Post-graduate Fellowships are programs intended to fund work or study for a specific purpose, usually for a set period of time. Often a gateway to public interest work, particularly with large national organization, fellowships provide opportunities to:

  • Use your legal skills to effect positive change
  • Engage in and explore public service work
  • Learn from established legal professionals
  • Expand your social justice network
  • Gain experience and strengthen future job applications by adding an impressive credential to your resume

Fellowship types

  1. Organization-Based: Many nonprofits administer their own fellowships, such as ACLU and Human Rights Watch.
  2. Project-Based: Some programs fund fellowships for applicants who develop a specific project in conjunction with a sponsoring nonprofit organization. The fellowship is awarded for work on a specific project, but often the recipient determines where the work is done.

    Note: the project-based fellowship process starts early! You must find a host organization to partner with and then submit a project proposal up to a year before your start date. Equal Justice Works' application for 2020 is due September 20, 2019.

  3. Firm-Sponsored: some law firms compensate fellows for a period of time to engage in public interest work, which can sometimes lead to a job offer.
  4. Entrepreneurial Grants: support a public interest project developed without the support of an established organization.

Application information

  • Fellowship application deadlines run throughout the calendar year
  • Start early! Some organizations, particularly organizations that sponsor project-based fellowships, solicit resumes and interview potential candidates as early as the spring of your 2L year.

Suggested Timeline

Additional support

  • In addition to fellowship listings, offers extensive info for fellowship applicants through their “Fellowship Resource Center,” including application tips and timelines for common fellowship programs.
  • Equal Justice Works: The largest national funder of legal public interest fellowships, EJW provides information about their own programs (including EJW/AmeriCorps) alongside additional public interest resources for prospective, current, and former law students.
  • Yale Fellowship Guide: Comprehensive guide on finding and applying for fellowships.
  • Center for Professional Development staff are available to discuss public sector, nonprofit, and NGO opportunities and to have your application materials reviewed.
  • For support creating project-based fellowship proposals (for funders like Equal Justice Works), information about funding sources for nonprofit and social entrepreneurial grants, contact Cindy Yeung at ATJI.

Contact us

Access to Justice Institute
901 12th Avenue
Sullivan Hall Suite 313
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Phone: 206-398-4173
Fax: 206-398-4077

Meet the ATJI Team