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Cornell Law School Office of Public Service Short

Post-Graduate Fellowships

A Post-Graduate Fellowships is an excellent opportunity for you to launch your career. These are entry-level (or post-judicial clerkship) jobs with public interest organizations or, occasionally, government agencies or academia. They are typically one or two years in duration. 

PSJD contains listings for over 300 fellowship opportunities.  As their web site explains, there are two types of post-graduate fellowships: organization-based fellowships and project-based fellowships. 

An organization-based fellowship is funded by the organization for which you are working.  The American Civil Liberties Union, for instance, hosts several fellows working on various issues, from women’s rights to First Amendment and racial justice issues. To the extent that the organization employing you is also funding the fellowship, this is similar to a “normal" job where the employer is paying the employee's salary.  

A project-based fellowship is funded by a third-party organization, allowing you to work with a host organization, usually on a specifically designed project.  For example, you may have an idea to open a legal clinic for low-income immigrants who are victims of consumer scams. A legal services organization may desire to host you. In the public interest legal arena, Equal Justice Works and the Skadden Fellowship Foundation are the largest funders.

If you are considering developing a project-based fellowship, note that public interest organizations are eager to hear from you.  Organizations that would like to host fellows post on PSJD as “Fellowship Sponsors.” 

Putting together a successful public interest fellowship application requires creative, strategic thinking.  Contact Karen Comstock, Assistant Dean for Public Service, for assistance.