Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowship Program

In 1998, the faculty voted to establish two postgraduate public interest fellowships. In 2008, the Law School increased the number of postgraduate public interest fellowships from two to three. These were two-year fellowships, with full salary funding the first year and the second year funding split evenly between the fellowship and the sponsoring agency. Since 2019, the Law School has annually funded at least four one-year fellowships.

Loyola Law School postgraduate fellowships in public interest law are designed to promote the following goals:

  • To provide legal services to underrepresented groups that have traditionally lacked full access to legal services. Social justice, human rights, civil rights, and environmental legal needs are among those included.
  • To create new public interest law positions to assist our students in getting their first public interest jobs and to have these positions then funded by the agencies.
  • To encourage and develop a diverse and qualified group of future public interest lawyers and leaders.

Read the list of Past & Current Postgraduate Fellows and a description of their projects.

The Loyola Law School Postgraduate Fellowship in Public Interest Law is offered to four graduates each year. It provides $50,000 towards the fellow's salary for one year to the host organization of each selected fellow.

Application

*Applications for 2024-2025 are now open*

The fellowships are available to Loyola graduates who apply in the year of their graduation or the following year. For instance, 2024-2025 applications will be accepted from 2023 and 2024 graduates.

The deadline for 2024-2025 fellowships by noon, Monday, March 25, 2024. The online application can be accessed at: https://onlineforms.lls.edu/post-grad-fellowhips.

Apply Now

The fellowships will run for one year beginning in the Summer/Fall. Selections will be made and students and sponsoring organizations notified in April 2024.

Fellows must file quarterly status reports with the Director of the Public Interest Law Department.

Supporting Documents

Applicants will be required to submit the following documents along with their applications:

  1. Resume
  2. Three letters of recommendation (only one of which may be from a Loyola Law School faculty member)
  3. Commitment letter from the sponsoring organization (for the required content of the letter, see Information for Sponsoring Organizations)
  4. One of the following:
    • An essay of no more than eight pages single-spaced that describes the short- and long-term goals of the project, a one-year timeline, the specific work that will be done to accomplish those goals, and why the applicant (based on background, experience, education, etc.) and the sponsoring organization are the best situated to succeed in this project.
    • Application materials that you submitted for another public-interest fellowship, including applications for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Skadden Fellowship, or Justice Catalyst Fellowship. If you applied for a different fellowship from those listed here and would like to submit those materials, please contact Sande Buhai (sande.buhai@lls.edu) to determine if those materials are acceptable.

Selection

The selection committee will consist of the Dean of the law school, the faculty public interest director, at least two other Loyola faculty members, and an alumnus or alumna working in public interest (who is not from any applicant's sponsoring organization).

The applications will be evaluated using the following factors, among others:

The project must involve legal representation or legal advocacy on behalf of individuals, groups, or interests that are not adequately represented by our legal system. Legal representation or legal advocacy means work for which a JD is required.

The position the fellow holds in the sponsoring organization must be a new one that was created for the fellowship, thus adding additional resources to the organization.

The applicant must have the relevant background, skills, training, and knowledge to carry out the project.

The applicant will be assessed based primarily on commitment to public interest law. This commitment should be clearly demonstrated in previous activities. The applicant’s professional, volunteer, and academic achievements should indicate that he or she has the relevant abilities to make the proposed project a success.

The committee will prioritize applicants who have attempted to secure funding from other sources, i.e., fellowships, grants, etc., including (but not limited to) an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Skadden Fellowship, or Justice Catalyst Fellowship.

The sponsoring organization must possess the financial and organizational stability to implement the proposed project.

Finalists may be invited to interview with the selection committee.

Sponsoring Organizations

The sponsoring organization must be a non-profit entity. The organization must demonstrate that it will provide adequate training, resources, and supervision. The organization must provide appropriate professional responsibility insurance coverage and standard employee fringe benefits.

View information for sponsoring organizations.