The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judicial Fellowship Program, launched in February, has already begun to bear fruit for law school alumni.
The program enables recent graduates of Philadelphia area law schools to complete unpaid fellowships working 20 hours or more per week, gaining the same experience that paid clerks ordinarily receive. The fellows are free to leave the program with two weeks' notice when they find paid employment.
Class of 2010 alumna Pam Hill Hill became a judicial fellow for Judge Diane Thompson in March, and by August had received a job offer from Berner Klaw & Watson, LLP, a family law firm in Center City.
"The fellowship not only taught me a lot about how custody cases work, it gave me quite a lot of experience in mediating agreements on my own," Hill said. "In addition, Judge Thompson was previously of counsel at BKW, as was her law clerk. So I got lots of inside information about the firm culture and the people who work there. I knew I would fit in well."
Judge Lisa M. Rau formed the fellowship program last year, with help from a steering committee that included Professor Chapin Cimino and Associate Director of Career Professional Development Alexandra Vecchio.
Hill said recent graduates who are still seeking work would be wise to apply.
For application information, click here.