

1998 - 1999
Robert J. Quinn, Class of 1994

1997 - 1998
Professor Michael J. Sweeney, Class of 1996

Echoing Green:

2000 - 2002 Community Reinvestment Law Center, Bronx, NY (Independent Project)
Matthew R. Lee, Class of 1996

Equal Justice Works (formerly known as NAPIL - National Association for Public Interest Law):

2014-2016, Community Health Advocates ,Community Service Society, New York, NY
Transition of Insurance under the Affordable Care
Alexandra Berke, Class of 2014

2014-2016, Legal Health, New York Legal Assistance Group, New York, NY
Veterans’ Rights
Keith Hoffman, Class of 2014

2013-2015, Lawyers Alliance for New York, New York, NY
Urban Agriculture
Kelsey Ripper, Class of 2013

2009 - 2011 Prisoners’ Rights Project, The Legal Aid Society, New York, NY
Advocating for the rights of prisoners with disabilities
Caroline Hsu, Class of 2009

2008 - 2010 National Employment Law Project, New York, NY
Advocating for low wage health care workers
Sarah Leberstein, Class of 2008

2007 - 2009 Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Advocating for the rights of youth aging out of foster care.
Sharon Balmer, Class of 2007

2006 - 2008 Urban Justice Center, Community Development Project, New York, NY
Building capacity to provide transactional legal services to low-wage immigrant worker groups, creating alternative institutions
Gowri Krishna, Class of 2006

2005 - 2007 Brooklyn Legal Services, Corporation A, Brooklyn, NY
Maintaining affordable housing and keeping communities intact
Michael Haber, Class of 2005

2005 - 2007 Center for Children's Advocacy, Hartford, CT
School-based truancy court with legal and social service components
Emily A. Breon, JD/MSW, Class of 2005

2004 - 2006 Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, Alexandria, VA
Esther Hie-Jin Limb, Class of 2004

2002 - 2004 HIV Law Unit, Harlem Legal Services, Harlem, NY
Jessica McCormick, Class of 2002

2001 - 2003 Post 9/11 Small Business Assistance Project, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York, NY
Akira Arroyo, Class of 2001

2000 - 2002 Atlanta Legal Aid, Decatur, GA
Elsa Rodriguez, Class of 2000

2000 - 2002 Lawyers for Children, New York, NY
Caridad Peña, Class of 2000

1999 - 2001 Family Reunification Justice Project, New York, NY (Independent Project)
Deirdre O'Sullivan JD/MSW

1998 - 2000 Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, Florida Rural Legal Services, Belle Glade, FL
Patrick J. Walsh, Class of 1995

1998 - 2000 Community Reinvestment Law Center, Bronx, NY (Independent Project)
Matthew R. Lee , Class of 1996

Federal Defender's of Eastern Washington and Idaho:

1998 - 2000
John Chun, Class of 1997

Fried Frank/MALDEF Fellowship

2012 - 2016
Miranda Galindo, Class of 2012

Fried Frank/InMotion

2013-2014
Stephanie Baez, Class of 2012

Fulbright Program:

2014-2015, International Security, VU University Amsterdam, LLM in Law and Politics of International Security
Daniel Davies, Class of 2014

2014-2015, Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship, Burma (Myanmar)
Matt Solomon, Class of 2014

2012-2013, (Mexico)
Sarah Borsody, Class of 2011

2011-2012: Fulbright Commission European Union
Olga Byrne, Class of 2004

2010-2011, (Nicaragua)
Noushin Ketabi, Class of 2010

2009-2010, (Ghana)
Afua Atta-Mensah, Class of 2004

2005 - 2006: LL.M. in International Public Law at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany)
Nicole E. Jacoby, Class of 2004

2003 - 2004
Mackenzie Livingston, Class of 2003

Georgetown University Law Center

Clinical Fellowship:

2004 - 2006 Georgetown University Law Center, D.C. Street Law Clinic
Alycia M. Guichard, Class of 2004

Women's Law & Public Policy Fellowship

2004 - 2005 Bread for the City
Aya Fujimura-Fanselow, Class of 2004

Immigrant Justice Corps

2014-2015
Janice Chua, Class of 2014

James E. Tolan Fellowship in International Human Rights, Fordham Law School, New York, NY

2012-2013 Defence for Children International, Sierra Leone
Allison Chandler, Class of 2011

2012-2013 Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration, San Francisco, California
Steven Heller, Class of 2012

2011-2012 Heartland Alliance, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Jacqueline Bevilaqua, Class of 2011

2011-2012 Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Maria-Elena Kolovos, Class of 2011

2011-2012 Center for Reproductive Rights, Bogota, Colombia
Katherine Mayall, Class of 2011

2010-2011 Equality Now, Zambia & Kenya
Corey Calabrese, Class of 2010

2010-2011 Refugee Advocacy and Support Program (RASP), Istanbul, Turkey
Zaid Hydari, Class of 2009

2010-2011 Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), Kampala, Uganda
David Mandel-Anthony, Class of 2010

2009-2010 Ni Putes, Ni Soumises, Paris, France
Sarah Braasch, Class of 2009

2009-2010 The International Center for Transitional Justice, Kathmandu, Nepal
Aya Fujimura-Fanselow, Class of 2004

2009-2010 Human Rights Watch (HRW), Middle East and North Africa
Identity Withheld for Security Purposes

2008-2009 Lawyers for Human Rights, Johannesburg, South Africa
Julie Ebenstein, Class of 2007

2008-2009 International Refugee Rights Initiative, Kampala, Uganda
Soo-Ryun Kwon, Class of 2007

2007 – 2008 Treatment Action Campaign and the AIDS Law Project
Brian Honnermann, Class of 2007

Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellowship

2009-2011CARE International, Malawi, Africa and Washington, D.C.
Emily Wei, Class of 2009

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, Human Right to Housing Fellowship

2010-2012, Brittany Scott, Class of 2010

New Voices

2004 - 2005 Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, U.C. Hastings Law School, San Francisco, CA 94102
Leena Khandwala, Class of 2004

2000 - 2002 New Migrant Project, Texas Appleseed, Austin, TX
Gilbert D. Martinez, Class of 2000

New York State IOLA Fellowship

1995 - 1997 The Legal Aid Society, Civil Division, Harlem Office
Hwan-Hui Helen Lee, Class of 1995

Orrick Pro Bono Fellow, New York, New York

2009-2010: development of unique and interesting pro bono work for Orrick's lawyers.
Scott Roehm, Class of 2007

Pro Bono Fellowship, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

1994 - 1995 Pro Se Office, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, New York, NY
Professor Michael W. Martin, Class of 1992

1992 - 1993 Pro Se Office, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, New York, NY
Tigran W. Eldred, Class of 1990

Robert Bosch Fellowship

2004 - 2005 Executive-level internships at the German Federal Ministry of Justice (Berlin) and the International Organization for Migration (Bonn)
Nicole Jacoby, Class of 2004

Skadden Fellowship Foundation:

2011-2013, Mississippi Center for Justice, Jackson, MS
HIV Medical/Legal Partnership
Marni Von Wilpert, Class of 2011

2010 - 2012 Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. A, Community Economic Development Program, Brooklyn, NY
Green Building Economic Development Project
Daniel Hafetz, Class of 2009

2010 - 2012 Latino Justice/PRLDEF, New York, NY
Labor exploitation of low-wage Latina workers in Long Island
Elizabeth Joynes, Class of 2009

2005 - 2007 The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, Queens, NY
Representing incarcerated young persons
Lindsay Ernst, Class of 2005

2004 - 2006 The Legal Aid Society, Civil Division, Educational Advocacy Project, New York, NY
Jeannie Martin, Class of 2004

2002 - 2004 The Harlem Community Justice Center & The Legal Aid Society, Community Law Office, New York, NY
James Regan, Class of 2002

2002 - 2004 Lawyers for Children, New York, NY
Molly Murphy, Class of 2001

2001 - 2003 My Sister's Place, White Plains, NY
Udi Ofer, Class of 2001

2000 - 2002 The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, New York, NY
Terissa G. Horowitz, Class of 1998

1997 - 1998 My Sister's Place, White Plains, NY
Peggy Healy, Class of 1996

1997 - 1999 Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, New York, NY
Dora Galacatos, Class of 1996

1996 - 1998 Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Prestonsburg, KY
Patrick J. Walsh, Class of 1995

1998 - 1999 The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Office for the Aging, Brooklyn, NY
Derek Denckla, Class of 1997

1989 - 1991 Covenant House, New York, NY
John A. Sullivan, Class of 1989

Soros Community Justice Fellowship Recipient:

2012 - 2014 ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project
Lynda Garcia, Class of 2012

2004 - 2005 Harlem Tenants' Council
Afua Atta-Mensah, Class of 2004

Women and Justice Fellowship

2013-2014 Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY
Corey Calabrese, Class of 2010

Resources

There are a number of excellent resources to help you identify potential fellowships and provide you with an overview of the application process.

Resources for a variety of types of fellowships:

PSJD: PSJD’s Postgraduate Fellowships contains:

  • An online, searchable database for both finding organizations looking for students to sponsor for project-based fellowships as well as organization based fellowships
  • A calendar of deadlines for fellowships
  • Guides such as the

Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide:  A two volume set covering domestic and international opportunities is available in the PIRC Office, the CPC Resource Library and on reserve in the Law Library.

Fordham Law Faculty:  Support is available from the Faculty Committee on Public Interest Fellowships and Placements.  Committee members are Fordham Law professors who are former fellows or have significant grant writing experience.  Faculty advise students on the fellowship application process, review fellowship proposals and conduct mock interviews.