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The Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowship Program supports first- and second-year law students, and third-year students after graduation, from Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, Stanford Law School, and Yale Law School. The Ford Foundation works with these schools to identify and help develop new leaders in social justice.
Harvard Law School Contact
Joan Ruttenberg, Associate Director, Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising
Application Deadline TBD
The Ford Foundation, established through an initial $25,000 from Edsel Ford, is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental grantmaking organization that works to promote public welfare worldwide. Reflecting its original charter, Ford serves the public by strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement. Ford currently makes grants in all 50 states and, through 10 regional offices around the world, supports programs in more than 50 countries. Over the years, their trustees have been drawn from the United States, Latin America, Africa and Asia and have brought experience in business, government, higher education, law, nonprofit management and the civic sector with a "diversity of approaches and continuity of purpose."
Ford Fellows participate in a 10-week summer internship at a Ford grantee organization whose work focuses broadly on legal analysis, litigation, and public policy advocacy. Twenty fellowships will be awarded to Harvard Law School students for summer 2014.
Working closely with lawyers and advocates, fellows gain exposure to a variety of practice settings and issue areas including reproductive rights, civil rights, gay, lesbian, and transgender rights, immigrants’ rights, prisoner and ex-offenders’ rights, voting rights, children’s rights, and other areas of concern with respect to social justice and equity.
In September 2013, the Ford Foundation announced it will extend the Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowship program to include post-graduate fellowships. Three post-graduate fellowships will be awarded to Harvard Law School students this year. The post-graduate fellowship supports work with a Ford grantee organization with a base salary of $45,000 and benefits.
The fellowship program is a part of the Ford Foundation's Social Justice Fellowships Initiative. In 2013, the inaugural year of the program, the Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowship connected 100 law school students with grantee organizations across the United States and around the world. Ford Fellows will gather in fall 2014 for the second annual Ford Foundation Public Interest Law School Symposium at the Ford Foundation Headquarters in New York.
First- and second-year students are eligible for this fellowship.
Information about the participating Ford Foundation grantee organizations is available through the password-protected website, www.fordlawfellowships.org. Contact OPIA at email@example.com to request the Harvard Law School user name and password.
For a list of all organizations which hosted Ford Fellows in 2014, including the names and class years of each fellow, click here.
Students should apply online, with a resume and personal statement as well as a list of sponsoring organizations they have applied to.
The online application is available here.
The Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowship is an opportunity to work at organizations around the globe and to become involved in a cohort of fellows at HLS and beyond.
If you apply for the fellowship, be sure that your selected organizations match the kind of work you want to explore during your 1L or 2L summer. Students are encouraged to discuss their interest in the program and their application materials with an OPIA advisor before applying.
For information on how the Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowship affects the Student Contribution from Summer Income and Harvard Law School financial aid, please refer to the HLS Student Financial Services website.
Students selected to participate in the Ford Foundation Law School Fellows participate in activities that enhance their connections with other fellows, and assist in the development of the program.
Activities include a series of required reading and response papers. Fellows also participate in an annual symposium, held at the Ford Foundation in New York, and assist with recruitment of fellows for the following year.
The Ford Foundation Post-Graduate Fellowship in Public Interest Law will support law school graduates from Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, Stanford Law School, and Yale Law School. The fellowship funds one year of full-time work at a Ford Foundation grantee organization beginning in fall 2014.
The fellowship carries a $45,000 stipend. The Ford Foundation will additionally reimburse up to $15,000 of the host organization’s costs for benefits.
Post-Graduate Fellows may join a Ford grantee organization in ordinary staff attorney positions, or work with a Ford grantee organization to develop a feasible one-year project which supports the organization’s mission.
Applicants are responsible for reaching out to the Ford grantee organization where they would like to conduct their fellowship, and securing a Letter of Support by the application deadline.
HLS students may also approach Ford grantee organizations not included in the list above about potential sponsorship. Note that the organization must be a current Ford grantee. Please speak to Joan Ruttenberg if you are interested in reaching out to a Ford grantee organization not included in the linked list.
Third-year students are eligible for the post-graduate fellowship.
Applicants must submit:
Q. Who is eligible to apply?
A. Current HLS 3Ls are eligible. Joint-degree students completing their degree by May 2014 are eligible.
Q. Can a sponsoring organization commit to more than one applicant?
A. Yes, as long as the organization has the capacity to support, mentor and supervise the fellows it hosts.
Q. When must a fellow begin his/her fellowship?
A. Fellows are expected to begin work the fall after their graduation. Fellows should negotiate a specific start date with their host organization.
Q. What are the eligible host organizations?
A. Only Ford Grantee Organizations are eligible to host fellows. Contact Joan Ruttenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in applying to a grantee organization not listed here.
Q. Who will evaluate my application materials?
A. A committee including HLS professors of law and clinical professors of law will evaluate application materials from HLS students. Finalists selected by the committee will participate in interviews with committee members during the last week of February and the first week of March.
See Helios for reviews of host organizations by HLS students.
Download a complete list of Ford Fellows from Harvard Law School here.
2014-2015 Post-Graduate Fellows
|Name||Class Year||Host Organization||Location|
|Samuel Weiss||2014||ACLU Center for Justice||Washington, DC|
|David Baake||2014||Natural Resources Defense Council||Washington, DC|
|Catherine B. Cooper||2014||Center for Reproductive Rights||New York, NY|
Summer 2014 Fellows
|Name||Class Year||Host Organization||Location|
|Darren Bartlette||2016||ACLU||New York, NY|
|Bianca Tylek||2016||ACLU||New York, NY|
|Zara Lukens||2015||American Civil Liberties Union||Durham, NC|
|Jodie C. Liu||2015||Brookings Institution, Global Economy and Development||Washington, DC|
|Katherine Soltis||2015||Center for Justice and Accountability||San Francisco, CA|
|Kathryn Boulton||2015||Center for Reproductive Rights||New York, NY|
|Caroline Sacerdote||2015||Center for Reproductive Rights||New York, NY|
|Melanie Botho Emmen||2016||International Development Law Organization||Rome, Italy|
|Chike Croslin||2016||Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law||Washington, DC|
|Marian Grove||2016||Legal Resources Center||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Katrina Fleury||2016||MALDEF||Chicago, IL|
|Hong (Chen-Chen) Jiang||2016||MALDEF||Washington, DC|
|Torie Atkinson||2015||NAACP Legal Defense Fund||New York, NY|
|Katie Renzler||2016||NAACP Legal Defense Fund||New York, NY|
|Rebecca Chang||2015||National Consumer Law Center||Boston, MA|
|Francesca Procaccini||2015||National Consumer Law Center||Boston, MA|
|Nadia Arid||2016||National Immigration Law Center||Los Angeles, CA|
|Daniel Carpenter-Gold||2016||Natural Resources Defense Council||Beijing, China|
|Anna P. Gunderson||2015||Natural Resources Defense Council||San Francisco, CA|
|Jacob Loup||2016||Ohio Justice & Policy Center||Cincinnati, OH|
Summer 2013 Fellows
|Name||Class Year||Host Organization||Location|
|Julina Guo||2015||Beijing Yilian Legal Aid and Study Center of Labor||Beijing, China|
|Nicole Summers||2014||Center for Constitutional Rights||New York, NY|
|Ariel Nelson||2015||Center for Justice and Accountability||San Francisco, CA|
|Ruchi Shah||2015||Center for Reproductive Rights||New York, NY|
|Meghan Michael||2015||Human Rights First||Washington, D.C.|
|Sarah Wheaton||2014||International Commission of Jurists||Geneva, Switzerland|
|Lindsey Kaley||2014||LatinoJustice||New York, NY|
|Elizabeth Floyd||2014||Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights||San Francisco, CA|
|Melanie Berdecia||2015||Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund||Washington, D.C.|
|Elizabeth Hadaway||2015||Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund||San Antonio, TX|
|Sean Hamidi||2014||National Day Laborer Organizing Network||Los Angeles, California|
|Abbey Marr||2014||National Domestic Workers Alliance||San Francisco, CA|
|Melanie Zuch||2014||National Economic and Social Rights Initiative||New York, NY|
|Conor Ahern||2015||National Gay and Lesbian Task Force||Washington, D.C.|
|Maggie Dunbar||2015||National Partnership for Women and Families||Washington, D.C.|
|Jenna Prochaska||2014||Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project||New York, NY|
|Morgan Everhart||2015||New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice||New Orleans, LA|
|Nicholas Pastan||2015||New Visions for Public Schools||New York, NY|
|Donna Harati||2015||Ohio Justice & Policy Center||Cincinatti, OH|
|Megumi Tsutsui||2014||Public Advocates||San Francisco, CA|
|Matthew Nickell||2014||Public Advocates||San Francisco, CA|
|Adriana Benedict||2014||Public Citizen Foundation||Washington, D.C.|
|Michael Decker||2014||Public Citizen Foundation||Washington, D.C.|
|Jean Strout||2014||Women’s Link Worldwide||Bogota, Colombia|
|Maryum Jordan||2014||Women’s Link Worldwide||Madrid, Spain|
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