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Public Interest Fellowships

Priority Deadline: April 4, 2019

Application Form (WORD doc)

UGA Law offers six summer public interest fellowship opportunities:

These fellowships share common criteria. See the end of this file for more particular descriptions of each fellowship, including the number and the amounts of the fellowship awarded.
 
The Georgia Public Interest Law Fellowships use a single application process. You need only submit one application through Symplicity, as described below. After the deadline, your application will be distributed to each of the committees making fellowship decisions.

 


 

General Requirements

In general, a Georgia Public Interest Law Fellowship may be awarded to a rising second- or third-year student who will work in an uncompensated public interest legal position.
 
“Public interest” work means the use of law by nonprofit organizations, law firms, and governments to represent historically underrepresented people or groups or to advocate on behalf of causes and concerns with a broad impact on the public. Areas of public interest law include, but are not limited to, human and civil rights and liberties, women’s rights, children and youth services, immigrant issues, worker rights employment law, consumer rights, public benefits, gender and sexual minority rights, environmental law, prisoner rights, criminal law, and the death penalty. Public interest work includes domestic and international activities, and encompasses individual and group representation, representation of governments, and policy advocacy. See www.equaljusticeworks.org.

A record number of School of Law students spent a summer of service in Georgia; Washington D.C.; New York City and abroad in 2018.

  

A student may not receive more than one summer public interest fellowship in the same summer, either through UGA or from another source. A student may receive additional funds from his or her sponsoring organization, however, but only in the form of reimbursement for expenses incurred because of the proposed work. Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships will also not be awarded for work for which the student will be paid or could be paid as an employee. Every applicant has a continuing obligation to report whether her or she has obtained other funding or compensation, even after the award of a fellowship.
 
In general, the Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships will not be awarded in the following cases: employment in for-profit organizations; positions on political campaigns; judicial externships or clerkships; or research positions with professors. A student seeking fellowship funding for work in these categories should include a statement of why the proposed work falls within the definition of public interest described above.
 
One or more of the fellowship selection committees may give preference to those that have not received a fellowship from any of the Georgia Public Interest Fellowships in a prior year. Students should disclose whether they have received such a fellowship in their application.
 
An applicant may receive course credit for work for which they receive a Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowship. Review the Summer Externships webpage, https://www.law.uga.edu/summer-externships for further information about for-credit summer externships.
 
To be eligible for a Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowship, a recipient must work a minimum of 320 hours during the relevant summer.
 
Finally, anyone who receives a Georgia Public Interest Law Fellowship must submit a report about his or her work to the contact person at the Law School for his or her fellowship. Contact people for each fellowship are listed below. These reports may be used by each fellowship to report to their donor or to publicize the fellowship opportunities more generally.

 

Application Process

Go to Simplicity, https://law-uga-csm.symplicity.com/students/ to search for job postings for 2019.

One letter of recommendation from any relevant source is strongly encouraged but not required. For the John Paul Stevens Fellowship, a letter of recommendation is preferred. 
 
You must compile these into three documents: 
  • One file containing your curriculum vitae/resume (uploaded into Symplicity as a ‘resume’)
  • One file containing, in this order (uploaded as a ‘cover letter’ in Symplicity):
  • The application cover sheet; 
  • Answers to the short-answer questions; and
  • An offer letter or email from your sponsoring agency. 
  • One file containing any letter of reference you choose to submit, confidentially submitted to Tony Waller (twaller@uga.edu).

 

Deadlines and Dates of Decision

Thursday, April 4th: priority deadline for applications (applications will be accepted until April 12th, but selections will begin immediately after the April 4th priority deadline)
 
May 1: decisions on all applications finalized. 
 
The selection committees consist of different groups of faculty and other individuals. Each committee will notify recipients shortly after selections for that fellowship; the offer will include a deadline by which the applicant must affirmatively respond. An applicant’s failure to respond by the deadline may, in the committee’s discretion, result in withdrawal of the offer of a fellowship.
 

Responsibilities of Recipients

Fellowship recipients must:

  • work at least 320 hours (8 weeks, full time work) over the summer at the proposed public interest employer; and
  • submit a Fellowship Report to the contact person for the relevant selection committee no later than September 1 of the year in which the award was given. The report should include a discussion of how the student’s experience affected their commitment to public interest work and his or her development as a lawyer.
  • If possible, submit photographs that we might use in our efforts to secure more funding for the fellowships. 
     

Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship

Number of Fellowships: 2
 
Location: National/International
 
Amount & Term: $5,000 for Summer 2018
 
Contact Person: Amanda Shaw, ajshaw@uga.edu
 
Description: The University of Georgia School of Law will award two students Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowships of $5,000 each in order to support their placements in public interest law. The initiative is a partnership between Georgia Law and the John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation, http://www.jpstevensfoundation.org/, which was established by former law clerks of Stevens, who served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010, and who spoke at Georgia Law in 2013.
 
Among the Justice’s former clerks are a Georgia Law alumna, Merritt E. McAllister, now a partner at King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta, and two Georgia Law faculty members, Diane Marie Amann, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Sonja R. West, Otis Brumby Distinguished Professor in First Amendment Law.
 
The award of a Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship recognizes a Georgia Law student’s commitment to public service and potential for excellence throughout his or her legal career.
 
Eligibility & Requirements: The Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowships use the criteria stated for all Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships. Additionally, a letter of recommendation is preferred.
 

Edward Spurgeon Fellowship

Number of Fellowships: 1-2
Location: National
 
Amount & Term: $2,500 - $5,000 depending on number of fellowships awarded.
 
Contact Person: Gregory Roseboro, roseboro@uga.edu
 
Description: The Edward Spurgeon Fellowship supports Georgia law students who seek to work in the public interest during the summer. Created by former University of Georgia Law School Dean Edward Spurgeon, the Fellowship has provided invaluable support to law students through funds that cover the costs associated with unpaid public interest lawyering. The Fellowships continue the Law School’s commitment to encouraging public interest law practice, a commitment advanced in significant ways during Dean Spurgeon’s tenure.
 
Eligibility & Requirements: The Edward Spurgeon Fellowships use the criteria stated for all Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships.

 

McLendon Fellowship

Number of Fellowships: 6-8 depending on available funds
 
Location: National/International
 
Amount & Term: depends on available funds; in 2018, $3,000 for each fellowship
 
Contact Person: Eleanor Lanier, eclanier@uga.edu
 
Description: The Melburne D. and Jacqueline K. McLendon Endowment was established to provide funds “to be used to benefit the University of Georgia School of Law for practical legal education and training.” The Endowment stated that “practical legal education and training” should include education and training in both civil and criminal law. The Law School recognizes that much of the practical education and training of students occurs during the summer in extracurricular public interest placements procured by the students themselves. Because of the public interest nature of placements, students work at these placements without compensation. The purpose of the McLendon Fellowships is to help students defray the expenses they incur while working in uncompensated summer placements.
 
Eligibility & Requirements: The McLendon Fellowships use the criteria stated for all Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships.
 
 
 
 
Number of Fellowships:  1
 
Location: Georgia
 
Amount & Term: Minimum of $1,500, depending on available funds.
 
Description: The purpose of the Sumner Memorial Fund is to provide support to rising second- or third-year law students who intend to practice municipal law. The Fellowship will support work in either of the following ways:
  • representing a city or county in civil matters in the office of an attorney representing a Georgia city or county as the city or county attorney. 
  • representing the Georgia Municipal Association in matters involving cities or consolidated governments. 
Eligibility & Requirements: The Sumner Memorial Fund Fellowship use the criteria stated for all Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships with a focus on students working as described above. 
 
 
 
Sponsored by the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia 
 
Number of Fellowships: 1-2
 
Location: Georgia or Washington DC
 
Amount & Term: $2,500 - $5,000 depending on number of fellowships awarded.
 
Contact Person: Eleanor Lanier, eclanier@uga.edu
 
Description: The Health Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia offers this fellowship to support Georgia law students who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing a career in health law in the State of Georgia, including careers in law practice, research, or policy development.  This fellowship supports the costs associated with an unpaid health law position with any of the following organizations: 
 
(a) a federal government agency in Georgia or Washington DC, or an agency of the State of Georgia; 
 
(b) a nonprofit legal services organization in Georgia (such as Atlanta Legal Aid Society); 
 
(c) a nonprofit health care organization in Georgia (such as Grady Health System or MercyCare); or 
 
(d) a public interest organization in Georgia in which the student will devote substantial attention to health care topics.  
 
Additional examples of organizations approved for this fellowship include, but are not limited to, unpaid positions with the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Georgia Department of Community Health, the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Georgia, the American Cancer Society, and similar organizations. 
 
Eligibility & Requirements:  In answering the questions in the application materials, applicants should describe their interest in pursuing a health law career in Georgia, identify how their sponsoring organization qualifies as an organization described above, and state how their work will require them to devote substantial attention to health law topics. Finally, the Health Law Fellowship is also awarded based upon the criteria stated for all Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships.
 
 

Equal Justice Foundation Fellowships

Number of Fellowships:  Depending on available funds
 
Location: National/International
 
Amount & Term: $500-$3,000 depending on available funds.
 
Contact Person: Melina Lewis, mel528@uga.edu
 
Description: The Equal Justice Foundation is a student-run organization devoted to the promotion of public interest law. EJF works to provide stipends for Georgia law students who have chosen to work in unpaid, public interest positions over the summer. Public interest law is not a lucrative field, and students who pay the high cost of legal education need financial support. EJF’s mission is to:
 
Raise money for stipends and distribute the funds to public interest law students in a fair manner,
 
Provide networking opportunities for students interested in public interest law careers, and
 
Promote the viability of public interest law careers at UGA by our fundraising efforts and supporting other public interest organizations at the University of Georgia School of Law.
 
Eligibility & Requirements: The Equal Justice Foundation Fellowships use the criteria stated for all Georgia Law Public Interest Fellowships.
 
 
 

More than 65% of Georgians live in rural areas, but the vast majority of lawyers live and practice in metro-Atlanta. Six counties in Georgia have no lawyers, and 56 counties have fewer than fifteen, causing the judiciary and bar to declare this justice gap a crisis for our state’s legal system. With so few lawyers practicing in rural areas, access to justice is more difficult for those who live outside of metropolitan areas. In addition, transportation challenges and lack of access to high speed internet make access to legal help particularly difficult for our rural residents.

UGA Law seeks to expand access to justice in rural areas of Georgia through the establishment of a pilot Rural Justice Fellowship. This fellowship will fund a law student to work in a private law firm in a rural part of the state, learn about rural practice, and undertake one pro bono matter for a low income client in connection with the Georgia Legal Services Program office serving that part of the state.

The selected fellow will receive a $5000 stipend for the summer.

What does it take to be a Rural Justice Fellow?

  • A commitment and interest in small town rural law practice
  • A host law firm in a rural part of Georgia willing to take on a summer Rural Justice Fellow
  • A willingness to help provide service in one pro bono case with support from the Georgia Legal Services Program
  • Approval to work under the Bar’s Student Practice Act

To be considered for this pilot program, please submit an application along with your resume and a personal interest statement using the form for 2019 Fellowships found on Simplicity no later than April 4, 2019.

 

Milner Ball Fellowship

Professor Milner S. Ball, a University of Georgia School of Law graduate, taught at the law school for nearly thirty years.  He retired as the holder of the Caldwell Chair in 2007 and passed away in 2011.

Bertis Downs captured Milner’s spirit eloquently by writing that Milner was a “comforter to the powerless” and “champion of the poor.”  Many, including Bertis, were inspired by Milner’s firm belief in the “necessity of community willing to do the hard work.”

The Milner S. Ball Fellowships allows the law school to have a lasting tribute to the memory of Professor Ball.  The fund financially support law students in good standing seeking public interest/pro bono service opportunities during their first and second summers in law school.

What does it take to be a Milner S. Ball Fellow?

  • A commitment to use the law to help those less fortunate;
  • The ability to see the potential of law as tool for social justice;
  • Demonstration of a service mindset and willingness to “walk the talk”
  • A host agency willing to house you for the summer that fits within Milner S. Ball’s values;
  • Approval to work under the bar’s Student Practice Act.

To be considered for the Ball Fellowship please submit an application along with your resume and a personal interest statement using the form for 2019 Fellowships found on Simplicity no later than April 4, 2019