Summer fellowships are the perfect way for law students to step outside the classroom and gain real-world experiences in a legal firm. Offered through government agencies, non-profit groups, and private law firms, these fellowships focus on a wide variety of legal disciplines including civil rights, public service, and immigration. When accepted, fellows are provided with a stipend and partake in activities such as attending seminars and classes, learning about court proceedings, and professional development. As summer interns, students have the opportunity to network with leading policymakers and law firms to aid in securing employment post-graduation. Regardless of what year student you may be, this article highlights competitive fellowships that provide tools to create and supplement your career on the way to earning your law degree.
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Trials is a unique partnership of Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, and the Advantage Testing Foundation. Trials Scholarship is a fully subsidized summer study program for students of modest means whose backgrounds are currently underrepresented at the nation’s top law schools. For five weeks in the summer, Trials students take residence at Harvard or New York University. Working closely with their instructors, students learn to develop an individualized study plan, focus their preparation, and apply the core principles they master. Students are not responsible for any tuition, fees, or related expenses. They receive a $3,000 stipend.
CAPAL’s Public Service Scholarship Program awards scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who will be serving in unpaid public service internships over the summer in the Washington, DC area. These scholarships are intended to enable outstanding students with leadership potential to work full-time and learn ways to influence their local communities and the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. Recipients of the scholarships are responsible for securing their own internship opportunities.
The CHLI Law Fellowship is a two-month summer program where law students from all across the United States, including Puerto Rico, gain hands-on experience in the legal field in Washington, D.C. Applicants must be a law student of 1L or 2L standing at an accredited school in the United States. The fellowship provides housing, public transportation, and airfare expenses covered to and from Washington D.C.
The Institute for Justice recruits law students from across the country for its summer fellowship program to substantively contribute to active and future strategic litigation in both state and federal courts. Fellows work closely with IJ attorneys to develop litigation strategies and assist in the nuts and bolts of civil rights litigation. IJ fellows benefit from a summer packed with valuable opportunities to network with and learn from the country’s leading liberty advocates, policymakers, and practitioners through IJ’s summer speakers series and annual Law Student Conference. Fellows are paid $7000 for the 10-week program. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
Equal Justice America is pleased to offer fellowships of up to $4,000 to students at select law schools in the U.S. who work full-time during the summer for organizations providing direct civil legal assistance for the poor. Interning under the supervision of experienced attorneys, fellows provide crucial assistance to low-income clients struggling through the complexities of the civil justice system. Law students must secure a full-time (minimum 35-40 hours per week) placement for at least 10 weeks at a non-profit organization providing direct civil legal services to the poor. Placements can be anywhere in the United States.
Equal Justice Works provides law students a valuable opportunity to support communities in need while gaining real-world experience and expanding their network within the legal field. The Rural Summer Legal Corps places law students at legal services organizations to address the civil legal needs of rural communities. The Disaster Resilience Program places law students at legal services organizations where they gain exposure to legal disaster preparedness and recovery work. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and in their first or second year of law school by the start of their summer placement. Fellows receive a $7,000 stipend for their service. Serve in a part-time or summer position (different deadlines).
The FASPE Law Program examines the role played by German lawyers from 1933 to 1945, underscoring the reality that moral codes governing the practice of law can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences. Having demonstrated the power held by the legal profession in modern society, FASPE addresses ethical issues now facing individual lawyers, the legal profession, and its institutions at large. Current law school students and early-career lawyers are invited to spend two weeks in Berlin and Poland where they will visit key historical sites and participate in daily seminars while considering the many factors of ethics in law.
The Gleason/Kettel Summer Law Fellowship program provides a $5,000 stipend to allow a current law student or recent law school graduate to work in the field of sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. The fellowship aims to inspire the next generation of leaders committed to promoting rights and equity for the LGBTQ community by encouraging law students to pursue careers in sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Through the fellowship, students gain experience and provide support to numerous organizations.
The Goodwin 1L Diversity Fellowships offer awards of $7,500 to diverse students who work in public interest positions the summer after their first year of law school. Selected fellows are guaranteed a “straight-to-callback” interview with a Goodwin Procter office of their choice in the interviewing season during their second year of law school. Fellows are also invited to participate in some of our summer associate program events during their summer at the public interest organization.
The Academy Summer Associate Program is an intensive 10-week training program for young leaders to participate in leadership discussions, and skills-building workshops, and conduct site visits to community, government, and corporate entities. Associates learn about issues impacting California and the nation and manage research and advocacy projects under the direction of a Greenlining staff member. Associates present their findings and projects in both a written and oral report at the end of the program. As an Associate, one works 37.5 hours per week and earns a $5,500 total stipend for 10 weeks.
The Guy N. Halgren Diversity Fellowship Program will award $35,000* to three talented law students who have demonstrated resiliency and grit and will contribute to the richness and excellence of the firm. Qualified applicants are 1L law students enrolled and in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school. Participate as a summer associate for the full 10 weeks of the upcoming summer program. Long-term interest in practicing in one of Sheppard Mullin’s U.S. offices.
The Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Program provides grants to enable law students at participating law schools to work in unpaid public interest summer law positions. The Foundation partners with 38 law schools to operate and fund the program. Law schools locally administer the selection process. To be eligible for the Fellowship, applicants must be currently enrolled students at a participating law school. Each applicant must arrange a full-time unpaid summer public interest law internship with a governmental agency or a nonprofit organization. The application deadline and selection process take place in the spring at most participating law schools.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program is available to first- or second-year law students who are social justice oriented and desire an opportunity to make a difference. Qualified applicants are awarded placements with legal aid organizations throughout our Network and paid a program stipend of $7,500. During the ten-week program, interns engage with clients directly, participating in court and administrative hearings and conducting legal research, and writing on cases under the supervision of experienced public interest attorneys. Ten placements for the Summer Internship Program are available on an annual basis. Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis.
The mission of the 10-week summer program is to strengthen law students’ long-term commitment to justice and equality for vulnerable immigrant groups. The Fellowship will be awarded to one law student yearly to work on a project with a host organization in the United States. Students must submit a project proposal to an organization willing to host the student for 10 weeks and provide a $1,500 stipend. The Maggio Immigrants’ Rights Fellowship will provide an additional $2,500 stipend for a total award of $4,000. Fellows also receive registrations for several conferences and a stipend to attend the National Lawyers Guild Annual Convention.
The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) Summer Law Fellowship in Washington, D.C. is an intensive nine-week program that aims to prepare law students to defend the values and ideals of a free society. Participants engage in legal internships, academic coursework, networking events, and career development sessions. Applicants should have a strong academic record with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, demonstrated interest in the principles of originalism, limited government, and free enterprise, and be in good standing with an ABA-accredited law school. The TFAS Summer Law Fellowship covers tuition for the coursework and housing for the duration of the program.
The Williams Institute Summer Law Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for law students to develop expertise in sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Summer fellows will provide research and writing support to Williams Institute scholars who focus on state, federal, and international legal issues that impact the LGBT community. Applicants must be current law students (1L, 2L, 3L, or LLM). The Fellowships will provide a stipend of $5,000 for 10 weeks of full-time work with the Williams Institute.
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