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Public Interest Post-Graduate Fellowships

Post-graduate fellowships and grant programs provide a unique opportunity for attorneys interested in pursuing public interest law after graduation.  Fellows typically work with a host group, a non-profit public interest or government organization, for a specified period of time on a public interest project.  Fellowships require students to either design a project, then locate an organization of their choice to be a sponsor, or to work in an established position within the sponsoring organization.  There also are law firm-sponsored fellowships and foundation grant programs that are the source of funding.  A stipend and other benefits, possibly including loan repayment assistance, are provided.

There are six main types of fellowships:

  • Project Based and Entrepreneurial Fellowships
  • Organization Based Fellowships
  • Policy Fellowships
  • Teaching Fellowships
  • Research Fellowships
  • Non-Legal Fellowships

Fellowships are prestigious and highly competitive.  The application process for fellowships requires a significant amount of planning, preparation and time.  Organizations typically require a personal statement and a proposal highlighting the issues and needs addressed in the project.  Applications for fellowships are usually due early in the fall semester of the third year of law school.  Starting the planning process early, even in the first year of law school, improves your chances of being successful in obtaining a fellowship.  Fellowship sponsors are looking for a demonstrated commitment to public interest law, so consider a summer job with a public interest employer and participate in relevant student organizations.

Please set up an appointment with Rashida West, Associate Director for Government and Public Interest Law, if you are interested in applying for a post-graduate fellowship.  The Career Strategies Office is happy to provide advice, assist in the preparation of the fellowship application and help you prepare for interviews.


Public Interest Fellowship Resources

Drexel Fellowships Office
The Drexel Fellowships Office supports students across the University in their applications for competitive national and international fellowships. The office is available for one-on-one appointments and helps students create strong applications through intensive individual advising and support. For more information and upcoming fellowship deadlines click the above link or e-mail fellowships@drexel.edu.  

PSJD
Provides the most complete listing of public interest organizations, legal career counseling and planning and opportunities for law students and lawyers. Public interest opportunities include pro bono services and fellowships, volunteer and paid internships and full time-job placements. This is the best, most comprehensive site for learning about opportunities.

Yale Law School Public Interest Fellowship Guide
Guide to Public Interest Fellowships, including a section on Fellowship Application Tips 
 
Idealist
Comprehensive listing of non-profit organizational, U.S., and international fellowships