Friday, February 15, 2013

Upcoming Public Interest Fellowships

We’re excited to announce several  fellowship opportunities for 1L and 2L students to apply to this summer! 

UHLC Summer Fellowships
The Law Center has a long standing commitment to supporting students who volunteer with legal departments of government agencies and non-profit organizations for the summer. Awardees of the UHLC Summer Fellowship receive up to $400 a week for a minimum of 5 weeks and a maximum of 10 weeks for their summer work. The deadline to apply for this fellowship is March 20, 2013. Remember that you must have already secured your summer placement in order to be considered for this fellowship. The selection process is competitive, so it’s important that students are aware of external fellowship opportunities as well.

Texas Access to Justice Commission (TAJC)
TAJC’s internship program provides 12 students with a $5,000 stipend to help defray living cost to those committing 10 weeks of full-time work with specified organizations.  Similar to the UHLC Summer Fellowship applicants must have secured their summer placement by the application deadline, which is March 1, 2013.  Check the Texas Access to Justice Commission site for more information regarding specifics about the fellowship, including how to apply and participating organizations.

Those working in offices of a federal court or agency located within the Southern District of Texas should certainly apply for the Blask Fellowship Grant, which awards $2,000 to recipients for 6 weeks of work with a number of courts and agencies within the Southern District of Texas federal court system.  Applicants must have completed at least 30 hours of course work, and at the time of application, have a GPA which ranks in the top half of the applicant’s law school class, and have secured or will secure an internship with a federal court or agency within the district.  The deadline to apply for the Blask Fellowship Grant has traditionally been in early April; we will update our site as soon as we have 2013 application information.

This is an AmeriCorps-funded program that will provide 350 law students with the opportunity to earn a $1,175 education award voucher for dedicating their summer to a non-academic qualifying legal project at a nonprofit public interest organization.  Unlike the other fellowships mentioned here, the Summer Corps award can be combined with another fellowship award. 

HIPLA provides a unique judicial fellowship opportunity to Houston area law students who intend to practice intellectual property law, have completed 30 hours of course work, and are ranked in the top half of their class.  Awardees will receive $3,000 for working at least six weeks in the Houston offices of a U.S. District Court Judge or a U.S. Magistrate Judge at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 
These fellowship opportunities are just a few of the funding sources available to students, and are certainly not an exhaustive list.  Public interest career resources such as PSJD offer many other resources.  A few things to remember when applying for public interest fellowships:

  • Consult your career counselor!  Your counselor can help you identify fellowships relevant to your interests, as well as review your application materials before submission.  Remember, the UHLC Summer Fellowship applications are reviewed by an independent committee, so we can review and assist you with your application materials for that fellowship too.
  • Leave no stone unturned!  There a numerous fellowship opportunities, many of which are practice area or region specific.  Apply!  Apply!  Apply!
  • You cannot get class credit and funding, so you will have to decide whether you would like to participate in the externship or fellowship program.
  • You can usually only accept one fellowship.  Due to the limited supply of funds and great need to fund fellows, students are limited to accepting one fellowship.  We recommend you apply to multiple opportunities to have the best chance of securing funding.
  • Fellowship application processes are highly competitive, but exceedingly rewarding.  Secure your placement early, and submit the most genuinely compelling application possible.  Remember, we are here to help!