There are several law firm fellowship models. In each model, the fellow is paid by the firm for a fixed period of time while engaged in the fellowship:
- Law Firm Places Fellow with a Public Interest Organization: For example, a law firm hires the fellow to work as an associate at the firm for a set number of years, and then the fellow serves as a staff attorney at a nonprofit organization (selected by the firm) for another term. The fellow may, but is not required to, rejoin the firm after the fellowship. In some instances, the fellow can remain as a staff attorney at the public interest organization.
- Shartsis Friese Public Interest Fellowship: One-year fellowship where fellow is placed at Bay Area Legal Aid in the San Mateo County Regional Office in Redwood City. The fellow represents victims of domestic violence in family law, immigration, and housing, and does policy work.
- Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson Fellowship (MALDEF in Los Angeles, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York): The fellowships each give an entry-level lawyer the opportunity to spend two years as a Fried Frank litigator and then two years as a staff attorney with MALDEF or NAACP.
- Law Firm Hires Fellow to Work Exclusively on Public Interest Matters at the Firm: In this instance, a law firm hires a fellow to work as an associate at the firm, focusing exclusively on pro bono matters. At the end of the fellowship, the fellow has the option to, but is not required to, remain at the firm and follow through on projects begun during the fellowship.
- Public Interest Law Firm Hires Fellow: For example, a public interest law firm hires a fellow to work at the law firm on cases involving civil rights and human rights, under the guidance of the firm’s litigators. There is no expectation of permanent employment after the fellowship.
- Altshuler, Berzon, Nussbaum, Rubin & Demain – Environmental Fellowship: One-year fellowship in conjunction with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in San Francisco, CA. Major portion of fellow’s time is spent working on cases brought jointly by Altshuler Berzon and NRDC.
- Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger Fellowship: Two-year fellowship at a San Francisco law firm focusing on environmental and land use law.
- Litt Estuar Harrison & Kitson, LLP: One-year fellowship to work with Litt firm in Los Angeles, CA, on complex constitutional and civil rights litigation.
- Mehri & Skalet, PLLC – Find Justice Fellowship: Two-year fellowship in Washington, D.C. firm that brings class actions and complex litigation cases to protect Americans from unfair or discriminatory practices. Areas of practice include civil rights and anti-discrimination law, consumer protection, securities, anti-trust, wage and hour violations, and False Claims Act.
- Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC – One-year civil rights litigation fellowship based in Washington, D.C.
- Katz, Marshall, and Banks, LLP – One-year civil rights litigation fellowship in a boutique civil rights and employment law firm in Washington, D.C.
For more information on firm-sponsored fellowships, please see our Resource and Contacts section.