Law Fellows Program

Dates and Deadlines: 

  • Deadline to apply: Monday, May 27, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST
  • Notification of acceptance by: Monday, June 10, 2019 
  • Summer intensive program: Monday, July 29 - Friday, August 2, 2019 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
  • Monthly (virtual) meetings: The first Saturday of each month from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm with an hour lunch break from 12:00 -1:00 pm. (Participants can join on-site at Loyola Law School or virtually.) 

The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program 

  • College Applicants Welcome - Community College & 4-year institution 
  • We seek to select a group of five to ten (5-10) law fellows this year.
  • Strong candidates will demonstrate an understanding of barriers to education access and have an interest in becoming leaders to break down those barriers for people with disabilities.
  • Law Fellows will be required to sign a release to use their name and image on The Coelho Center website, press releases and other materials. 

The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program is launching this Summer 2019. Central to the mission of The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation is bringing together and fostering the development of leaders from our disability community. In particular, we believe in creating a strong pipeline of law students with disabilities who will go on to serve as attorneys, judges, public policy professionals, and politicians. Our ultimate goal is to increase representation in policy spaces where decisions are being made. 

As the disability rights slogan goes, "Nothing About Us Without Us!" or more aptly "Nothing Without Us!" because people with disabilities belong in every sector of society, including the legal profession. We need disabled voices in law schools, in law firms, in the courts, on the bench, in the Congress, in legal academia and beyond! 

In order to do so, we need to strengthen the pathway into law school for students with disabilities. Too often, students with disabilities are discouraged from attaining higher education. Educational barriers, along with negative assumptions and attitudes, dissuade our community from reaching careers in law and policy.

This has to change. Our program targets early-year college students with disabilities to intervene and provide encouragement, support and mentorship that is crucial to success.   

Currently, there is no program like The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program whose specific mission is to train and mentor college students with disabilities to think about a path toward law school.

Our program offers:

  • a one-week summer intensive course at Loyola Law School;
  • an academic-year-long virtual course; 
  • a mentoring program between the fellows and law students and attorneys with disabilities;
  • academic planning and support through the law school application process; and,
  • a $1,000 stipend to be used for school supplies. 

One-Week Summer Intensive Course: 

  • Monday, July 29 - Friday, August 2, 2019 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
  • Held at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles
  • Sessions include: 
    • Disclosure at school and in the workplace
    • Asking for accommodations 
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and knowing your rights 
    • Disability Rights Movement & Disability Justice
    • An introduction to law and lawyering
    • How to build your transcript and resume for law school applications 
    • Applying to law school 
    • Words of wisdom by prominent disability leaders  
    • Building connections with prominent attorneys with disabilities 
    • Introduction to law schools and law firms

Application Instructions: 

To apply for The 2019 Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program, please respond to all the questions on The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Application. Your application must be submitted electronically by Monday, May 27 2019, to In addition, applicants must send a copy of their academic transcript and a resume. An unofficial copy of your transcript is acceptable. Note: There is no GPA requirement to be eligible for the program.  

You must list two references with their contact information, though we will not contact your references unless you make it to the final round of application review.  

Application Materials: 

  • Application Form 
    • Acceptance of the terms of the application
    • Short Answers
    • References 
    • Personal Statement
  • Academic Transcript (unofficial copy scanned and emailed) 
  • Resume
  • Sponsorship Application (optional) 

To apply, download The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Application.  Please download the Word document, fill in your responses, and return as a PDF file to  As an alternative, you may create a voice or video recording in response to the questions (in spoken or signed language) and submit your files to  

Eligibility to Apply:

The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program is designed to serve students with disabilities interested in pursuing law school. As such, students who identify as D/deaf, hard-of-hearing and/or disabled are strongly encouraged to apply. Students must be currently enrolled in a community college, college, or university. Applicants do not need to be certain that they would like to attend law school. Only an interest in the law in required.

The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation has a strong commitment to diversity as a core value. As such, we encourage applicants from a broad range of backgrounds with identities intersecting with disability including race, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status. Applicants from low income backgrounds and applicants who have been involved in the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.

A Note on Disability: 

The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program does not require "proof" of disability. We acknowledge the challenges often associated with lack of access to medical diagnosis, mis-diagnosis, and under-diagnosis. If you identify as being part of the D/deaf and/or disability community, that is sufficient. Examples of disability include:

  • Physical disability (e.g. paraplegia, amputee, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
  • Intellectual and/or developmental disability  (e.g. intellectual disability, Autistic, Down syndrome, language and learning disabilities, cerebral palsy)
  • Psychiatric disability (e.g. depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.)
  • Sensory disability (e.g. blind, D/deaf, blind-deaf, hard of hearing, etc.)
  • Chronic illness (e.g. Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s disease, Fibromyalgia, etc.)
  • Other disabilities not listed above

Universal Access:

We strive to make this Law Fellowship experience accessible to everyone. Please let The Coelho Center Director, Katherine Perez, know what we can do to make sure that your application process and participation in the program (if accepted) is as smooth as possible!  Katherine is available by email at or by phone at 213.736.1486.    

Funding / Sponsorships: 

The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program is free for participants. During the summer intensive program, breakfast and lunch will be provided. Fellows must provide their own transportation and housing during the summer intensive program. However, there are limited scholarships available that provide transportation and/or housing for selected fellows.  

In order to be considered for a scholarship for transportation and/or housing to attend the summer intensive program at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, download The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Sponsorship Application and submit it with your other application materials via email. You may also opt to create an audio or video recording (in spoken or signed language) that responds to the prompt in the scholarship application.  

The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Sponsorship Application



Contact The Coelho Center Director, Katherine Perez, by email at or by phone at 213.736.1486.   


*Acceptance into The Coelho Center Law Fellowship Program does not guarantee acceptance into Loyola Law School.