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Public Interest Post-Graduate Fellowships

A post-graduate fellowship can be a unique opportunity to explore a particular interest in-depth, and open doors for the future. Ideally, you will begin your research and planning no later than your second year. Here are some tools to get you started.

What is a fellowship? An excellent guide, published by Yale Law School, defines it "as a specified sum, awarded after law school graduation for a fixed time period (usually one or two years), to fulfill a fairly specific purpose. This type of program has many names...some funders may call it a grant, an award, a scholarship, a fellowship, or an internship." The Yale handbook, called "Fellowship Application Tips," offers a clear and concise overview of different fellowship models and provides sage advice on the application process. The appendix includes a comprehensive list of resources for fellowship funding and grant writing. A copy is in the Career Services Library for review. Or print your own (free) copy of Fellowship Application Tips (.pdf).

Another excellent and comprehensive source of information is PSJD. PSJD is the premiere online resource for fellowship listings (as well as public interest internships and jobs). The Law School subscribes to PSJD. Go to PSJD and click onto "fellowship corner" in the upper left-hand corner of the page. You can find the Yale Law School manual through that link, as well as a list of Post-Graduate International Fellowships prepared by the Georgetown University Law Center.

A standard written publication is "Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide," published by Harvard Law School's Office of Public Interest Advising. The handbook provides wonderful information on how to write a public interest resumé, and how to network. It also has information on specific fellowships and includes an index by issue areas as well as a calendar by deadlines. Two copies are in the Career Services Library for review. You may purchase your own copy of the guide by using the order form on Harvard Law School's website.

For ideas, read specific fellowship profiles from Equal Justice Works and Skadden Fellowship Foundation to see what kind of projects are funded.

For students willing to put in the work to seek independent funding, The Foundation Center is an invaluable resource. The Center's database can be used through the Center’s library collections, located in several major cities. In Washington, the Center is housed at 1627 K Street NW, Third Floor. 202-331-1400. (Farragut North – Red Line). The Center is user-friendly, with staff on-hand to help you with the Center’s database and use of their printed collections.

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