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Fellowships at Community Legal Services

Fellowships at Community Legal Services

CLS has closed its application process for sponsorship for 2019 Independence Foundation, Skadden Foundation and Equal Justice Works Fellowships. 

If you are interested in being considered for a law school funded fellowship or other fellowship program, please send an email to the co-chairs of the Attorney Hiring Committee, below.  You should include a resume, a description of the fellowship program and any sensitive time deadlines CLS should know about in order to fully consider your request for sponsorship. 

Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) sponsors law students and current judicial clerks for fellowships funded by the Independence Foundation, the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Equal Justice Works, the Open Society Foundations, the Stoneleigh Foundation, the Borchard Fellowship in Law & Aging, and other fellowship programs (including fellowships offered directly by law schools).  Fellows work closely with our experienced staff attorneys and are directly supervised by a more senior attorney.  Fellows carry their own caseload and gain valuable experience in providing a wide range of services, from brief advice and counsel to representation at administrative hearings, judicial proceedings, and appeals.  Fellows are also deeply involved in our policy and systemic advocacy work.  Past fellows have provided crucial advocacy for our clients, contributed greatly to CLS’ development as a legal services organization, and many have become long-term members of our staff. 

We encourage applications from all interested persons, especially those with diverse backgrounds and experiences based on age, race, ethnicity, cultural identity, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexual identity, disabilities, socioeconomics, and proficiency in languages other than English.

Applying to become a Fellow:

CLS invites law students beginning their third year, recent law school graduates, and those with judicial clerkships to apply for sponsorship for a fellowship.

Interested applicants must submit the following:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter describing your interest and experience in public interest and poverty law and any ideas you may have for a fellowship proposal.  Please note that it is not necessary to have a specific proposal at the application stage.We welcome information about how your background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice. 
  • Two brief legal writing samples
  • Law school transcript
  • Contact information for three (3) references

We encourage interested applicants to consult with us if they have an idea for a fellowship proposal. 

CLS interviews fellowship applicants to evaluate if your interests and background are a match for our program’s needs.  If you are selected, CLS will work very closely with you to design the final fellowship proposal to match your interests with the needs of our units and with the requirements of the funder. 

CLS does not provide fellowship funding. We will work with you to secure funding from another source, such as a foundation or your law school's own programs.

Selection criteria that will be considered in evaluating applicants for sponsorship include:

  • demonstrated passion for, interest in and commitment to public interest and poverty law;
  • a demonstrated ability to providing the highest quality legal services to individual clients;
  • excellent legal analysis and research, writing and oral advocacy skills;
  • an interest in policy and advocacy work;
  • strong networking, relationship building and communications skills;
  • sound professional and legal judgment;
  • a high level of commitment to racial justice and serving low-income communities and clients

Resources for those interested in applying for fellowships include:

Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School
Yale Law School: Public Interest Careers Guide and Public Interest Fellowships Guide
Boston College Law School Public Interest Fellowships

Candidates may email any questions about the fellowship application process to Brenda Marrero, Esq. or Jennifer Burdick, Esq., Co-Chairs of the Attorney Hiring Committee.

Click here to read our Diversity & Inclusion Committee mission statement.