Access to Justice Institute

Contact

If you have any questions about post-graduate public interest fellowships, please contact Jennifer Werdell, Associate Director of the Access to Justice Institute, at werdellj@seattleu.edu or 206.398.4455.

Post-Graduate Public Interest Fellowships

Fellowships are an excellent way to engage in and explore public service work, make contacts, gain experience, and strengthen future job applications.

What Is a Fellowship?

The term "fellowship" encompasses a wide variety of programs, but most often it is a program intended to fund work or study for a specific purpose, for a set period of time. Fellowships are a gateway to public interest work, particularly into large, national organizations that typically hire attorneys with years of experience. 

Fellowships are an excellent way to learn about public service work, make contacts, gain experience, and strengthen future job applications. Fellows are able to use their legal skills to effect positive change for disadvantaged populations, and they generally receive top-rate training and supervision. In addition, because application processes are so competitive, a fellowship is an impressive credential. Moreover, even if continued employment with a host organization does not materialize, a fellow has a strong professional foundation and contacts on which to build.

Types of Fellowships

  1. Organization-Based: A number of nonprofit organizations administer their own fellowship, such as ACLU and Human Rights Watch. The organization determines salary, duration, and scope of fellowship.
  2. Project-Based: Some foundations, such as the Soros Foundation and Equal Justice Works, fund fellowships for applicants who develop a specific project in conjunction with a sponsoring nonprofit organization. The fellowship is awarded for work on a specific project, but often the recipient determines where the work is done.
  3. Firm-Sponsored: Law firms have a variety of fellowship models. In all of them, the fellow is paid for a period of time while she engages in public interest work. Later, the fellow may or may not join the firm. The most well-known of these fellowships is the Skadden Fellowship, sponsored by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
  4. Entrepreneurial Grants: These grants support a public interest project that you have developed without the aid of an established organization or intention of attaching project to a pre-existing organization.
  5. Seattle University School of Law Fellowships: Since 2009, Seattle University School of Law has offered a post-graduate public interest fellowship to its graduating students. To contribute to the School of Law's Fellowship programs, which are made possible through the generosity of alumni and external donors, please visit our Giving page. For questions or further information, please contact Jennifer Werdell.

2015 Frances Perkins Fellowship

Seattle University School of Law is thrilled to announce that that Andrés E. Muñoz has been named as the 2015 Seattle University School of Law Frances Perkins Fellow at The Unemployment Law Projeet (ULP). The Fellowship is a unique partnership between ATJI and ULP, a statewide not-for-profit law firm established to assist and represent unemployed workers. Named for the former Secretary of Labor and first female cabinet member, the Frances Perkins Fellowship will allow ULP to expand its capacity to help workers who lose their jobs maintain stability for themselves and their families while they search for new employment.

Andrés, a May 2015 graduate, will work full-time with ULP for one year providing direct representation, advice, legal education, and community outreach to those who have been denied unemployment benefits or whose award of benefits is being challenged. The Fellowship will provide a salary, benefits, and professional development opportunities. Social justice champions Jim Degel '80 and Jeanne Berwick provided critical funding to kick-start this new partnership opportunity, which is also supported by ULP's own fundraising efforts. Degel and Berwick have generously supported Seattle U School of Law post-graduate fellowships in hopes of creating the next generation of social justice-minded lawyers. Congratulations to Andrés!

Meet Past and Current Fellows

Seattle University School of Law graduates are committed to working for justice, and many recent graduates have received fellowships to work for a variety of organizations around the country. Read more of their inspiring stories.

  • Andrés E. Muñoz ('15): 2015 Seattle University School of Law Frances Perkins Fellow at the Unemployment Law Project
  • Marisa Ordonia ('14): 2014 Seattle University Leadership for Justice Fellow (2 year fellowship at TeamChild)
  • Diego Rondón Ichikawa ('13): 2013 Seattle University Leadership for Justice Fellow (National Employment Law Project)
  • Elizabeth Hendren ('12): 2012 Seattle University Leadership for Justice Fellow (Northwest Justice Project)
  • Alex West ('12): Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow (Northwest Justice Project Veterans Project)
  • Adam Chromy ('11): Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow (Northwest Justice Project Veterans Project)
  • Kevin DeLiban ('11):Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow (Legal Aid of Arkansas)
  • Anupa Iyer ('11): 2011 Seattle University Leadership for Justice Fellow (Mental Disability Advocacy Center)
  • Andra Kranzler ('11): 2011 Seattle University Justice in Action Fellow (Columbia Legal Services)
  • Reyna Ramolete Hayashi ('11): Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellow (Empire Justice Center)
  • Nick Allen ('10): Equal Justice Works Fellow (Columbia Legal Services)
  • Bette Fleishman ('10): 2010 Leadership for Justice Fellow (Disability Rights Washington)
  • Elizabeth Tonti ('10): AmeriCorps Attorney (Legal Aid of Arkansas)
  • Mike Clyburn ('09): Presidential Management Fellow (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)
  • Kristi Cruz ('09): 2009 Leadership for Justice Fellow (Northwest Justice Project)
  • Tiel Keltner ('09): Presidential Management Fellow (US Department of Veteran Affairs)
  • Riddhi Mukhopadhyay ('09): Berkeley Law Foundation Fellow (Northwest Immigrant Rights Project)
  • Persis Yu ('09): Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellow (Empire Justice Center)