About Fellowships

What is a Fellowship?
Fellowships are an excellent way to engage in and explore public service work, make contacts, gain experience, and strengthen future job applications. The term “fellowship” is broad, but it generally refers to positions with a specific focus for a set period of time. Fellowships are often the main gateway to jobs with large organizations and public agencies that typically hire attorneys with 3+ years of experience or with small organizations that cannot otherwise afford to hire.

How Do I Find Fellowship Opportunities?
PSJD.org has the most comprehensive set of public interest opportunities, including jobs and fellowships. Please note you must create a free account to access PSJD. CPD and ATJI also post featured opportunities in Symplicity and here on ATJI’s Pro Bono Portal. You can also check CPD’s Students and Government Job Search pages for lists of additional resources, including info on federal honors programs/fellowships and the Presidential Management Fellows Program.

Do I Have to Create My Own Project?
No! Some organizations design their own fellowship and then search for a great candidate. Other programs, such as Equal Justice Works and Soros/Open Society Institute, invite applicants to propose a new project to address an unmet need, but you do not necessarily need your own brilliant idea. Many employers have lots of project ideas and would love to partner with student applicants to pursue funding. Don’t be afraid to ask organizations directly if they might want to sponsor you, or check PSJD.org for organizations looking to sponsor a candidate.

Where Can I Learn More?

  • Check out ATJI’s online fellowship resources and CPD’s government job resources.
  • Visit PSJD.org’s Postgraduate Fellowship Resource Center.
  • Meet with Josie Mitchell at CPD to discuss nonprofit, NGO, and government options and to have your application materials reviewed. Materials are reviewed in the order in which they are received and are generally returned within 3 business days.
  • Meet with Jennifer Werdell at ATJI to discuss nonprofit and project-based fellowships, creating fellowship projects, and grant-based options. But hurry! Deadlines for 2017 programs like Equal Justice Works start in mid-September 2016 and most organizations choose candidates to work with by the end of June/early July.
  • Watch ATJI’s panel event on postgraduate fellowships.
  • Email Jennifer Werdell to be added to a fellowships listerv to receive periodic email updates and/or to receive a copy of ATJI’s “Fellowships Resource Guide.”
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