2024 Post-Graduate Legal Fellowship Opportunities: Advancing Justice through Community Lawyering in New YorkJuly 20, 2023
Founded more than 45 years ago, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) pursues equality and justice for all New Yorkers. Our work activates the power of New York communities as they lead the fight to make equal justice a reality. Guided by their priorities, we use every tool available to achieve lived equality and create lasting change. We file lawsuits, organize, seek policy reform, inform and educate the public, create pro bono partnerships, and build the capacity of local nonprofits to serve our communities. Together, we attack systemic racism and intersectional bias based on disability, poverty, immigration status, and gender identity.
NYLPI’s Health Justice Program brings a racial equity and immigrant justice focus to its advocacy to ensure health care for all. In close partnership with frontline communities, the Health Justice team advocates for healthcare coverage for all New Yorkers, seeks alternatives to police intervention for people experiencing mental health crises, works to address the social determinants of health, and combats the devastating human rights crisis wrought by the immigration detention machine. Our Disability Justice Program works to achieve equality of opportunity, self-determination, and independence for people with disabilities. The Disability Justice team’s advocacy and legal work spans from promoting integration of people with disabilities in the community to fighting for educational rights, equal access to programs and services, criminal legal system reform, and accessible housing. Through its Environmental Justice Program, NYLPI confronts environmental racism and works to eliminate the unfair burden of environmental hazards borne by low-income communities and Indigenous, Black, Brown, Asian, and other communities of color in an effort to create a more equitable and sustainable New York. NYLPI supports local, bottom-up leadership and strengthens communities’ ability to assert their right to a healthy and sustainable environment.
The Application Process
We look to partner with applicants to public interest fellowship programs such as Equal Justice Works and the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, which provide two-year fellowships to graduating law students, outgoing judicial clerks and, in the case of Equal Justice Works, to experienced attorneys motivated to work at a public interest legal organization. We also welcome applicants who may be eligible for other fellowship programs. The fellowship programs are competitive, and applicants need time to develop project proposals and complete applications. NYLPI thus strongly encourages all interested applicants to apply to NYLPI as early as possible. Applications received after July 31, 2023 may not receive full consideration.
Please send applications to [email protected] with the subject line “Fellowship application.” Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and must include:
- Detailed cover letter explaining your interest, passion, and experience, with a specific answer to the following required question: How have your background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to our commitment to cultural competency and diversity, equity, and inclusion? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences. Please also reference in your cover letter where you saw this posting.
- Most recent law school transcript (official or unofficial)
- Writing sample
- Three references (including daytime telephone numbers)
Candidates with fellowship project ideas are encouraged to discuss them in their cover letter, but it is not necessary to have a developed project proposal to apply. NYLPI has successfully sponsored many fellows in past years and works closely with candidates to craft effective proposals and prepare for fellowship interviews.
For more than 45 years, NYLPI has been a leading civil rights advocate for New Yorkers opposing marginalization based on race, immigration status, poverty, disability, and a range of intersectional identities. NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in the five boroughs of New York City. These communities shape our priorities, and their struggles for justice demand innovative solutions. Our interdisciplinary teams of advocates use every tool available – community organizing, impact litigation and individual representation, policy advocacy, media, pro bono partnerships, and public education – to solve seemingly intractable problems, develop leaders, and build collective power to achieve justice. We strive to create equal access to health care, achieve equality of opportunity and self-determination for people with disabilities, ensure immigrant opportunity, strengthen local nonprofits, and secure environmental justice for frontline communities. To learn more about NYLPI, visit www.nylpi.org.
We strongly encourage candidates fluent in multiple languages and candidates from historically marginalized populations to apply. We are committed to advancing social justice and civil rights in our advocacy, and we value the dynamism and perspective that staff diversity, equity, and inclusion bring to the work and culture of our organization. We strive to promote behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable us to work inclusively and effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, co-workers, and community partners. We actively recruit and seek to grow and maintain a staff that is diverse along many axes, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, and national origin; disability; socioeconomic background; sexual orientation; and gender identity.
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