Public Service Fellowships
Touro Law’s fellowship programs provide a stipend for students who share a commitment to public interest law who wish to pursue this worthwhile endeavor during the summer. While there are several such programs available, all share some common requirements.
Traditionally, fellowship applications are filed starting in early February. Please check back for deadlines in the next cycle.
Unpaid Summer Placement
All Touro fellows must secure a public interest placement for the summer with one exception: David Berg fellows fulfill their pro bono requirements at the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center.
Public interest legal employment, for purposes of the Fellowship Program, is defined as legal work performed under the supervision of an attorney engaged in poverty law, civil rights law or public rights law, including representing charitable organizations, which is defined as:
- Poverty law includes legal services in civil and criminal matters of importance to a client who does not have the financial resources to compensate private counsel.
- Civil rights law includes legal representation involving a right of an individual which society has a special interest in protecting.
- Public rights law includes legal representation involving an important right belonging to a significant segment of the public.
- Charitable organization representation includes legal service to charitable, religious, civic, governmental and educational institutions in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of customary legal fees would be otherwise inappropriate or impossible.
- Government Agencies include legal work affecting broad areas of public concern including the prosecution of crimes, the legal rights of consumers, the elderly, minorities, the poor, and groups whose legal rights are not otherwise adequately represented and who traditionally lack access to the courts.
To locate an appropriate placement, go to Equal Justice Works, PSLawNet or JACOB, Touro’s own job listing website. The Career Services Office may also have a suggestion.
Student Selection Criteria
- Completion of two semesters of law school, with preference to students who have completed four semesters (full-time), or six semesters (part-time).
- Commitment to public interest law, with preference to students with a demonstrated interest and various life experiences indicating a readiness to benefit from the Fellowship Program.
- The nature of the placement selected and the benefit the student’s service will provide to the organization.
- Maturity and demeanor appropriate to placement.
- Record of performance in legal and law-related work, and academic performance.
- Financial need, as documented through the Federal Free Application Student Aid Report. (This is only one factor for consideration and is not intended to operate as a prerequisite for selection.)
If the Committee desires more information about an applicant, it may be necessary to speak to a reference. For this reason, applicants are asked to designate a professional reference, which may include, but is not limited to a member of the Touro faculty, as an individual who may be contacted.
The Public Interest Law Fellowship Committee consists of faculty, administrators and graduating students who have previously received this Fellowship. Your transcript and financial aid information will not be shared with the student members of the Committee.
In order to receive Federal Financial Assistance, each student must meet the general eligibility requirement outlined below:
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis* as a regular student in an eligible program.
*Touro defines half-time enrollment to be at least 6 semester credits during the academic year, and at least 5 semester credits (full-time students) or 4 semester credits (part-time students) during the summer term.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with appropriate documentation.
- Register with a selective service, if required
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Maintain satisfactory progress, as defined by the institution, towards a degree.
- Meet the requirements of Section 668.40 of Title IV Higher Education Act of 1965 concerning conviction for sale and possession of illegal drugs.
- Not be in default of a prior federal student loan.