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Law Firm-Sponsored Fellowships

Law firm-sponsored fellowships might be a good fit for you if...

  • You are interested in exploring both public interest and private sector work
  • You want to pursue a career in private practice but plan to maintain an active pro bono portfolio
  • Your background, academic record, and work experience would make you a competitive applicant for an associate position at the sponsoring firm

Law firm-sponsored public interest fellowships take many different forms. Under one model, private law firms fund recent law graduates to work for a designated public interest organization for a specified period of time, usually one or two years. After that time, the fellow works directly for the law firm as a litigation associate. In some law firm fellowships, the fellow works first as an associate at the firm, then as an attorney at the public interest organization. Under another model of law firm-sponsored fellowships, a law firm hires a fellow to work within the firm on pro bono or public interest matters.

Law firm-sponsored fellowships can be a good option for students who want to secure a law firm associate position but who are committed to pro bono and public interest practice.


Examples of law firm-sponsored fellowships include:

  1. The Fried Frank Fellowships with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), sponsored by the law firm of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, give recent law graduates the opportunity to spend two years as a Fried Frank litigator and then two years as a staff attorney with LDF or MALDEF.
  2. The Hunton & Williams Pro Bono Fellowship, sponsored by the law firm of Hunton & Williams, supports fellows in the firm's Richmond and Atlanta offices to work exclusively on pro bono matters for the two-year fellowship period.
  3. The Johnnie Cochran Civil Rights Fellowship, sponsored by the plaintiffs' side civil rights law firm of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, provides recent law graduates the opportunity to work on the firm's civil rights cases for a two-year fellowship period.

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