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Public Interest Fellowships

Summer and Term-Time Fellowships | Postgraduate Fellowships

Due to budgetary constraints of public interest organizations and government agencies, many public service summer and postgraduate positions are unpaid. However, law students and graduates can receive funding from outside resources to work at public service organizations during the summer or for a prescribed amount of time after graduation. This funding is typically awarded as a fellowship.

The process of securing a fellowship is much like the job search process. First, you must research fellowships and find one for which you may be qualified and best suits your career goals. The application process can be as simple as filling out a form or as involved as putting together a detailed packet, complete with statement of interest, proposal for work and outside letters of recommendation. Note that most postgraduate fellowships require applications be received prior to graduation.

Below are lists of some of the fellowships most popular with UT Law students. For a comprehensive list of available fellowships, please visit the Public Service Job Directory (PSJD) or review Chapter 10 of Harvard’s publication, Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide, which is available in the CSO eResource Library.

If you questions about any of the fellowships below, please contact Nicole Simmons, Director of Public Service Programs, at nsimmons@law.utexas.edu.

Summer and Term-Time Fellowships Overview
Deadline

Access to Justice Internship Program

The Access to Justice Internship Program (ATJIP) provides a unique opportunity for law students to participate in an internship with non-profit providers of civil legal services located in areas without a local law school. The goals are to encourage more students to help address the civil legal problems of underserved individuals and communities, and to educate future attorneys about those problems. Each law student will receive hands-on training by working with accomplished lawyers and providing direct legal services to low-income clients, while learning about access to justice matters, legal decision-making, advocacy skills, attorney-client relationships, and legal institutions. Each supervising attorney will provide the law student with a variety of experiences and assignments, including significant research and writing. The application deadline for the 2014 ATJIP will be in the Spring.

TBA

Baron & Budd Public Interest Scholarship Program

Administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, the program provides financial support to students who do pro bono work for at least 300 hours during the academic year for a non-profit public interest organization in central Texas.

TBA
Baron & Budd Summer Public Interest Fellowships Administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, these fellowships provide stipends for up to five students for public interest work with qualified sponsoring organizations. Preference will be given to students who intend to pursue careers in public interest law. Although 1Ls may apply, preference will be given to 2Ls. The stipend will be $4,250 for at least 10 weeks (and a minimum of 400 hours) of work. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 17, 2014.
Expired in March
Equal Justice America Law Student Fellowships

Funds work aimed at meeting the needs of the poor. Fall, Spring and Summer Fellowships are available. Students must line up a placement with an established organization that provides civil legal assistance to the poor and then submit an application to EJA. See list of UT Law students who have received the fellowships in the past.

See website
Equal Justice Works Summer Corps The Equal Justice Works Summer Corps Program provides law students with the chance to spend their summer working on a legal project at a qualifying nonprofit public interest organization of their choosing.  Summer Corps members expand the delivery of critically needed legal assistance in low-income and underserved communities across the country for veterans, homeowners facing foreclosure, disaster victims, and those facing other legal issues. Summer Corps is an AmeriCorps-funded program that will provide 1L and 2L students with the opportunity to earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for dedicating their summer to a qualifying legal project at a nonprofit public interest organization. Visit the Student FAQ page for more information. Expired in April
Haywood Burns Memorial Fellowships for Social and Economic Justice Designed to encourage students to work in the National Lawyers Guild’s tradition of “people's lawyering," this program exists to help students apply their talents and skills to find creative ways to use the law to advance justice. Burns Fellowships provoke law students to question traditional notions of how one must practice law and to provide a summer experience that will enrich and challenge them. Fellowships may be completed with any existing organization whose mission addresses the needs of underserved individuals and groups. We encourage applicants to identify grassroots and nontraditional work opportunities for which there is a serious current societal need. They expect to award five fellowships that provide $2,000 for 10 weeks of full-time work (unless otherwise noted) and encourage students to pursue matching public interest grants or course credit to supplement this stipend.
varies
Hispanic Bar Association of Austin Foundation Summer Fellowship

The mission of the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin Charitable Foundation (HBAA Foundation) is to support charitable and educational services that provide significant benefit to the Hispanic community.  In keeping with its mission, and in an effort to promote the provision of legal services to underserved individuals, many of whom are Hispanic, the HBAA Foundation has established the HBAA Foundation Summer Fellowship.  The fellowship will provide a $4,000 fellowship to one student to work 400 hours at a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit public interest organization. 

To be eligible, the student must be:  (1) a first-year or second-year law student; (2) actively enrolled in, and attending The University of Texas School of Law; and (3) with an offer of a summer internship from a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit public interest organization. 
The summer clerkship must be:  (1) uncompensated; (2) for a duration of not less than 400 hours. 

The sponsoring organization must be: (1) a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization; (2) located in Texas; (3) providing legal services; and (4) at low cost or no cost to the clients.  All students are encouraged to apply.  Preference will be given to students working with organizations serving the Central Texas Latino community among the client base.

To apply, please submit a brief statement of interest and a current copy of your resume.  In your statement of interest, please include information regarding the organization that you will be working for during the summer and the type of work you will be doing. 

Application materials are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2013. Please submit your application materials to Angélica Salinas Evans in the Career Services Office at cso@law.utexas.edu or TNH 3.130.

Expired in March
Law Firms Several law firms have instituted programs that enable law students to work part of the summer with the firm, and part of the summer with a public interest organization, with the firm paying the students’ salaries for the entire summer. These generous plans allow law students to explore two types of legal practice and demonstrate the firms’ strong commitment to pro bono work. Most offer sponsored-split summers between a nonprofit and the firm while others will fund fellowships for the whole summer to do public interest work.
varies
Patton Boggs Summer Fellowship

The Patton Boggs Foundation is pleased to contribute a fellowship worth $5000 to support a University of Texas School of Law student who has completed either his/her first or second year of law school and will be working on public policy and related matters for a government agency, international organization or non-profit public interest organization. A preference will be given to veterans of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars and students pursuing public service opportunities with organizations focused on business-related public policy issues, including economic development, banking, finance, community development, property and tax.

To apply for the fellowship, please submit the following materials to cso@law.utexas.edu.

  • Resume;
  • Statement of interest—two to three double-spaced pages describing the organization you will work for, the type of work you anticipate you will be doing, why you are interested in the position and your long-term career goals. Also include the information on the length of your internship and whether you are receiving any pay or funding;
  • List of three references; and
  • Supporting statement from your sponsoring organization—confirming your offer, identifying your supervising attorney, and indicating the type of legal work you will do during your internship.
 
Peggy Browning Fund

The Summer Fellowship Program provides stipends to 1Ls and 2Ls who dedicate this time to advancing the cause of workers' rights, which will be a minimum of $5,000 per student for the ten-week employment period.  In many cases, mentor organizations will supplement the stipend.

Expired in January
Public Service Scholars Program Administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, this program provides five $4,000 scholarships to 2Ls and 3Ls with a demonstrated commitment to studying and working in public service and promoting it at the Law School. Scholars are selected based on their commitment to public service (nonprofit, government and legislative settings), financial need, and academic credentials.
Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice Summer Fellowships

These fellowships provide funding for UT Law 1Ls and 2Ls working in international human rights (including within the United States) connected to the Center's mission of serving as a focal point for critical, interdisciplinary analysis and practice of human rights and social justice. Applications are available online.

Expired in February
Scott Ozmun Fellowship Provides financial support to a student who works with local law firms on pro bono cases through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. The fellowship recipient works under the supervision of a VLS attorney for a minimum of 300 hours during the academic year, assisting lawyers at local law firms who have agreed to handle pro bono family matters through the VLS Family Law Clinic Program. The Fellow also assists with client intake at the VLS evening legal advice and intake clinics. Applications are due by Monday, March 18, 2013.
Expired in March

Texas Law Fellowships

Texas Law Fellowships (TLF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that sponsors public interest fellowships for students at The University of Texas School of Law. Every year since 1988, TLF has raised money from the UT community, from Austin businesses, and from the legal field to fund public interest fellowships for UT law students. We raise most of our funds from Fall Auction and the Spring Pledge Drive.  

Expired in March

UT Law CSO Study Break Public Service Stipend

The 2013 Study Break Public Service Stipends will be funded by donations from sponsors of Study Break. Students who are selected to participate in the program will receive a stipend of up to $4,000 to support at least 8 to 10 weeks of work in unpaid legal internships with a government agency or a 501(c)(3) public interest organization. Internships with judicial courts are not eligible. Information about 2013 Stipends will be announced in March 2013.

Expired on Apr. 3, 2013

Whitehurst Public Interest Summer Fellowships

Administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, this program provides funding for students between their second and third years of law school who intend to pursue careers in public interest law. The program will provide stipends for up to six students for public interest work with qualified sponsoring organizations. The summer 2013 stipend will be $4,250 for at least 10 weeks (and a minimum of 400 hours) of work. Applications are available online

Expired on Feb. 21, 2013

If you are interested in having your applications and supporting materials reviewed for any of the postgraduate fellowships below, please contact Nicole Simmons, Director of Public Service Programs, at nsimmons@law.utexas.edu.

Postgraduate Fellowships Overview
Deadline

Equal Justice Works Fellowships

Two-year fellowships offer salary and generous loan repayment assistance; applicants must design a program and secure a sponsoring public interest organization. To view member-only content on the Equal Justice Works website, get password. 2014 deadlines will be announced soon.

TBA

Julius Glickman Fellowship

Administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, the Julius Glickman Fellowship funds full-time work with an existing public interest legal organization to provide legal services to underrepresented individuals or groups. The fellow will receive $45,000. Preference will be given to applicants who will undertake projects focused on the provision of civil legal services, but other types of projects will also be considered. The fellowship is available only to UT Law recent graduates who will complete a judicial clerkship by the fall of 2013 may apply. Applications are available online.

Expired on Mar. 27, 2013

The Justice Corps

UT Law has created the Justice Corps to support its graduates who are committed to working for the public good and encourage more graduates to begin their careers with a period of public service. Each year the program sends outstanding new alumni to work with nonprofit legal organizations to increase access to justice for underrepresented individuals and communities. Each fellowship provides $45,000 per year for full-time legal work sponsored by an existing organization and supervised by a licensed attorney.Administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, Justice Corps fellowships are awarded each spring to graduating students and alumni currently serving as judicial clerks. Applications are available online.

Expired on Mar. 27, 2013
Polikoff-Gautreaux Fellowship

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. Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) Fellows have gone on to become the executive director of a non-profit organization that serves youth interests, practice affordable housing law, accept a full-time staff position with BPI and more. In addition to receiving an invaluable learning opportunity by engaging in BPI's day-to-day work, Fellows receive an annual salary of $46,000 with medical and dental coverage. Debt service on law school or graduate school loans for the duration of the Fellowship may be available, based on need. The duration of the Fellowship term is one year, renewable for a second, beginning in the summer or fall. Application is available online.

Oct. 14, 2013
Skadden Fellowship Program

The Skadden Fellowship Program aim is to give Fellows the freedom to pursue public interest work; thus, the Fellows create their own projects at public interest organizations with at least two lawyers on staff before they apply. Fellowships are awarded for two years. Skadden provides each Fellow with a salary and pays all fringe benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled. For those Fellows not covered by a law school low income protection plan, the firm will pay a Fellow's law school debt service for the tuition part of the loan for the duration of the fellowship. Application is available online.

Oct. 7, 2013
Soros Justice Fellowships Funds outstanding individuals to implement innovative projects that advance reform and spur debate on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system. The Fellowships Program is part of a larger effort within the Open Society Foundations’ Criminal Justice Fund to reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the United State by challenging the overreliance on incarceration and harsh punishment, and ensuring a fair and equitable system of justice.
TBA
Texas Title Homeowner Opportunity Program Project

The Texas Title Homeowner Opportunity Program Project seeks two UT Law graduates to assist with an innovative title-clearing project designed to provide low-income hurricane disaster survivors with the chance to move to higher opportunity neighborhoods. The project is funded by the Texas General Land Office with federal funds administered through the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law. 

The fellowships are open to UT Law students graduating in December 2012 and May and August 2013. The fellows will work from mid-August 2013 to mid-August 2014, and receive an annual salary of $45,000, including employee benefits.  One fellow will be located in Houston. The other fellow will be located in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. 
Applications are due by noon on Thursday, March 21, 2013. 

Expired on Mar. 21, 2013

Tyron Garner Memorial Fellowship for African-American LGBT Civil Rights

The Garner Fellowship, previously a summer position, will now be a paid ($50,000 with benefits), full-time, year-long legal internship awarded to a recent law graduate to work in any of Lambda Legal’s five offices.Lambda Legal is a national nonprofit organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Through the Garner Fellowship, Lambda Legal seeks to encourage and mentor law students dedicated to LGBT issues within African-American communities to become engaged in civil rights work on behalf of LGBT individuals and people living with HIV. The Garner Fellowship will contribute to Lambda Legal’s expansion of our current work to serve more communities of color and address the intersection of LGBT discrimination and racism, sexism, and poverty that affects African-American LGBT communities. The position is open until filled.

Open